Graduate Programs


Few universities have the fertile research environment that The University of Toledo offers. Toledo's location near Lake Erie and its diverse ecosystems — from wetlands to savannahs and woodlands — provide a rich laboratory and opportunities for hands-on field work near campus.  

Our Ecology and Organismal Biology program focuses on laboratory and field experiences for both M.S. and Ph.D. students in close collaboration with research-active faculty.  

Our graduate education and research strengths are in: 

  • Earth surface processes 
  • Aquatic, landscape, microbial, plant, animal, soil and systems ecology 
  • Bioremediation 

Top Reasons to Study ecology and organismal biology at UToledo

  1. Outstanding faculty.
    UToledo's Ecology faculty are prolific researchers and publishers who take pride in advising graduate students. Faculty advisors challenge M.S. and Ph.D. students to develop independent approaches to solving environmental problems, mentor them throughout the research process and encourage students to publish their findings.   
  2. Cutting-edge research facilities.

    UToledo is well equipped with the tools to conduct advanced research, from drones to recently renovated laboratories with the latest technology and resources.  

    • Graduate students conduct research in UToledo's on-campus greenhouse and on the grounds of the nearby, 47-acre Stranahan Arboretum.  
    • Students interested in aquatic research work in the state-of-the art Lake Erie Center. UToledo faculty and students have access to labs, classrooms and research boats to study harmful algal bloomswater quality, fish ecology and more. The center is located on the shoreline of Lake Erie, a 30-minute drive from UToledo’s Main Campus. 
  3. A unique, natural laboratory.

    The Toledo region offers an ideal environment to study ecology. Its unique natural habitats and landforms — glacial terrains, Lake Erie's fisheries and wetlands, savannas and woodlands — are close to an urban population. This combination allows our graduate students and faculty to conduct relevant research that focuses on current problems facing our environment, including exotic species invasions, nutrient pollution and compromised water quality.  

  4. Financial aid.
    The Department of Environmental Sciences offers tuition waivers and stipends to graduate students working as teaching or research assistants.

Our M.S. and Ph.D. graduate students work directly with expert scientists in the lab and in the field. Each year, our faculty members receive as much as $3 million in research grants and co-author more than 70 publications with student researchers.  

Master’s and doctoral students in Ecology at UToledo have access to top-notch research labs and tools, as well as the rich, natural laboratory of the Toledo region for field and research experiences. 

Faculty in UToledo’s Department of Environmental Sciences also are engaged in diverse public outreach and education activities. An interactive website was developed as part of a research study to provide education tools for high-school students to explore the role of plant litter decomposition in the global carbon cycle.  

Our faculty also help solve environmental problems throughout our region. They serve on the Lucas County Soil and Water and Maumee Area of Concern Action committees and assist local nonprofits and government agencies. One faculty member studied the effects of algal blooms on turtles


What jobs can I get with an ecology and organismal biology degree?

Most M.S. students in Ecology and Organismal Biology continue their studies in professional and Ph.D. programs. 

UToledo M.S. Biology students have been accepted into doctoral programs at:

  • Kansas State University
  • Michigan State University
  • Ohio State University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Florida
  • University of Illinois-Urbana
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Tennessee at Knoxville joint PhD program with Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • University of Texas-Austin

Alumni of our M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Ecology have been hired as or work for:  

  • Chair of the Hazard Resilience in Coastal Communities focus team and program officer for the Oregon and Washington Sea Grant program, NOAA national Sea Grant office, Washington, D.C.
  • Data manager, National Park Service Biological Resource Management Division
  • Democratic staff director, Environment Subcommittee of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives
  • Director of natural resources, Santo Domingo Pueblo, N.M.
  • High school teachers and university professors
  • Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Columbus
  • Post-doc at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Wooster, Ohio
  • Research scientist, University of Colorado-Boulder
  • Senior ecologist at EnviroScience, Inc., Swanton, Ohio
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Alaska
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • Wetland project coordinator, The University of Toledo







How to Apply to Graduate School

Find your next steps whether you are a new student, readmit student or guest student.

Learn More

Back to Top

Last Updated: 4/24/24