Skip Navigation
Faculty | Courses | Giving


E3B’s mission is to educate a new generation of scientists and practitioners in the theory and methods of ecology, evolution, and environmental biology. Our educational programs emphasize a multidisciplinary perspective to understand life on Earth from the level of organisms to global processes that sustain humanity and all life.

To achieve this multi-disciplinary perspective, the department maintains close ties to over 40 faculty members beyond its central core. Thus many faculty members who teach, advise, and train students in research are based in other departments on the Columbia campus, or at the partner institutions (including the American Museum of Natural History, the New York Botanical Garden, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and the EcoHealth Alliance). Through this collaboration, the department is able to tap into a broad array of scientific and intellectual resources in the greater New York City area.

The Master of Arts in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology focuses on biological sciences and integrates environmental policy and economics concepts.  This interdisciplinary approach provides students with a range of options for building their careers.  Graduates of the M.A. program often continue their education in a Ph.D. program or enter the job market directly as scientific researchers, teachers or administrators in a NGO or government agency dedicated to the conservation of natural resources.  The M.A. program at E3B is project-based, meaning that all students must complete a capstone project as a major requirement for the degree. Capstone projects may be a Research-based thesis or a Practice-based thesis. Students have the option of tailoring their course work to develop their interests, and to craft a capstone project that allows them to gain additional skills and experience.

Special Admissions Requirements: 

All Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences admission requirements apply to students in the E3B M.A. Program. A background in ecology and evolutionary biology is preferred, with one year of undergraduate introduction biology and upper-division undergraduate courses in ecology, evolution, and genetics. The GRE General Test is mandatory. Students interested in pursuing the thesis-based option for their capstone project are strongly encouraged to identify a full-time or adjunct faculty member who would act as research sponsor prior to applying to the program.

For up-to-date information about tuition for Master’s students at Columbia, visit the GSAS website (the E3B MA tuition falls under the “All Other Master’s Programs” category.

Limited amounts of financial aid are available to successful applicants to the program


Graduate student handbook


Research Seminars and Student Seminars are important weekly events in Department E3B. On Tuesdays, invited researchers, Columbia faculty and graduating E3B Ph.D. students present their work. On Thursdays, E3B M.A. and Ph.D. students give brief presentations of their work in progress.

See what our M.A. students have gone on to do


Interested in becoming part of E3B? Learn more about our admission and application process.

Learn More

Return to Top