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Frequently Asked Questions

What is ESE?

The Ecological Sciences and Engineering graduate program is an interdisciplinary experience with unique professional development opportunities for M.S. and PhD students approved by the Graduate School at Purdue University, and administered through the Office of Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs with more than 140 affiliated faculty members. Your degree is granted by the graduate school through your home academic department (usually that of your faculty advisor) with the Ecological Sciences and Engineering IGP listed as your area of concentration.

How is ESE different than a traditional departmental experience?

Although ESE works closely with students' home academic departments, ESE provides the formal structure necessary for graduate students to obtain the breadth and critical thinking skills needed across disciplines to facilitate an interdisciplinary/interdepartmental educational experience that seamlessly integrates science and engineering concepts to explore and address short-term and long-term impacts of industrial, agricultural, and urban systems on natural and managed ecosystems across multiple spatial scales. Many real world environmental problems require serious interdisciplinary approaches.

What is the goal of ESE?

The primary educational objective of the Ecological Science and Engineering program is to empower students who have an undergraduate education in the sciences and/or engineering with the methods and ability to design and manage ecologically sustainable systems. The overall goal of the program is to produce students that are capable of reducing the "ecological footprint" of human society on earth.

What kind of jobs can I expect to be qualified after my degree in ESE?

An ESE graduate degree and experience will enhance your capacity for interdisciplinary problem solving, and thus make you a more attractive employee whether you continue in academia, go into industry, government, or join a non-profit organization. The short answer to this question is that ESE students study in many different areas, and you should research positions that graduates attain from your potential "affiliated or home" department.