About the Ecology Graduate Programs

Graduate students in the Odum School are part of a community of engaged and committed scholars exploring fundamental—and pressing—basic and applied questions in ecology. The Odum School offers doctoral, master’s, and certificate programs that provide students with an interdisciplinary course of study, allowing them to develop a broad background in ecology and related disciplines.

Our research spans scales from local to global and from cell to biosphere, with major areas of strength in aquatic ecology, conservation ecology, disease ecology, ecosystem ecology/biogeochemistry, and evolutionary ecology/biogeography.

Careers after the Program

Our graduates have gone on to successful careers in academia as well as the public and private sectors. Our alumni include college and university faculty and administrators, environmental consultants, policy analysts, conservation directors, nonprofit executives, and officers in government agencies. At Odum our students have access to all the resources of a major research university, including world-class faculty and facilities in ecology and other units. Competitive fellowships, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships are available.

Apply to Ecology Graduate Programs

Instructions on how to apply to the Odum School of Ecology can be found on our application process page for both domestic and international applicants. For more information about graduate school at the University of Georgia, please visit the Graduate school website.

Graduate Student Association

The Odum School Graduate Student Association serves as a representative and decision-making body for the Odum School of Ecology graduate student community and provides a unified voice to faculty and staff within the department and to the greater campus community. The GSA strives to foster collegial interactions amongst graduate students in Ecology and to provide a forum for intradepartmental communication between all students, faculty and staff. More…

Scholarships and Awards

The Odum School offers several competitive fellowships, scholarships and awards that provide funding for research, travel and related expenses. More…


M.S. in Ecology

The M.S. in Ecology is focused on training in the natural and human environment and the integration of natural and socioeconomic systems. Students address research topics appropriate for a two-year program, learning research design, specialized skills, data analysis and interpretation, and how to communicate their results to the broader public.

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M.S. in Conservation Ecology & Sustainable Development

The Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development (CESD) master’s program aims to train the next generation of conservation professionals. The program combines coursework for building practical skills and essential knowledge with a master’s thesis under the direction of faculty members with both academic expertise and real-world conservation experience. Many graduates of the program hold leadership positions in conservation organizations and state and federal management agencies, while others have gone on to earn PhDs and law degrees.

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Ph.D. in Ecology

Graduate studies at the Odum School of Ecology provide students with an interdisciplinary program that allows them to develop a broad background in ecology and related disciplines while providing rigorous theoretical and methodological training in ecology. Students work with faculty to become independent thinkers, researchers and decision-makers.

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Ph.D. in Ecology, Interdisciplinary Disease Ecology Across Scales (IDEAS) Emphasis

Interdisciplinary Disease Ecology Across Scales (IDEAS) is a National Science Foundation supported Research Traineeship Program that trains PhD students in new ways to solve infectious disease problems occurring at the interface of different scales of biological organization.

For Fall 2021, we will not be accepting any students into the IDEAS program. Students interested in disease ecology are encouraged to apply to the PhD program in Ecology (but you do not have to submit the supplementary IDEAS essay).


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Ph.D. in Integrative Conservation and Ecology (ICON)

The University of Georgia’s Integrative Conservation Ph.D. Program (ICON) is designed to meet that need by ensuring that students gain disciplinary depth while also learning to collaborate across disciplines and fields of practice to seek integrative solutions to complex conservation challenges.

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Certificate in Conservation Ecology

Students enrolled in any graduate degree program in the University of Georgia may apply to the Graduate Certificate Program in Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development. This program is designed for students who wish to develop an area of specialty that complements their primary degree program. Some recent recipients of the certificate include students from anthropology, forestry, landscape architecture, education, and law.

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Certificate in Environmental Ethics

The Environmental Ethics Certificate Program (EECP) is an interdisciplinary program offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels that prepares students to synthesize ideas from a wide variety of perspectives to solve complex environmental problems, both in theory and in practice.

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