Mission and Overview


The primary mission of the Ecological Sciences and Engineering Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (ESE-IGP) is to provide students with educational and research experiences that integrate engineering and science concepts to solve major environmental problems using an ecological approach.

Here, we define "science" as observation/monitoring of systems and elucidation of processes/phenomena at appropriate scales, while "engineering" is defined as the design of a system--based on scientific understanding--which mitigates a problem of interest. Thus, the academic discipline departments provide the foundation while the interdisciplinary graduate program promotes complementary integrating themes.

This program will also serve as a catalyst to promote collaborative interdisciplinary environmental and ecological research among Purdue University faculty members.


Students who are interested in being a part of the Ecological Sciences and Engineering Interdisciplinary Graduate Program can apply directly using the Graduate School application and selecting IESE - Interdisciplinary Ecological Sciences and Engineering.  Visit our ESE Admissions page for more information.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to begin communicating with ESE faculty early in the process.  This communication can determine potential matches for research advisors and home academic departments. 

ESE has partnerships with many of Purdue's academic departments. Students in the ESE program will also be a part of one of ESE's associated academic departments.  Typically this will be the same academic department of their major faculty advisor.  Students will be a part of the student community in both ESE and their academic department. 

ESE students will complete degree requirements for ESE and any requirements for their home academic department. The ESE program has five theme areas that students can choose for their graduate studies in ESE. Each theme draws from several core course areas, There is flexibility built in, allowing the student and their committee to tailor their plan of study toward their specific focus or unique area of research. 

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