Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

The major in ecology and evolutionary biology (EEB) is designed for students with interests in the fields of biodiversity, biological systematics, evolution, ecology, and organismal biology, including the fields of botany, zoology, environmental biology, and conservation biology.


To review graduation requirements for the major, please refer to the Undergraduate Catalog and the Major Requirements Worksheet for your catalog year. To look up your catalog year and keep track of graduation requirements, review your Academic Requirements Report in Student Admin. Catalog year is found at the top of your Academic Requirements Report.

Students can earn a BS or BA degree in this major. Both degrees require a full sequence of introductory biology and general chemistry, but only the BS degree requires calculus and physics.

Major Requirements

Students must complete at least 24 credits of 2000-level or higher courses in EEB. The 24 credits must include courses from the major requirements below.

Notes: Students may apply no more than three independent study credits from EEB 3899 toward the 24-credit requirement. Students must complete MCB 2410 as part of their related course requirement.

Core Requirements

Complete all of the following:

  • BIOL 1107. Principles of Biology I (4 credits)
  • BIOL 1108. Principles of Biology II (4 credits) or BIOL 1110. Intro to Botany (4 credits)
  • CHEM 1127Q/1128Q. General Chemistry I and II (8 credits total) or CHEM 1124Q/1125Q/1126Q. Fundamentals of General Chemistry I, II, III (10 credits total)
  • EEB 2244 or 2244W. General Ecology (4 credits)
  • EEB 2245 or 2245W. Evolutionary Biology (3-4 credits)
  • MCB 2410. Genetics (3 credits)

Animal Diversity

Complete at least one of the following courses:

  • EEB 2214. Biology of Vertebrates (3 credits)
  • EEB 3254. Mammalogy (4 credits)
  • EEB 3265. Herpetology (4 credits)
  • EEB 3266. Field Herpetology (3 credits)
  • EEB 3269. Social Insects (3 credits)
  • EEB 3273. Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (4 credits)
  • EEB 4200. Biology of Fishes (4 credits)
  • EEB 4250. General Entomology (4 credits)
  • EEB 4252. Field Entomology (3 credits)
  • EEB 4260. Ornithology (2 credits) and EEB 4261. Ornithology Laboratory (2 credits)
    or EEB 4262. Field Methods in Ornithology (3 credits)
  • EEB 4274. Animal Parasitology (4 credits)
  • EEB 4275. Invertebrate Zoology (4 credits)

Plant Diversity

Complete at least one of the following courses:

  • EEB 3203. Developmental Plant Morphology (4 credits)
  • EEB 3204. Aquatic Plant Biology (4 credits)
  • EEB 3220 or 3220W. Evolution of Green Plants (3-4 credits)
  • EEB 3240. Biology of Bryophytes & Lichens (4 credits)
  • EEB 3250. Biology of the Algae (4 credits)
  • EEB 3271. Systematic Botany (4 credits)
  • EEB 4272. Summer Flora (3 credits)
  • EEB 4276. Plant Structural Diversity (4 credits)

Physiology

Complete one of the following courses:

  • EEB 2250. Introduction to Plant Physiology (3 credits)
  • EEB 3360. Physiological Ecology of Plants (3 credits)
  • EEB 4215. Physiological Ecology of Animals (3 credits)
  • PNB 2250. Animal Physiology (3 credits)
  • SPSS 4210. Plant Physiology: How Plants Work (3 credits)

Writing in the Major

Complete at least one of the following:

  • EEB 2244W. General Ecology (4 credits)
  • EEB 2245W. Evolutionary Biology (4 credits)
  • EEB 3220W. Evolution of Green Plants (4 credits)
  • EEB 3244W. Writing in Ecology (2 credits)
  • EEB 4230W. Methods of Ecology (4 credits)
  • EEB 4896W. Senior Research Thesis in EEB (3 credits)
  • EEB 5335W. Vertebrate Social Behavior (3 credits)

Lab or Field Courses

Complete at least two of the following courses (note: may include courses used to fulfill animal or plant diversity requirements above):

  • EEB 3203. Developmental Plant Morphology (4 credits)
  • EEB 3204. Aquatic Plant Biology (4 credits)
  • EEB 3220. Evolution of Green Plants (4 credits)
  • EEB 3230. Marine Biology (3 credits)
  • EEB 3240. Biology of Bryophytes & Lichens (4 credits)
  • EEB 3247. Freshwater Ecology (4 credits)
  • EEB 3250. Biology of the Algae (4 credits)
  • EEB 3254. Mammalogy (4 credits)
  • EEB 3265. Herpetology (4 credits)
  • EEB 3266. Field Herpetology (3 credits)
  • EEB 3267. Field Study of Animal Behavior (3 credits)
  • EEB 3271. Systematic Botany (4 credits)
  • EEB 3273. Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (4 credits)
  • EEB 4120. Paleobiology (4 credits)
  • EEB 4200. Biology of Fishes (4 credits)
  • EEB 4230W. Methods of Ecology (4 credits)
  • EEB 4250. General Entomology (4 credits)
  • EEB 4252. Field Entomology (3 credits)
  • EEB 4260 and 4261. Ornithology Lab (4 credits)
  • EEB 4262. Field Methods in Ornithology (3 cr)
  • EEB 4272. The Summer Flora (3 credits)
  • EEB 4274. Introduction to Animal Parasitology (4 credits)
  • EEB 4275. Invertebrate Zoology (4 credits)
  • EEB 4276. Plant Structural Diversity (4 credits)

