University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Organismic and Evolutionary Biology


300 Massachusetts Ave

Amherst, MA 01003

United States

Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Doctor of Philosophy in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Master of Science in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

Format: Campus

Program Description:

OEB provides interdepartmental training for MS and PhD students in ecology, animal behavior, organismal biology and evolutionary biology. Graduate students, post-docs, and faculty study biological processes ranging from the molecular to the ecosystem level, often bridging the gap between basic and applied research.

Our faculty and students conduct research in four broad areas:

Animal Behavior: Behavioral ecology, communication, learning
Ecology: Community ecology, population ecology, landscape ecology, conservation biology
Evolutionary Biology: Evolution, phylogenetics, population genetics, molecular evolution
Organismal Biology: Physiology, morphology, paleontology

OEB includes more than 75 faculty from nine departments within the College of Natural Sciences (link is external) and other on- and off-campus institutes and organizations. Additional members are drawn from the other campuses in the Five College Community (Amherst (link is external), Hampshire (link is external), Mt. Holyoke (link is external), and Smith (link is external) Colleges). Three other interdepartmental programs train graduate students in the life sciences (Molecular and Cellular Biology (link is external), Neuroscience and Behavior (link is external), and Plant Biology (link is external)).

With approximately 40 students, we are large enough to provide the opportunity for a wide range of interactions among students, but small enough so that students form a cohesive group. OEB is structured to offer broad flexible training. There are few formal course requirements. Instead, each student's committee tailors a program of coursework to the student's background and areas of research interest. Students are encouraged to seek extramural funding and publish their research before they complete their degrees. Students graduating from our program are well prepared to seek permanent research or teaching positions in higher education, government agencies, or museums.

Facts & Figures

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Extensive

Locale: Small City

Size & Settings: 20,000-39,999

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