Scientists in extreme cold weather gear monitor harbor seals in their natural habitat.

Ecology & Environmental Sciences (Graduate)

Engage in dynamic, cross-disciplinary research on the diverse aspects of ecology and environmental sciences, often within the unparalleled natural laboratory that is the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Ecology & Environmental Sciences – Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

In the doctoral Ecology & Environmental Sciences program at Montana State, motivated students are provided the opportunity to advance their research projects under the guidance of world-class researchers within the unparalleled natural laboratory that is the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Research strengths within the Ecology & Environmental Sciences program include terrestrial and aquatic ecology, environmental biogeochemistry and microbiology, hydrology and watershed analysis, environmental risk assessment, invasive plant ecology and management, conservation and rehabilitation biology and ecology, remote sensing and spatial sciences and land-atmosphere interactions.



Students in the Ecology & Environmental Sciences program have the opportunity to work with leaders in their field, such as professor Andrew Hansen, whose research of tropical forests across the planet utilizes high-resolution NASA satellite data to assess the structural condition of rainforests for international conservation efforts and has been supported by the United Nations Development Programme, NASA, the Wildlife Conservation Society and Montana State in addition to seven other leading research institutions.



An illustration of a head in profile.

Carnegie Classified
The prestigious Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education® ranks Montana State University among the Top 5 public, 4-year universities for Very High Research Activity with a STEM-dominant research doctoral program.

Illustration of two hands clasped in a handshake.

Interdisciplinary Prowess
To maximize scholastic access, the Ecology & Environmental Sciences program is made possible by cooperation between six departments in two colleges on the Montana State campus.

An illustration of a geyser mid-eruption.

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




Fund Your Education

The Graduate School at Montana State is dedicated to helping students secure funding during their time at MSU. Some resources the Ecology & Environmental Sciences program and Graduate School offer include:

Additionally, the Department of Ecology has compiled a number of funding resources courtesy of the graduate student body.

Interdisciplinary Access

Ecology & Environmental Sciences graduate students work across a breadth of departments within the Colleges of Agriculture and Letters & Science, including:

  • Animal & Range Sciences
  • Land Resources & Environmental Sciences
  • Microbiology & Immunology
  • Plant Sciences & Plant Pathology
  • Ecology
  • Earth Sciences




Admissions Requirements

Note: no GRE Required.

Each program within the Graduate School at Montana State has its own particular requirements for admission, and the Ecology & Environmental Sciences program is not different. To ensure that you start your application on the right foot, please review the admissions requirements for the Ecology & Environmental Sciences program. This includes any additional deadlines that the Colleges of Agriculture and Letters & Science may have aside from the Graduate School, which does practice rolling admissions.




Careers after Graduation

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

Nearly 75% are working in academia and about 25% for government. Top industry employers include Montana State University and Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education.

Across all career paths the estimated salary of alumni within 10 years of graduation ranges from $70,000 to $90,000 with an average of $70,000 (source of data Academic Analytics).