Evolutionary Biology Ph.D. (Ithaca)

Field of Study

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Program Description

The program is intended to provide students with broad exposure to concepts and research approaches within ecology and evolution (primarily through seminars and formal course work), as well as in-depth study in one or more subdisciplines (normally guided by the student's Special Committee). The specific course of study is tailored to the needs of the individual student. Excellent laboratory and nearby field facilities are available, as are numerous collections and libraries. All students are required to obtain teaching experience by serving as teaching assistants for at least two semesters.

Inquiries from prospective graduate students are welcomed and should be addressed to the graduate field office or to any member of the faculty.

Contact Information

Website: http://www.eeb.cornell.edu/field/EEB.html
Email: pj17@cornell.edu
Phone: 607 254-4230

E235 Corson Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  14853

Concentrations by Subject

  • ecological genetics
  • paleobiology
  • population biology
  • systematics



Application Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadlines:

Fall, Dec. 1; no spring admission

Requirements Summary:

  • all Graduate School Requirements, including the TOEFL Exam or IELTS Academic Exam for non-native English applicants
  • three recommendations
  • Note: GRE test scores are no longer required for application to this program
  • Statements - The online application to the Field of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology will specifically ask for the following two statements.  Please follow the instructions carefully in regards to content and length. 

     Statement of Purpose

    Please submit a statement of purpose that states your reasons for undertaking graduate work and explains your academic interests, including their relation to your undergraduate study and professional goals. In addition, describe any research experience you have had that is relevant to your proposed graduate study at Cornell. Limit your personal statement to 750 words.

     Supplemental Statement - Research Interests

    Please give us a brief description (500 words or fewer) of what kind(s) of research questions you might like to explore as a graduate student. Please remember that this is in no way a contract for what you would do as a student at Cornell. It is intended to give us an indication of where your research interests are headed and a glimpse of how you would approach research in ecology or evolutionary biology.

Learning Outcomes

A candidate for a doctoral degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology is expected to demonstrate a broad based knowledge in chosen discipline (Ecology, Evolutionary or Organismal Biology, or some combination), mastery of knowledge in the chosen sub-discipline (e.g., Ecosystem Biology, Community & Population Ecology, Evolutionary Genetics, Macroevolution, Systematics, Molecular Evolution, or some combination), and create new knowledge, making an original and substantial contribution to the sub-discipline in a timely fashion.


Demonstrate broad-based knowledge in the discipline of Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Organismal Biology, or some combination

Make an original and substantive research contribution to sub-discipline

  • Think originally and independently to develop new knowledge, concepts and methods
  • Identify new research questions

Demonstrate advanced research skills

  • Be knowledgeable of historical development and able to articulate, discuss, and synthesize concepts and evidence in sub-discipline
  • Be knowledgeable of organisms and ecological or evolutionary systems pertinent to doctoral research
  • Master observational, experimental and analytical methods
  • Adhere to ethical standards of scientific research
  • Interpret and evaluate research findings
  • Demonstrate ability to communicate research findings, through oral presentation and written publications.
  • Demonstrate ability to write proposals for fellowships and research funding

Demonstrate two or more of the following skills

  • Effective teaching skills in ecology and evolutionary biology
  • Collaborative skills in research, teaching or outreach
  • Involvement in departmental and university organizations
  • Involvement in professional activities and organizations related to academic discipline
  • Involvement in outreach activities with students or the broader public