Ecology and Evolutionary Biology / Undergraduate Study

Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution BS

Capstone Major

The Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution major is appropriate for students preparing for graduate study in ecology, behavior, and evolution or for employment in areas such as environmental biology, animal behavior, conservation, teaching, museum work, and governmental positions dealing with environmental issues of wide importance and impact. A strong field component involving study in terrestrial and marine locales such as coastal, desert, and mountain environments in California and the Southwest and in the Neotropics is required.

Learning Outcomes

The Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution major has the following learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrated broad knowledge of fundamentals of ecology, behavior and evolution, or marine biology acquired through coursework
  • Development of skills in library research, data interpretation, synthesis, and scientific writing
  • Use of current primary scientific literature, including database searches, identification of appropriate sources, and reading and understanding papers
  • Understanding of key questions and hypotheses, interpretation of results and conclusions, and discrimination of quality through critique
  • Use of knowledge gained for conception and execution of student project that includes self-developed questions and hypotheses, design of appropriate theoretical or empirical/experimental approach, execution of that approach, and analysis and interpretation of data
  • Communication of original scientific work to colleagues and mentors through capstone scientific paper
  • Demonstrated communication skills through oral or poster presentation at a symposium
  • Display of strong teamwork and problem-solving skills

Preparation for the Major

Life Sciences Core Curriculum

Required: Chemistry and Biochemistry 14A, 14B, 14BL, 14C, and 14D, or 20A, 20B, 20L, 30A, 30AL, and 30B; Life Sciences 30A, 30B, and 40 or Statistics 13, or Mathematics 3A, 3B, 3C, and Life Sciences 40 or Statistics 13, or Mathematics 31A, 31B, 32A, and Life Sciences 40 or Statistics 13; Physics 1A, 1B, 1C, 4AL, and 4BL, or 5A, 5B, and 5C.

Students must also complete one of two life sciences sequences — either Life Sciences 1, 2, 3, 4, and 23L, or 7A, 7B, 7C, and 23L. They may not substitute courses in either sequence.

Each core curriculum course must be passed with a grade of C− or better, and all courses must be completed with an overall grade-point average of 2.0 or better. Students receiving a grade below C− in two core curriculum courses, either in separate courses or repetitions of the same course, are subject to dismissal from the major.

Transfer Students

Transfer applicants to the Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution major with 90 or more units must complete the following introductory courses prior to admission to UCLA: one year of general biology with laboratory for majors, preferably equivalent to Life Sciences 1 and 2, or 7A, 7B, and 7C, one year of calculus, one year of general chemistry with laboratory for majors, and one semester of organic chemistry with laboratory. A second semester of organic chemistry or one year of calculus-based physics is strongly recommended but not required for admission.

Refer to the UCLA transfer admission guide for up-to-date information regarding transfer selection for admission.

The Major

Students must complete the following courses:

  1. At least 4 morphology and systematics units (one course) from Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 101, 103, 105, 110, 111, 112, 113A, 113AL, 114A, 115, 117, or 130
  2. At least 4 physiology units (one course) from Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 162, 162L, 170, or Physiological Science 166. Students with credit for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 170 cannot also take Physiological Science 166
  3. At least 12 ecology, behavior, and evolution units (three courses) from Anthropology 128A, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 100, 113A, 113AL, 116, C119A, C119B, 120, 121, 122, C126, 128, 129, 130, 133, C135, 136, 137, 142, 144, 151A, 152, 153, 154, 155, 161, 162, CM173 (or Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences CM173), C174, 175, M178 (or Bioengineering CM186 or Computational and Systems Biology M186 or Computer Science CM186), 185, 186, Life Sciences 107 (students with credit for Life Sciences 4 cannot take Life Sciences 107). Students with credit for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 120 cannot also take course 185
  4. One capstone field quarter consisting of 12 to 16 units from the Field Biology Quarter (FBQ), Marine Biology Quarter (MBQ), or preapproved equivalent (see undergraduate adviser)
  5. At least 8 units (two courses) from Anthropology 128P, chemistry (except Chemistry and Biochemistry 188SA through 199; Chemistry and Biochemistry 153A and 153L are strongly recommended), Earth, planetary, and space sciences (geology only; except Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences 188 through 199), ecology and evolutionary biology (except Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 188SA through 196), geography (except Geography 188SA through 199), Life Sciences 107 (students with credit for Life Sciences 4 cannot take Life Sciences 107), mathematics (except Mathematics 105A, 105B, 105C, 106, 188SA through 199), microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics (except Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics 193A through 199), Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology 172, physics (except Physics 188SA through 199); recommended: taxon-oriented courses in ecological, behavioral, and evolutionary processes such as Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 111, 112, 113A, 113AL, 114A, 115

A maximum of 8 units of the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 198 series or 4 units of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 199 may be applied toward the major. Credit for 199 courses from other departments may not be applied.

Courses offered as part of the Field Biology Quarter (FBQ) are open to all qualified students, but strict priority is given to students who are Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution majors, are graduating seniors, have taken a broad range of ecology, behavior, and evolution coursework, and have maintained a good grade-point average.

With consent of the instructors and department, students may enroll in 200-level courses and apply them toward major requirements.

Each course applied toward requirements for preparation for the major and the major must be taken for a letter grade. Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution majors must earn a C− or better in each course taken as preparation for the major, and at least a 2.0 (C) overall average in all courses applied toward the major. Courses applied to upper-division major requirements must have a minimum of 4 units. A six-unit course counts as one course on the requirements for the major.

As requisites for the Marine Biology Quarter, students must have a 3.0 overall grade-point average and have taken Statistics 13 or equivalent. Preference for the Marine Biology Quarter is given to Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution majors, and Marine Biology majors. It is strongly recommended that students complete Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 109 and 109L prior to applying for the Marine Biology Quarter. Contact the Undergraduate Advising Office for all requirements for the Marine and Field Biology Quarters.