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Applying to the Graduate Program Online


Board of Regents (BoR) Graduate Research Fellowships

The Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department at Tulane University is seeking outstanding candidates for three Board of Regents (BoR) Graduate Research Fellowships. Each fellowship includes a yearly stipend of $30,000, and a yearly allowance for professional travel and/or research support. Two of these fellowships are for four years, and one is for three years. We strongly encourage applications from underrepresented minority students. Interested candidates should contact the faculty member whose research aligns with that of the candidate. Click here to see the faculty websites.

Review of applications will begin January 15th for matriculation in 2014 fall. Applicants should follow guidelines of standard graduate school applications. Applicants are expected to identify a faculty mentor who has agreed to work with the prospective student prior to submitting an application.

The Tulane EEB department emphasizes three main areas of academic inquiry: tropical biology, wetlands ecology, and global change biology. We study organisms, populations, communities, ecosystems and global systems as we focus our efforts on conservation biology, ecosystem ecology, environmental biology, evolutionary biology, global change, tropical ecology, and systematics. Our research is centered geographically in the subtropics — especially Louisiana — and the tropics, although we explore life in other regions of the Earth as well. Graduate students are important contributors to our effort to create and disseminate knowledge about organisms and their environments. Tulane University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity/ADA Employer committed to excellence through diversity. All eligible candidates are encouraged to apply.

Your First Step to Apply

Painted LadyTo be admitted to the graduate program in EE Biology, you are required to have a graduate advisor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB). Although you may apply to the program without having a committed graduate advisor, you will be required to have one by the time decisions on graduate admission are made by the Department. This requirement applies to all graduate applicants, including those persons applying for the Ph.D., thesis Master’s, and 4 + 1 Master’s degree programs. Advisors for the Ph.D. and thesis Master’s programs must be a tenured or tenure-track faculty member; additionally professors of the practice may advise students seeking the 4 + 1 Master’s degree.

Choosing A Graduate Advisor

Having a productive relationship with a graduate advisor is critically important to both you graduate student and your graduate advisor. Finding a graduate advisor requires considerable effort and careful consideration. Thus, you start the process of seeking an advisor early on in your consideration of graduate programs. Many good applicants to our graduate program miss out on the opportunity to join the EE Biology Department because they do not find a graduate advisor who is willing to accept them into her/his lab as well as to support their admission to the program. A faculty member typically accepts no more than one student per year on average. So, how do you become that one student this year? First, consult the faculty listing online to determine who is doing research in which you are interested. After you have identified the one or more faculty members whose interests match yours, e-mail them regarding your interest. You should arrange to have a conversation with your prospective graduate advisor by telephone or in person. Before you do, however, write a clear, articulate statement of your research interests (alternatively, internship for 4 + 1 Master’s) that you can use in your email and conversation. The more focused and informed the statement of interest the better. EEB faculty will usually choose students on the basis of past experience, acquired skills, and common interests as well as the academic record and GRE scores (excepted for 4 + 1 Master’s). Providing a clear, accurate picture of these criteria is definitely in your best interest.

Although you may apply to the program without having a committed graduate advisor, you will be required to have one by the time decisions on graduate admission are made by the Department. This requirement applies to all graduate applicants, including those persons applying for the Ph.D., thesis Master’s, and 4 + 1 Master’s degree programs.

Applying to the Program

Prospective applicants should contact the faculty member with whom they are interested in studying before making an application. We have a limited number of positions open each year, and some labs do not accept new students in certain years. Moreover, we do not accept students into our graduate program without the faculty member and the prospective student having had the opportunity to discuss the student's potential project and the working relationship in advance of the decision on the application for graduate study. Thus, contacting the person with whom you want to work is an important step before making an application, and is necessary before applications are reviewed and evaluated.

Applicants for admission should have a strong undergraduate record, particularly in the biological sciences, and enthusiasm for a research career. For all applicants, scores on the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are required, and the GRE Subject Test in Biology is recommended. TOEFL scores are also required of all applicants from countries where English is not the native language. Most applicants have taken undergraduate courses in Chemistry (including Organic Chemistry), Mathematics (including Calculus), and Physics, but the college background should be appropriate to the student's proposed area of graduate study and career goals. All applicants must be able to express themselves in clear written English. The GRE code for Tulane applications is 6173.

The deadline for completion of applications for admission in the fall semester is January 15th. We do consider applicants for spring admission, although spring admissions are rare. The deadline for completion of applications for admission in the spring semester is October 1st.

Prospective applicants should also complete an online student survey, which will provide us with some initial information about your application, and let us know that you are interested in our program. After completing this form, you will be assigned a temporary personal web page that gives you access to further information about Tulane and New Orleans. Go here for the online questionnaire.

Application Fee

There is a $50 application fee for all +1 Non-thesis Masters of Science and Thesis Masters of Science applicants. If you are a Tulane undergraduate student, the application fee will be waived ONLY IF you contact segrad@tulane.edu prior to paying the fee and submitting your application.

Application Deadlines

Deadlines for applications are as follows:

  • Ph.D. Program - January 15
  • Thesis and Terminal Masters of Science - January 15
  • +1 Non-thesis Masters of Science - May 1
  • Combined 4+1 Masters of Science - May 1

Note: For +1 or 4+1 early admissions, please make sure applications are in by January 15.

Checklist for completing your graduate application:


  • Contact potential advisor
  • Complete the required GRE exams – Tulane's GRE code is 6173
  • Complete an online application – Application deadline is Jan 15 for Fall semester and Oct. 1 for Spring semester
  • Submit letters of reference (the online application form will create links for submitting your letters)

The EEB Graduate Program Description web page has basic information and links to help you complete each of the steps listed above.

Our Graduate Study Procedures page will provide you with more detailed information on general admission and program requirements.

For Further Information, Contact:

Dr. David C. Heins, Chair
Phone (Dept.): (504) 865-5191
Phone (Desk): (504) 865-5563
Fax: (504) 862-8706
Office: Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
400 Boggs
Tulane University
New Orleans, Louisiana 70118-5698

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School of Science and Engineering, 201 Lindy Boggs Center, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5764 sse@tulane.edu