Ornithology Graduate Education

Two large beige eggs with brown spots

KU Ornithology is affiliated with the degree-granting Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, which offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees.  Interested students are encouraged to contact faculty members with complementary research interests. Curators, who are also faculty members in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, advise students, include them in research expeditions and serve on their M.A. and Ph.D. committees.  About 50 students are in residence at the Biodiversity Institute, which includes Ornithology. 

KU Ornithology welcomes inquiries from potential students interested in evolutionary biology and avian systematics. Students with interests in phylogenetic systematics, phylogeography, population and conservation genetics, biogeography, character evolution, and the evolution of animal behavior and ecological traits are particularly encouraged to consider KU for graduate studies.

It is critically important for students to develop their own evolutionary questions and model systems for independent research; we always encourage students to pursue dissertation topics of their own design. If you are interested in discussing the possibility of applying to KU to work with a current faculty curator, please take the time to study the research interests of your potential mentor, publications list, etc.,—all in an effort to determine if your interests are compatible with the research conducted at KU Ornithology. Ornithology faculty curators who advise and/or coadvise EEB students include A. Townsend Peterson and Robert G. Moyle.

Learn more about the KU Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology admission process, program and more on the KU EEB website