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Iowa State University

  Entomology Department > Undergraduate Program

Undergraduate Study in Insect Science

A degree in Insect Science will provide students with a strong foundation in the biological sciences with an emphasis on insects. This degree prepares students for positions in industry, government, education, and public health. Chemical and seed companies, pest management or consulting firms, and horticultural nurseries employ insect scientists. State and federal agencies employ insect science graduates as consultants, extension directors, mosquito abatement agents, and research aides. A significant number of graduates pursue advanced graduate degrees in academia or professional degrees in the medical or veterinary fields.

Graduates understand the evolutionary and ecological relationships of insects with other life forms, and the impact of insects relative to human and animal health, as well as the relationships between insects and humanity’s food, fiber, structural, and aesthetic needs and expectations. They are skilled in identifying insects and related groups and understand the biology, ecology, behavior, diversity, and evolutionary relationships of the major groups of insects. Graduates understand the principles and methods available to manage beneficial and pest insect populations. They understand the application of the scientific method in problem solving and the principles of experimental design and analysis. Graduates are able to communicate research and educational materials properly and competently - orally, visually, and in writing - and are able to work effectively with others.

Graduates of the agricultural and horticultural insect management option are skilled in identifying pests and measuring their impact on plant and animal hosts for the management of these pests. They understand the environmental, legal, and ethical issues involved in insect population management. See a typical four-year (eight semester) plan for the agricultural and horticultural insect management option.

Graduates of the insect biology option have achieved an understanding of the biochemical and physiological processes governing insect metabolism, growth, and form. They understand the evolutionary and ecological significance of insects. Graduates of this option often enter graduate or professional schools. See a typical four-year (eight semester) plan for the insect biology option.

The department offers a minor in Insect Science that may be earned by completing Ent 370 and 12 credits in courses selected from an approved list supplied by the department. To minor in entomology, please contact Russ Jurenka (515) 294-1485.

Entomology administers the Emerging Global Diseases minor. Core courses address the biology of emerging disease agents (e.g., protozoa, fungi, microbes, and viruses), the clinical manifestations and epidemiology of emerging diseases, and the impact of those diseases on human interactions and Socioeconomics. One course must be taken from each of three core areas: (Pathogens and Disease) Micro 310 or Biol/Micro 353; (Sociology and Economics) Soc 411, Soc 345, FS HN 342, or Anthr 439; (Arthropod-borne Diseases) Ent 374 or Ent 574. The remainder of the credits (for a total of 15) may be selected from any of the above-listed courses not selected, and from other appropriate courses as approved by Emerging Global Diseases program advisers.

You can find the undergraduate curriculum in entomology, along with a typical program for a first-year student, here. A listing of entomology courses can be found on the course page.

A preveterinary program is available in entomology.

If you are interested in our undergraduate program or are considering switching majors to entomology, please contact Russ Jurenka at (515) 294-1485.

If you'd like to apply for admission to Iowa State University, see the Iowa State admissions page.

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© 2004-2007 Iowa State University Entomology Department. Last modified 3/26/2009.