The Department of Entomology offers programs leading to the M.S. or Ph.D. degree in Entomology, with research specialization in the following areas: arthropod vectors of plant pathogens, behavior, biochemistry and physiology, biological control, chemical control, ecology and evolution, integrated pest management, insect-plant interactions, medical and veterinary entomology, molecular entomology, nematology, neuroscience, pathology, pesticide toxicology, pollination biology, systematics and urban entomology.
Graduate Studies Information
The Master's (M.S.) Degree
The Department of Entomology offers a thesis Masters Degree, for which a minimum of 36 quarter-units of graduate and upper division undergraduate courses is required. As stated earlier, the Guidance Committee offers consultation and/or assistance with regard to planning, execution and analysis of the research and recommending supporting coursework. After completion of the research program, the thesis is defended during an oral examination administered by the student's guidance committee.
The Doctoral (Ph.D.)Degree
Graduate students pursuing a Ph.D. in Entomology usually have received the M.S. degree, but some students are admitted directly into the Ph.D. program without an M.S.
For admission to the graduate program, prospective applicants must have a bachelor's degree with a major in Entomology, a biological science, Chemistry, Biochemistry, or a suitable equivalent. Regardless of undergraduate major, students must have had, or complete soon after entering graduate school, the following: 1. The equivalent of one year of course work each in general biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry. 2. The equivalent of a one quarter course each in genetics and biochemistry. 3. The equivalent of 30 quarter units of life sciences other than entomology. Students who wish to specialize in insect biochemistry, insect physiology, molecular entomology, neuroscience, or toxicology may substitute additional courses in physical, organic, and biological chemistry; toxicology; and pharmacology for courses in life sciences. Credit from these courses does not count toward the unit requirement for the M.S. degree. The department requires GRE General Test scores (verbal, quantitative, and analytical). All applicants whose first language is not English must complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and obtain a minimum score on the exam of 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based), or 80 (internet-based). All admitted applicants whose first language is not English and are expected to be Teaching Assistants are required, upon arrival at UCR, to take the TOEFL Academic Speaking Test (TAST). The TAST evaluates English speaking proficiency at the intermediate to advanced levels. TAST is developed from the speaking section of the next generation TOEFL test. It presents test takers with integrated speaking tasks that simulate real academic situations.
The Department encourages students to begin their studies in the Fall quarter in order to complete the normal sequence of graduate core courses during their first academic year. Accordingly, to be eligible for Departmental support, students should plan to enroll in the Fall quarter and make sure that all application materials, including transcripts, all test scores, and all letters of reference are received by the Department by December 1 of the year prior to anticipated enrollment.
Transcripts are mailed to:
Department of Entomology
CNAS Graduate Student Affairs Center
1140 Batchelor Hall
University of California, Riverside
Riverside, CA 92521
Students with outstanding scholastic records are also eligible to compete for campus-wide fellowships and traineeships, some of which also carry waiver of the non-resident tuition fee (and are thus particularly valuable to international students). These are awarded competitively, but early completion of your application can increase the pool of funds for which you can compete, since some are awarded early in the year. All applications should be complete by December 1, and earlier if possible. Late applicants, and applicants entering Winter or Spring quarters, will be provided Departmental support on an as-available basis. However, research assistantships sometimes can be arranged through individual faculty on relatively short notice.
Program and Course Requirements
When students arrive at UCR, they are assigned a faculty Graduate Academic Advisor. This Advisor remains with the student throughout their graduate program, providing advice on the student's academic program and course selection. Before Advancement, students meet with their Graduate Advisor each quarter to discuss courses for the following quarter, and to obtain authorization for course registration. After Advancement, the student can continue to meet with their advisor when needed.
Major Professor and Guidance Committee
Generally, students have identified their Major Professor upon admission to the graduate program. However, for those who have not selected a Major Professor, they are encouraged to consult with Faculty members, Graduate Advisors, and other students to facilitate this selection. The Major Professor should be selected by the end of the first quarter. The Major Professor directs the student's research project and serves as Chair of the Guidance Committee. This committee consists of the Major Professor, and at least 2 (M.S. program) or 3 (Ph.D. program) other faculty members. The Committee assists the student in their research program and in selecting courses that will complement the research. The Guidance Committee is formed by the end of the 2nd quarter. Working with the Guidance Committee, the student will select courses that will form a Program of Academic Study and this must be completed by the end of the 3rd quarter.
