In 2003, the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology initiated a new degree program in biodiversity and conservation biology. The program allows students to obtain a joint B.S./M.S. degree through an integrated 5-year plan of study. Students who already hold a Bachelor of Science degree can apply for just the non-thesis Master of Science degree.The program prepares students for careers that require the application of knowledge about biodiversity and conservation biology in a wide variety of vocational settings. Coursework combines education in ecology, evolution, systematics, and natural history, with relevant training in public policy, economics, and ethics. Potential career tracks range from conservation planning to environmental education, endangered species management to museum curation. Potential employers include non-governmental organizations, state and federal agencies, environmental consulting firms, etc.