Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree with a Major in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Program Learning Outcomes for the BS Degree with a Major in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 

Upon completing the BS degree with a major in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, students will be able to:  

  1. Locate primary scientific literature and demonstrate the ability to apply critical thinking and problem solving skills to evaluate published and proposed research in the biological sciences and to apply these skills to develop  an independent research project. 
  2. Demonstrate the ability to apply the modern scientific method, including designing experiments and/or building mathematical models, collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data using common statistical methods and software programs. 
  3. Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills, including an ability to communicate effectively and work with diverse groups and the ability to interpret and communicate the results of original research. 
  4. Demonstrate familiarity with the diversity of life and an in-depth understanding of at least one level or biological organization (i.e. genetic, genomic, cellular, organismal, population, community, or ecosystem). 
  5. Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of biology and an in-depth understanding of ecology and evolutionary biology.
  6. Demonstrate understanding of the practice and culture of science, scientific ethics, and the relationship between science and society.

Requirements for the BS Degree with a Major in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

For general university requirements, see Graduation Requirements. Students pursuing the BS degree with a major in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology must complete:

  • A minimum of 22 courses (61 credit hours) to satisfy major requirements. Additional credit hours may be required depending on course selection. 
  • A minimum of 121 credit hours to satisfy degree requirements. Additional credit hours may be required depending on course selection. 
  • A minimum of 60 credit hours outside of major requirements. 
  • A minimum of 13 courses (43 credit hours) at the 300-level or above. 

The Ecology and Evolutionary Biology major is intended for students pursuing a wide range of careers in the life sciences. Course work emphasizes a broad understanding of basic biology together with in-depth knowledge of ecology and evolutionary biology that culminates in a required capstone 400-level course incorporating primary scientific literature, presentations, and writing in an advanced topic. The BS program is well suited for students planning to go on to graduate or professional school, or who will enter the workforce with the BS as their terminal degree. Students pursuing the BS degree are also required to conduct independent research under the supervision or co-supervision of an Ecology and Evolutionary Biology faculty member (though the research can take place in other locations or institutions such as the Texas Medical Center or at field sites throughout the world). Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of study abroad opportunities.

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this major. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the major’s academic advisor (or official certifier). Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.

Summary

Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyMinimum of 61
Total Credit Hours Required for the BS Degree with Major in Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyMinimum of 121

