The field of ecology explores the interactive web of organisms and the environment. Studies in evolution consider the processes by which modern organisms have developed from ancestral ones. The Ecology and Evolution major is a good choice for students interested in the fundamental questions of the evolutionary origins of organisms and how they survive, or don't survive, in their changing habitats. Within this major, students have the opportunity for in-depth study of the morphological and physiological adaptations of a variety of animals, plants, and microorganisms to a changing world, the ecological relationships of organisms from the individual to the global scale, and the mechanisms that drive evolutionary change.
Employment opportunities in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology have increased greatly in recent years. There continues to be a demand for well-trained professionals at all levels (BS, MS, and PhD). Government environmental agencies, commercial consulting and testing firms, waste management industries, research laboratories, and natural history and science museums are just a few of the career opportunities. Graduate departments of ecology, evolution, environmental sciences, genetics, botany, public policy, and public health are actively seeking well-qualified students. The required chemistry, physics, and mathematics courses incorporate the requirements for admission to medical, dental, and other health-professional schools. An Ecology and Evolution major could also serve as a springboard to a career in law.
Requirements for the Ecology and Evolution major are described below.