Joint B.S./M.S. degree program in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - For students INTERESTed in the program


Who is the joint B.S./M.S. program in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology aimed at?


The EEB B.S./M.S. program is designed for people who want to get advanced (graduate level) training in biodiversity and conservation biology, but who do not necessarily need the extensive research training that would come with a thesis-based Master's degree in order to advance their careers.  Thus, the emphasis is on providing advanced training in a broad-base of topics relating to biodiversity and its protection, and on gaining workplace experience.  We anticipate that the program will be best suited to students seeking vocational training for jobs with non-governmental organizations, state and federal agencies, museums, private consulting firms, etc.


How does the program work?  What is a "joint B.S./M.S." program?


The B.S./M.S. program is a joint degree program.  It is designed so that students spend 5 years taking classes and then graduate with both the B.S. and an M.S. at the same time (in this respect it is a unique degree within the university).  This structure provides students with flexibility in their course planning and allows them to integrate undergraduate and graduate courses in whatever way best suits their goals and needs. 


How long will it take me to finish the program?


If you enter the program in your junior year, and complete the B.S. and M.S. degrees jointly, it should take one additional year on top of the 4-year Bachelor's degree (5-years total). Several of the required M.S. courses, however, are taught only in alternate years. Consequently, it is important to plan ahead so that you take some of these courses during your fourth year in the program. If you enter the program with a complete (or near-complete) B.S. it will likely take 3-4 semesters to complete the M.S. requirements, depending on the timing of course offerings relative to your entry into the program. Students are advised to plan out their coursework in advance to determine the best sequence of courses. Information on the timing of courses can be found on the EEB Courses page, or by consulting the course instructor.


What is the name of the degree I will get?


You will get a B.S. degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and an M.S. degree in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology.


What if I already have a Bachelor's degree?


Students who already have a Bachelor's degree are encouraged to take just the Master's portion of the program.  If you have already taken courses equivalent to those required for an EEB Bachelor's then the Master's would typically take a year to complete.  In some cases, students might be required to take additional courses if they do not have the necessary background that the EEB B.S. would provide.  If additional courses are required this will be determined by the admissions committee and the student would be informed in their letter of acceptance to the program. To conduct a "self-audit" fill out the worksheet here.


What if I want a Master's degree with a strong research focus?  Can I do that in the EEB department at UConn?


EEB has a long history of training students for research Master's degrees and will continue to do so.  If your goal is to become a research biologist, then we would advise you to apply for a traditional Master's, for which you will be required to conduct a research project and write a thesis, rather than applying through the B.S./M.S. program.  If you are interested in a research Master's then you would be advised to contact individual professors who work in the area in which you are interested.  Application information is available on the EEB web site.


What courses are required?


For a full list of program requirements, return to the main B.S./M.S. page and follow the links for degree requirements and core courses.  Web sites for most courses can be viewed on the EEB course listing


What do the internship and research requirements involve?


To earn the Masters degree all students are required to complete an internship and obtain 4 credits worth of research experience.  The internship is intended to provide real experience working for an organization outside of the university.  For more information on internships see the web site for the EEB 5891 course. The research requirement involves participating in a research project, but does not require that you develop your own project or write a thesis. 


Who will my advisor be?


Advisors are determined by mutual consent of the student and the faculty member. No one is simply assigned an advisor, and no one can be admitted into the program unless they have found a faculty member willing to be their advisor. We suggest browsing the department's web site to identify potential advisors, and then directly contacting suitable faculty members to determine whether they are willing to become your advisor.


How do I apply?


For information on the application process, click here.


When are applications due?


Currently we are accepting applications once a year, and they must be received by January 10 for fall or spring admission. Informal inquiries about the program are welcome at any time, and should be directed to the program coordinator.


Who should I ask to write letters of recommendation for me?


Letters of recommendation can come from anyone, though they should be people who can speak to your ability to do well in the program.  We strongly suggest, however, that you get at least 2 from professors who can address your academic abilities.  If you have relevant work experience in the field of biodiversity and conservation biology then a previous employer might also be an appropriate person to write a letter.


If you have questions that are not answered here, please email the program coordinator.