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University of Pittsburgh    
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
  Jul 21, 2024
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Ecology and Evolution, BS

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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, education, law, public policy, and public health are actively seeking well-qualified students.

Requirements for the Ecology and Evolution major are described below.

Elective courses

Majors must complete nine credits of elective courses, including at least one field course, from the following lists.

Co-requisite courses

Students choose one track for co-requisite courses:

Grade requirements

  • Each required BIOSC course for the major must be completed with a grade of C or better.
  • The elective courses for the major must also be completed with a grade of C or better.
  • A minimum GPA of 2.0 in all departmental courses taken is required for graduation. If a C- or lower is earned in an elective course for the major but is not repeated, the course will be used to calculate the departmental GPA but will not be counted toward the 32 credits required for the major.
  • Students must also earn a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the co-requisite courses. A passing grade of C- or lower in a co-requisite course can be accepted if balanced by a higher grade in another co-requisite course so that the co-requisite GPA is 2.0 or higher. Exceptions: CHEM 0110 and CHEM 0120 have to be C or better to declare the major; PHYS 0110/0174 has to be C or better to enroll in PHYS 0111/0175; MATH 0220 has to be C or better to enroll in MATH 0230; STAT 1000 has to be B- or better to enroll in STAT 1221.
  • Only one BIOSC course may be taken on a Satisfactory/No Credit (S/NC) basis.

David C. Frederick Honors College equivalent courses may be substituted for required or elective courses.

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