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Undergraduate Studies

Students interested in majoring in EEB should make an appointment with the Undergraduate Administrator, Lolly O'Brien. You can do this through the Web Appointment Scheduling System: If you have questions, please email her at

The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) at Princeton is one of the top-ranked whole-organism biology departments in the country. The department came into being when the Biology Department was divided into Molecular Biology (MolBio) and EEB. What, then, is the difference between these two biology departments?

Molecular Biology focuses primarily on the events occurring on the surface of and inside cells. EEB encompasses essentially everything else, including, for instance, the coordination of organs in the body via hormones; neural processing and the behavior it generates; the evolution of physiology, morphology, patterns of development, life-history strategies, parasite/prey interactions, behavior, and even of life itself; the interaction of organisms, whether of the same species (as in competition, mate attraction and sexual selection, or social interactions), or of different species organized into communities; and ultimately the relationships of communities with the inorganic world—a set of interactions that generates ecosystems.

In short, the EEB faculty is interested in the entire rich tapestry of life (including many of the processes studied by molecular biologists), but always from an evolutionary perspective. Much of the work in the department is highly relevant to conservation.

The program of study is designed to ensure students get both a broad and deep education. While it is expected that students take at least one course in each of the Department's core areas—ecology/conservation, evolution/genetics, and behavior/physiology—there are ample opportunities to take additional higher level courses in each area, and in the related fields of public policy, natural history, and the evolutionary aspects of developmental biology. Moreover, for students especially interested in field work and the rich dynamics of the tropics, the Department offers an entire semester abroad in Panama and Kenya

EEB typically graduates 50 students annually. About a third of our majors go on to medical or veterinary school. Another third continue with postgraduate programs, while most of the rest pursue careers in ecology, forestry, wildlife management, or conservation.

Lars Hedin

Photos top to bottom: Lars O. Hedin, Chair; Guyot Hall 1910; Eno Hall 1924; Guyot Hall gargoyle