College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences


Graduate Studies Program

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

  • Degrees
    The Combined B.S.+M.S. Degree Program 

    The Department of Entomology has a new degree program that allows students to obtain both a Bachelor's (B.S.) degree in Entomology and an Master's (M.S.) degree in Entomology 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. 

    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.


  • Admissions

    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.

    We will consider applications without GRE scores.

    All applicants whose first language is not English must complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and 213 (computer-based), or 80 (internet-based).

    Application Deadline

    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, and all letters of reference are received by the Department by December 1 of the year prior to anticipated enrollment.

    Unofficial Transcripts are uploaded to the application and then Graduate Division will send information about submitting official transcripts if admitted.

    Students with outstanding scholastic records are also eligible to compete for campus-wide fellowships and trainee-ships, 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 assistant-ships sometimes can be arranged through individual faculty on relatively short notice.

  • UCR Entomology GAANN

    The Entomology Program was awarded a GAANN (Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need) grant by the Department of Education. This GAANN project will enhance the UCR Entomology PhD program’s abilities in recruitment, retention, and training by providing fellowships to 6-8 graduate students each year. The UCR Entomology GAANN will prioritize incoming PhD students for awards who satisfy GAANN requirements (see 1-4 below). If you are a US citizen applying for the PhD program in Entomology for Fall 2022, please indicate in your application that you are interested in being considered for a GAANN Fellowship.

    (1) Entering students selected for the GAANN fellowships must perform at a superior level as demonstrated by an appropriate GPA (3.2 for junior and senior year work), submit three strong letters of recommendation from faculty at their undergraduate institutions, and demonstrate writing proficiency with a statement of personal educational objectives and goals..

    (2) Students selected for the GAANN fellowship must also demonstrate financial need via the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

    (3) Students selected for the GAANN fellowship must show interest in obtaining a Ph.D. and pursuing a teaching and/or research career. The student’s Statement of Purpose in the Admissions Application will be used to identify the candidate’s career goals. Interviews with the applicants and phone conversations will provide further information. While at UCR, students will be made aware of all possible academic and research careers and the level of performance that must be met during their graduate training to be prepared for such a career. This includes the importance of peer-reviewed publications in international journals and presentations at highly respected national/international technical meetings.

    (4) Students selected for GAANN fellowships must be US citizens or permanent residents.

    For questions please contact Dr. Erin Rankin or Dr. Christiane Weirauch

  • Program and Course Requirements
    Academic Advisor

    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.

    Guidance Committee

    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)
    General Entomology*
    BCH 100 (5)
    Elementary Biochemistry*
    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 2021-2022
  • Previous Graduate Student Handbooks
  • Graduate Student Academic Appeals Procedure

Combined B.S. + M.S. Program

Contact Us

Graduate Student Affairs Center

Advisor: Kathy Redd

Toll Free: 800.735.0717
Phone: 951.827.5621


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