Twin Cities campus
 
Twin Cities Campus

Ecology, Evolution and Behavior M.S.

Ecology, Evolution & Behavior
College of Biological Sciences
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior Graduate Program, 100 Ecology, 1987 Upper Buford Circle, St. Paul, MN 55108 (612-624-6770, fax: 612-624-6777)
  • Program Type: Master's
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2017
  • Length of program in credits: 30
  • This program requires summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Master of Science
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
The graduate program in ecology, evolution, and behavior (EEB) links faculty and students interested in the biology of organisms from molecules to ecosystems. Studies address questions from molecular mechanisms of evolution, the interactions of organisms in social groups and populations, the distributions and abundances of species in communities and ecosystems, to global biogeochemical processes. The program provides broad training in the general areas of ecology, evolution, and animal behavior, and specialized courses and research in vertebrate and invertebrate zoology; behavior and ethology; evolution; population genetics; molecular evolution; systematics; population, community, and ecosystem ecology; global ecology; limnology; ecology of vegetation; and theoretical ecology. Opportunities for field research are available in Africa, Central America, and other parts of the world, as well as in local ecosystems, including the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve and Itasca Biological Station. Seminars and individually designed tutorials are an important part of student programs and provide an exciting intellectual environment.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
Other requirements to be completed before admission:
Courses in inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, general physics, one year of college calculus, animal biology, genetics, physiology, and plant biology are strongly recommended and provide an important background to pursue graduate work in EEB. Proficiency in a foreign language is not required but is strongly recommended for students who expect to pursue field work in a country where English is not the native language. Deficiencies must be made up early in the graduate program.
Special Application Requirements:
Students are admitted only in fall semester. Deadline for application is December 1. Refer to the EEB website for more details.
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
  • TOEFL
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 79
    • Internet Based - Writing Score: 21
    • Internet Based - Reading Score: 19
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 550
  • IELTS
    • Total Score: 6.5
  • MELAB
    • Final score: 80
Key to test abbreviations (TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
Plan A: Plan A requires 14 major credits, 6 credits outside the major, and 10 thesis credits. The final exam is oral.
Plan B: Plan B requires 24 major credits and 6 credits outside the major. The final exam is oral.
This program may be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
A minimum GPA of 3.00 is required for students to remain in good standing.
At least 2 semesters must be completed before filing a Degree Program Form.
The MS is offered under both Plan A (with thesis) and Plan B (without thesis). Plan A requires 20 course credits in the major and 10 thesis credits. Plan B requires 30 course credits in the major and one to three research papers, which may be written in conjunction with graduate courses. Significant field or laboratory experience and competence in statistics, to include hypothesis testing, regression, and correlation are required. Degree programs are planned by the student and an advisory committee of three faculty members to meet the student's interests and needs.
Plan A and Plan B course options
Plan A
Elective courses
Take 20 or more credit(s) from the following:
· EEB 5042 - Quantitative Genetics (3.0 cr)
· EEB 5407 - Ecology (3.0 cr)
· EEB 5601 - Limnology (3.0 cr)
· EEB 5605 - Limnology Laboratory (2.0 cr)
· EEB 8201 - Graduate Foundations in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior Semester 1 (4.0 cr)
· EEB 8202 - Graduate Foundations in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior - Semester 2 (4.0 cr)
· EEB 8360 - Behavioral Biology Seminar (1.0 cr)
· EEB 8500 - NSF GRF Graduate Research Fellowship Proposal Writing Seminar (1.0 cr)
· EEB 8301 - Prelim Proposal Writing Seminar (1.0 cr)
· EEB 8302 - EEB Written Prelim Workshop (1.0 cr)
· EEB 8601 - Introduction to Stream Restoration (3.0 cr)
· EEB 8602 - Stream Restoration Practice (2.0 cr)
· EEB 8641 - Spatial Ecology (3.0 cr)
· EEB 8980 - Seminar on Current Topics (1.0-3.0 cr)
· EEB 8990 - Graduate Seminar (1.0-3.0 cr)
· Students may select graduate level courses outside of EEB in consultation with their advisor.
Thesis credits
10 master's thesis credits are required.
EEB 8777 - Thesis Credits: Master's (1.0-18.0 cr)
-OR-
Plan B
Students may select from the courses listed below, or, in consultation with their advisor, choose other graduate-level courses with other designators.
