The Program in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology (PEEC) is an interdepartmental program designed to provide individualized training in preparation for careers in these disciplines. 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 broadly educated and technically competent in ecology, evolutionary biology and associated disciplines. Because of the breadth of fields covered by this program, there will be no fixed course requirements other than attendance at the program's seminar series and annual graduate student symposium.
Ecology, Evolution, & Conservation Biology - MS
Ecology, Evolution, & Conservation Biology - PhD
Admissions Criteria and Decision
- Must have at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited college in the United States or a comparable degree from a recognized institution of higher learning abroad. (Current UIUC graduate students wishing to transfer into the PEEC program or previous PEEC graduate students who did not complete their degree but would now like to re-enter the program, should not submit an application or pay the application fee. Instead please contact the PEEC secretary at PEEC-Support@illinois.edu. If you are a current UIUC graduate student, wish to transfer into our program (i.e. change your curriculum) and use your course credits from your current program towards our degree, and are accepted into our program, the PEEC secretary will work with you to follow these instructions for curriculum changes and transferring credit. Please note that not all of your course credits may be eligible to be used towards a PEEC degree. If you are a previous PEEC graduate student who has not been enrolled in the last calendar year, wish to re-enter the program, and are accepted back into the program, the PEEC secretary will work with you to follow these re-entry instructions.)
- Must have a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 (A = 4.0) for the last 2 years of bachelor's degree work and a minimum GPA of 3.0 for previous graduate degree work.
- The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test is not required for PEEC admission, but can be submitted to support your application.
- Naturalized citizens, permanent resident aliens, and legal immigrants may be required to furnish TOEFL or IELTS scores, depending on their countries of origin, their length of residency in the US, or the locations and media of instruction for previous institutions they have attended.
- Must possess the potential for success in advanced research, as documented in letters of reference (at least 3) from prior instructors or research supervisors and demonstrated in the applicant's "Statement of Purpose."
Additional requirements for international applicants:
Applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. International applicants must have a TOEFL score of at least 613 (paper-based test), 257 (computer-based test),103-104 (internet-based test), or an IELTS score of 6.5 (with a score of 6 or higher in all sub-sections) to be considered for admission. The TOEFL/IELTS scores must be less than two years old from the first day of class at the proposed term of entry in order to be valid. Older scores are not valid. Request that official TOEFL/IELTS scores be sent directly to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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."
Before You Apply
Contact Faculty Member(s)
PEEC (Program in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology) admits students both to the program and directly to faculty labs. Therefore, it is essential to have one or more faculty members who are interested in becoming your advisor and having you join their lab. Before you apply to PEEC, please look at the faculty website and contact faculty members with whom you might want to work. The faculty members can then let you know if they will be accepting new students in the fall, and let you know whether your education, experience and interests are a good fit for their lab.
Apply for Relevant Fellowships
Advisors must also take into consideration whether they will have the funding to support a new student, if need be. All students are admitted to the Program with the guarantee that you will receive both a stipend (9 month appointment) and a tuition waiver (2 years for MS, 5 for PhD), provided you continue to make satisfactory progress on your degree. Stipends and tuition waivers are provided through a combination of fellowships (external and university), teaching assistantships, and research assistantships. Any fall or spring semester in which you are not being supported by a fellowship or a teaching assistantship, your advisor will need to offer you support through a research assistantship. Therefore, we strongly encourage students to actively apply for all relevant fellowships, both external and university, as soon as possible and throughout your graduate student years.
Consider To Which Program You Should Apply - PhD or MS?
PEEC is primarily a PhD program. Typically, we have very few MS students in the program. Our MS degree is a 2-year thesis-based degree; therefore, in addition to coursework, there is the requirement of a significant research project which will result in a publishable paper. Our PhD degree is a 5-year program requiring a final defense and deposit of a dissertation. You cannot enroll in PEEC as a non-degree student.
How to Apply
DEADLINES: Completed application and all supporting materials must be received by December 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 750 words 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.
- The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test is not required for PEEC admission, but can be submitted to support your application. If you choose to send your GRE scores from ETS, send them directly 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.
- 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 December 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.
- 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
320 Morrill Hall, MC-118
505 South Goodwin Ave.
Urbana, IL, 61801 USA
Phone: 217/ 333-3044; Fax: 217/ 244-3499