Ecology Degree Programs

Undergraduate degree programs in ecology teach more general courses, like biology and genetics, though they may offer specialization options, such as in wildlife conservation. Graduate degree programs delve into more specific areas, such as biological energy sources and evolutionary ecology. Continue reading for more details about program requirements and potential jobs following graduation. Schools offering Biology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Degree Programs are Available in Ecology?

Ecologists study living organisms on different levels and the way they interact with each other and the surrounding environment. Though rare, associate's degrees in this area may be found through a few schools and are usually offered in specific areas, such as watershed ecology. Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs in ecology can also be found through campus-based programs at a number of schools. These programs offer you the opportunity to specialize in a variety of areas, including wildlife ecology, conservation and forest ecology.

Degree Levels Associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees
Undergraduate Common Courses Environmental restoration, biological systems, resource management, genetics, statistics
Graduate Degree Specializations Wildlife, human ecology, theoretical ecology
Possible Careers Field ecologist, wildlife specialist, program coordinator, research technician, environmental consultant

What Can I Learn In an Undergraduate Degree Program?

Undergraduate degree programs in ecology combine general education with ecological topics, such as resource management, environmental restoration and biological systems. Some bachelor's degrees offer you the opportunity to focus your studies in such areas as wildlife conservation, natural resources or agriculture. Most programs also offer the opportunity to gain hand-on experience through laboratory coursework, internships and field experience. In addition to your classes, you'll usually need to complete a capstone project. Some examples of undergraduate courses include:

  • Biology
  • Statistics
  • Conservation biology
  • Genetics

What Can I Learn In a Graduate Degree Program?

Graduate degree programs in ecology are widely available and typically include specializations in different areas, such as human ecology, theoretical ecology or wildlife. Master's programs in ecology offer courses and seminars, in addition to providing you with the opportunity to complete research with a faculty member that you will use to complete your thesis.

Doctoral curricula involve both coursework and examinations that culminate in a research project and doctoral dissertation. You might also be required to work as a teaching assistant to fulfill graduation requirements. Some of the courses you can expect to find in graduate programs in ecology include:

  • Organismal biology
  • Evolutionary ecology
  • Ecosystem conservation
  • Biological energy sources
  • Community ecology

What Can I Do With My Degree?

Job opportunities for ecology graduates vary depending on degree level. With an undergraduate degree, you may qualify for a career as a teaching assistant, or you may choose to work in the field as a research technician, wildlife specialist, program coordinator or outdoor educator. As a graduate degree-holder, you can pursue a career as an environmental consultant, researcher, wildlife biologist or field ecologist. Graduation from a doctoral program allows you to seek out teaching positions at the postsecondary level.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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  • The George Washington University

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