United States Master Degrees in Ecology
Ecology masters programs may be the right choice if you're interested in establishing and tending the balance between the natural world and more modern society. For some people, the world they live in represents a balance between human interests and natural interests. These are the individuals who are concerned with sustainability, conservation and our impact on the environment.
As the world marches ever onward toward a more industrialized, technologized future, and the past decade's population explosion continues to swell, the need for such ecologically minded people will likely grow to new heights.
If you're interested in establishing and tending the balance between the natural world and more modern society, a graduate degree in ecology may be the right choice for you.
Common Coursework in Ecology Graduate Programs
Ecology is a branch of scientific study, similar to biology. As such, the Ecological Society of America recommended that students interested in pursuing a career in this field focus their studies on life science courses, such as biology, chemistry, geology and engineering. Field work is not uncommon for ecologists, so students in the industry should also prepare for a mix of classroom and hands-on lab studies. Students may also find themselves specializing in a particular branch of ecology, such as marine biology or botany, and thus may need to tailor their course selection accordingly.
The ESA also noted that, like most applied sciences, practical experience is an asset for those looking to break into a career in ecology. It's suggested that such experience be pursued in the form of research studies, assisting professors with field work or working as a lab assistant.
Potential Careers for Ecology Graduate Students
As an applied science, there are a variety of career options ecology graduates may pursue. Regardless of sphere, the U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics reported that as of 2012, the median annual salary for conservation scientists was $61,100, and the source projected a job growth of 3 percent through 2022. Environmental scientists had a BLS-reported 2012 median annual salary of $63,570, with a 15 percent projected growth rate for jobs through 2022. For zoologists and wildlife biologists, the BLS reported a 2012 median annual salary of $57,710. Jobs in this field were estimated to increase by 5 percent through 2022.
Is A Graduate Degree in Ecology Right for You?
Unlike other applied sciences in the STEM fields, ecologists tend to focus more on work in the field than in the lab. This means that the working hours may be less predictable than in other fields, and may also require travel on occasion. The BLS noted that zoologists in particular may spend a good deal of time in the field.
Ecologists also benefit from being socially minded. There is a strong component of advocacy woven into the field, especially for occupations such as conservationists who may find themselves working for environmental advocacy groups. Such positions may require interacting with public officials and policymakers in addition to performing investigative science.
Colorado State University
Natural Resources Stewardship/Rangeland Ecology and Management (M.N.R.S.)
The rangeland ecology and management area of specialization focuses on linking bio-physical and human systems to ensure sustainable practices.
- Jackson, WYJackson, WY
Teton Science Schools
The Graduate Program of Teton Science Schools is a unique combination of academic theory and practical educator training, all nestled in the southeastern corner of Grand Teton National Park...
- University Park, PAUniversity Park, PA
Pennsylvania State University
This intercollege program emphasizes the properties of ecosystems by focusing attention on interactions of single organisms, populations, and communities with their environment. It is designed to give students a basic understanding of ecological theory...
- Lawrence, INLawrence, IN
University of Kansas
The University of Kansas has a long and distinguished history in Ecology and Population Biology. Our faculty focus on a wide diversity of research areas, including the quantitative population ecology of plants and small mammals; terrestrial plant commun...
- Lawrence, IN
- Boston, MABoston, MA
The program in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution includes courses and research opportunities in behavioral ecology and sociobiology, molecular ecology and evolution, community ecology, biochemical ecology, population biology, tropical ecology, and ecosys...
- Davis, CADavis, CA
University of California - Davis
Modern ecology is a large and exceptionally diverse field of study. While ecology originated in the biological sciences, the modern sense of ecology includes humans and human institutions, environmental management, and other elements that have been incr...
- Stony Brook, NYStony Brook, NY
Stony Brook University (S.U.N.Y.)
- Syracuse, NYSyracuse, NY
State University Of New York College Of Environmental Science And Forestry
Environmental problems make headlines every day.
- San Diego, CASan Diego, CA
San Diego State University
The Ecology Program Area (EPA) of the Biology Department is one of the strongest research and teaching units in the CSU system as measured by grant ac...
- Melbourne, FLMelbourne, FL
Florida Institute of Technology
The purpose of each option is to prepare the student for either a professional career or for further graduate study. This goal is achieved through a balance of course work and research activities. The doctor of philosophy degree is offered for stude...
- Pocatello, IDPocatello, ID
Idaho State University
Our diverse faculty in ecology believe that research and scholarly communication should form the centerpiece of graduate education. Our M.S. program requires a substantial, original research project culminating in a thesis, 30 credits of graduate work,...
- Houghton, MIHoughton, MI
Michigan Technological University
- Ames, IAAmes, IA
Iowa State University
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) is an interdepartmental graduate major offered through the Departments of Agronomy; Anthropology; Ecology, Evolution & Organismal Biology; Entomology; Genetics, Development & Cell Biology; Geological & Atmospheric...
- East Lansing, MIEast Lansing, MI
Michigan State University
The Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State University trains undergraduate and graduate students and journalists to research, report and write about environmental issues. The center conducts research, organizes conferences and work...
- East Lansing, MI
- Manhattan, KSManhattan, KS
Kansas State University
Biology and microbiology are exceedingly broad disciplines, and the KSU graduate program exploits this exciting diversity. The graduate faculty of the Division of Biology strongly believes that research is the preeminent feature of our training responsi...
- Houston, TXHouston, TX
The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology offers graduate programs leading to the M.A. and the Ph.D. in several areas, including marshland biology, population and community ecology, evolutionary biology, behavioral ecology, sociobiology, and gl...
- Miami, FLMiami, FL
Acupuncture and Massage College
AMC's accredited Oriental Medicine program is four academic years in length or 36 months.
- Hempstead, NYHempstead, NY
Urban Ecology degrees help students work in both public and private companies and organizations.
- Saint Cloud, MNSaint Cloud, MN
St. Cloud State University
Programs within the Department of Biological Sciences are designed to provide a stepping stone into teaching and research...
- San Jose, CASan Jose, CA
San Jose State University
- Waco, TXWaco, TX
The Biology Department at Baylor University offers graduate degrees at both the doctoral and masters levels, specializing in ecology & environmental sciences (especially aquatic aspects of ecology and in biodiversity) and in genetics. Most students are...
- Pine Bluff, ARPine Bluff, AR
University of Arkansas - Pine Bluff
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff-Aquaculture and Fisheries Center is the Center of Excellence in this discipline for the State of Arkansas.
- Columbus, OHColumbus, OH
Ohio State University
The Evolution, Ecology, & Organismal Biology Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) welcomes applications for admission to the M.Sc. and Ph.D. programs in Evolution, Ecology, & Organismal Biology. rhinoOur successful graduate students have found employment...
- Columbus, OH