Plants, animals, and microbes all play a key role in the sustainability of life on Earth. The Master's program in Environmental Biology offers you the opportunity to explore different organizational levels of life – from genes, cells, and organisms to populations and entire ecosystems.
In this program, you will study the fundamental life processes of plants, animals, and microbes. The interdisciplinary course content also offers you the chance to examine ecology, biology and animal behavior from an evolutionary perspective.
Within the Environmental Biology Master, you can select a specialized track from the following:
- Plant Biology
- Fungal Biology
- Ecology and Natural Resource Management
- Biomarine Sciences & Palaeoecology*
- Behavioral Ecology
* Note: this track is being offered until 2018/19. As from 2019/20, it will no longer be possible to enter this track.
Tailor-Made Study Plan
Alternatively, you can develop an individualized curriculum suited to your unique interests. We offer you considerable flexibility in choosing specific subfields or topics within Environmental Biology. See the study program and courses page
A significant proportion of Environmental Biology Master’s students continue on to Ph.D. studies. Utrecht University provides ample opportunities for Ph.D. research, such as the Ph.D. program in Environmental Biology. However, there are also excellent opportunities to perform your Ph.D. research elsewhere in the Netherlands or abroad.
Graduates that do not choose to follow a Ph.D. program can find employment in research institutes, such as RIVM, TNO, KNAW-NIOO, NIOZ, Plant Research International, in environmental consultancy firms, such as Arcadis, Royal Haskoning, Tauw Milieu, or Witteveen en Bos, or in or private or government nature protection or restoration organisations, such as World Wildlife Foundation, Natuurmonumenten, Wetlands International, Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, provincial water boards, or ministries and provincial authorities.
Students with a Behavioural Ecology background may find employment at Zoo's (e.g. Arnhem, Antwerp, Vogelpark Waldroden), Stichting AAP, or Noldus.
Students may also choose to follow a career in industry, such as the plant breeding companies Monsanto, ENZA Seeds, Rijk Zwaan, Nunhems Seeds, Syngenta, Nickerson Zwaan, or BEJO Seeds, or at biotechnology companies, such as DSM, Genetwister or Keygene.
If you want to find a job or internship in the Netherlands, knowing Dutch will get you places. Even if you work within an international organization, knowing at least some Dutch is always a benefit and in some cases even a requirement. In order to learn Dutch, free language websites such as duolingo.com or dutchgrammar.com can get you started or take a look at the Dutch courses offered by Babel. As a student from Utrecht University, you receive a 25% discount on their course offerings.
If you want to stay in the Netherlands after your graduation, you can apply for the ‘residence permit orientation year’. This permit can be submitted within 3 years after completing your studies and allows you unlimited working rights (hence: a work permit –TWV- is not required). For an overview of the conditions that apply for this permit, please visit the IND website.