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Seeking Graduate Students

The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is seeking applications from prospective graduate students who wish to pursue a research-based Masters or PhD degree.

While we encourage students to pursue independent funding opportunities, our policy is to admit students only when we are confident we have funding support available for the full duration of their studies (provided adequate progress in the program). We provide funding to both Master’s and PhD students through teaching assistantships, regardless of their citizenship. Our goal is to recruit a diverse pool of students on a range of metrics, including background, career stage, and research interests.

Our faculty work across a broad range of exciting questions in a collaborative, collegial department. We investigate interactions within and between levels of biological organization; our study systems span from genes to ecosystems (see EEB Faculty and a few brief examples at the bottom of this page). We integrate experimental, survey, theory, modeling and statistical approaches with a rich tradition of natural history in pursuit of these topics.

Our program relies on the strong mentorship bond between student and advisor(s). We therefore give very strong preference to candidates who have already communicated with their potential advisor(s) before submitting their application. Our deadline for applications is Dec 1st, 2020, so we suggest reaching out to potential advisors at least 2 weeks before submitting your application to allow for low-stress communication.


Brief examples of some of the foci of strength in our program include (but are not limited to) the large numbers of faculty who work as quantitative bioscientists in a variety of fields and conservation biology. There are also many faculty members working on predictive ecological and evolutionary frameworks for the outcome of plant-soil-microbial interactions under global change.