Entomology Graduate Program Requirements

Interested in pursuing a graduate degree in entomology? Learn more about our program requirement, the admissions process, and how to apply.

Admission Requirements

Prospective students seeking admission to the entomology graduate program at NC State must meet the admission requirements of both the Graduate School and the department, (shown below) and complete an online application.


Students are expected to have a background in biology and to have taken appropriate courses in the physical sciences, e.g. chemistry, biochemistry, mathematics, and physics. Students will need to make up deficiencies at the discretion of their graduate advisory committee. Students are typically required to have a “B” average (3.0 GPA) in biology courses and an overall 3.0 GPA during the last two years of their undergraduate programs. 

English Proficiency for International Students

To be eligible for admission to the NC State Graduate School, All international applicants, regardless of citizenship, must demonstrate proficiency in English at a level necessary to be successful in a graduate program. Visit the Graduate School Handbook for more information about satisfying the English proficiency requirement

Medical Records

All admitted graduate students are required by state law to submit Medical History and Immunization documentation prior to completing their initial registration. NC State students returning to the Graduate School must have an updated medical history on file at the Student Health Center. The reports must be received at least 30 days before registration. Students who do not meet this requirement will have their enrollment canceled. 

Establishing North Carolina Residency 

(U.S. citizens and permanent residents only) Students must complete this process by the end of their first year, or they will be charged the current out-of-state tuition rate. See residency requirement details.

Admissions Procedures

Application Review

The Entomology Graduate Program Recruitment Committee (composed of five faculty members) reviews all complete graduate student applications. This review process requires about two weeks. Each committee member acts separately on the documentation, and the action is summarized and forwarded to the department head for his consideration.

Once the department review is complete, the director of the entomology graduate program will notify the Graduate School of the recommendation for acceptance or denial. The Graduate School will make the final decision. Students can visit the Graduate School website to check their application status. View the application deadlines and timelines for the application review process below.

Check Your Application

Application Deadlines

Note: Entomology program deadlines are earlier than those of the Graduate School.

Applicant Status Fall Spring
U.S. Citizens January 15 August 1
International Students January 15 July 15
DPG Recommendations for International Students April 1 September 15
**Note: Submitting your grad school application for department program review per the deadlines above will enhance your chances for securing a graduate research assistant stipend and to be considered for supplemental enhancements. However, our programs will accept applications after these internal deadlines up until Graduate School deadlines for applications.

Notice of Acceptance

After the Graduate Student Affairs Committee reviews the application, the name, interests, and qualifications of approved applicants will be circulated among all department faculty members to match the prospective student with an advisor. Due to limitations in space and funds, we will accept the student into the graduate program only after we have identified a major advisor and appropriate financial support. If no faculty member can assume such responsibility, acceptance will be denied. If the student does find a faculty member and financial support, he/she will be notified by the dean of the Graduate School of final acceptance. Students may be admitted for a specific semester or summer session and are given full or provisional status.

  • To be considered for admission in full graduate standing, an applicant must have a bachelor’s degree from a college or university recognized as the standard by a regional or general accrediting agency and must have at least a “B” (3.0) average in the undergraduate major or in the latest graduate degree program.
  • Provisional admission may be granted to applicants with bachelor’s degrees from accredited institutions but who lack undergraduate work that is considered essential for graduate study in a major field. Coursework, without graduate credit, will be required to make up such deficiencies before admission to full status can be granted.
    • Full graduate standing is granted when the deficiencies responsible for the provisional status are corrected provided that the student has maintained a satisfactory academic record (3.0 GPA) on all coursework taken in a graduate classification. A change from provisional status to full graduate standing is effected only upon the recommendation of the department in which the student is seeking the degree.
    • Students with bachelor’s degrees from accredited institutions whose scholastic records are below the standards for admission to full graduate standing may be admitted provisionally when unavoidable, extenuating circumstances affected their undergraduate averages or when progressive improvement in their undergraduate work warrants provisional admission. Students admitted provisionally under these circumstances will have their status changed to full graduate standing after completion of nine or more graduate credit hours following admission provided the student has maintained a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Any change in the admission date must be requested in writing and approved by the entomology graduate program and the Graduate School.

Choosing an Advisor

The most important decision that a graduate student makes is choosing an advisor. This mentor will have an influence on the student’s ability to become a professional entomologist and to find future employment. Keeping his/her own interests in mind, the student should consult the list of department faculty for individuals with similar interests. The student should then contact the faculty member(s). If the faculty member(s) expresses interest, arrangements usually are made for the student to attend the annual program recruitment event in late February or other arrangements may be made for a meeting. 

Financial Aid

The availability of graduate teaching and research assistantships varies each year. Faculty often have assistantship funds from grants for specific projects. There are few department-funded research and teaching assistantships distributed annually. We give consideration for assistantships only after the student’s application has been approved by the Graduate Student Recruitment Committee. Visit our Financial Assistance page for more information about financial aid available in the department and on-campus.

Assistantships provide a stipend and benefits. Benefits include in-state tuition, fees, and health insurance (as long as the student remains on an assistantship). Providing that satisfactory progress is being made toward the degree, assistantships are guaranteed for:
  • 2½ years (5 semesters) for the M.S. degree
  • 3½ years (7 semesters) for the Ph.D. with M.S.
  • 4½ years (9 semesters) for the Ph.D. without M.S.

