Entomology Degree Programs

Entomology degree programs focus on the scientific study of insects. This is typically a graduate-level field of study, though some bachelor's degree programs are available. Continue reading for details on what you can study in an entomology degree program and specializations in this field. Schools offering Biology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Can I Do With My Entomology Degree?

Entomologists are scientists who study insect species, including how they relate to their environment, plants and other animals. According to Clemson University's Department of Entomology, Soils, & Plant Sciences, insects account for over 80% of the known animal species on the planet (www.clemson.edu). Insects play an important role in the Earth's ecosystems - helping to sustain human life - but they also carry disease and cause billions of dollars in crop losses each year. As an entomologist, you might work to protect the insect species that help humans or perform research to help protect crops and prevent disease.

An entomology degree can prepare you for many different careers in research, teaching and private industry, such as the agrochemical, food and seed industries. You might also work in urban pest control or as a crop consultant. Military and government positions may be options as well, including working with a state or federal regulatory agency, state agricultural department or federal research laboratory. Additionally, you might be employed by a botanical garden, zoo, butterfly house or other facility where insects are exhibited.

CareersTeaching; urban pest control; military and government regulatory agency, agricultural department, or research laboratory work; employment at facilities such as a zoo or butterfly house
DegreesBachelor's, master's, Ph.D.
CourseworkBiological and physical sciences, mathematics, laboratory research, specific insect specialties
RequirementsHigh school diploma or GED (heavy on science and math courses) for B.S degree; bachelor's for M.S degree; M.S degree or exemplary B.S. student for Ph.D.
Program FormatOnline degrees are rare, but some are available; capstone project may replace thesis in online program

What Degrees Are Available and What Will I Study?

Degrees in entomology are available at both undergraduate and graduate levels. You can pursue a Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Master of Science (M.S.) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Entomology. A bachelor's degree in entomology involves a broad education in biological and physical sciences. Students learn to identify and classify insect species, as well as how insects function and affect ecosystems. Laboratory research is generally a large part of a bachelor's degree program in entomology. In addition to general education requirements, some common courses in a B.S. in Entomology program include:

  • Nematology (scientific research on roundworms)
  • Organic chemistry
  • Soil science
  • Statistics
  • Insecticide toxicology
  • Pest management
  • Computer science
  • Pollination and beekeeping

You might also take courses in a specific type of entomology, such as turfgrass, aquatic, veterinary, medical or forensic entomology. Master's and doctoral students study many of these same topics, but there is generally a larger emphasis on research. As a master's degree student, you'll typically be required to complete a thesis based on original research, but non-thesis options are also available. As a doctoral student, you'll generally be required to write and defend a dissertation.

Are There Any Prerequisites?

The most basic prerequisite for a B.S. in Entomology program is a high school diploma or GED equivalent. However, a high school course load that is rich in science and math classes is recommended.

To gain admittance to a master's degree program, a bachelor's degree is required. Some schools recommend a bachelor's degree in a scientific discipline - especially life sciences - but it isn't necessarily required. Most programs require a strong foundation in undergraduate mathematics, chemistry, biology, physics and biochemistry coursework. If you are lacking in any of these areas, some programs allow students to take the required background classes during the course of the program. Most Ph.D. programs in entomology require a M.S. degree for admittance, but some may enroll bachelor's degree holders who have proven to be exceptional students.

Can I Earn My Degree Online?

Online degree programs in entomology are quite rare, but they are available. For example, you can earn an M.S. in Entomology entirely via distance education. Such programs are generally designed for those in related professions - such as biology teachers, agricultural professionals and pest control experts - looking for a flexible way to further their education. Online programs cover the same master's coursework as on-campus programs, but they may be catered more to your career goals.

In an online program, a capstone project may replace the traditional thesis requirement. Examples of projects include developing training or teaching materials, surveys or scholarly reviews. You'll access your coursework via the Internet, which may include videotaped lectures. You can typically communicate with faculty and fellow students via e-mail, Web chat or discussion boards.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • The George Washington University

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    • Master
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  • Grand Canyon University

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  • Penn Foster High School

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  • Cornell University

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    • New York: Ithaca
  • University of Georgia

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    • Georgia: Athens
  • Michigan State University

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    • Michigan: East Lansing
  • University of Florida

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    • Florida: Gainesville
  • Iowa State University

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    • Iowa: Ames
  • University of Connecticut

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    • Connecticut: Storrs