Academic Programs Catalog

College of Natural Science

Interdepartmental Degree Programs

Graduate Study
Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior - Dual Major

The interdepartmental dual major in ecology, evolutionary biology and behavior is administered by the College of Natural Science.  The dual major is  available only to those students who plan to complete a Ph.D. degree program that involves ecology, evolutionary biology and behavior and who have a graduate major at Michigan State University.  The student does not have the option of completing a dual major in ecology, evolutionary biology and behavior alone.

The educational objectives of the interdepartmental program are to:

  1. provide an opportunity for doctoral students to obtain a comprehensive and contemporary academic experience in the field of ecology, evolutionary biology and behavior.
  2. stimulate doctoral students with an interest in ecology, evolutionary biology and behavior to become sensitive to their professional obligations and responsibilities.
  3. develop an intellectual environment which will foster the growth of research and teaching in the area of ecology, evolutionary biology and behavior.

Students who are enrolled in the dual major in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior may elect an Interdepartmental Specialization in Cognitive Science. For additional information, refer to the statement on Interdepartmental Graduate Specializations in Cognitive Science in the College of Social Science section of this catalog. For additional information, contact the College of Natural Science.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the University and of the College of Natural Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

In order to enroll in the dual major in ecology, evolutionary biology and behavior a student must also have been admitted to a major at Michigan State University. A minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0 and undergraduate mathematics through calculus are required for admission to the dual major.

The Graduate Admissions Committee, composed of members of the ecology, evolutionary biology and behavior faculty reviews applications for admission and recommends acceptance of applicants for admission.  In special cases an applicant who has deficiencies in background courses may be admitted to the dual major on a provisional basis.

Guidance Committee

During the first year of enrollment in the dual major, the student and a member of the ecology, evolutionary biology and behavior faculty who will serve as the student’s major professor will constitute a  guidance committee that will assist in planning the student’s program of study.  At least two members of the ecology, evolutionary biology and behavior faculty shall be members of the committee.  The student’s program of study will involve ecology, evolutionary biology and behavior and a major in the student's department.  The program shall be planned in accordance with the statement on Dual Major Doctoral Degrees in the Graduate Education section of this catalog.

Students in the dual major in ecology, evolutionary biology and behavior are expected to attend weekly seminars and to participate in the graduate student-organized research colloquium.

Requirements for the Dual Major in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior

  1. One 3-credit course in ecology at the 800-900 level from a list of approved courses available from the office of the ecology, evolutionary biology and behavior program.
  2. One 3-credit course in evolution at the 800-900 level from a list of approved courses available from the office of the ecology, evolutionary biology and behavior program.
  3. One 3-credit course in quantitative methods at the 800-900 level from a list of approved courses available from the office of the ecology, evolutionary biology and behavior program.
  4. Twenty-four credits in Doctoral Dissertation Research (course number 999) from the student's departmental major.
  5. Pass a comprehensive examination that will be defined by the requirements of the student's major department and that will include a written examination in which the student demonstrates a knowledge of ecology, evolutionary biology and behavior as determined by the guidance committee.
  6. Submit a dissertation that, in the judgment of the student’s guidance committee, represents the integration of ecology, evolutionary biology and behavior and the student’s departmental major.