Department of
Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior

Graduate Student Resources


Graduate Opportunities for fellowships, assistantships, internships, etc.

  • The Edwin Banks Memorial Fund is administered by the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior. This fund provides supplementary fellowship support for graduate students. (See Department for further details).
    Deadline: Mid-spring semester.
  • The Eugene P. Odum - S. Charles Kendeigh Fund is administered by the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior. It provides research support for graduate students in the field of ecology, behavior, and evolutionary biology. (See Department for further details).
    Deadline: Mid-spring semester.
  • ENTRY POINT! is a program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) offering Outstanding Internship Opportunities for Students with Disabilities in Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Computer Science, and some fields of Business. AAAS has developed unique partnerships with IBM, NASA, Merck, NOAA, Google and university science laboratories to meet their human resources needs. Working with its partners, AAAS identifies and screens undergraduate and graduate students with disabilities who are pursuing degrees in science, engineering, mathematics, computer science, and some fields of business, and places them in paid summer internships.
  • Assistantship Clearinghouse
  • Fellowship Office

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I enroll as a non-degree student?

No, you must enroll as a M.S. or Ph.D. student.

I'm an Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior Ph.D. student. When do I enroll in "590" and when in "599?"

For research prior to your prelim, enroll in "IB 590." After you have passed your prelim, enroll in "599," which requires a thesis to be deposited in the Graduate College.

What CRN do I use?

To obtain the correct CRN for your advisor for these courses, please contact the Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior office. Note: The CRN is not always the same number for all semesters. The number in the Course Schedule is a generic number and is NOT the correct number to use.

When do I have to take my prelim?

Following completion of coursework, Ph.D. students will take a preliminary examination (no later than the end of the 1st semester of their 3rd year). The examination will consist of both written and oral questions and will test the student's general knowledge in the three areas they have declared as being most relevant to their research (see list of topics). The written portion of the examination is to be completed within a one-week period. The format is to be determined by the graduate committee, but students are encouraged to devote one day each to the questions proposed by each committee member. During the examination, the student can use whatever literature is necessary to address the question. Following the written exam, the student will meet with each committee member to discuss the strengths and weaknesses revealed by the written exam. Within two weeks of the written exam, the student will complete an oral exam. As with the written exam, the oral exam will cover general knowledge in the student's three chosen areas. The duration of the oral exam will be approximately two hours.

In the second semester of their 3rd year, students will submit and defend a thesis proposal. The duration of this exam will also be approximately two hours. The purpose of this examination is twofold. First, the proposal should provide the thesis committee with enough information to determine whether or not successful completion of the proposed research would be sufficient for a PhD in Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior. Second, the proposal should be written in such a way that it demonstrates that the student is proficient in scientific writing. A passing grade qualifies you as a PhD candidate.

What do I need to give to my Doctoral Committee prior to the proposal defense?

Two weeks prior to the proposal defense, you must present to the Doctoral Committee a proposal prepared in the format of a proposal for an NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant. It should describe the objectives of the research project, the experimental plan and rationale, the results of pilot studies, a budget, and a tentative timetable for its completion. You will present evidence of feasibility and significance of the proposal, but the main research for the dissertation shall not have been performed prior to the proposal defense. A detailed report of the exam and a copy of the research proposal shall be submitted to the Graduate Committee.

What happens if I don't pass my prelim?

If the committee determines that a student's performance during the exam does not warrant a passing grade, they will defer their decision. A deferred decision will require you to take a second preliminary examination no later than the following semester. A second failure will result in dismissal from the program.

What's involved in the final defense?

Upon completion of your dissertation and the other requirements of the program, you shall be subject to a Final Examination, which shall consist of a defense of the dissertation. Copies of the completed dissertation, approved by the advisor, should be submitted to the Doctoral Committee at least two weeks prior to the Final Examination. The thesis will be judged in relation to published scholarly work in the field, and students are encouraged to begin publishing their results before taking their Final Examination. Passing this exam and presentation of the dissertation by the student at a public seminar sponsored by the program qualify you for the Ph.D. degree. Failure will require you to conduct additional research and to repeat the Final Examination.

What format does the dissertation need to be in? Who checks it?

Information pertaining to formatting can be found on the Thesis Office website. The Thesis Office and the Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior Office Administrator will need to perform a thesis check one week prior to the date of deposit. (This allows time for any errors to be corrected.)

What information do I need to supply?

Provide the Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior Office Administrator with the following information for the prelim and final:
  1. Date of exam
  2. Members of your committee and their department:
    1. chair (must be a member of the Graduate Faculty). For a prelim exam a member of the Doctoral Committee other than the major advisor will be appointed chair by the director of the program. For the final, the chair can be the major advisor;
    2. contingent chair (optional);
    3. director of dissertation research;
    4. other members. The committee must include at least four voting members, three of whom must be members of the Graduate Faculty and two tenured members of the faculty. Non-voting members, such as an external reader, a member of the faculty who is off campus, or others who can make a significant contribution to the research, may be appointed. For any non-member of the Graduate Faculty, a letter of justification is required. A CV would be helpful to submit; and
    5. the committee should include faculty members from more than one area of specialization.
  3. A two or three word specialization for each member (as it pertains to your research).

How do I get information about my Research Assistantship?

For information on RA appointments, contact your Advisor or the Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior Office Administrator.

How do I get information about my Teaching Assistantship?

TA appointments are made by the department in coordination with the School of Integrative Biology.

Who should I notify if my address or phone, etc., changes?

Inform the Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior Office of all changes (address, phone, email, leaving campus for extended period of time, etc.).