How to Apply to EEB Graduate Programs

Applying to the EEB Graduate Program

KU-EEB offers two graduate degrees: an M.A. and a Ph.D., both in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Students may apply for admission to our graduate program via KU's online application portal, with an annual December 1st submission deadline for students interested in enrolling the following Fall. Potential applicants can find detailed instructions about Departmental and University admissions requirements elsewhere on our website. This page offers some general guidelines about what students should do prior to preparing their application, as well as some technical details about flagging your application for EEB in the application portal.

Before Applying

Before applying, students must identify the faculty member(s) that they are interested in working with. This is necessary because our graduate programs operates under a mentor-based system, where one faculty member is ultimately responsible for supervising a students research and progress toward completion of their degree. Since students work closely with their mentors for several years, students are expected to contact prospective faculty mentors to introduce themselves and describe their academic goals research experiences and interests prior to submitting an application. Establishing a relationship with one or more faculty members who are willing to consider accepting an applicant into their lab group, either directly or through rotation, is a critical part of the admissions process. Students who are applying to the Ph.D. program, and who would prefer to do rotations with two or three faculty members in their first year should indicate a general field of interest and a short list of prospective faculty mentors on their application. Please see "Selecting a Mentor and Rotations" on the Admission Requirements page for more information.

A complete application includes all of the items listed under "EEB Departmental Requirements" heading on the Admissions Requirements page.  Applications will be reviewed by the department admissions committee to determine admissibility to the graduate program only when they are complete, and when they are sponsored by an EEB faculty member or a cohort of faculty that will serve as rotation mentors.

Finding EEB within the Application Portal

Currently the application portal is organized to first have you choose your "academic area of interest". EEB's application can be found by selecting the "Natural Sciences and Mathematics" area of interest. Next, choose either "Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (M.A.)" or "Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (Ph.D.)" from the list of programs. Please note that other programs are currently on this list because they are part of the same area of interest that EEB is, but they are not EEB programs.

Indicating Prospective Mentors on your Application

An important part of the application process is contacting potential faculty mentors in advance. This will allow you to determine if a faculty member has space within their research group and if they are able to take new students. Please see the current list of faculty to identify potential mentors and indicate their name or names on your application. In most cases, admissions to EEB as an M.A. or Ph.D. student is under the sponsorship of a single mentor, but students may be co-advised by up to two faculty advisors. In addition, for Ph.D. applicants, KU-EEB also offers a rotation option in the first year, followed by mentor selection in the second year.

Rotation Option for Ph.D. Students

Rotation option not available for M.A. students.

While most students admitted for a Ph.D. are directly admitted under the mentorship of a single faculty advisor, we are aware that many students may be unsure about committing to the lab of a single faculty mentor. In this case, you may elect to do laboratory rotations in two to three labs prior to entering just one. Students applying to a Ph.D. with a first-year rotation option should indicate a general field of interest and the names of prospective faculty mentors.  Even if you seek a rotation option, it will be important to reach out to mentors in advance to discuss this possibility with them. These faculty members may provide guidance in develop a first-year rotation theme.

Below are some possible rotation themes. We provide them simply as examples, and, on your application, you should feel free to identify your own set of faculty.

Example Rotation Themes:

  • Vertebrate Systematics: Richard Glor, Rafe Brown, Town Peterson, Leo Smith, Rob Moyle, Jocelyn Colella
  • Plant-Genotype / Phenotype: Lena Hileman, John Kelly, Maggie Wagner
  • Insect Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics: Jenny Gleason, Justin Blumenstiel, Jamie Walters, Rob Unckless (MB affiliate)
  • Disease Ecology: Folashade Agusto, Maria Orive, Town Peterson
  • Plant-Microbe Interactions: Maggie Wagner, Jim Bever, Ben Sikes

Application Deadline

  • Application Terms: EEB offers consideration for Fall admission
  • Application Available: August 1
  • Application Deadline: December 1

For additional information, please contact the current Graduate Program Coordinator, Rose Sumaya:

Submit Your Application

If you have all of the information you need and you have reviewed the admission requirements, apply now on the Graduate Application site!