Organismal Biology and Ecology
The Organismal Biology and Ecology (OBE) program is home to faculty and students interested in ecology, evolution, physiology, and behavior. Research in this program focuses on organisms, populations, or communities, on ecological and evolutionary processes structuring these levels, and on links among levels. Our research programs are facilitated by proximity to major wilderness areas and to one of the largest freshwater lakes in the contiguous United States, Flathead Lake. The Flathead Lake Biological Station is part of the Division of Biological Sciences, and faculty working there are members of OBE. The station is open year round as a research facility and community information center. OBE also interacts strongly with UM's Wildlife Biology Program, which is a joint program between College of Forestry and Conservation, Division of Biological Sciences, and the Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit.
M.S. Organismal Biology and Ecology
30 credits, thesis and thesis defense.
Ph.D. Organismal Biology and Ecology
60 credits, comprehensive exam, dissertation and dissertation defense.
1. Application Materials and Deadline
Fall - Priority will be given to complete application packets postmarked by January 10. Complete application packets received after this date will be considered on a space available basis.
Students must apply by the January 10 postmark deadline to be considered for an assistantship during the following fall semester. Admission at other times is possible but strongly discouraged because (a) TA support is generally unavailable and unlikely to be subsequently awarded to students; (b) such admission puts the student out of synch with frequently required course work (e.g., statistics, Biol. 501); and (c) it is unfair to the "normal" applicant, who gets evaluated against 100 plus applicants. Thus, it is only under truly exceptional circumstances involving students who are clearly top-notch candidates that the admissions committee will offer other than fall admission to the OBE program. Admission at times other than the beginning of fall semester requires a vote of approval by the OBE faculty.
Instructions for applying to the Graduate School are in the Applying for Admission section on this web site.
In addition to the application materials required by the Graduate School, the Division of Biological Sciences also require:
- A statement of purpose (1-2 pages).
A curriculum vitae.
- OBE also requires that you include a 1 – 3 page statement of research interest with your CV.
- Three letters of recommendation (We prefer electronic submission through the Admission Application. If the electronic method is used there is no need to send paper copies to the department.)
2. Program Requirements for Admission
- Grade point average of at least 3.0 for all college work (4.0=A).
- GRE test - 60th percentile in verbal, quantitative, analytical, and subject scores.
Admission to the graduate program is competitive and based on Graduate Record Exam scores (general and biology), GPA (overall and in biology courses), courses taken, letters of recommendation, other evidence of scholarly achievement and area of research interest. OBE generally requires a minimal GPA of 3.0 in undergraduate course work in biology and a minimal score of the 60th percentile in each of the four sections of the GRE (verbal, quantitative, analytical and biology). Foreign students whose native language is not English must score 540 or above on the TOEFL exam. Most students who are admitted achieve scores that are well above these minimal standards, however. Also, a prospective student must have a faculty member agree to serve as his/her adviser before they are granted admission. Thus, it behooves students to contact faculty directly either before or as a part of the application procedure. Many well-qualified students are not offered admission because they have not secured the interest of a faculty member.
3. International Students
Organismal Biology and Ecology
Health Sciences 104
Federal Express Delivery - Street Address
32 Campus Drive #4824
Missoula, MT 59812-4824
Fax: (406) 243-4184
Graduate Programs Coordinator
Program information last updated: 9/07