Evolution, Ecology and Biodiversity


About the Major

As an Evolution, Ecology and Biodiversity (EEB) major, you will learn about the diversity of life on Earth, including diversity in genes, physiology, shapes, sizes and behaviors. You will learn about how this diversity emerged, as plants, animals, and microbes become adapted to the environment and to each other. And you will learn to predict whether populations of interacting organisms persist over time or become extinct. Theodosius Dobzhansky, a former professor at UC Davis and one of the great biologists of the 20th century, famously said that “nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution.” As an EEB major, you will learn the fundamental concepts that unify the biological sciences and form the foundation for efforts in the conservation and protection of the earth’s biodiversity.

The EEB major will prepare you for a career in the life sciences, whether you are interested in conservation and restoration biology—addressing the impacts of climate change, developing plans for habitat conservation and wildlife protection, or other issues critical to maintaining a healthy planet; or health sciences—working as a medical doctor or veterinarian helping humans and non-human animals achieve healthy lives; or science education—educating students and the public on the history and diversity of life on earth and the need to conserve it; or basic research in biology—helping to expand the frontiers of knowledge by studying the evolution of organisms and their ecosystems. The list of careers for EEB graduates goes on and on.

Unlike other majors in wildlife biology and environmental biology, the EEB major prepares a student for entrance into medical or veterinary school.

Evolution and Ecology faculty designed the major requirements to ensure that students have a broad and balanced exposure to basic principles in the biological sciences. The program of study begins with a core of introductory courses in biology, mathematics and physical sciences. This is followed by basic courses in evolution, ecology and biodiversity. Within the overall guidelines set by the major, students are allowed flexibility in designing a program uniquely fitted to her/his interests. As a part of a smaller major, you have the opportunity to get to know faculty in courses focused on conducting field experiments, on marine biology at the Bodega Marine Laboratory, on animal behavior, on microbial genetics, on computational biology, and many other areas. Students may also seek opportunities to conduct independent research under the mentorship of faculty and graduate students from the Department of Evolution and Ecology or beyond.

Download the CBS Majors Diagram to compare the evolution, ecology and biodiversity degree requirements to all other degrees offered in our college. For detailed information about this major, visit the Undergraduate Admissions website, or click on the link to the left.


A degree in evolution, ecology and biodiversity prepares the student for career opportunities in research, teaching, health professions, veterinary medicine, agriculture, environmental management, and industry. Many students gain some research experience while at UC Davis and choose to continue their training at the graduate level. This track offers careers in academics, government, or business.

For more information about the Department of Evolution and Ecology within the College of Biological Sciences, visit the Department of Evolution and Ecology website.

To learn more about career opportunities for ecologists, visit the Ecological Society of America website.