The Integrative and 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.
The Integrative and Conservation Biology PhD program provides an interface between traditional biological sciences and the areas of economics, law, urban and rural planning, politics, communication, philosophy, and environmental engineering. The purpose of this training is to produce scientists capable of doing independent research and the ability to work within the broader area of environmental politics, law, and economics to communicate issues of conservation biology to policymakers, the general public, and industry.
Students will choose one of two specializations: Conservation Biology or Integrative Biology. The Conservation Biology Track is intended to provide the academic background necessary to begin work in the industry, non-governmental organizations, or government in a leadership role applying cutting-edge principles to problem-solving in conservation biology. The Integrative Biology Track embraces applied and basic research concerning ecological questions to address current concerns in the area of conservation biology. Students taking either track would be prepared to pursue an academic career.
Students in the Conservation Biology PhD program must choose either the Conservation Biology Track or the Integrative Biology Track.
The Conservation Biology Track requires 72 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 and 12 credit hours of graduate-level courses from Biology (or other departments) selected in consultation with the adviser and the dissertation committee (at least 4 of the 12 credit hours must be offered through the Biology Department). The remaining 45 credit hours may consist of additional electives, doctoral dissertation research (PCB 7980), and a maximum of 12 credit hours of combined directed research (PCB 6918, PCB 7919, and PCB 5917) and independent study (PCB 6908). In addition, 15 credit hours of the remaining 45 credit hours must be comprised of doctoral dissertation research (PCB 7980).
The Integrative Biology Track requires 72 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 7 credit hours of required core courses and 20 credit hours of graduate-level courses from Biology (or other departments) selected in consultation with the adviser and the dissertation committee (at least 12 of the 20 credit hours must be offered through the Biology Department). The remaining 45 credit hours may consist of additional electives, doctoral dissertation research (PCB 7980), and a maximum of 12 credit hours of combined directed research (PCB 6918, PCB 7919, and PCB 5917) and independent study (PCB 6908). In addition, 15 credit hours of the remaining 45 credit hours must be comprised of doctoral dissertation research (PCB 7980).
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. 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 who transfer 30 credit hours must still take 2 credit hours of Biology Seminar (BSC 6935 ) and Professional Development I (PCB 6095 ) and II (PCB 6096 ). Students may register for dissertation research only after passing the candidacy exam.
Total Credit Hours Required: 72 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor’s Degree
Graduate 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 the 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 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 PhD 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.
|Integrative and Conservation Biology PhD
|*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.