Penn State’s Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Ecology trains scientists to explore the natural world and the multitudes of interactions within it. Specifically, we teach students to observe, experiment with, and analyze patterns in the natural world with a goal of pursuing solutions to some of the most pressing problems of our time—such as those related to biodiversity, climate change, invasive species, food security, and infectious disease. Students’ fluency in the life and physical sciences, along with their knowledge of field, computational, and statistical tools gives them a unique interdisciplinary advantage in the job market.
The Ecology Program's rich history benefits its current 50 faculty members and 50 students. For example, the longtime student-run seminar helps to develop students' professional skills while also promoting collaboration and networking. In addition, the low number of course requirements provides quality-over-quantity instruction in classical ecology, along with the most recent advances and the development of scientific presentation skills.
Based at University Park in the heart of central Pennsylvania, students who choose to study in the region's temperate forests, wetlands, agricultural landscapes, and other systems have an abundance of nearby options for their field sites. For example, students have access to the Stone Valley Experimental Forest, state gamelands, state forestlands, the Spruce Creek Experimental Area, and the Penn State Ag Experiment Station. Students who wish to study in other types of environments can take advantage of the numerous field sites already established throughout the United States and the world—from Arizona to Australia—by our renowned faculty.