Graduate Student Information

Welcome to North Carolina and North Carolina State University! We are ready to welcome you to our program, and to this beautiful state. You are joining a program with over 50 tenured and non-tenure track faculty, 75 current graduate students, and outstanding post-doctoral researchers, visiting scientists and staff, all of whom are interested in helping you excel in your graduate studies. Below is some information for recruitment and to make your first year as a graduate student a success.

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Recruitment, Admissions and Support

  • A goal of the group recruitment visit is to highlight our programs and to try to
    match student recruits with potential faculty advisors for graduate research.
  • Students invited to the February recruiting event have been admitted, or are
    being considered for admission, to the graduate program in our department.
  • Graduate admission offers from DEPP are distributed by April 1, if not before.
  • DEPP graduate students receive an assistantship with a minimum $32,000/year stipend for the duration of their graduate program.
  • Tuition and health insurance are also provided through the Graduate Student Support Plan (GSSP) to all graduate students on assistantship.
  • Fall  graduate programs usually begin on August 1st but can start as early as July 1st.
  • All graduate students in master’s programs must complete at least 30 credits for the M.S. degree.
  • All graduate students in Ph.D. programs must complete at least 72 credits for the Ph.D. degree (18 credits can come from a previous master’s program). Many Ph.D. graduate credits can come as thesis research.
  • Graduate students must register for a minimum of 9 credits per semester (unless beyond Graduate School timelines for master or Ph.D. degrees)
  • All DEPP graduate students must complete a teaching assistant (TA) requirement – one semester TA for MS students and two semesters TA for Ph.D. students during your graduate career.
  • All DEPP graduate students are required to participate in departmental seminar activities.
  • Both Entomology and Plant Pathology programs have formal Graduate Student Associations that promote multiple student interactions and activities (including help in finding living quarters).
  • A number of graduate student professional development activities are available, including internship opportunities with local industries and agencies – an advantage of having the Research Triangle Park here!

First Year Benchmarks

  • Identify a research topic (consultation with your major advisor)
  • Form an Advisory Committee:
    • Master’s programs – 3 members (if minoring, 1 must be from the minor department)
    • Ph.D. programs – 4 members (same minor rule) plus a Graduate School Representative
  • Develop your research project (in collaboration with your advisor and committee)
  • Develop your coursework (Plan of Work)
  • Submit your Plan of Work to the Graduate School no later than your second semester. If you’re from out of state, establish residency (U.S. citizens only) after the first year (view detailed residency requirements), and the main criteria include:
    • Have held a legal residency for at least 12 months prior to the start of the residency request term.
    • Demonstrate that you are a legal resident of North Carolina and not just temporarily residing in the state as a student. Obtaining a North Carolina Driver’s License and/or Voter Registration are primary criteria.
    • Have not had any significantly long breaks in physical presence in North Carolina for the past 12 months.
    • Have the financial and legal ability to establish a domicile.
    • Complete a cluster of residency acts a year prior to the start of the requested term.

Entomology Graduate Degrees

The recommended core curriculum for the Entomology graduate degree is tailored to the student’s research interests.  The breadth of expertise of the entomology faculty spans from the fundamental biology, ecology, systematics, and genomics of insects to agricultural and environmental entomology, urban entomology, and medical/veterinary entomology. Additional coursework in entomology can include but is not limited to: Genetic Pest Management, Insect Behavior, Molecular Ecology and Evolution, Insect Natural History and Field Ecology, and a series of seminar topics provided on a rotating basis.

Click HERE to see the courses recommended to the Entomology program’s research concentrations,

Plant Pathology Graduate Degrees

The recommended core curriculum for the Plant Pathology graduate degree includes:

  • PP 501 – Biology of Plant Pathogens
  • PP 502 – Plant Disease Methods & Diagnosis
  • PP 506 – Epidemiology & Plant Disease Control
  • PP 707 – Plant-Microbe Interactions

Expertise in the four major plant pathogen groups – fungi, bacteria, viruses, and nematodes are represented among the plant pathology faculty with programs that investigate host-parasite interactions from the molecular, genomic, and cellular levels to microbiomes, population dynamics, and evolutionary biology of plant pathogens in field environments. Additional coursework in plant pathology can include but is not limited to: Ecology of Soil Ecosystems, Plant Disease Resistance Methods and Applications, Applied Evolutionary Analysis of Population Genetic Data, and a summer course in Field Plant Pathology.


For more information, contact:

Kat Lyons (Graduate Services Coordinator)

Michael Reiskind (ENT)

Dorith Rotenberg (PP)