Ecology Major


Why Ecology?

Ecology combines the best of many worlds, including biology, environmental sciences and geology, to better understand the relationships organisms have with their environments.

Students in the Ecology ECOL program may also be interested in studying Marine and Freshwater Biology, Wildlife Biology and Conservation, Environmental Biology or other majors.

To see all courses offered in this degree, visit our 2023-2024 Academic Calendar.

Gain Valuable Experience Through Co-op

Our Ecology co-op is a five-year program, with four co-op work terms, providing opportunities to work with a wide variety of employers. Co-op is designed to facilitate the transition of students from academic studies to a professional career, improving students’ job search skills, work performance and networking abilities, and boosting resume experience.

To see all courses offered in the co-op program, visit our 2023-2024 Academic Calendar.

Explore Connections Between Organisms and Environments

 A Growing, Multidisciplinary Field

How do plants, animals, and microbes interact with their surroundings? Through field-based work and theoretical knowledge, explore how humans help and hinder these connections. Ecology draws on many other fields, including biology, environmental sciences and geology.

 Understand Broad Ecological Topics

Our faculty work in both land and aquatic ecosystems on a broad range of topics, including how organisms respond to changing environmental conditions, the structure and dynamics of populations and communities, and ecosystems processes.

 Go Beyond the Classroom

Immerse yourself in great field courses taking you to Algonquin Park, Churchill, Man., Nova Scotia and more, and make use of incredible research facilities on campus, such as the Phytotron and Hagen Aqualab.

What Can You Do with a Degree in Ecology?

Why do species become endangered? What happens to an ecosystem when a species is removed? Our Ecology students graduate with a deep understanding of the complex relationships between organisms and the environment.

Here are just a few careers our ECOL program graduates have successfully pursued:

  • Habitat conservation and restoration consultant
  • Environmental protection agent
  • Scientific writer/editor
  • Conservation ecologist

Interested in learning more? Attend a Program Information Webinar on U of G's environment programs.

Nicole Byrne
Choosing Ecology at the University of Guelph has been one of the best choices I have made! Many courses within the program have provided me with meaningful hands-on experience through fieldwork and data analysis, which has helped accelerate my career as an ecologist. Additionally, the Ecology program has a strong sense of community, which has provided me with lifelong friendships and invaluable connections. I would wholeheartedly recommend this program to anyone who would like to make a difference in our environment!

Nicole Byrne, Undergraduate Student

Joshua Persi
What I like the most about the environmental sciences degree is the versatility. You don’t have to choose your major until second year, so you have tons of time to explore your options and see which major appeals to you. Plus, if you have the inclination, there is the opportunity to apply to the co-op program to supplement your education. 

Joshua Persi
Read Joshua's story

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Are you ready to Improve Life?