Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Major

Does anyone have information or experience with this major? My daughter is trying to decide between UCI and another school. If anyone can provide information on professors, research experience, the program in general, I’d really appreciated it.


What’s the other school, if you don’t mind me asking? This is my field, and knowing to which college you are comparing UCI could be helpful.

Irvine seems to have a lot of younger faculty which is an indication of growth and investment by the university, and means that there is likely a lot of energy in the department. This will translate to more interesting classes and more focus on contemporary issues. It will also likely mean that there will be more interest in having undergraduates in the labs.

It is a pretty good department overall with a good reputation. I am a bit out of the loop, since I have stepped away from academia, though.

What particular directions interest your daughter?

Has she done a curriculum comparison for each school and if I remember correctly, she is deciding between UCI and UCD?

My son whom was a Environmental Science and Resource Management major with an emphasis in Ecology, had several research opportunities and was actually recommended for two by his professors at UCD.

The sample curriculum for UCI shows several Research course(s), so they are recommended and I would assume Research opportunities are available since they encourage participation.

What is her career goal since campus location could also determine the best program?

The other school is UC Davis.

She is interested in research and lab work over fieldwork. She might minor in chemistry so lab work is essential.

Thank you so much for your input!

Thank you for that! Her career goals are still a little fuzzy (I think a lot will depend on what type of research and lab work she can get). She prefers a lab setting to field work. She will be going to graduate school as well.

I keep hearing from Davis students that the school is very highly ranked in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. We just haven’t heard a lot about Irvine’s program.

Historically, UC Davis is considered extremely strong in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and overall stronger than UCI. However, your daughter should look at course requirements, courses that are available, and opportunities that are available for undergraduates. If those that are available at UCI seem better for her interests, then UCI would be the better choice.

As a rule, all other things being equal, I would recommend Davis. However, if there are things at Irvine which make it more attractive to her, than Irvine is unquestionably an excellent choice.

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Thank you so much! This really helps!