Department of Entomology

Academic Programs

FAQ for the Entomology Graduate Program

How many graduate students are enrolled in the Entomology graduate program and programs in which the Entomology faculty participate?
There are 69 graduate students enrolled in the Entomology graduate program and in interdepartmental programs with Entomology faculty as the major advisor. We currently have 42 graduate students enrolled in the Entomology graduate program. There are 36 Ph.D. and 6 M.S. students. Entomology faculty also participate in several interdepartmental programs including Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology, Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics, Neuroscience, Environmental Toxicology and the Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology program. Students enrolled in an interdepartmental program and working with a faculty member in Entomology reside in our department. We are a department of over 250 students and researchers. This diversity of interests among our students and people in our department provides a rich and stimulating graduate experience.
How many applications do you get every year and how many do you accept?
The Entomology Graduate Program received 23 applications during the 2010-2011 admission cycle. We made 12 offers of admission and enrolled 11 new students this year.
A student interested in research areas using insects or on insect-related subjects, but who does not wish to obtain an advanced degree in Entomology, also may have a faculty member in the Department of Entomology as his/her major advisor. Entomology faculty participate in several interdepartmental programs and admission to those programs is distinct from the Entomology Graduate Program. For more information on the interdepartmental programs, see Biological Sciences Graduate Student Affairs Center.
Do I have to have a faculty sponsor to apply?
No, you do not need a faculty advisor to apply. However, we require a commitment from a faculty advisor or potential advisors for a student to be accepted. We recommend that you contact potential faculty advisors to discuss whether your research interests are closely aligned with the interests of a faculty member. On your application, you should indicate the faculty with whom you are interested in working.
What is the application deadline for Fall admission?
We strongly encourage applications for admission during the Fall Quarter. The reasons that we encourage Fall admission are enhanced eligibility for some very nice support packages and entering our program in the Fall Quarter will facilitate the completion of our graduate core curriculum during your first academic year. We encourage you to submit your application before the deadline to take advantage of funding and scholarship opportunities. You may submit components of the application as you complete them; they do not need to be submitted all at once. Your application for Fall 2011 admission should be electronically submitted by January 5th, 2011. Application deadlines for other quarters can be found on the Graduate Division website.
When are transcripts and other application materials (letters, GRE scores, etc.) due?
Please make sure that all application materials, including transcripts, all test scores, and all letters of reference are received by the Department by the application deadline. You may submit portions of your application at any time during the year before the application deadline. We will maintain your application material in a file until your application is complete and ready for evaluation.
Can I enter graduate studies in Entomology in another quarter besides the Fall Quarter?
Yes. Although we do not recommend doing so, you can enter the Entomology program in the winter or spring quarters. Funding opportunities are greatest for fall applicants. Students intending to enter in winter or spring should have a strong background in Entomology in order to keep up in the graduate core course sequence. If you desire to enter the program in a quarter other than in the Fall Quarter, then please contact the Graduate Student Affairs Officer, Melissa Gomez at (951)827-5913 or (800)735-0717 or via email at insects@ucr.edu. We accept application materials at any time.
What are the criteria used to evaluate my application?
All submitted materials are used to determine your suitability for admission. GRE scores, GPA, letters of recommendation, your statement of purpose, research experience and other relevant background information are used by the department and the university to evaluate prospective students .
Is the GRE required?
Yes, the GRE General Exam is required. Scores must be from an exam taken within five years of your intended date of entry (i.e.- for Fall 2011, scores should be no older than October 2006). In addition to their requirement for admission to graduate studies at the University of California, the GRE scores are an important consideration of eligibility for fellowships offered outside the department.
Do I need to take a GRE Subject Test?
No, the GRE Subject Test is not required for admission; however, high scores on one of the GRE Advanced Tests may strengthen your application and enhance your chances for fellowship support.
Do you offer financial support for students?
Yes. In addition to consideration of departmental support for students meeting minimum entry requirements, students with outstanding scholastic records (verbal and quantitative GRE scores > 1200 and GPA > 3.5) are also eligible to compete for campus-wide fellowships and traineeships, 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. Applicants are automatically considered for funding. No additional application is needed. We make our financial support offers at the time of admission.
What courses are required for admission?
For admission to the graduate program, a prospective applicant must have a bachelors degree with a major in Entomology, a biological science, Chemistry, Biochemistry, or a suitable equivalent. An average grade of 'B' or better generally is required for admission to graduate studies in the University of California. Previous coursework is required in inorganic and organic chemistry, including laboratories, and general physics. Additional admission requirements for M.S. and Ph.D. students consist of the equivalent of 30 quarter units of life sciences other than entomology, including one course in general biology and genetics. Students specializing in insect biochemistry, insect physiology, molecular entomology, neuroscience or toxicology may substitute courses in organic, physical and biological chemistry, toxicology and pharmacology for courses in the biological sciences, except for an introductory course in general biology.
When will I hear if I am accepted?
We make every effort to notify students as soon as possible after they have been recommended for admission. On average, most students are contacted in late February or early March for admission to the Fall Quarter. You may also check your application status online at any time.
Do you encourage visits to the department?
Yes! If you reside near Riverside and would like to visit the department and speak with potential advisors, then please contact either the Graduate Student Affairs Officer, Melissa Gomez at (951)827-5913 or by email at insects@ucr.edu or the faculty that might serve as your advisor to schedule a visit. If you are a domestic student admitted to the Entomology Graduate Program and you do not live near the campus, we are happy to arrange travel and accommodations for your visit.
What if English is not my native language?
International students are required to complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based) or 80 (internet-based).
May I petition out of a course in the Entomology Graduate Core Curriculum?
Yes. We feel strongly that students who receive an advanced degree in Entomology from U.C.-Riverside must be well-trained in the entomological sciences and we have developed an academic year-long series of courses to provide that training. We routinely re-evaluate the Core to be sure that graduate student training is state-of-the-art as well as being firmly grounded in the disciplines that historically define the science of Entomology. We recognize that students who receive a part of their graduate education (e.g., an M.S.) in entomology elsewhere may have been trained in subject areas that duplicate those in our Graduate Core Curriculum and we provide a mechanism for students to petition out of courses, or parts of courses, that duplicate their previous training.

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University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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Dept of Entomology Information

417 Entomology Bldg.

Fax: (951) 827-3086
Prospective Grad Students: (800) 735-0717
Grad Student Affairs