Doctoral degree in Interdisciplinary Ecology:
The doctoral program is for graduate students who have had a preliminary research experience in a master's program or as an advanced undergraduate. Students use their prior experience to identify research areas in which they excel and to refine the kinds of research questions or problems they want to develop as their signature intellectual endeavor prior to employment. Students ordinarily complete the doctoral degree in four to five years after completion of the master's degree. By including a concentration in the interdisciplinary curriculum, students acquire a "T-shaped" view, with depth in one area and breadth in many. Although every degree will look different a sample plan of study has been included for your convenience.
The Interdisciplinary Ecology graduate degree program considers the Social-Ecological System the proper conceptual framework for understanding the full scope of complex, adaptive systems comprising humans in the natural world. (See the curriculum webpage for a diagrammatic depiction.) The degree program challenges students to understand both natural and human dynamics to obtain a holistic view and to foster integration of human activities with natural resources and the environment. This is a remarkably difficult goal, but experience shows that the program works on two levels. First, students map their interests on the particular components and processes of the Social-Ecological System and select courses that provide formal training in important areas of connection. Second, the discipline of this program of study sets up a life-long habit of learning that enables alumni to continue to grow intellectually and adapt to changing needs encountered in their careers.
The ultimate responsibility for your degree program is yours, but the university empowers a Supervisory Committee of Interdisciplinary Ecology faculty to guide you and to decide whether you have met the program's requirements and achieved its learning outcomes. The Graduate School requires that the Supervisory Committee comprise no fewer than three members of the Graduate Faculty of the University (including the committee chair), all three of whom must have Graduate Faculty appointments in the School of Natural Resources and Environment. The majority of your committee cannot be from the same department. The Graduate School does not require any external members on committees in this degree, but you may add non-SNRE faculty if you wish. Special members do not count toward the minimum committee number. If you want to add a professional who is not a member of the UF Graduate Faculty, please provide the person's recent CV to the SNRE Academic Program Coordinator, who will handle the "Special Member" approval process with the Graduate School. Your committee must be appointed no later than your second semester in the program.
To maintain its SACS Accreditation, the University requires that each graduate student's achievement of formal Learning Outcomes be assessed by a group of faculty. At the end of your qualifying examination and your dissertation defense, your Supervisory Committee will assess your achievement of the School's learning outcomes in the Interdisciplinary Ecology degree program as follows, based on your program of study, defense of your research, and professional behavior over the duration of your degree program:
Knowledge Outcome: Thorough understanding of the components, processes, and interactions of the social-ecological system.
Professional Behavior Outcome: Interacting with professional peers with honesty, ethical behavior, cultural sensitivity, teamwork, and effective communication.
* Appropriate courses from prior master's work count toward this requirement if approved by the supervisory committee, making these credit hours available for electives.
* Actual programs of study will differ, in part because so many parameters pertain (such as varying research schedules). Most students ultimately take more than the required total number of credit hours. For students on 12-month state personnel appointments, you must take exactly 9 credit hours during fall and spring semesters and 6 credit hours during summer semester if on an assistantship, or 12 credit hours during fall and spring semesters and 8 credit hours during summer semester if on a fellowship (you may take more credits but must pay the additional tuition and fees). For students on 9-month state personnel appointments, you may choose to not register for summer semester; you will need to contact the Registrar's Office to be assigned a registration date for the next semester. If you will not be registered for two or more consecutive semesters, you must file an Interruption of Graduate Study form and then submit a Readmission Application form. A student not registered for seven or more years must reapply using the Admissions form. A student must graduate within five years of taking the Qualifying Examination or must re-qualify and submit a new Admission to Candidacy form.
Last Modified: Friday, March 24, 2017 10:26