Members of the Antarctica research team survey a Weddell seal population. Photo by Jay Rotella


The Ph.D. in Ecology and Environmental Sciences is jointly centered in 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. It serves the needs of students whose dissertation research addresses an array of topics which span the disciplines of ecology and environmental sciences. Students will be affiliated with a home department that corresponds to that of their major faculty advisor. Other participating departments include Animal & Range Sciences, Earth Sciences, Microbiology & Immunology, and Plant Sciences & Plant Pathology.

Application Deadline

Complete applications must be submitted by the following dates:

Fall Semester admission - July 8th

Spring Semester admission - November 24th

Summer Semester admission March 25th

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

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

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.

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.