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Master of Science in in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology

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  • Course description
    The Program in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology (PEEC) is an interdepartmental program designed to provide individualized training in preparation for careers in these disciplines. Because of the breadth of fields covered by this program, there will be no fixed course requirements other than attendance at the program's seminar series (IB 446) and annual graduate student symposium. Courses taken by a student and the student's Advisory Committee generally will come from multiple departments. The goal of the program's regulations is to allow maximum flexibility while providing close supervision, with the outcome of producing scientists who are broadly educated and technically competent in ecology, evolutionary biology and associated disciplines.

    Prospective candidates must meet the requirements for admission set by the Graduate College of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Only applicants who have graduated from an accredited college or university and who hold or will be granted a baccalaureate degree (or its equivalent) comparable in content and completed credit hours to that granted by the University of Illinois will be considered. Applicants must have a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 (A = 4.0) computed from the last two years of undergraduate (and any graduate) work completed. The program will give preference to candidates who hold a degree in biology or a closely related discipline and show promise of excellence in research and teaching. Typically, only students with strong letters of recommendation, high scores on the Graduate Record Examinations and a GPA well above the minimum stated above will be admitted.  Demonstration of academic excellence by other means (e.g., extensive field or laboratory research experience) will also be considered. The Graduate Committee will make decisions concerning admission. For students whose native language is not English, the Program requires a minimum paper-based TOEFL score of 613 (257 on the computer-based test or 103-104 on the web-based test). The program is no longer accepting applications to the Biology-Ecology, Evolutionary Biology degree.

    All students must register for and attend the weekly PEEC seminar series (IB 546A) each semester in residence. An orientation seminar (IB 546B) must be taken the first fall semester in residence Excuses because of conflicts must be approved by the Director of the Program. Graduation requires the completion of a thesis or report that is defended. In lieu of a formal thesis and defense, master's students have the option of submitting a research report, which must be approved by the advisor and one other member of the program faculty. Student research will be guided and approved by an Advisory Committee of three faculty from at least two departments, including the Major Advisor who will serve as chair. The director of the program must approve membership of the Masters Advisory Committee.

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