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Ecology and Related Studies is a degree category that consists of the following common degrees:

  • Ecology



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    Among the topics that may be studied in ecology degree programs are:

    • Ecology, evolution, and adaptation
    • Terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems
    • Costs and benefits of social behaviors
    • Estimation of population density
    • Adaptations of predators
    • Food chains
    • Global patterns of biological diversity
    • Environmental issues and resource management
    • Global warming
    • Ecological field and lab techniques

    Programs typically combine classroom instruction with laboratory activity and fieldwork.

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  • Marine Biology



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    Marine Biology

    What exists under the Earth’s waters has been a subject of fascination for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Studying sea life helps us understand the world we live in, especially since the oceans cover over 70% of the surface of our planet! There is an incredible amount of research to be done in this field, as scientists estimate that only about 5% of the oceans have been explored so far.

    Marine biology is the study of marine or saltwater organisms in their natural habitat—and marine biologists study everything from microscopic picoplankton and single-celled bacteria, to giant kelp and the majestic blue whales. They focus on understanding how marine organisms function today in order to predict how ecosystems will cope with large-scale changes such as climate change, overfishing, pollution, and invasive species.

    Research projects are at the heart of what most marine biologists do, whether it be actually collecting specimens in the field, compiling research data, finding real life applications for the research data, or classroom teaching.

    The minimum educational requirement to work as a marine biologist is a university undergraduate degree. A graduate degree is required for independent research.

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  • Conservation Biology



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    Conservation Biology

    Conservation biology is a life science. Its mission is to protect and restore biodiversity – the diversity of plant and animal life on Earth.

    To preserve biodiversity, conservation biologists are focused on three questions: How is the diversity of life distributed around the planet? What threats does this diversity face? What can we do to reduce or eliminate these threats? These questions are at the heart of degree programs in conservation biology, which explore biodiversity at the genetic, species, and ecosystem levels.

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  • Epidemiology



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    Epidemiology, a fundamental science of public health, is concerned with health and disease at the population level; that is to say, within groups or communities. Its focus is the frequency, pattern, causes, and risk factors of diseases and other health-related events within these specified populations, which range from neighborhoods and schools to cities, states, countries, and the world at large.

    Epidemiologists – often referred to as disease detectives – are the scientists and investigators whose work begins with looking for clues by asking questions. Who is sick? What are their symptoms? When did they get sick? Where could they have been exposed? Using statistical analysis, epidemiologists study answers to these questions and produce data that lead them to identify how a particular health problem was introduced, how its spread can be controlled, and how it can be prevented.

    The historical foundation of epidemiology is the study of the causes and symptoms of infectious diseases or epidemics. Examples include Legionnaires’ Disease and SARS. The field has grown significantly, however, and now encompasses the study of all types of health conditions and risks.

    Degree programs in epidemiology include coursework in public health, the biological and physical sciences, and statistics. Students learn about statistical methods, causal analysis, survey design, and applications of data.

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