Application Deadline

Complete applications must be submitted by the following dates:

Fall Semester admission - June 1st

Spring Semester admission - November 1st

Summer Semester admission April 1st

*International applications are due one month prior to above listed deadlines due to visa processing times.

An applicant is generally not accepted by the department until sufficient funding to complete the program is secured with a faculty member. Graduate teaching or research assistantships are awarded on the basis of the applicant's qualifications and a recommendation from faculty. If you have been requested to apply, please complete the online application process and the required qualifications will be reviewed by the faculty member. If you choose to submit an application without first securing a faculty advisor, your application will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Required Tests

Official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores are required for application. These scores must be received directly from ETS. Minimum test score (verbal and quantitative combined) of 300 (1100 for older scores). Scores must be received directly from ETS. For Montana State University, the Institution code 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 who are admitted to the department are carefully screened and only a few, highlight qualified students are admitted each year.


This cross-college doctoral degree represents a broad collaboration among MSU departments and faculty. 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, agroecology, environmental risk assessment, invasive plant ecology and management, conservation biology, land rehabilitation/restoration ecology, environmental microbiology, remote sensing and spatial sciences, chemical ecology, and land-atmosphere interactions. Graduates will be well-trained professionals who will compete strongly in research, teaching, and related fields nationally and internationally.