Columbia University’s Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology (E3B) Certification provides college graduates who did not major in environmental biology the kind of academic experience that highly competitive graduate programs require.

This program is primarily designed to be part-time, with students completing the certification in four to eight terms (including summers). If started in the summer term, the program can be completed in three intensive terms (one calendar year) on a full-time or near full-time basis.

A limited number of competitive research grants are available for admitted students that can provide up to $1,000 per student for independent lab or field research. Proposals for these grants, which are subject to review by a departmental committee, are evaluated on their research merit, tractability, and educational benefit to the student.

New York City-based institutions, including EcoHealth Alliance, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the American Museum of Natural History, and the New York Botanical Garden, offer research opportunities in affiliation with the E3B program.


The curriculum develops competency in the core sciences related to environmental biology – chemistry, biology, earth sciences, statistics, and conservation biology. Students will also take two advanced classes in ecology, evolution, organismal biology, or environmental policy.

The E3B Certification includes:

  • Two courses in Biology (including population, community, and ecosystem biology)
  • Two courses in Chemistry (can be substituted with one intensive chemistry course)
  • One course in environmental science (climate)
  • One course in statistics
  • One course in conservation biology
  • Two additional environmental biology electives

This curriculum can be adjusted for students who have already taken one or two of the basic courses. Students are required to maintain an overall minimum GPA of 3.0 (B). Every course creditable toward the certification must be taken for a letter grade. Courses with a grade below a C will not count toward the completion of the certification. Students who successfully complete 12 points are awarded a Certification of Professional Achievement in Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology. (Precise point total can vary, depending on student’s experience.)

Application Deadlines

International Students July 15
Domestic Students August 15
Summer Session 1
International Students May 1
Domestic Students May 14
Summer Session 2
International Students June 1
Domestic Students June 25
International Students November 15
Domestic Students January 5

Apply here for Fall or Spring. To apply for Summer, visit the Columbia Summer website.