Joint Doctorate Program with San Diego State University

The JDPE is a doctoral degree that is run jointly by the Ecology Program at San Diego State University and the Ecology Graduate Group at UC Davis. The joint nature of the doctoral program offers two primary advantages. First, students benefit from contact and expertise in and outside of the classroom with faculty members of two strong ecology programs. Second, across the two campuses, students have the opportunity to access facilities and field sites in nearly all the major biomes of California. JDPE students spend their first year at San Diego State University with their adviser to begin preparation of a thesis proposal. The student then moves to UC Davis for additional course work and for the Qualifying Examination. On return to San Diego State University, the thesis research is completed, and the dissertation is prepared and defended. The Ph.D. degree is awarded jointly by San Diego State University and UC Davis.

The Application Process

Students interested in the Joint Program must apply first at UC Davis and specifically to the Joint Program. Students can apply to both the UC Davis programs and the Joint Program, but they must apply separately to each.  Be sure to select Ecology (Joint Program with San Diego State University) on the application.

All application requirements remain the same for the UC Davis application.  However, students should list San Diego State University faculty that they wish to work with, not UC Davis faculty.  Since Joint Program students will be at San Diego State University for the majority of the program, their major professor must be at San Diego State University.

If admitted, students will be given instructions to also apply to San Diego State University.  This application will be a formality but will require an additional fee and official transcripts to be sent to San Diego State University.  Test scores can be shared between the two universities.

Contact Information 

Walter C. Oechel, Coordinator of the Ecology Doctoral Program

Department of Biology

San Diego State University

San Diego, California 92182-4614