Major Overview

Ecology, Evolution & Systematics Biology is all about nature and how the webs of living and nonliving things interact. If you choose this major, you will learn how organisms develop and evolve throughout time, study their relationships with each other, and see how organisms and the environment work together in complex ecosystems.

Some of the classes may take include: biodiversity, conservation biology, ecology, evolutionary biology, genetics, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and advanced mathematics.

As you study, you will gain a big picture in nature as well as knowledge of the tiny creatures that make it possible. You may choose to focus on populations and the reasons behind why a particular species thrives or dies. As you continue towards your degree, you may be able to pick a specialization. Some of the concentrations available at various schools are Ecology, Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography, Evolutionary Biology, Aquatic Biology/Limnology, Environmental Biology, Population Biology, Conservation Biology, Systematic Biology, and Epidemiology.

Required Skills

The most successful students in this major enjoy nature and the outdoors. You will be working with all types of natural systems and you may have to hike to remote locations in order to collect specimens or observe natural environments. Be ready for a lot of lab work observing, analyzing and experimenting with a variety of animals and plants. Students will need to learn to synthesize information from a variety of classes and subjects in order to draw conclusions.

Interpersonal skills are very important in this field. You will be working very closely with your peers and your professors. You need to be able to communicate effectively and collaborate well with others. Writing skills will help you complete lab reports and document your research clearly. Most colleges will require you to get an internship or a job working in the field over the summer. Some colleges will allow you to research with your professors over the summer.

Careers

This broad major prepares graduates for many different career paths. Some students continue their education with a Master's Degree. Others obtain work as an environmental researcher for public or private institutions. Graduates also find work as park rangers, natural science managers, bioinformatics scientists, or even biology teachers.

Graduates with a degree in Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics Biology average $38,432 as a starting salary with a mid-career salary of $68,868.

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Major at a Glance

Top statistics for this major

College Ranking by Major

Click rankings below to view the top colleges in this Major
Yearly Graduations
 3,406
Average Starting Salary
$38,432
Average Mid-Career Salary
$68,868

Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Ecology, Evolution & Systematics Biology might open up.

Biological Science Teachers, Postsecondary
Biological Scientists, All Other
Epidemiologists
Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary
Life Scientists, All Other
Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists
Natural Sciences Managers
Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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