Related Courses

Complete at least 12 credits of 2000-level or above science courses outside EEB, which must include MCB 2410. Students can use PNB 2250 and SPSS/PLSC 4210 as related courses since they fulfill the physiology requirement. Pick courses from this list of pre-approved EEB related courses.

Suggested Courses

While not required, EEB majors are encouraged to complete a course in statistics. It is also suggested that students complete one semester of organic chemistry.

Additional Notes and Restrictions

  • Use the EEB Requirements Worksheet, General Education Audit Sheet, and major sample sequence (below) to keep track of general education requirements and major requirements. These forms list the specific requirements for each catalog year. Visit the Forms page.
  • A maximum of three independent study credits from EEB 3899 can count toward the 24 credits in the major.
  • Honors students: refer to the honors page for honors requirements in your major.

Sample Course Sequence

Students majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology can earn a BS or BA degree. Students must complete the CLAS requirements for a BS or BA to receive their degree. While no sample program can apply to every student, the following example assumes that the student has met the foreign language requirement in high school and is pursuing the BS degree.


First Semester (Fall)

BIOL 1107 OR 11081 (4 credits)
CHEM 1127Q or 1124Q (4 credits)
Gen Ed (3 credits)
First-year writing or Gen Ed (3-4 credits)
UNIV 1800 (FYE) (1 credit)

Total credits: 15-16

Second Semester (Spring)

BIOL 1107 or 1108 (4 credits)
CHEM 1128Q or 1125Q (3-4 credits)
Gen Ed or Elective (3 credits)
Gen Ed or First-year writing (3 credits)
Total credits: 13-15

Third Semester (Fall)

EEB 2244 or 2244W2 (3-4 credits)
MATH 1131Q (4 credits)
CHEM 1126Q or MCB 24103 (3 credits)
Gen Ed (3 credits)
Gen Ed (3 credits)

Total credits: 17

Fourth Semester (Spring)

EEB 2245 or 2245W (3-4 credits)
2000+ EEB course4(3-4 credits)
MATH 1132Q (4 credits)
Gen Ed (3 credits)
Gen Ed (3 credits)
Total credits: 16-18

Fifth Semester (Fall)

Animal or Plant Diversity (3-4 credits)
Physiology5 or 2000+ EEB course (3-4 credits)
Related (3 credits)
PHYS 1201Q or 1401Q (4 credits)
Non-Major Writing (W) course (3 credits)

Total credits: 16-18

Sixth Semester (Spring)

Animal or Plant Diversity (3-4 credits)
Physiology or 2000+ EEB course (3-4 credits)
PHYS 1202Q or 1402Q (3 credits)
Gen Ed (4 credits)
Elective (3 credits)

Total credits: 16-18

Seventh Semester (Fall)

2000+ EEB course (3-4 credits)
Related (3 credits)
Gen Ed (3 credits)
Elective/s (3-6 credits)

Total credits: 12-18

Eighth Semester (Spring)

3000+ EEB/MCB/PNB course (3-4 credits)
Physiology or 2000+ EEB course (3-4 credits)
2000+ EEB course or elective (3-4 credits)
Related (3 credits)
Elective/s (3-6 credits)

Total credits: 15-16


1Biology 1110. Introduction to Botany may be taken in place of BIOL 1108.

2Students who don’t take EEB 2244 or 2245 as a W must take another EEB W course to fulfill the W in the major requirement.

3 Students must take 12 credits of 2000-level or above courses outside EEB for the related requirement. This group must include MCB 2410. Students who choose related courses that are not on the pre-approved list should talk with their advisor to ensure they will be approved on their final plan of study.

4Students are required to take 24 credits of EEB coursework including at least two courses that require extensive laboratory or fieldwork. Plant/animal diversity courses may also fulfill the lab/field requirements. No more than three credits of EEB 3899 may count toward the 24-credit requirement. Note: many EEB courses are offered in alternate years so it is important to plan ahead.

5EEB majors must take one of the following to satisfy the physiology requirement: EEB 2250. Introduction to Plant Physiology, EEB 3360. Physiological Ecology of Plants, EEB 4215. Physiological Ecology of Animals, SPSS 4210. Plant Physiology: How Plants Work, or PNB 2250. Animal Physiology to satisfy the physiology requirement. EEB 2250, 3360, and 4215 can count toward the 24-credit requirement, while SPSS 4210 and PNB 2250 can count toward your related courses.