New Jersey is home to a few universities that offer ecology graduate programs through their biology departments. Students can pursue study at the master's or doctoral levels and can usually choose from a wide range of concentration/research areas within the programs. Here we examine the options in more detail and learn about some of the entrance requirements.
New Jersey Schools with Graduate Degrees in Ecology
Located in Princeton, Princeton University's Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology offers a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program to interested students. Students in the program can focus their studies and research in the areas of ecology and the environment, conservation and biodiversity, evolution and genomics, behavior and sensory biology, or infectious disease. The program can be completed in 5 years and requires a dissertation and 2 oral exams. The first 2 years of the program consist of core coursework and a colloquium, while the last 3 years are spent researching and preparing the dissertation. Throughout the program students serve as Assistants in Instruction (AI) for undergraduate courses.
Rutgers University in New Brunswick also offers an Ecology and Evolution Graduate Program that awards a Master of Science (MS) or PhD degree through their School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. Students in the program can also study at the school's Newark or Camden campuses, the Institute for Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York, the Pinelands Field Station in New Lisbon, or at the Tuckerton or Bivalve marine stations. Students can pursue research interests in areas such as restoration ecology, microbial ecology, population and community ecology, and ecosystem ecology. The MS program offers a thesis and non-thesis option and totals 30 credits. The PhD program requires 72 credits, comprehensive exams, a dissertation, and teaching responsibilities.
Montclair State University
Montclair State University in Montclair provides an MS in Biology with a concentration in biology, ecology, and evolution that is a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) designated degree program. Although the program offers a thesis and non-thesis option, students are encouraged to complete the thesis option with an original research project to prepare for future careers and/or education. Students in the non-thesis option must complete a comprehensive exam. The program totals 32 credits and includes required courses, biology courses, research hours, and electives. Required courses include topics in ecology, molecular biology, biological literature, plant physiology, and mammalian physiology.
Common Entrance Requirements
Master's and doctoral degree programs in ecology in the state of New Jersey will typically require students to hold at least a bachelor's degree. Some of these programs may consider factors like GPA and/or require students to have a minimum number of hours in subjects like biology, chemistry, physics, and/or mathematics. It is usually required or at least suggested that applicants take the GRE, and some programs may encourage students to take the GRE Biology Subject test. Applicants commonly need to include their transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement with their application. Typically, the personal statement needs to clearly address topics such as a student's background, research interests, future goals, and any additional information a student would like to share.
Students in New Jersey can commonly earn an MS or PhD in the field of ecology with extensive research training. Master's students may choose to complete a thesis, while PhD students must complete a dissertation and often receive teaching experience during the program.