Graduate Core Courses
All incoming graduate students are required to take the following courses: ENTM 201 (Structure and Function of Insects), ENTM 202 (Molecular Biology, Systematics, and Behavior), and ENTM 203 (Ecology, Population Genetics, and Pest Management). Normally, these courses will be taken during the first year. Students who can demonstrate that they have had equivalent, graduate-level courses elsewhere may petition the Instruction and Student Affairs Committee (ISAC) to waive taking one or more of these courses.
At the Ph.D. level, the Guidance Committee serves to guide the student prior to advancement. This committee meets with the student at least annually to complete the Annual Progress Report Form. The Major Professor is the Chair of the Guidance Committee. The student nominates two additional members from within the Entomology Department. The fourth member of the Guidance Committee is a faculty member from a department other then Entomology. All members of the Guidance Committee must be chosen and submitted to ISAC for approval by the end of the 2nd quarter. As previously noted, the Guidance Committee helps guide the student's research and helps the student select courses to compliment that research. Students will prepare a formal written dissertation proposal to the Guidance Committee by the end of the 4th quarter.
Suggested First-Year Graduate Program
ENTM 201 (5 units)
Structure and Function of Insects
ENTM 202 (5 units)
Molecular Biology, Systematics, and Behavior
ENTM 203 (5 units)
Ecology, Population Genetics, and Pest Management
ENTM 100 (4)
BCH 100 (5)
Electives (6) Electives (6) ENTM 250 (1)
Seminar in Entomology
ENTM 250 (1)
Seminar in Entomology
ENTM 250 (1)
Seminar in Entomology
*Prerequisites for ENTM 202 and ENTM 203, not necessary if previously taken.
Requirements,Examinations, and Dissertations
Foreign Language Requirements
There is no specific departmental requirement for foreign language competency. The Guidance Committee may recommend or require such competency in some cases.
The Qualifying Committee will be composed of two faculty chosen by the student from within Entomology Department and one member from outside of the Department, the final two additional Entomology faculty are chosen by the student from a list of three nominated by ISAC. The committee will administer a written qualifying examination by the end of the student's seventh quarter in residence, with an oral qualifying examination to follow shortly thereafter. The qualifying examination and all course requirements designated by the Department and Guidance Committee must be fulfilled before advancement to candidacy.
The completion of a dissertation demonstrates the student's ability to conduct independent, original research. The student's Dissertation Committee (major professor and at least two other members) advises the student in planning, conducting and analyzing the research. Students defend the dissertation before the Committee in a departmental seminar. Final approval of the dissertation is by the Dissertation Committee and the Dean of the Graduate Division.
Graduate Student Financial Support
Typically, graduate students are supported at a level to pay tuition, fees, and adequate living expenses for the full duration of their studies. Within the last 15 years, all graduate students making adequate progress towards their degree objectives have been fully supported financially. Funding for graduate student support comes from a variety of sources, including campus-wide competitive fellowships, departmental Research Assistantships and Teaching Assistantships, external fellowships and research grants, and educational grants from the students' home countries. Students receiving Departmental support assist with instruction, curatorial work in the museum, or other duties consistent with the Department's mission. The type and amount of service may vary and is set by the Department.
Click here for more information on financial support.
- Graduate Student Handbook Fall 2019
- Graduate Student Handbook Fall 2017 - Fall 2018
- Graduate Student Handbook 2016 - 2017
- Graduate Student Academic Appeals Procedure
- General Petition Form
- Change of Major Professor Form
- Annual Progress Report Form
Combined B.S.+M.S. Program in Entomology
The Department of Entomology has a new degree program that allows students to obtain both a BS and MS degrees through an integrated 5-year plan of study. This program prepares students for careers that require knowledge of entomology and for pursuing subsequent medical or doctoral degrees. The Combined B.S.+M.S. Program is open to UCR Entomology undergraduates only. Please see the combined B.S.+M.S. website for details.