Graduate Biological Sciences (Ecology)

Biological Sciences – Ecology (Graduate)

Undertake advanced coursework in ecology and conduct high-level research that carries immediate impact.

Biological Sciences (Ecology) – Master’s of Science (M.S.) and Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

The Department of Ecology offers a Master of Science degree and a Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences. These programs cover a broad array of ecological topics and are suited for students primarily interested in research careers with federal or state agencies or academic careers in ecology.




Lecturers in the Department of Ecology include Diane Debinksi, whose 30 years of research on Parnassius clodius butterflies in the Grand Teton mountains and their implications for mountain systems ecology has earned a grant from the Disney Conservation Fund.




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Nature's Laboratory
Montana State students make Montana, including nearby Yellowstone National Park, their classroom, laboratory and playground.

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Top of the Line
Ecology is an extremely research-active department, with one of the largest research-based graduate programs in science at Montana State. The Department conducts research for over 50 federal and state agencies and NGOs.

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Carnegie Classified
MSU is classified as an R1 research institution, the top research designation granted by the prestigious Carnegie Classification. As an R1 institution, MSU is able to offer students meaningful research opportunities in a variety of fields.




Fund Your Education

The Graduate School at Montana State is dedicated to helping students secure funding during their time at MSU. Some resources the College of Letters & Sciences and the Graduate School offer includes:

More information about funding your Biological Sciences graduate degree can be found on the Graduate School website.

Learn By Doing

In addition to a wide range of coursework, students in the Biological Sciences program:

  • Enjoy a low student-to-faculty ratio, making collaborative work and student support a priority.
  • Have the opportunity to attend Montana State’s Annual Fall Outlook Conference, which assesses the economic climate in Montana and beyond.
  • Engage with the public: Help disseminate research through the “Today’s Voices of Conservation Science” podcast, hosted by the Department of Ecology.



Careers after Graduation

Graduate alumni in Biologican Sciences- Ecology embark on a wide range of careers within 10-years of their graduation.

Nearly 41% are working in government, 33% in academia, and about 8.3% for non-profit. Top industry employers include Montana State University and Madison Conservation District.

Across all career paths the estimated salary of alumni within 10 years of graduation ranges from $70,000 to $130,000 with an average of $95,000 (source of data Academic Analytics).


Admissions Requirements

Note: no GRE Required.

Each program within the Graduate School at Montana State has its own particular requirements for admission, and the Biological Sciences program is no different. To ensure that you start your application on the right foot, please review the admissions requirements for the Biological Sciences program. This includes any additional deadlines that the Department of Ecology may have aside from the Graduate School, which does practice rolling admissions.