Admission Requirements

Admission to the Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Ecology at Penn State requires the following:

  • An undergraduate degree in ecology, biology, fisheries, wildlife, forestry, or natural resources; however, applicants with other backgrounds are welcome to apply.
  • A minimum grade-point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) during the last two years (junior/senior) of a bachelor's degree at an accredited college or university.
  • Ideally, you should have taken at least three undergraduate classes in the biological sciences (e.g., biology, ecology, physiology) as well as a minimum of five undergraduate courses in the physical sciences and mathematics with at least one course each in chemistry, physics, calculus.
    • However, a limited number of course deficiencies in these subjects may be remedied by taking undergraduate courses while a graduate student. Deficiencies must be made up in the first few semesters after admission.

Commitment from a Faculty Member

It is not necessary for students to confirm a commitment from a faculty advisor prior to submitting an application. However, students are encouraged to contact specific Ecology faculty members of interest throughout the application process to discuss the potential to conduct research in their lab. Final admission will be directly into the lab of a faculty advisor.


Applications are accepted at any time; however, to receive full consideration for fellowships and financial aid, students should apply by December 1 for admission in the following fall semester.