Graduate Programs

Graduate student measuring plant in DominicaGraduate students interested in Ecology pursue MS and PhD degrees at Clemson through several different degree programs:

Students and faculty across departments and degree programs attend a weekly Ecology Reading Group to discuss current ecological literature, critique manuscripts, and discuss pressing environmental issues.

Graduate-level courses are offered under various rubrics (e.g., BIOSC, FOR, and W F B). A listing of these courses and the tentative schedule for their offerings can be found here.

A guide to the graduate degree programs

The MS and PhD degree programs in Biological Sciences encompass a wide variety of disciplines in both plant and animal biology with three major emphasis areas: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cell and Developmental Biology, and Comparative Organismal Biology. Coursework depends on the background of the student, and the plan of study is designed in consultation with the student's graduate advisory committee. Most Biological Sciences graduate students are supported on teaching assistantships, while many others are supported on research assistantships.

The MS and PhD degree programs in Entomology are housed in the School of Agricultural, Forest, and Environmental Sciences. Pertinent areas of expertise include agricultural ecology (both applied and fundamental aspects of agriculturally relevant insect ecology) and ecology of aquatic insects (primarily of biting flies and biological indicators, potentiating both applied and fundamental project development). Students in these areas primarily are supported by research assistantships via extramural funding through their major advisor; some teaching assistantships are available, as are avenues for internal research support. Course of study is focused on a strong grounding in insect systematics, morphology, and physiology, with a high degree of flexibility facilitating specialization.

The MS and PhD degree programs in Forest Resources are offered through the School of Agricultural, Forest, and Environmental Sciences. The programs cover a wide range of disciplines in forest resources, with the following areas related to ecology: forest ecology, fire ecology, silviculture, wetland ecology, landscape ecology, GIS, and soils. Course work is designed to fit both the background and the thesis or dissertation topic of the student. Forest Resources graduate students are typically supported through research assistantships, although a limited number of teaching assistantships and competitive fellowships are also available. Most projects are externally funded, and students often have opportunities to interact with stakeholders when conducting their research.

The MS and PhD degree programs in Plant and Environmental Sciences are offered through an interdepartmental program composed of faculty from disciplines including biological sciences, botany, crop science, entomology, genetics, environmental horticulture, plant pathology, plant physiology, and soil science. Coursework depends on the background of the student, and the plan of study is designed in consultation with the student's graduate advisory committee.

The MS and PhD degree programs in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology (WFB) are housed in the School of Agricultural, Forest, and Environmental Sciences. The programs prepare students for a lifetime of conducting decision-relevant science to support informed management of the planet's natural resources. Graduate students conduct research towards published products that support science-based decision making. Statistics, spatial information systems (GIS), other quantitative skills, and writing are emphasized. Most projects are funded externally, e.g., by federal and state agencies, private industry, and conservation groups. Most WFB students receive research assistantships; teaching assistantships are also available. Through Creative Inquiry, WFB graduate students involve undergraduates in their research and gain teaching experience. WFB students  have the opportunity to interact with stakeholders interested in their research. Research is published in a range of basic and applied journals.