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
The goal of ecological restoration is a stable and functioning ecosystem that can withstand stresses and provide ecosystem services, such as clean water, wildlife habitat, biodiversity, and more.
- 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...
- 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...
- Songkhla, ThailandSongkhla, Thailand
Prince of Songkla University
- 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
- 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...
- 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...
- Newcastle Upon Tyne, United KingdomNewcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
This programme aims to develop the specialist skills and multidisciplinary knowledge needed for careers in environmental consultancy. An emphasis is placed on developing the business skills needed to define and evaluate environmental problems in a varie...
- Quito, EcuadorQuito, Ecuador
Universidad San Francisco de Quito
A two-years Master Program in Ecology with specialization in Tropical Ecology and Management of Natural Resources.
- Christchurch, New ZealandChristchurch, New Zealand
University of Canterbury
The School of Biological Sciences has teaching and research strengths in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecology, with the University hosting a Centre of Excellence in Aquaculture and Marine Ecology (CEAME) and a Biomathematics Research Centre. Of...
- 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...
- 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...
- Columbia, SCColumbia, SC
University of South Carolina
The University of South Carolina offers both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in biology, with tracks in ecology, evolution, and organismal biology (EEOB).
- Brisbane, AustraliaBrisbane, Australia
University of Queensland, The
- 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
- Dunedin, New ZealandDunedin, New Zealand
University of Otago
The University is committed to international education and has long been acknowledged as a leader in this field in New Zealand.
- Bangor, United KingdomBangor, United Kingdom
University of Wales - Bangor
- 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
- Montreal, QCMontreal, QC
The Centre researches the physical, chemical, and biological conditions in lakes, pools, and swamps.
- Aberdeen, United KingdomAberdeen, United Kingdom
Robert Gordon University, The
This course, presented in collaboration with the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC), Aberdeen, provides a unique blend of knowledge, experience and facilities which enables students to relate ecological awareness to innovation and design.