a. Biological Sciences MS/PhD: “Indian Paintbrush thrive in a burned forest. Photo by Emily J. Ringer


The M.S. and Ph.D. in Biological Sciences cover a broad array of ecological topics and serve the needs of students whose thesis research addresses basic, fundamental ecological principles or of those conducting applied research not involving fish or wildlife management. The M.S. may be a terminal degree leading to professional employment as an ecologist, but may also lead to a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences or other discipline. The Ph.D. degree serves the interests of students primarily interested in research careers in federal or state agencies or in academic careers in ecology departments. Coursework associated with these degrees tend to emphasize fundamental principles of ecology.

Application Deadline

Application Deadline for Domestic Applicants: Fall Semester, July 8th; Spring Semester, November 24th; Summer Semester, March 25th

Application Deadlines for International Applicants: Fall Semester, May 8th; Spring Semester, November 24th; Summer Semester, January 25th

Required Tests

The GRE is required. The sum for the verbal and quantitative scores should be a minimum of 300 for the current GRE tests. Scores should not be more than five years old but exceptions may be made; verbal/quantitative sum for tests before July, 2011 should be 1100. The institution code for score submission to Montana State University is 4488.

International Applicants

English proficiency scores with the following minimums: TOEFL (80), IELTS (level 6.5), or PTE (54), are required for applicants who are not U.S. citizens and are not from countries where English is the official language. This requirement is waived if the applicant has earned an undergraduate or graduate degree from an institution in the U.S. or if the student is from a country where the English proficiency score is waived.

Please see our International application process page for a list of countries where the english proficiency score is waived as well as more information on applying as an International student. 

Additional Admission Requirements

For additional required admission documents please see program website or view list of requirements in the graduate application portal.

Applicants are responsible for communicating with faculty of interest to inquire about potential graduate positions available. If requested, applicants should be prepared to provide a CV, transcripts, GRE scores, and/or references to the faculty member. Once an applicant has been selected by a faculty advisor to pursue their graduate degree, the faculty will invite the applicant to complete the Graduate School application. Applicants must enter the name of the faculty advisor who has agreed to support their degree, along with other required items, and submit the application for final decision by the department and The Graduate School. If an application is submitted without faculty advisor support, it may not be reviewed for admission to the department.