Take 30 or more credit(s) from the following:
· EEB 5042 - Quantitative Genetics (3.0 cr)
· EEB 5407 - Ecology (3.0 cr)
· EEB 5601 - Limnology (3.0 cr)
· EEB 5605 - Limnology Laboratory (2.0 cr)
· EEB 8201 - Graduate Foundations in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior Semester 1 (4.0 cr)
· EEB 8202 - Graduate Foundations in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior - Semester 2 (4.0 cr)
· EEB 8301 - Prelim Proposal Writing Seminar (1.0 cr)
· EEB 8302 - EEB Written Prelim Workshop (1.0 cr)
· EEB 8360 - Behavioral Biology Seminar (1.0 cr)
· EEB 8500 - NSF GRF Graduate Research Fellowship Proposal Writing Seminar (1.0 cr)
· EEB 8601 - Introduction to Stream Restoration (3.0 cr)
· EEB 8602 - Stream Restoration Practice (2.0 cr)
· EEB 8641 - Spatial Ecology (3.0 cr)
· EEB 8980 - Seminar on Current Topics (1.0-3.0 cr)
· EEB 8990 - Graduate Seminar (1.0-3.0 cr)
· Students may select graduate-level courses outside of EEB in consultation with their advisor.
 
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EEB 5042 - Quantitative Genetics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Fundamentals of quantitative genetics. Genetic/environmental influences on expression of quantitative traits. Approaches to characterizing genetic basis of trait variation. Processes that lead to change in quantitative traits. Applied/evolutionary aspects of quantitative genetic variation. prereq: [BIOL 4003 or GCD 3022] or instr consent; a course in statistics is recommended
EEB 5407 - Ecology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Principles of ecology from populations to ecosystems. Applications to human populations, disease, exotic organisms, habitat fragmentation, biodiversity and global dynamics of the earth. prereq: [Math 1142, 1241, 1271 or equivalent]
EEB 5601 - Limnology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Advanced introduction to description/analysis of interaction of physical, chemical, and biological factors that control functioning of life in lakes and other freshwater aquatic environments. prereq: Grad student or instr consent
EEB 5605 - Limnology Laboratory
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Field/lab methods to obtain information on environmental conditions in aquatic environments and measure abundance of aquatic organisms, especially plankton. Field/lab instruments, sampling devices, microscopy, water chemistry, data analysis. prereq: 3603 or instr consent
EEB 8201 - Graduate Foundations in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior Semester 1
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Foundational knowledge in ecology, evolution, behavior. prereq: Grad student in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior
EEB 8202 - Graduate Foundations in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior - Semester 2
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Foundational knowledge in ecology, evolution, behavior. Second semester of two-semester sequence. prereq: 8601, EEB grad student
EEB 8360 - Behavioral Biology Seminar
Credits: 1.0 [max 5.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Research topics in selected areas. prereq: instr consent
EEB 8500 - NSF GRF Graduate Research Fellowship Proposal Writing Seminar
Credits: 1.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Prepare EEB students to submit a competitive fellowship proposal to an external organization (e.g., NSF Graduate Research Fellowship program). In addition to announced meeting time, students meet once a week in small groups to discuss proposals/provide each other with feedback. prereq: EEB grad student only
EEB 8301 - Prelim Proposal Writing Seminar
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Learn about structure/format of research proposal under guidance of three faculty members representing fields of Ecology, Evolution/Behavior. Prepare students for writing written preliminary exam. prereq: EEB gradu Student
EEB 8302 - EEB Written Prelim Workshop
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Prerequisites: EEB grad student
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Provide time for students to meet/discuss issues associated with writing written preliminary exam. Workshop sections of written preliminary exam with peers. Exam should be reviewed informally by committee/revised by student before final submission. prereq: EEB grad student
EEB 8601 - Introduction to Stream Restoration
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01305 - CE 8601/EEB 8601/Geo 8601
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Science/policy behind stream restoration. How to evaluating/critiquing a stream restoration project. Assimilate geomorphic, hydrologic, and ecological data at watershed and reach scales to plan a restoration project. Developing a monitoring/assessment program for an existing or future restoration project. prereq: Grad student in [CE or GEO or EEB or WRS or FW or BAE or FR or HORT or ENR or LA or SRSE] or instr consent
EEB 8602 - Stream Restoration Practice
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01295
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Field experience, group design project. Students provide a stream restoration context for each other's elective coursework, complete critical assessments of stream restoration projects, and design a stream restoration site. prereq: CE 8601 or GEO 8601
EEB 8641 - Spatial Ecology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Introduction to spatial ecology. Role of space in population dynamics and interspecific interaction. Single species/multispecies models. Deterministic/stochastic theory. Modeling, effects of implicit/explicit space on competition, pattern formation, stability, diversity, and invasion. Reading/discussion of recent literature. prereq: [3407, 2 sem calculus] or instr consent
