The Graduate Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology provides its students with rich opportunities to study organic diversity, including its origins, maintenance and consequences. Our students' research questions address fundamental issues in basic and applied sciences, span large and small spatial and temporal scales, and apply experimental, observational, theoretical, statistical, molecular and chemical approaches. Some students in the program focus on Discipline-Based Education Research, to develop evidence-based knowledge and practices to improve STEM education.
The program emphasizes broad thinking and encourages students to be both interdisciplinary and independent. While students work with an advisor, many of our students develop research themes that are not derived directly from those of their advisor. Our program may be particularly well suited for students who can therefore take full advantage of Cornell's expansive intellectual and technological resources in the life sciences and related fields.
The Graduate Field of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Prospective graduate students apply to Graduate Fields of Study at Cornell rather than departments. Most Graduate Fields are more inclusive than any one Cornell department. Graduate Fields are, in a sense, virtual, and bring together faculty and students with shared intellectual interests, irrespective of their departmental homes.
Students in the Graduate Field of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) are all advised by Faculty in the Field of EEB, which include faculty based in 12 departments, including Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Entomology, Natural Resources and the Environment, Neurobiology and Behavior, Molecular Biology and Genetics, and the School of Integrative Plant Science. Any member of Cornell's Graduate Faculty, from any department, can serve on students' dissertation committees.
Every graduate student will also have a departmental home, which is generally the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, at least the first year. Afterwards, students have the same departmental home as their primary graduate advisor. Incoming students are guaranteed five years of support, including four years of summer support. Our program has a few standard requirements and milestones on the path to the awarding of the Ph.D.; please see Funding and Program Requirements.
EEB is home to approximately 60 students at any time, coming from a variety of US and international backgrounds. We value diversity in all its dimensions and our student body reflects that! You can further explore program statistics in this useful and interactive dashboard maintained by the graduate school. Make sure to filter the information by the graduate field of EEB.