Application Deadline

Complete applications must be submitted by the following dates:

Domestic applicants:

Fall Semester admission - July 15th
Spring Semester admission - December 1st

Summer Semester admission April 1st

International applicants:

Fall Semester - May 15th
Spring Semester - October 1st
Summer - February 1st


Applicants seeking admission to the Doctor of Philosophy in Ecology & Environmental Sciences graduate program, in the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences must hold a B.S. or M.S. degree and have a record of appropriate scholarship in areas closely related to land resources and environmental sciences.

Prior to applying, an appropriate faculty member must agree to serve as the student's major advisor as a condition of admission. Prospective students should research our faculty's areas of research to find which faculty members' research best aligns with the student's area(s) of interest.

Applicants are expected to present evidence of college level training and mastery in biology, chemistry and mathematics sufficient to provide a good background for further study at the advanced level. Applicants with deficiencies may be required to take background courses to make up these deficiencies before or after being approved for acceptance.

Required Tests

Official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores are required for application. These scores must be received directly from ETS.  Minimum scores of 150 verbal and 146 quantitative (Old scoring system: 450 verbal and 550 quantitative).  This exam must be taken BEFORE applying for admission and generally the scores cannot be more than five years old at time of application but exceptions may be made. When requesting ETS to send your official scores, use Institution code is 4488 for Montana State University. You will be allowed to self-report unofficial scores during the application process, however, in no way are these self-reported scores considered official.

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

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.