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Department of Entomology - UMass  Amherst
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Entomology Graduate Program

Thank you for your interest in our Graduate Degree Program.

The Entomology Division awards MS and PhD degrees. Areas of specialization include behavior, biological control, host-pathogen interactions, pest management, biodiversity and conservation, population and evolutionary ecology, molecular systematics, physiology and biochemistry. Students may elect to pursue a joint PhD with interdisciplinary graduate programs, such as the one in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology (OEB) or Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB).

Our department has a strong history of inter-lab collaboration and a significant proportion of our publications and research grants each year are co-authored by members of different laboratories. A hallmark of the department is our equal strengths in basic and applied research. The Department also has an exemplary history of developing and implementing Pest Management programs that integrate biologically-based pest suppression strategies. We have excellent collaborations with agricultural and horticultural commodity groups and we are at the forefront in research directed toward solving their pest problems.

We currently have 13 tenure-track faculty, 3 graduate research faculty, 10 adjunct faculty, and 4 professional staff dedicated to providing a collegial atmosphere and fine training of each graduate student.

We are located on the University of Massachusetts campus, which is in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts, one of the most picturesque sections of the State. Visit the University of Massachusetts web site at The area provides natural beauty, but is also close to major Northeast metropolitan areas, such as Boston and NYC. The University is part of the Five-College Consortium (with nearby Smith, Mt. Holyoke, Amherst, and Hampshire Colleges), which
creates a wonderfully friendly and collegiate environment. Valley life offers an extensive network of educational opportunities that can be rounded out by a rich array of cultural and social events, enhanced by free buses, shops, and restaurants.

The former Entomology Department was one of the oldest entomology departments in the United States, with the first PhD offered in 1899. Since becoming part of Plant, Soil, & Insect Sciences in 2004, the Entomology Division has continued its history of excellence. We have a rich heritage of contributions by alumni and faculty and our graduates have had a long-standing and excellent track record of finding good jobs. Students have opportunities to serve on Department committees and receive support to attend scientific meetings to present research results.

The masters degree requires 30 graduate credits, including courses in
systematics and physiology and three graduate-level seminars. Thesis and non-thesis options are available. The MS is not a prerequisite for the PhD program.

For the PhD degree, there is no specific number of course credits required but students are expected to complete the MS course requirements as well as courses in statistics, evolution, graduate-level seminars, and specialty courses recommended by the graduate committee. Requirements for the PhD also include passing the
preliminary comprehensive exam and completion of a grant proposal exercise.

Masters and Doctoral degree programs are designed on an individual basis by the student, the advisor, and the graduate committee of members from the University graduate faculty. The committee works with the student to construct a framework of courses and a program of research that will lead to the completed thesis.



How to Apply

The given deadlines for application are February 1 and October 1, but in truth, admission to our department is a rolling process that depends on availability of research assistantships.

The majority of students entering the program do so with graduate research assistantships from the program of their major advisor.

Interested applicants should correspond directly with several faculty members in areas of potential research interest. Information on each faculty member's program and contact information can be found on the Department's website.

You must have a faculty advisor lined up before your application will be considered for acceptance to the graduate program. If you need guidance, please contact:

Dr. Patricia J. Vittum
Entomology Graduate Program Director
Plant, Soil & Insect Sciences
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, Massachusetts
413-545-1054 (phone/voice mail)

Application materials are available online at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst website or you can call the University
for an application at 413-545-0721. See "How to Apply." All applications, processing fees, and supporting materials must be sent to the Graduate School where they are collated and forwarded to our Department.

Requirements for the application:
- GRE scores (General Test and Biology Subject test);
- TOEFL score (for students with English as a second language);
- transcripts of all previous college work;
- letters of recommendation;
- completed graduate school application;
- nonrefundable application fee.

Department of Entomology Graduate Program Handbook

Courses (UMass Graduate Catalog Course Listings)

PSIS Listing of Entomology Graduate Courses

Resources for Graduate Students




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