Specific fellowships and scholarships:

  • Provost Fellowships – One-year award with stipend level to be determined by the fellow’s respective college. These fellowships are designed to help college and department efforts to recruit outstanding new doctoral students to NC State University. Prospective students cannot apply but must be nominated by their department and college.
  • Graduate School Fellowships 
  • Graduate Teaching Fellowships – Provides opportunities for doctoral students to have significant teaching experiences
    • ENT 110 Fellowships: This course offers student fellows real-world experience in teaching two lab sections (first year, fall semester) and one lecture section (second year, fall semester) of an Agricultural Institute class with an enrollment of 40 students. The course allows students to operate independently, transfer course materials between semesters, and student fellow revisions to course materials. A recent change in instructors is offering the opportunity to change this format to a more structured format that focuses on maximizing the learning experience for fellows. Changes underway include: 1) extensive updating and revision of course materials and structure; 2) development of evaluation rubrics and schedules for the fellows to get extensive feedback during their teaching semesters; 3) a rubric for professional development of teaching skills in the semesters between their teaching semesters.
    • ENT 201 – Insects and People: This is a sophomore-level science course for non-science majors taught by Clyde Sorenson. Under this option, during the fall semester, the incumbent will prepare for his/her teaching experience through observation in the classroom, participation in university teaching workshops, and development of pedagogy for the teaching semester. The student will then teach a small (ca. 22-student) section of ENT 201, designated ENT 201Q, for the University First Year Inquiry program, which is limited to freshmen.
  • Urban Entomology Graduate Fellowship – The David R. Nimocks, Jr. Fellowship supports graduate training in the development and application of the principles of Integrated Pest Management in the structural, human-built environment. Visit our Financial Assistance page to learn more about this fellowship.
  • Structural Pest Management Training Facility Assistantship – Works at the training facility helping to prepare insect teaching collections and have the opportunity to participate in training programs. Contact Dr. Michael Waldvogel for availability.
  • NCPMA – North Carolina Education Foundation Scholarship –  A $1,500 scholarship from the NC Pest Management Association awarded annually to a graduate student in the indoor urban entomology program.

Application Process

How to Apply

Prospective students seeking admission to the entomology graduate program at NC State must meet the academic requirements of the Graduate School and the department and complete an online application.

A completed graduate school application includes:

  • Online Graduate School Application (request information)
  • One (1) official transcript from each college/university previously attended
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation from individuals at institutions or businesses where you have studied or worked
  • Statement of purpose: a 1-2 page summary describing your interests in entomology and reasons for attending graduate school
  • A non-refundable application fee of $65.00 for U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents or $75.00 for Non-Resident Aliens (International Students)
  • Prospective students whose native language is not English must submit official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores
  • The Entomology Graduate Program does NOT require NOR use the GRE for evaluating applications; however, eligibility for some training grants may

NOTE: Applications will not be processed until they are complete (i.e., all seven of these requirements have been met and received by the department).

Program Requirements

  1. Complete application process (See How to Apply above)
  2. Identify an advisor (See Choosing an Advisor above)
  3. Establish an advisory committee (see below)

ALL graduate students are required to meet certain minimum credit requirements in order to graduate.

  • M.S. students: 30 credits
  • Ph.D. students: 72 credits

Every graduate student is required to complete a Plan of Work (POW) prior to the end of their second semester. The POW lists the schedule of courses that the student and his or her graduate advisory committee have decided for the graduate program. Students submit the POW through MyPackPortal.

Note: Credit transfers (M.S. to Ph.D.) –  Entomology students who earn their M.S. degree from NC State University and continue for a Ph.D. without a break in time between programs may transfer 36 credits to fulfill the Ph.D. credit requirement. All other students entering the Ph.D. program may transfer 18 credits from a master’s degree program if approved by the student’s advisory committee and by the Graduate School.


Course and Credit Requirements

Required Courses for All Students

Students, along with their Graduate Committees, will decide what courses are needed for the graduate program and these will be included in the Plan of Work.

Additional Requirements

Graduate-level entomology courses (not including ENT 620/820 Special Problems, ENT 695/895 Research, or ENT 601/801 Seminars*):

  • M.S. or M.E.: 9 graded credit hours
  • Ph.D.: 9 graded credit hours
  • ENT 591/791 Special Topics courses may be used to meet the additional 6 or 9 hours of required courses, but only if a letter grade is given for credit, not an S or U grade.
  • Seminars:
    • M.S. and M.E. students: 2 credits of ENT 601 Seminar
    • Ph.D. students: 3 credits of ENT 801 Seminar

*See Policy Memorandum – ENT601 (Student Seminar Courses)

Course Catalog

Visit the NC State course catalog to see a complete listing of entomology graduate and undergraduate courses. Entomology graduate students cannot take 495 level and below courses without special consideration.


Establish an Advisory Committee

Students must choose a graduate advisory committee and file a Request to Appoint a Graduate Advisory Committee before the end of their second semester. To broaden the student’s education, it is recommended that the graduate committee include at least one member from outside the department.

Contact Us

For questions or more information about the entomology graduate program, contact us.

 Michael Reiskind Kat Lyons
Program Director Graduate Service Coordinator
michael_reiskind@ncsu.edu kelyons@ncsu.edu
919-515-5869 919-515-6677