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Choose your specialty

Our coursework lets you specialize in areas from aquatic to terrestrial to theoretical.

Ecology Major

  • Gain a solid foundation in the biological sciences.
  • Specialize in a discipline within the broad field of ecology such as terrestrial, aquatic, organismal, etc.
  • Learn from our uniquely specialized faculty from different departments.

What Will I Learn?

The ecology major emphasizes the interaction of organisms with their environment. You will start with basic background coursework in biology including introductory biology, botany or zoology, and genetics or evolution. From there you’ll go on through general ecology and into a number of exciting options allowing you to specialize in a variety of areas from aquatic to terrestrial to theoretical.

What is Unique About Our Program?

The program is supported by professional ecologists in departments across campus specializing in sub-disciplines such as wildlife ecology, plant and forest ecology, wetlands ecology, aquatic ecology, ecosystem ecology, biogeochemical cycling, ornithology, animal behavior and conservation biology.

Participation in a variety of undergraduate research projects with faculty mentorship is encouraged, taking you into the Adirondack Mountains, Lake Champlain and our Ecosystem Studies Field Lab at Miner Institute — an 8,000 acre field site where you can pursue field-oriented courses in field ecology, forest ecology and management, soils, or wildlife ecology and management.

What Are My Career Opportunities?

Ecologists enter a variety of careers with state and federal government agencies, private consulting and industry, schools and colleges and non-governmental organizations.

Job titles include:

  • Field/research technician
  • Natural resource manager
  • Park ranger
  • Environmental analyst
  • Field ecologist
  • K-12 teacher
  • Wildlife specialist
  • Field naturalist
  • Fisheries specialist
  • Forester
  • Environmental consultant


Government agencies employing ecologists range from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Park Service. Ecology majors are also ideally suited to become high school biology teachers in New York State upon completing a Master’s of Science in teaching.

For more information on careers in ecology, visit the careers page of the Ecological Society of America or visit view links to careers in ecology at the Center for Earth and Environmental Science.

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