Degree Requirements

Core Requirements
Non-Biology Courses 1
MATH 101SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS I3
MATH 102SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS II3
Select 1 from the following:3
DESIGN AND ANALYSIS OF BIOLOGICAL EXPERIMENTS
1 course from Statistics (STAT) departmental course offerings
CHEM 121
CHEM 123
GENERAL CHEMISTRY I
and GENERAL CHEMISTRY LABORATORY I
4
PHYS 125GENERAL PHYSICS (WITH LAB)4
Biology Lecture Courses
BIOC 201INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY3
EBIO 202INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY II3
EBIO 325ECOLOGY3
EBIO 334 / BIOC 334EVOLUTION3
Biology Laboratory Courses
BIOC 211INTERMEDIATE EXPERIMENTAL BIOSCIENCES2
EBIO 213INTRO EXPERIMENTAL ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY2
Scientific Communication Course
EBIO 412ADVANCED COMMUNICATION IN THE BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES2
Independent Research Courses
EBIO 306INDEPENDENT RESEARCH FOR ECOLOGY & EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY UNDERGRADUATES (at least 2 credit hours)2
EBIO 403UNDERGRADUATE HONORS RESEARCH IN ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY5
EBIO 404UNDERGRADUATE HONORS RESEARCH IN ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY5
Elective Requirements
Lecture in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Select 2 from the following:6
ANIMAL BEHAVIOR
CONSERVATION BIOLOGY
INSECT BIOLOGY
EVOLUTION OF GENES & GENOMES
ANIMAL BIOLOGY AND PHYSIOLOGY
BIOLOGY OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES
EVOLUTIONARY BIOINFORMATICS
PLANT DIVERSITY
GLOBAL BIOGEOCHEMICAL CYCLES
INTRODUCTORY PHYCOLOGY
APPLIED PHYCOLOGY
CORAL REEF ECOSYSTEMS
TRANSFER CREDIT IN ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY
ADVANCED ECOLOGY
Lecture in Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Select 1 from the following:3
PARADIGMS IN BIOCHEMISTRY AND CELL BIOLOGY
BIOCHEMISTRY I
BIOCHEMISTRY II
SYSTEMS PHYSIOLOGY
CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY
CELL BIOLOGY
MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND GENETICS
PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY FOR THE BIOSCIENCES
METABOLIC ENGINEERING FOR GLOBAL HEALTH ENVIRONMENTS
CONCEIVING AND MISCONCEIVING THE MONSTROUS IN FICTION AND IN ART, IN MEDICINE AND IN BIOSCIENCE
SEMINAR IN CONTEMPORARY BIOLOGICAL AND BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH
IMMUNOLOGY
FUNDAMENTAL NEUROSCIENCE SYSTEMS
FUNDAMENTALS OF CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR NEUROSCIENCE
TRANSFER CREDIT IN BIOCHEMISTRY AND CELL BIOLOGY
MICROBIOLOGY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY
PLANT MOLECULAR GENETICS AND DEVELOPMENT
ADVANCED CONCEPTS AND CRITICAL ANALYSIS IN MODERN DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY
ADVANCED MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND GENETICS
EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY AND THE FUTURE OF MEDICINE
VIRUSES AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES
CANCER BIOLOGY
COMPUTATION WITH BIOLOGICAL DATA
MOLECULAR BIOPHYSICS I
STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY
EBIO Laboratory Course Requirement
Select 1 from the following:1-2
LAB MODULE IN ECOLOGY
LAB MODULE IN BEHAVIOR
TROPICAL FIELD BIOLOGY
ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION OF BRAZILIAN WETLANDS LABORATORY
CONSERVATION BIOLOGY LAB
BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
INSECT BIOLOGY LAB
EVOLUTION OF GENES & GENOMES LAB
EVOLUTIONARY BIOINFORMATICS LAB
FIELD BIRD BIOLOGY LAB
INTRODUCTION PHYCOLOGY LAB
APPLIED PHYCOLOGY LAB
LAB MODULE IN AQUATIC ECOLOGY WITH SCUBA
LABORATORY TRANSFER CREDIT IN BIOSCIENCES
BIOC Laboratory Course Requirement
Select 1 from the following or complete an additional laboratory course from the EBIO Laboratory requirement:1-2
ADVANCED EXPERIMENTAL BIOSCIENCES
INTRODUCTORY SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY
MICROBIOLOGY LABORATORY
LABORATORY IN TISSUE CULTURE
EXPERIMENTAL MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
EXPERIMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY
Natural Sciences or Engineering
Select 1 course offered by the School of Natural Sciences or the School of Engineering at the 300-level or above. 23
Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyMinimum of 61
University Graduation Requirements *60
Total Credit HoursMinimum of 121

Footnotes and Additional Information 

Policies for the BS Degree with a Major in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Advising 

Rice University policies are governed primarily by the General Announcements; students are encouraged to look there first for academic policies. Advising information specific to the Department of BioSciences can be found at the department website by clicking on the tab for Undergraduate Studies: http://biosciences.rice.edu/.

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. The Office of Academic Advising maintains the university’s official list of transfer credit advisors on their website: http://oaa.rice.edu. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s transfer credit advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities. 

Departmental Transfer Credit Guidelines

Students pursuing the major in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology should be aware of the following departmental transfer credit guidelines:

  • Requests for transfer credit will be considered by the program director (and/or the program’s official transfer credit advisor) on an individual case-by-case basis. 

For additional information, please see the BioSciences website: http://biosciences.rice.edu/.  

Opportunities for the BS Degree with a Major in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Academic Honors

The university recognizes academic excellence achieved over an undergraduate’s academic history at Rice. For information on university honors, please see Latin Honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) and Distinction in Research and Creative Work. Some departments have department-specific Honors awards or designations.

Departmental Honors

Instructions on applying for the Distinction in Research and Creative Work award from the Department of BioSciences can be found at the department website, by clicking on the link for Undergraduate Studies, at: http://biosciences.rice.edu/.

Research in the BioSciences

Research is highly encouraged for all biosciences majors, and there are many opportunities for independent research at Rice. Information about research for credit and research internships specific to the Department of BioSciences can be found at the department website, by clicking on the link for Undergraduate Studies, at: http://biosciences.rice.edu/.

For additional information, please see the BioSciences website: http://biosciences.rice.edu/.