EEB Graduate Program FAQ

Are you interested, but want to know more? You've come to the right place!


EEB excels at hiring skilled faculty who collaborate. Faculty in EEB comprise some of the top scholars in the world in their discipline. Our work fits into three main categories: Biodiversity and Macroevolution, Ecology and Global Change Biology, and Evolutionary Mechanism, but collaboration across these disciplines are the norm in our department. Research opportunities are enhanced by the joint appointments that many of our faculty have with the Biodiversity Institute and the Kansas Biological Survey. Additionally, students in EEB have opportunities to gain experience in research, education, as well as publishing and presenting research.

A Bachelor’s Degree in Biology is not an absolute requirement for admission into the EEB Graduate Program. However, qualified and admissible students lacking a degree in Biology will usually be admitted into the Master’s Program with the possibility of transition into the Ph.D. program at a later time. An important factor to consider is funding. Students admitted without a degree in Biology may not be qualified for funding through a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) in the first year. Identifying a faculty mentor that can provide funding without a GTA position in the first year will be important. For students without a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, it will be important to have a funding discussion with a prospective faculty mentor early in the process.

On average, obtaining a Ph.D. in our department requires five or six years of study while obtaining a M.A. requires two or three years of study.

Most coursework requirements are identified by a student's advisory committee. This provides the flexibility to tailor your curriculum to your unique needs. Students are expected to take graduate-level courses in ecology, evolution, and systematics. Additional information can be found in the EEB Graduate Student Handbook.

Yes, you will. During your application process, you identify faculty that you are interested in working with. If you are admitted, you will have a faculty mentor that you chose to work with who will guide you as your grow into an expert. In addition to having a faculty mentor, you will have an advisory committee that will further assist you through sharing diverse perspectives on the field as well as in choosing coursework that suits your needs.

The EEB student body is comprised of approximately 80 students and represents a diverse set of backgrounds. In any given year, about a quarter to a third of the EEB student population are international students representing countries from Africa, Europe, Asia, Latin America, as well as students Australia or Canada. Domestic students attend from all over the U.S. While some students enter the program immediately following the completion on an undergraduate degree, others have previously completed a master’s degree. Some students come from non-traditional backgrounds and are completing graduate study after time in the workforce. Though the percentage varies from year to year, doctoral students constitute nearly 75-85% of the student body.

Excellent on-campus childcare centers such as the Hilltop Child Development Center and the Edna A. Hill Child Development Center may be able to assist. These facilities give priority admission to the children of KU students and provide sliding-scale fee levels.

Students with a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) or Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) position may qualify for health insurance with a subsidy from the university. More information on this plan is available on the Human Resources graduate student health insurance page.

EEB students are usually given funding through a combination of Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) and Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) positions. These positions come with a stipend and a variety of other benefits. For additional information about funding please contact the current Graduate Program Coordinator, Jess Wagner:

Graduate students are typically funded during the summer months by GRA support from their faculty mentor, GTA positions, or student fellowships or grants.

Yes, you can. You can be co-advised by up to two faculty members at once.

You can pair your knowledge of biology with hands-on professional skills for a museum career! EEB students can earn a graduate certificate in museum studies while pursuing their degrees. This 15-credit-hour certificate includes two core courses on museum theory and foundations, one professional skills course (such as collection management), a conceptual domain course from your EEB classes, and a 250-hour internship. Dissertation research or collections-based Curatorial Assistant (CA) positions or Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) positions can be substituted for the internship. For more information, email Lauren Chaney, their Graduate Program Coordinator, at; email Brandy Ernzen, their Program Director, at;  or email the Museum Studies program at