Plus One Non-Thesis M.S. Program

The one-year, “Plus One” non-thesis Masters (M.S.) degree program in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology is open to students from universities or colleges other than Tulane. Like the 4+1 degree programs, which are open only to Tulane undergraduates, the Plus One degree is intended to serve as an accelerated terminal M.S. degree following completion of an undergraduate degree, condensing what would normally be about six years of study into five years.

Students pursuing the Plus One degree are expected to complete course work during one year of graduate study. It is recommended that incoming students have fulfilled basic requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree, with advanced coursework taken in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. If warranted, incoming students will be asked to take foundational courses to address breadth of knowledge concerns. Any deficiencies in foundational courses will be identified upon acceptance to the program. Plus One students must complete a minimum total of 30 semester hours (i.e., 8-10 courses) of graduate courses to earn the degree. Two semesters of independent study or internship courses are recommended but not required. Graduate credits completed prior to entering the program are not transferable.

For more information about the Plus One program, please email the Plus One Advisor, Dr. Sunshine Van Bael.


The Plus One degree program is designed for students who are interested in seeking employment with environmental agencies of federal, state, and municipal government; non-governmental organizations; and in private industry, including environmental consulting firms. The program also will be useful for students planning to enter more advanced professional degree programs (e.g., law, public health, medicine, veterinary medicine, natural resources management) and for students intent on pursuing additional academic training (e.g., Ph.D. degree programs).

The Plus One degree program is intended to provide foundational and advanced academic training in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Organismal Biology, and related disciplines. The program involves completion of coursework and recommended completion of an independent study or an internship with an approved off-campus organization. These components distinguish this terminal degree program from the thesis-based M.S. degree in EEB. The opportunity to undertake independent study or to accrue on-the-job training with a governmental agency or private entity through an internship lends a unique character to this program and may provide students an advantage when seeking employment following graduation.

Eligibility and Application Requirements

By the time of application, candidates should have completed all proficiency, core and distribution requirements for a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. Candidates are required to have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and major GPA. The GRE exam is not required for this degree program.

Candidates should preferably apply for admission one academic term (e.g., semester or quarter) prior to completing their undergraduate degree. However, applications submitted during a candidate’s final academic term will be considered. Candidates may apply to enter the program during either the fall or spring semester of any academic year.

A complete application to the Plus One degree program must include the following:

  • Completed on-line application, including statement of purpose.
  • Three letters of recommendation (preferably two from science faculty).
  • Official scores from: TOEFL for international applicants (school code 6173).
  • Transcripts from all prior academic institutions attended.
  • Deadlines: June 1st to start in the fall semester, and November 1st to start in the spring semester.

Matriculation and Advising

After the admissions committee has completed the review of applicants, students who have been admitted to the Plus One degree program will be contacted via e-mail with information about entering the program. The information will include the following:

  • Date and time for orientation.
  • Date and time each student will meet with the faculty advisor prior to registering for classes.
  • Start date for classes during the first semester of study.


To receive the Plus One M.S. degree, each student must complete a total of 30 credit hours while at Tulane University. All degree requirements must be completed within two academic semesters, with a minimum cumulative GPA of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Prior to registration, each student must meet with the faculty advisor to review her/his transcripts and arrange an academic program. Any deficiencies in core courses, as well as courses needed to address the needs of the student, will be discussed at this time.


1. One semester of EEB Journal Review, EBIO 6810 (1 credit) in the Fall semester is required for the +1 Masters Degree.

2. As many as nine credits (three courses) counting toward the graduate degree may be taken as electives at the appropriate level in other graduate departments or schools, depending upon the interests and career goals of the student. The following courses from other departments may be used as electives in the graduate component up to the maximum of nine (9) credits allowed from outside EEB. Students may petition individually to have other, alternative courses added to their programs. Students should consult appropriate catalogs for any pre-requisites for these courses. Please see the  following link for a current list of the approved electives: Approved electives.

3. The remaining credits are to be selected with the faculty advisor from courses in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the 6000 and 7000 level. For detailed information about all the courses offered by EE Biology, review the EE Biology Expanded Course Catalog.

4. An internship or research experience is recommended, depending on the interests of the student. The options for internships and research include one of the two following sequences of courses. Students are expected to complete both semesters if pursing either one of these options.

  • EBIO 7150-7160 – Problems in Environmental Biology (3 credits each)  -  Directed independent study applying field and laboratory methods.
  • EBIO 7660-7670 – Internship in Environmental Biology (3 credits each)  -  Experiential learning in cooperation with federal, state, municipal, or private agencies and industry.


Students enrolled in the Plus One degree program pay reduced tuition, which is ~45% of full-time graduate tuition. For the academic year 2021-2022, the tuition is $12,500 per semester; the regular graduate tuition is $27,000 per semester. Teaching assistantships are not available to students pursuing the Plus One degree.

Additional required fees charged each semester, which are not discounted, include: the academic support services fee, student health service fee, Reily recreation center fee, and student activity fee, totaling ~$1,000.

All students are required to have health insurance while enrolled at Tulane. Students may elect to enroll in the Tulane sponsored health insurance plan.

The amounts for tuition and fees are subject to change.