How to Apply

Program in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology (PEEC)

DEADLINES: Completed application and all supporting materials must be received by January 1. Admission is offered for the fall semester only.

  • STEP 1. Apply online and submit the fee ($70 for domestic and $90 for international applicants) by credit card (Visa and MasterCard). The Program name is Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology (10KS5107PHD, or 10KS5107MS). (The Department is the School of Integrative Biology.) The application will not be processed until the fee is paid.
  • STEP 2. Upload all transcripts listing the conferral of degrees earned and the coursework directly into the application. (Please note that you do not have to have an official transcript sent by your institution at this time. Uploading a scanned copy is sufficient for now. We only require your institution to send us an official, sealed transcript or a secure electronic version if you are accepted into the program.) International students please include diplomas or certificates of degrees if your degree is awarded and not listed on your transcript. Also include English translations of all academic records if the credentials are not in English.
  • STEP 3. Submit a statement of up to 500 words (in place of the 1500 word statement requested on the application form) of your interests, career goals, experience, and achievements related to teaching and research, as well as your reasons for wishing to obtain a graduate degree in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology. The statement should demonstrate an ability to organize and present information in proper English. It should be as specific as possible, especially if you have concrete ideas about the field of research you wish to enter.
  • STEP 4. At least three letters of reference should be submitted online from prior instructors or research supervisors who are most familiar with your scholarship and potential for research.
  • STEP 5. Have your Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores sent directly from ETS to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The institution number is 1836 and the GRE program code is 00, or 0203. A minimum of an upper second honours B.Sc. in a relevant life science may be substituted for the GRE for students from Britain and Ireland. The GRE Subject Test is not required. Typically, students that are admitted to PEEC have very competitive GRE scores.
  • Applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit TOEFL scores. International applicants must have a TOEFL score of at least 613 (paper-based test), 257 (computer-based test) or 103-104 (internet-based test) to be considered for admission. A minimum score of 24 on the speaking section of the iBT test is required. The TOEFL must be taken within two years of the proposed term of entry; older scores are not valid. Request that official TOEFL scores be sent directly to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The institution number is 1836 and the program code is 00 or 35. The Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit (SPEAK) is required upon enrollment
  • All applications with the requested information listed above must be received by the January 1 deadline. Incomplete applications due to missing information will not be considered. It is the responsibility of the applicant to inquire about the status of their application. Please note that the PEEC office is CLOSED from December 23 until after the January 1st deadline. Any emails or phone calls will NOT be answered during that time.
  • Prospective students are encouraged to e-mail or write faculty members with whom they would like to work. Letters may be sent in care of the Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology Program at 286 Morrill Hall, 505 South Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL, 61801.
  • If you have additional questions, contact:
    Program in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology
    286 Morrill Hall, MC-120
    505 South Goodwin Ave.
    Urbana, IL, 61801  USA
    Phone: 217/ 333-3044; Fax: 217/ 244-1224
    PEEC-Support@illinois.edu
    Again, please note that the PEEC office is CLOSED from December 23 until after the January 1st deadline. Any emails or phone calls will NOT be answered during that time.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available in the form of fellowships, tuition and fee waivers, teaching and research assistantships, federal training program, and loans. Financial need is not a factor in awarding fellowships, tuition and fee waivers, or assistantships administered by the University. Priority for financial aid is given to doctoral students. 

For additional information about availability, see the Graduate College information.

Admissions Decisions

Candidates for admission to graduate study are chosen by the PEEC Admissions Committee. If invited to visit during our Recruiting Weekend (usually the first weekend in February), part of your itinerary will include an interview by the PEEC Admissions Committee. The interview usually lasts approximately 15 minutes. You will be asked about your research interests and experiences and expectations regarding grad school. It is suggested that you wear nice, but comfortable clothing to your interview (in other words, nothing formal, such as a suit). Based on its decisions, offers for admission are made to selected candidates. Candidates offered admission are also offered financial support in the form of assistantships, fellowships and tuition waivers. By agreement with many other U.S. graduate programs, these offers remain in effect until April 15; however, your acceptance earlier is appreciated. Admission recommendations made do not become official until the Office of Admissions and Records issues a "Notice of Admission" and sends registration instructions to the candidates who have accepted offers. In general, if your academic credentials are in order, the Office of Admissions and Records will accept the Department's recommendations and issue the "Notice of Admission."