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Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology Ph.D.

Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology (EEEB) is a multidisciplinary, interdepartmental program of study and research leading to a Ph.D. degree. Students earn a degree in EEEB but closely interact with one or more departments. The program involves several departments and centers, and over 40 participating faculty, and takes advantage of Miami's spirit of collaboration and excellent facilities.

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Students earn a degree in Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology (EEEB) but closely interact with one or more departments. Although there is no Master's degree program in EEEB, Miami also has Master's and Ph.D. Programs in Ecology, in which students earn a Certificate in Ecology.

The EEEB program emphasizes basic and applied research and training, with a major focus on the application of ecological and evolutionary principles to environmental issues. The program provides students with educational experiences that reflect this emphasis, and facilitates collaborations and interactions among students and faculty. All students are supported with teaching assistantships, research assistantships, or fellowships.

Students interested in applying to the EEEB program should review the research interests of the faculty associates, each of whom can serve as a dissertation advisor. Potential applicants are encouraged to contact faculty to learn more about their research programs.


A formal plan of study, including courses to be taken to satisfy the following requirements, must be approved by the student's committee. Equivalent courses taken in another graduate program may satisfy course requirements, at the discretion of the student's dissertation committee. In the event that a student has not yet formed a committee, s/he can seek approval from the EEEB Program Executive Committee. The faculty have developed very general guidelines that are used to help us quantify the quality of our program by evaluating students at two milestones in their graduate careers: the defense of their research proposal (usually written in the second year) and the defense of their dissertation (at end of their program). We use these rubrics to evaluate the success of our program (and the performance of students); the rubrics are available upon request by emailing Hank Stevens, Ph.D.


Graduate School Requirements

All EEEB graduate candidates must fulfill the Miami University general requirements for a Ph.D.

Formal Course Requirements

Students must earn at least 12 credit hours of formal coursework, including:

  • Two core courses, from the following:
    • Evolutionary and Population Genetics (BIO 522)
    • Population and Community Ecology (BIO 671)
    • Ecosystem and Global Ecology (BIO 672)
  • One course focused on the application of ecology or evolution to environmental problem solving, such as Conservation Biology (BIO 467), GIScience Techniques in Landscape Ecology (GEO 544), or other course approved by the EEEB Executive Committee.
  • One additional graduate course that is useful for progress toward the degree and is approved by the student's dissertation committee.


Students must take the two-semester introductory graduate seminar sequence in EEEB, consisting of BIO 601 (1cr., Fall) and BOT 710 (1 cr., Spring).

Each Fall, BIO 601 provides an introduction to a variety of skills needed to succeed in graduate school.

Each Spring, BOT 710 is offered to provide an introduction to the breadth of scientific disciplines in EEEB in a journal-club style forum.

Students must also take three more 1-credit graduate seminars.

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Comprehensive Exams

Students must pass a comprehensive written and oral exam, given by the student's dissertation committee.


Students must complete a dissertation. The dissertation committee must include at least five faculty members; at least three must be EEEB Program Faculty Associates.

Admission Requirements

A student studies the effects of UV radiationIncoming students are expected to have completed a bachelor's or master's degree and have an appropriate academic background in science and mathematics.

Successful candidates often have completed courses in general biology, genetics, ecology, evolution, calculus, statistics, and one or more system specific courses that focus on particular organisms (e.g., mammals or vascular plants) or ecosystems (e.g., coral reefs, streams). Successful candidates typically have professional experience, completed an M.S. in a related field, or completed an undergraduate research project.

Application Procedure


For full consideration, applicants must have all materials (including those required by the Graduate School) submitted no later than 1 January of the year of entry.

Find a Dissertation Advisor

Applicants must identify at least one faculty associate who is willing to serve as the dissertation advisor. Therefore, it is essential that applicants contact directly potential faculty advisors well before 1 January. To help identify potential advisors, please see our list of EEEB Faculty Associates. For general advice regarding applications to Ph.D. programs in ecology and evolutionary biology, see "A Primer on How to Apply to and Get Admitted to Graduate School in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology." W.P. Carson (1999) Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 80:246-250.

Apply Online

To apply to the EEEB program, you must complete the Application for Admission steps as outlined from the Miami University Graduate School's Admission page. In that application process, you will be asked to submit the following information or documents:

  1. A personal statement. This explains your plans for graduate school, including your current research interests and career goals. In addition, it should identify clearly one or more possible faculty advisors that would be appropriate for your research interests.
  2. A résumé or academic CV.
  3. Contact information for three references willing to submit letters of recommendation. (The Graduate School will contact these references and request electronic submission of letters of recommendation.)
  4. Official transcripts from previous schools.

Aquatic Ecology

Participating Host Departments

The EEEB program brings together faculty and students from several departments, all of which provide resources to support the program. In addition, all of these departments offer Master's degrees and all but Geography offer a departmental Ph.D. Miami Master's and Ph.D. students can also earn a Certificate in Ecology, through the interdepartmental Graduate Program in Ecology.

Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology PhD Program

Hank Stevens, Chair EEEB Executive Committee
316 Pearson Hall
Oxford, OH 45056