Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology

Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology

Columbia University’s Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology (E3B) Certificate 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 certificate 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 Certificate 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 certificate must be taken for a letter grade. Courses with a grade below a C will not count toward the completion of the certificate. Students who successfully complete 12 points with a B or better in each class will be awarded a Certificate in Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology. (Precise point total can vary, depending on student’s experience.)

For detailed course descriptions, please visit the courses page and select the subject area you are interested in.


To apply, follow the Summer Sessions application instructions for your admissions category:

Visiting Postbaccalaureate

Individuals with a bachelor’s degree or higher degree.

See Details >

The E3B Certificate program also accepts students in the Fall and Spring.

Contact the Department

General Information, Admissions Questions, and Advising

certificates [at]
Other Program Contacts

Meet with an Admissions Counselor

Are you a prospective student interested in learning additional information about this program? Schedule an on-campus or phone appointment with an Admissions Counselor online. 

Appointment Hours: 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., ET, Monday–Friday

Schedule an Appointment

Currently, the Office of Admissions offers Virtual Walk-In Hours for prospective degree and non-degree students from 12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. ET (15-minute sessions), Monday through Thursday.

Walk-In Hours: Monday to Thursday (excluding University holidays), 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. ET


If you are a current student or an admitted student starting next term, contact a member of our SPS Student Advising Team for information and guidance.

Application Document Submission and Application Processing Questions


Mailing Address and Campus Location

Office of Enrollment Management
School of Professional Studies
203 Lewisohn Hall
2970 Broadway, Mail Code 4119
New York, NY 10027-6902
Office hours: Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.