Home Page
Montana State University
Intercollege Degree >PhD in Ecology and Environmental Sciences > Home Page

Ph.D. in Ecology and Environmental Sciences

elk panarama

Admissions | Faculty | Departments and Colleges

The Ph.D. in Ecology and Environmental Sciences was developed jointly by the Departments of Ecology and Land Resources & Environmental Sciences as a broad interdisciplinary Ph.D. program open to graduate students in several departments in the Colleges of Letters & Science and Agriculture. The degree program was approved by the MUS Board of Regents in 2006, and now meets the interests of graduate students in a broad array of subjects. Other collaborating departments include Earth Science, Animal and Range Science, and Plant Science and Plant Pathology.

This cross-college doctoral degree represents a broad collaboration among departments and faculty from across MSU. It provides the opportunity for motivated students to integrate our world-class faculty research programs in diverse aspects of ecology and environmental sciences often within the unparalleled natural laboratory that is the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Particular program strengths include terrestrial and aquatic ecology, environmental biogeochemistry, evolutionary biology, hydrology and watershed analysis, quantitative ecology, invasive plant ecology and management, conservation biology, land rehabilitation/restoration ecology, environmental microbiology, remote sensing and spatial sciences. Graduates will be well-trained professionals who will compete strongly in research, teaching, and related fields nationally and internationally.

Program Participants

The program is jointly centered in the departments of Ecology (College of Letters and Sciences) and Land Resources and Environmental Sciences (College of Agriculture), but is also specifically open to students and faculty mentors in other MSU departments and colleges who undertake relevant doctoral study such as the College of Nursing.

General Admissions Information

Full Admissions Procedures

The full admission process for a doctoral degree is not the same for each department at this time. Candidates for the Ph.D. degree in Ecology and Environmental Sciences are expected to be familiar with the degree requirements of both their home department and the Graduate School.

An appropriate faculty mentor must agree to serve as the student's major advisor as a condition of admission in the Department of Ecology. The Information Summary for Prospective Graduate Students is used to aid the applicant in finding an advisor. It is recommended that a potential agreement for support with an advisor is reached before beginning the full application process.  If a full application is requested by a faculty member, please list Ecology as part of the degree choice information provided in the online application with the Graduate School.

Prospective students who are interested in pursuing the EES doctoral degree through the Land Resources and Environmental Sciences Department (LRES) should submit their application materials to the the Graduate School and LRES. The application should specify the desired area(s) of study to facilitate its full evaluation by faculty members in the desired field(s).

Those interested in pursuing their degree with another department at MSU should follow the application process for that department and the Graduate School as advised by the faculty sponsor.


Because of the substantial diversity in disciplinary and multidisciplinary foci within the EES doctoral program, there is no universal required core curriculum. The student's individual coursework program will be developed in partnership with the major advisor and graduate committee, and must be consistent with the home department and Division of Graduate Education (DGE) guidelines and requirements. A minimum of 30 credits of resident coursework must be taken from MSU.

An extensive list of potential courses may be applied to this interdisciplinary degree program.