Although graduate degree programs specifically in chemical ecology are extremely rare and students are more likely to find research groups in the subject, Master of Science, Master of Professional Studies and PhD programs in chemical ecology are available. These degree programs often provide hands-on learning experience and research skill development through internships, theses or dissertations. Explore these degree programs and their requirements below.
Master's Degrees vs. Doctoral Degrees in Chemical Ecology
Master's Degree in Chemical Ecology
Students in chemical ecology master's degree programs typically need to complete roughly 30 to 45 credits. These include credits in graduate coursework and thesis research, as a thesis and/or capstone seminar is typically required. Students in these interdisciplinary programs may be able to choose from a coursework only option or a professional experience option that includes an internship. Students usually take coursework in chemistry, biology and ecology and may be able to select courses based on their interests. Graduates of these programs are trained to work in research positions both in the laboratory and field as biologists, ecologists or chemists.
Doctoral Degree in Chemical Ecology
Students interested in earning a PhD focused in chemical ecology are usually required to take around 60-72 graduate credits, 30-48 of which are in coursework and 12-30 to work on the required dissertation. Students in these programs usually have even more flexibility to take courses that pertain specifically to their career goals and/or research interests in the fields of biology, ecology and chemistry. Students typically need to complete written and oral comprehensive exams and participate in seminars as part of their studies. In addition, doctoral students often have some teaching responsibilities and typically conduct research with their major professor. Some of these programs may allow students to enter the program directly after earning a bachelor's degree, but it is common for students to hold a master's degree. Graduates of these degree programs are qualified to conduct independent research at advanced career levels, as well as teach at the postsecondary level.
Common Entrance Requirements
Graduate degree programs in chemical ecology require applicants to submit their official transcripts, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, a personal statement and a resume or CV with their application. Some graduate schools may have a minimum GPA requirement for master's applicants of a 2.75 or higher and a minimum GPA requirement for doctoral applicants of a 3.0 or higher. Students are expected to hold at least a bachelor's degree and submit TOEFL scores if they are international students. Prerequisite coursework in math and the sciences could be a requirement as well. Applicants to these degree programs are usually encouraged to contact faculty members in the department, especially those with similar research interests, to help see if the program will be a good fit.
Graduate degree programs in chemical ecology are rare, but available, at the master's and doctoral degree levels. These interdisciplinary programs usually involve laboratory and research work in addition to lecture classes, and graduates may go on to work in research positions or academia.