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Biology - Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Major Guide for 2008-2009

What is Biology - Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

The Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) concentration is designed for students interested in pursuing careers that require a better understanding of our natural world. This concentration highlights the ecology and evolutionary biology of living organisms, as well as animal behavior. A heavy emphasis is placed on behavioral ecology, population biology, conservation biology, and both macro- and microevolution.
The EEB concentration is similarly applicable to students who are planning careers in medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, or teaching, or who wish to enter graduate school in pursuit of advanced degrees and careers as professional biologists. The EEB curriculum accommodates these student interests with an emphasis in either basic or applied science. Basic scientists emphasize research for the sake of extending our knowledge of basic biological processes, whereas applied scientists address problems that directly or indirectly impact humans and the environment in which they live. In practice, each type of science relies very heavily on the strengths of the other, and they are commonly linked.
The faculty associated with this concentration is a mix of nationally and internationally known senior professors who are very active in research, and a new cadre of energetic junior faculty who are at the cutting edges of their fields. Our interests range from mathematical ecology through evolutionary genetics to field studies of behavior.

Career Opportunities in Biology - Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

The goal of the EEB concentration is to provide students with the necessary intellectual and technological tools to access and succeed in a wide variety of careers. Career opportunities exist in

  • education at all levels;
  • basic and applied research at colleges and universities;
  • governmental agencies; and
  • the private sector through ecological consulting, conservation and natural resource management, environmental planning, human health sciences, and veterinary sciences.

Requirements for Biology - Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Prerequisite courses (required for all biological sciences concentrations)

  • Chemistry 120 & 130 General Chemistry (4, 4)
  • Physics 221 & 222 Elements of Physics (4, 4)
  • Math 141 & 142 Calculus I, II (4, 4), or Math 151 & 152 Mathematics for the Life Sciences I, II (3, 3)
    Note that Math 141-142 is recommended for students with a strong interest in quantitative ecology and is prerequisite to several courses that satisfy the EEB Quantitative Requirement.
  • Biology 130 Biodiversity (4), or Biology 111 & 112 General Botany (4, 4)
  • Biology 140 Organization and Function of the Cell (4), Biology 240 General Genetics (4), and Biology 250 General Ecology (4)

The EEB concentration consists of 32 hours:

  • Chemistry Requirement: Chemistry 350.
  • Quantitative Requirement*: Statistics 201 or Statistics 251 and one course from (note prerequisites in parentheses): Math 231 (Prereq. Math 141-142); Math 251 (Prereq. Math 141-142); Math 405 (Prereq. Math 141-142 or 151-152); Statistics 320 (Prereq. Statistics 201); Statistics 330 (Prereq. Statistics 201).
    *Math 141-142 OR 151-152 can be used to satisfy EEB requirements. However, Math 141-142 is recommended for students with a strong interest in quantitative ecology and is prerequisite to several courses that satisfy the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Quan­titative Requirement.
  • Upper Division Courses: A total of 24 additional hours is required at the 300 level or above to include at least 15 hours from Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and at least one course from each of the following categories:
    A. Evolution
    EEB 410 Plant Evolutionary Morphol­ogy(4)
    EEB 465* Evolutionary and Functional Vertebrate Morphology(4)
    EEB 460 Evolution(4)
    EEB 495 Evolutionary Ecology(3)
    B. Ecology 
    EEB 433* Plant Ecology(3)
    EEB 446* Introduction to Oceanogra­phy(4)
    EEB 470* Aquatic Ecology(3)
    EEB 484 Conservation Biology(3)
    Microbiology 470 Microbial Ecology(3)
    C. Organismal Biology
    EEB 330 Field Botany(3)
    EEB 360* Comparative Invertebrate Biology(4)
    EEB 380* General Entomology(3)
    EEB 414 Plant Anatomy(3)
    EEB 450 & 459* Comparative Animal Behavior(3) and Comparative Animal Behavior Laboratory(3)
    EEB 461* Special Topics in Organismal Behavior(3)
    EEB 474* Ichthyology(4)
    D. Physiology/Chemical Ecology
    EEB 321 Introductory Plant Physiology(4)
    BCMB 310 Physiological Chemistry(4)
    BCMB 415 & 416* Foundations in Neurobiology(3) and Neurobiology Laboratory(3)
    BCMB 419* Cellular and Comparative Biochemistry Laboratory(2)
    BCMB 440 General Physiology(3)
    Chemistry 360 & 369* Organic Chemistry(3) and Organic Chemistry Laboratory(2) Micro 310 & 319* Introduction to Microbiology(2) and Introduction to Microbiology Laboratory(2)
    *indicates courses with a lab or field component

Honors Option Requirements:

  • fulfill all requirements for the biological sciences EEB major
  • a GPA of 3.5 in all the 300-level and above courses from the concentration and an overall GPA of 3.2
  • a minimum of 4 hours of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 400, Undergraduate Research, during the junior and senior years
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 407, Senior Thesis
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 490, Undergraduate Seminar

Ready for the World logoReady for the World

"Ready for the World” is part of a long-range plan to transform the UTK campus into a culture of diversity that best prepares students for working and competing in the 21st century.  Thus students are encouraged to actively participate in the diverse cultural programs offered on campus.  Some of these events include the guest lecture series, cultural nights at the International House, and international film screenings.  Visit the Center for International Education website ( or the Ready for the World website ( for more information on upcoming cultural programs and activities. 
Students are also encouraged to develop a global perspective within their academic program through study abroad.  Visit the Programs Abroad Office website ( for information on study abroad opportunities.

Learn more about UT's Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today's world.

Sample Curriculum

Freshman Year Credit Hours
English Composition 6
Mathematics 141-142 or 151-152 6-8
Biology 130 or 111-112 4-8
Biology 140 4
Chemistry 120, 130 8
General Elective 0-2
Sophomore Year Credit Hours
Foreign Language (intermediate level) 6
Chemistry 350 3
Stats 201 or 251 3
Biology 240, 250 8
EEB (major) 3
Statistics 201 or 251 3
Social Science 3
Junior Year Credit Hours
EEB (major) 6
Physics 221, 222 8
Humanities 3
Upper Level Distribution 3
Math 231, 251, 405, Stats 320, or Stats 330 3
Non-US History Sequence 6
Philosophy 242 or 244 (Communicating Orally) 3
Senior Year Credit Hours
EEB (major) 15
Upper Level Distribution 3
Communicating Through Writing (Upper Division) 3
Upper Division Elective 6
Social Science 3
GRAND TOTAL (minimum) 120

For More Information

Christine Boake, Ph.D.
Department Head
509 Dabney Hall
(865) 974-3065



The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.