The Conservation Biology PhD program prepares students for independent research and roles within industry, nongovernmental organizations, academia or government sectors combining biological sciences with disciplines such as economics, law, urban/rural planning, politics, communication, philosophy and environmental engineering.
Students in the
Conservation Biology PhD program must choose either the Conservation
Biology Track or the Integrative Biology Track.
The Conservation Biology Track requires 75 credit hours beyond the bachelor's
degree, including a minimum of 27 hours of formal course work exclusive of
independent study. The formal course work includes 15 credit hours of required core courses, 20 credit hours of graduate-level courses from Biology (or other departments) selected in consultation with the adviser and the dissertation committee, and 15 hours of dissertation
research. The remaining credit hours may consist of additional electives,
doctoral research, and a maximum of 12 credit hours of combined directed research and
independent study. All students will take core courses that provide an
introduction to the science of conservation biology.
The Integrative Biology Track requires 73-74 credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree, including a minimum of 27 hours of formal course work exclusive of independent study. The formal course work includes 13-14 credit hours of required core courses, 20 credit hours of graduate-level courses from Biology (or other departments) selected in consultation with the adviser and the dissertation committee, and 15 hours of dissertation research. The remaining credit hours may consist of additional electives, doctoral research, and a maximum of 12 credit hours of combined directed research and independent study. All students will take core courses that provide an introduction to the science of conservation biology.
A student is
required to establish a program of study before the completion of nine credit
hours of course work, in conjunction with their dissertation adviser and
advisory committee. Students are required to complete a minimum of 20 hours of
electives in consultation with their advisory committee. In addition to these
selected electives, a student's advisory committee may require the candidate to
take any graduate course taught at UCF if deemed appropriate for the student’s
area of emphasis. Students entering with a master’s degree may request up to 30
semester credit hours of previous work be waived toward the requirements for
this degree with approval from the advisory committee. Students may register
for dissertation research only after passing the candidacy exam.
|Total Credit Hours Required:|
Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor's Degree|
Independent LearningGraduate students enrolled in the Conservation Biology PhD program are expected to engage in independent learning throughout their graduate career. Research toward, and ultimate completion, of the doctoral dissertation is the primary example of independent learning in which all doctoral students participate. Independent learning is also a key component of the core course in Conservation Biology and Advanced Research Communication, where emphasis is placed on the development of analytical skills and critical thinking. In addition, depending on their career goals, other experiences such as directed readings, additional research projects, or internships may be undertaken by the students.
For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.
Applicants must choose a track in this program. Track(s) may have different requirements.
Applicants should first identify faculty who match their own research interests, and then contact faculty in advance to inquire about research opportunities in faculty labs and to solicit agreement that a faculty member is interested in serving as the student's dissertation advisor. Applicants to the Ph.D. program who do not have a consenting dissertation advisor within the faculty will not be accepted into the program.
Students applying for summer or spring admission will be considered on an ad hoc basis.
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International Transfer Applicants
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*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.
Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website
, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information
section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.
Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.