The Department of Entomology offers both the Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Science degrees. Graduate students may specialize in a range of focus areas in both basic and applied insect science. Focus areas include insect ecology and behavior; physiology and morphology; evolution and biosystematics; insect pathology; molecular biology and genetics; pesticide technology, toxicology and environmental risk assessment; freshwater and estuarine entomology; and pest management and biological control.
Employment opportunities for graduates exist in industry; academia and extension; federal, state and local governments; private and non-profit arenas; and in international and national spheres.
Students applying for graduate work in entomology are expected to have strong backgrounds in the biological or agricultural sciences, chemistry, genetics, and mathematics. An undergraduate degree in entomology is not required, but a strong basic preparation is preferred for admission to the program.
Admission is granted on the basis of the following criteria by the Graduate Affairs Committee: Analysis of transcripts, including course selection and GPA, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose for pursuing the degree, GRE scores, and acceptance by a graduate faculty advisor. International applicants must also submit proof of English proficiency (TOEFL, iBT or IELTS scores). Acceptance by an advisor is absolutely required; thus, it helps to make contact with faculty when applying.
Upon admission to the M.S. or Ph.D. program, the student's study committee suggests a program of course work and approves a detailed research proposal.
Type of Applicant Fall Spring
Domestic Applicants; US Citizens and Permanent Residents with foreign credentials; International Applicants seeking admissions under A, E, G, H, I and L visas and immigrants
Deadline: December 15
Preferred: December 15
International Applicants seeking admission under F (student) or J (exchange visitor) visas
Deadline: December 15
Preferred: December 15
- University of Maryland application for graduate studies
- Academic transcript(s)
- Scores of the Graduate Record Exam General Aptitude Test (institutional code is 5814; departmental code not required)
- Scores of the Graduate Record Exam Advanced Biology Test (optional but include if available)
- 3 letters of recommendation from people familiar with the applicant's abilities and aptitude for graduate work
- Statement of purpose/research interests and professional objectives (can be reasonably broad; 1-2 pages in length)
- International students must submit scores from the TOEFL, iBT or IELTS. Maryland's institutional code is 5814; no departmental code is needed. Students who take the iBT or IELTS exams do not need to take the TSE.
- Applicants are encouraged to contact Entomology faculty with shared research interests. To explore matches of your interests with those of ENTM faculty, see the Entomology website.
Master of Science (M.S.)
In the M.S. program, the student is given latitude in the selection of the advisory study committee, the choice of a study area, and the selection of a research program. The student must take several core courses and specific courses required by the study area. The M.S. degree is awarded following the successful completion of course work (24 credits), thesis research (6 credits) and thesis defense.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
The Ph.D. program provides diverse opportunities for the selection of a dissertation question, composition of advisory committee, and selection of an area of specialization. In addition to core course requirements, course work (28 credits) and dissertation research (12 credits) targeting an area of specialization is determined by the advisory study committee. Following completion of most course work, the Ph.D. student is given an oral qualifying examination for advancement to candidacy, and the degree is awarded after successful completion of the dissertation defense exam.
The department is housed in a modern research facility on campus, where state-of-the-art offices, laboratories, environmental growth chambers, multimedia classrooms, and lecture halls provide an excellent environment for research and teaching. Students have individual work stations and access to sophisticated computer graphic facilities. The department also shares extensive technical expertise and scientific equipment with other departments on campus. The university's strategic location in the Washington, DC area provides many opportunities for students to conduct research and gain hands-on experience in federal facilities, such as the Smithsonian Institution, USDA-ARS Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and NIH. Vast resources are available in the university's library system and nearby federal libraries. The USDA's National Agriculture Library at Beltsville is only four miles from the campus, and the Library of Congress is in nearby Washington, DC. Besides the main campus, the Maryland Agriculture Experiment Station has Research and Education Centers in the state where field and laboratory work is carried out on urban and agricultural insects. Land use and technical services at these centers are available to faculty and students.
Graduate students are supported primarily in two ways. Many students are supported by extramural funding sources, usually obtained by the student's faculty advisor or student for research on a specific topic. The second type of support is provided by the department from internal funds via university and departmental fellowships, and teaching and research assistantships. Teaching and research assistantships are available on a competitive basis. Teaching assistants usually instruct undergraduate laboratory and recitation classes and receive in return a tuition waiver of ten credits each semester. Those students whose records indicate superior academic achievement and promise may also be competitive for university and departmental fellowships. Several part-time employment opportunities are also available in governmental and private research and developmental laboratories in the area. Regardless of the initial source of funding, the department makes a financial commitment to each graduate student. In the case of master's students, support is provided for the first three years of the program only. In the case of doctoral students, five years of support is provided but must be used during the first six years of the student's program. Support is usually for the full 12 months.
The departmental website describes the mission and administrative organization of the department; the faculty and staff; the teaching, research, and extension programs; and the facilities. The website also gives additional information on the graduate program, including requirements for admission, course requirements, examinations, seminars, research areas and facilities.
Dr. Paula Shrewsbury
Department of Entomology, 4112 Plant Sciences Building, University of Maryland, College Park,
Telephone: (301) 405-3912