EEB 8980 - Seminar on Current Topics
Credits: 1.0 -3.0 [max 30.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Current research in ecology, evolution, behavior. prereq: EEB grad student
EEB 8990 - Graduate Seminar
Credits: 1.0 -3.0 [max 30.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Research topics in selected areas. prereq: instr consent
EEB 8777 - Thesis Credits: Master's
Credits: 1.0 -18.0 [max 50.0]
Grading Basis: No Grade
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
(No description) prereq: Max 18 cr per semester or summer; 10 cr total required [Plan A only]
EEB 5042 - Quantitative Genetics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Fundamentals of quantitative genetics. Genetic/environmental influences on expression of quantitative traits. Approaches to characterizing genetic basis of trait variation. Processes that lead to change in quantitative traits. Applied/evolutionary aspects of quantitative genetic variation. prereq: [BIOL 4003 or GCD 3022] or instr consent; a course in statistics is recommended
EEB 5407 - Ecology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Principles of ecology from populations to ecosystems. Applications to human populations, disease, exotic organisms, habitat fragmentation, biodiversity and global dynamics of the earth. prereq: [Math 1142, 1241, 1271 or equivalent]
EEB 5601 - Limnology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Advanced introduction to description/analysis of interaction of physical, chemical, and biological factors that control functioning of life in lakes and other freshwater aquatic environments. prereq: Grad student or instr consent
EEB 5605 - Limnology Laboratory
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Field/lab methods to obtain information on environmental conditions in aquatic environments and measure abundance of aquatic organisms, especially plankton. Field/lab instruments, sampling devices, microscopy, water chemistry, data analysis. prereq: 3603 or instr consent
EEB 8201 - Graduate Foundations in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior Semester 1
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Foundational knowledge in ecology, evolution, behavior. prereq: Grad student in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior
EEB 8202 - Graduate Foundations in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior - Semester 2
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Foundational knowledge in ecology, evolution, behavior. Second semester of two-semester sequence. prereq: 8601, EEB grad student
EEB 8301 - Prelim Proposal Writing Seminar
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Learn about structure/format of research proposal under guidance of three faculty members representing fields of Ecology, Evolution/Behavior. Prepare students for writing written preliminary exam. prereq: EEB gradu Student
EEB 8302 - EEB Written Prelim Workshop
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Prerequisites: EEB grad student
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Provide time for students to meet/discuss issues associated with writing written preliminary exam. Workshop sections of written preliminary exam with peers. Exam should be reviewed informally by committee/revised by student before final submission. prereq: EEB grad student
EEB 8360 - Behavioral Biology Seminar
Credits: 1.0 [max 5.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Research topics in selected areas. prereq: instr consent
EEB 8500 - NSF GRF Graduate Research Fellowship Proposal Writing Seminar
Credits: 1.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Prepare EEB students to submit a competitive fellowship proposal to an external organization (e.g., NSF Graduate Research Fellowship program). In addition to announced meeting time, students meet once a week in small groups to discuss proposals/provide each other with feedback. prereq: EEB grad student only
EEB 8601 - Introduction to Stream Restoration
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01305 - CE 8601/EEB 8601/Geo 8601
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Science/policy behind stream restoration. How to evaluating/critiquing a stream restoration project. Assimilate geomorphic, hydrologic, and ecological data at watershed and reach scales to plan a restoration project. Developing a monitoring/assessment program for an existing or future restoration project. prereq: Grad student in [CE or GEO or EEB or WRS or FW or BAE or FR or HORT or ENR or LA or SRSE] or instr consent
EEB 8602 - Stream Restoration Practice
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01295
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Field experience, group design project. Students provide a stream restoration context for each other's elective coursework, complete critical assessments of stream restoration projects, and design a stream restoration site. prereq: CE 8601 or GEO 8601
EEB 8641 - Spatial Ecology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Introduction to spatial ecology. Role of space in population dynamics and interspecific interaction. Single species/multispecies models. Deterministic/stochastic theory. Modeling, effects of implicit/explicit space on competition, pattern formation, stability, diversity, and invasion. Reading/discussion of recent literature. prereq: [3407, 2 sem calculus] or instr consent
EEB 8980 - Seminar on Current Topics
Credits: 1.0 -3.0 [max 30.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Current research in ecology, evolution, behavior. prereq: EEB grad student
EEB 8990 - Graduate Seminar
Credits: 1.0 -3.0 [max 30.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Research topics in selected areas. prereq: instr consent