Doctoral Degree

people at rivers edge

A detailed time line towards completing a PhD in EEB is available at

The EEB Graduate Handbook is available here

Course Requirements

Students must enroll for full-time study as defined by the university. Doctoral students must complete a minimum of 20 units of graduate-level courses (200-series). Students must take the following courses during their first year: (1) two from Ecology and Evolutionary Biology M200A, 200B, and 200C; (2) Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 250.

Additionally, students must fulfill the quantitative course requirements

Teaching Experience

Each student is required to serve a minimum of three terms as a teaching assistant.

Written and Oral Qualifying Examinations

Students are required to take the Departmental Written Qualifying Examination during their first year in residence. The examination consists of two parts. Part I examines the breadth of understanding (conceptual and synthetic) of the diversity of specialized subjects within integrative biology and consists of an examination based on two of the three following courses: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology M200A, 200B, and 200C. Part II consists of a first-year literature review and research proposal that is eight to ten pages in length. The first draft of the proposal must be submitted to the student's advisory committee for comment by the end of winter quarter. A final draft of the proposal must be submitted to the advisory committee in the eighth week of spring quarter. The advisory committee evaluates and grades the proposal as pass or not pass. The results from Parts I and II are forwarded to the graduate adviser.

The University Oral Qualifying Examination is conducted by the doctoral committee and must be completed by the end of the second year of graduate study. Students prepare, present and defend an original written dissertation proposal. The examination focuses on the content of the final dissertation proposal and topics directly related to it. The final dissertation generally follows the format of a National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant and forms the basis of the student's defense. The examination is graded pass, fail, or repeat. A failure results in a recommendation for termination of graduate study to the Graduate Division. A repeated examination is graded pass/fail only. Students who do not pass this examination and advance to doctoral candidacy by the end of winter quarter of their third year will lose fellowship support and access to departmental grants.

Doctoral Dissertation

Every doctoral degree program requires the completion of an approved dissertation that demonstrates the student's ability to perform original, independent research and constitutes a distinct contribution to knowledge in the principal field of study. EEB dissertations are typically written as a series of scientific papers along with a general introduction and a comprehensive bibliography. The official dissertation preparation guide is available from the UCLA Graduate Division web site at,


The normative time for the Ph.D. degree is 18 quarters.

Ph.D. 6 18 24