Rice University
BioSciences at Rice

 

Graduate Program in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Admissions & Financial Support

Contact email for admissions: eebgradapps@rice.edu.  

Program Description
How to Apply
Financial Support  

Program Description

The Ecology & Evolutionary Biology graduate program faculty members are committed to training and mentoring graduate students to reach their full potential as scientists. We seek to facilitate students’ progression towards fulfilling, exciting careers in academia, industry, private sector, or government, and to develop their skills as future leaders in science and society. Our program is designed to foster close working relationships between students and faculty. Graduate study is tailored to the individual student. The program has a unique emphasis on research, where students have the possibility to start research during their first year. In addition, it includes formal class work such as classroom lectures, discussions, seminars, laboratory tutorials, and field studies. Students also have access to a number of courses in other departments to provide them with additional skill sets that complement their research interests.

Students have access to well-equipped research areas housed in attractive facilities, which include laboratories, a 3500 sq. ft. greenhouse, and an experimental field site. In addition, within a two-hour drive of the campus are many federal, state, and private refuges, parks, experimental stations, and preserves available for field research. Habitats include southeastern coastal plain forests; coastal prairies; fresh, brackish, and saline marshes; estuaries; temporary to permanent ponds and lakes, and near-shore marine environments. Slightly further away is the Hill Country (Austin, San Antonio) where a number of faculty members also do research. In addition, faculty members conduct research in other areas of the United States including Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Indiana, New Mexico, Michigan, and Guam as well as abroad in Madagascar, Germany, and China. Houston is also host to numerous institutions within the Texas Medical Center, located across the street from Rice University, that provide additional opportunities for research in evolutionary genomics and bioinformatics.

The Rice Ecology & Evolutionary Biology graduate program is is designed for students who wish to pursue the Ph.D. degree. In particular cases, the program may offer an MA (with thesis) degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. The most current version of the EEB Graduate Program Handbook provides a detailed description of the graduate program, including all degree requirements and program expectations. For general university requirements, view the Rice University General Announcements.

We encourage prospective graduate students to contact faculty and/or EEB program graduate students to obtain further information about graduate study in the Ecology & Evolutionary Biology graduate program.

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How to Apply

Application for Fall 2019 Admission Opens: September 2018
 

Application Deadline

  • Applications submitted by December 31 will receive full consideration
  • Late applications may be considered when possible.
   

Admission RequirementsApplicants for graduate study in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology must have: a BA or BS degree or equivalent that provides a strong background in biology, as well as strong ability and motivation, as indicated by academic record,  recommendation letters, and Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores. Scores from the GRE Biology subject exam are optional but can be helpful, particularly for students with nontraditional backgrounds in biology. These requirements do not preclude admission of qualified applicants who have majored in areas other than biology. Students should have completed coursework in ecology, evolution (or equivalent), mathematics (including calculus), and statistics prior to admission. Deficiencies in these subject areas or in specific areas of biology should be made up during the first year of residence; some may be waived at the discretion of the student's advisory committee, the graduate program director, and the department chair. 


Application Materials: (All below items are required for a complete application)

›  Online Application Form: Rice Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Graduate Program Application (ebiogradapps.rice.edu)

Please note that applicants applying to more than one graduate program must submit separate applications for each program.

 Official Transcripts: All offers of admission are contingent upon receipt of the official transcript or transcripts of all previous college or university work (including previous graduate study). Official transcripts should be sent directly to the BioSciences Department (address below) by the institution(s) attended. An unofficial transcript may be uploaded to the online application for preliminary evaluation, but once a student is selected for an interview, the official transcript must be submitted. A final transcript, covering work in progress at the time of application or any later work, must be furnished to the department as soon as possible (if not submitted as part of the original application).

›  Recommendation Letters: Recommendations should be requested from four persons (preferably professors in the applicant's major field) who know the applicant's personal and scholastic qualities. Letters should be submitted online through the application software. Applicants can send requests to recommendation writers directly through the application. If the online option is not possible, hard-copy forms for recommendation letters can be requested at eebgradapps.rice.edu. Hard-copy letters should be mailed directly to the BioSciences Department. Applications will not be reviewed until at least three recommendations are received. 

›  Statement of Purpose: A statement of purpose is required for all applications. Personal statements can be uploaded directly to the online application in PDF format. The statement or purpose should include a brief description of the applicant's intended plan of study or the particular sub-division of the major field in which the applicant would like to specialize. Applicants should include in the statement any other information that may be helpful in evaluating the application. If applicable, applicants should briefly describe any additional factors that they would like the admissions committee to consider (e.g. personal background, work experience, leadership roles). 

›  GRE: Applicants should have their scores on the aptitude portion of the Graduate Record Examination sent directly to the BioSciences Department by Educational Testing Service using the below codes. Subject-matter test scores are preferred, but not required. Tests should be scheduled at least six weeks before the application deadline.

  • Institutional Code is 6609
  • Department Code is 0207

›  TOEFL: Applicants whose native language is not English should also have TEOFL scores reported using the below codes. The minimum score for the internet-based TOEFL is 90. For those students who choose to take the IELTS in lieu of TOEFL, the minimum score is 7. 

  • Institutional Code is 6609
  • Department Code is 35


Application Fee An application fee waiver is available for United States citizens and permanent residents. If you are in this category, please request a fee waiver before submitting your application by sending an email to eebgradapps@rice.edu. In addition, fee waivers are granted to students participating in certain programs (e.g., McNair Scholars, Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium (GCURS), Mellon Mays Fellows, Project 1000, Nankai University Hundred Young Teachers Program, Vietnam Education Foundation). Please indicate participation in such programs in the University Programs and Fellowships field in the application to receive one of those waivers. Fee waivers usually cannot be granted to international students.

 

Please have your transcripts and test scores sent directly
to the BioSciences Department at the address below:
 
Graduate Program Administrator 
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Graduate Program
Rice University, MS-140 
P.O. Box 1892 
Houston, TX 77251-1892
 
FedEx, UPS, DHL and other couriers:

Graduate Program Administrator 
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Graduate Program
Rice University, MS-140 
6100 Main Street
Houston, TX 77005
 

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Financial Support

Doctoral students who do not hold external fellowships will receive an Ecology & Evolutionary Biology graduate program stipend to cover living expenses. In addition, students receive a tuition waiver from the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. The annual stipend (including summer support) for the 2018-19 academic year is $25,500, which is sufficient to live well as a student given Houston's low cost of living. Support beyond the first year is extended to all students who remain in good standing in the program. Although the program offers MA degrees, the program cannot guarantee stipend funding for MA students; this funding must be provided by the prospective research advisor. 

Stipend levels are reviewed annually and periodically increased to maintain competitiveness with comparable institutions. If externally obtained stipends should fall below the program's stated level, a supplement is provided. Students who are able to obtain their own independent funding are potentially eligible for additional bonus pay by the department to supplement their stipend. Further detail on financial support is provided in the EEB graduate student handbook. 

Rice University also offers graduate student campus housing, which includes furnished apartments in a variety of floor plans and their shuttle service provides easy transportation to and from campus, nearby grocery stores, and shopping centers. Free high-speed internet access through the Rice network gives you access to Fondren Library’s online journals and databases. Many graduate students live within two miles of campus. 

 

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