EEB Graduate Program
KU's EEB Department has an excellent graduate program. Our PhD program was recently ranked as on the top 10 programs in the nation by the National Research Council (pdf). We offer M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in three disciplines: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Plant Biology, and Entomology.
Students receive professional preparation through a wide range of course offerings, training in proposal preparation, professional development, and a host of special seminars. Our seminar series includes presentations by leading researchers in many disciplines, and there is ample opportunity for graduate students to meet our invited guests for discussions and networking.
Our Record of Success
The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at KU has a long history of preparing some of the best scientists in the world for their careers. Notable graduates include Dr. Paul R. Ehrlich (Ph.D. 1957; Bing Professor of Population Studies, and President, Center for Conservation Biology, Stanford University); Dr. Pamela S. Soltis (Ph.D. 1986; Curator, Laboratory of Molecular Systematic Evolutionary Genetics, University of Florida); Dr. David Hillis (Ph.D. 1985; Alfred W. Roark Centennial Professor, Section of Integrative Biology and Center for Computational Biology and Informatics, University of Texas at Austin); Dr. Darrel Frost (Ph.D. 1988; Associate Dean of Science and Associate Curator of Herpetology, American Museum of Natural History).
EEB faculty, post-docs, and graduate students actively participate in studying ecology and evolutionary biology around the globe in such places as Antarctica, Latin America, Southeast Asia, South Africa, and the Canary Islands. In the past 5 years alone:
- 11 of our students received NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants.
- 4 were Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellows,
- 7 are trainees in the C-CHANGE IGERT program
- 1 of our students was awarded NSERC Graduate Scholarship
Recent graduate students and postdocs from KU's EEB program have started faculty positions at Louisiana State University, the University of Vermont, Colby College, Central Washington University, and Universidad Tecnológica Indoamérica.
Other awards to our graduate students include the
- NSF GK-12 Fellowship,
- Smithsonian Institution Predoctoral Fellowship,
- Foreign Language Area Scholarship,
- NSF East Asia-Pacific Summer Institutes Fellowship,
- KU Graduate Studies Diversity Fellowship, and
- the Fulbright Grant.
Our Expectations of Graduate Students
We expect EEB graduate students to be among the best in their field, using the resources described above. Specifically, we expect graduate students to
- develop an innovative research thesis under the supervision of their faculty mentor(s)
- write and submit grant proposals, both large- and small-scale, to aid in funding their research
- present their research findings at regional, national, and international meetings
- publish research papers based on their work
- exhibit motivation and passion for doing science, along with the work ethic and organizational skills to meet professional goals
- develop the emerging frontiers in their disciplines
Importantly, we want our students to have vision beyond their degree-to ask the next, most exciting questions in the discipline, to be risk-takers in their research pursuits, and to become leaders in the field.
EEB provides a funding package, with ten semesters of support for each Ph.D. student admitted and four semesters for each M.A. student. In addition to a salary averaging $18,000 for the academic year, students are typically provided with full tuition sponsorship. EEB provides funding for students to travel to professional meetings to present the results of their research.
Life in Lawrence and at KU
Lawrence, Kansas is a terrific place to live, with a vibrant downtown, fantastic restaurants, lively arts scene, and beautiful rural scenery, and the KU campus is an exciting, beautiful, invigorating environment. Recently, Lawrence was ranked ninth on the American Institute for Economic Research's list of best college towns (full story here). See our Frequently Asked Questions webpage for more details.