The Program in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology is an interdisciplinary, interdepartmental program administered through the School of Integrative Biology and is designed to provide individualized training in preparation for careers in ecology and evolutionary biology. Because of the breadth of fields covered by this program, there are no fixed course requirements other than attendance at the program's seminar series 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 technically competent and broadly educated in ecology, evolutionary biology and associated disciplines. The program offers M.S. and Ph.D. concentrations in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology.
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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 2 years of undergraduate and all years of graduate work completed. The program will give preference to candidates who hold a baccalaureate 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 and will be admitted, although demonstration of academic excellence by other means (e.g., extensive field or laboratory research experience) will be considered. Decisions concerning admission will be made by the Graduate Committee of the program.
Before their first semester in the Program each student will be assigned a major advisor, and the student and advisor will meet with an Entrance Committee to identify an appropriate course of study. The advisor usually will have been selected by the student before admission to the program and can be changed with approval by the director of the program. The student or the advisor may initiate a request to identify and alternate advisor. The Entrance Committee will be appointed by the chairperson of the Graduate Committee.
In consultation with their advisor and the committee, the student will select three core areas of emphasis:
Beyond these requirements, the particular courses recommended by the Entrance Committee will depend on the individual student's previous training, experience, and knowledge of the subject matter. All students will be required to develop strong quantitative skills, which may require advanced course work in statistics or other analytical methods.
The following milestones must be met to earn the M.S.
Graduate students may be required to maintain full-time enrollment for several reasons. Many academic programs require registered students to maintain a full-time load. Full-time status may also be required for certification related to student loans, fellowship and traineeship appointments, and certain types of non-University medical insurance policies. International students may be required to maintain full-time status for purposes of Student Exchange and Visitor Information System (SEVIS) reporting.
Graduate students with 25% - 67% assistantships, except Fellows (see below)
Graduate students with traineeships or waiver-generating fellowships (regardless of whether the student holds a concurrent assistantship) and Graduate students with "stand-alone" tuition waivers
Graduate students with 1% - 24% assistantships and graduate students without assistantships
Each student is expected to make satisfactory progress towards the M.S. or Ph.D. degree. Satisfactory progress is defined as meeting all degree requirements, including satisfactory grades in coursework, participation in seminars, performance in teaching and research, and passing examinations on or before their scheduled dates. A finding of unsatisfactory progress can be made at any time during the student's participation in the program and will be reported by the Graduate Committee to the student, the major advisor, and the director and result in the student being placed upon probation. A second finding of unsatisfactory progress will be cause for dismissal from the program. For doctoral students, the annual meeting with their Doctoral Committee will provide the major input for their progress evaluation. Masters students are typically expected to complete their degree within two years, depending upon their prior experience. Doctoral students are typically expected to complete their degree within five years, depending upon their prior experience.
Effective September 2004. Graduate students must make satisfactory progress in all aspects of their program in order to continue pursuing a graduate degree. Factors that a program may use to determine satisfactory academic progress include, but are not limited to, performance on qualifying, preliminary, and other examinations; performance in course work; satisfactory and timely completion of all milestones as determined by the program; satisfactory progress in research; and overall graduate and/or program grade-point average (GPA). Students enrolled in approved joint degree programs must meet the minimum GPA requirements of each degree program in order to maintain satisfactory academic progress and to graduate. All graduate students must meet the minimum degree GPA specified by the degree program in order to have the degree certified and to graduate. Most factors that determine satisfactory academic progress are monitored by the student's degree program, and failure to meet these requirements can result in the program recommending to the Graduate College that the student be placed on probation or dismissed from the Graduate College. While all factors to determine satisfactory academic progress are important, the Graduate College monitors only overall graduate grade-point average. The graduate degree programs monitor all other aspects of academic progress.
Occasionally, students are enrolled in the M.S. program and subsequently decide that they would like to pursue a Ph.D. This can be accomplished through one of two different mechanisms requiring either reapplying to the graduate program as a Ph.D. student or petitioning and getting approval from the Graduate Admissions Committee.
The Program in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology will evaluate petitions to transfer once each year. The deadline for petitions is January 1. Students wishing to transfer into the program from other programs or departments at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign should:
At this time, the program is considering transfer petitions only from students wishing to enroll in the doctoral program. If you have questions about the application process, please contact the PEEC secretary. For additional information about petitions, consult the Graduate College.
Continued offers of assistantships or fellowships each academic year will depend on an evaluation of satisfactory progress by the Graduate Committee and upon satisfactory teaching evaluations. Students who require more than two years to complete the M.S. degree or five years to complete the Ph.D. degree must submit a written petition to the Graduate Committee, supported by their Advisory Committee or Doctoral Committee, to be considered for an additional year of support.
Graduate students are expected to be actively engaged in writing proposals to support research and living expenses. PEEC students are expected to submit at least one external proposal during the course of their graduate studies. Possible sources of funding include: NSF Graduate Research Fellowships, NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowships. Additional sources of funding can be located through the Graduate College’s Fellowship Database, and also here: http://peec.illinois.edu/current/fellowships.
A number of campus opportunities for funding student support, research, and travel expenses are also available to students through PEEC, SIB, and the Graduate College.
Individual exceptions to these regulations may be sought by petition to the Graduate Committee. The Graduate Committee shall also serve as a Grievance Committee, unless it is the object of the grievance, in which case the Steering Committee of the program shall assume this function. The program follows the grievance procedures adopted by the Graduate College.