Entomology is the field of biological science that studies insects and their relatives in relation to other animals, plants, and the environment. Since insects and their relatives affect so many human activities, and because they must be studied and managed in such a variety of environments, entomologists need a broad, basic education.
The undergraduate program in Entomology leads to the Bachelor of Science degree. The total program emphasizes developing a sound education with strengths in the physical and biological sciences necessary to work effectively in modern entomology. Courses are designed to give the student an understanding of the structure, classification, identification, function, biology, ecology, and management of beneficial and harmful insects, and the communities and ecosystems where they occur.
Undergraduate students have opportunities to carry out research projects in many laboratories. Students may also gain work experience in the diverse areas of entomology through employment during the academic year and summer. Internships and Study Abroad opportunities are also available and strongly encouraged.
The History of Entomology at Michigan State University
In 1857, Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University) was the first agricultural land grant college established in the United States. Entomology was part of the curriculum from the very beginning; the first course on insects was taught in 1858. The Department of Entomology was established in 1906.
The Department has since grown to over 160 faculty, staff, and students housed in the Natural Science Building on the beautiful Michigan State University campus in East Lansing. The insect museum, started in 1862, is now the A.J. Cook Arthropod Collection, with over a million specimens. The Department coordinates an agricultural research farm and apiary on campus, and the Trevor Nichols Fruit Research Complex in Fennville, MI. The Bug House, one of the first facilities of its kind, provides entomology education for the general public.
Requirements for the BS Degree in Entomology
1) MSU requirements:
* Minimum total of 120 credits; integrative studies courses Tier 2 writing course
2) College Requirements:
* At least 26 credits in the College of Ag and Natural Resources
3) Departmental requirements (64 credits total):
* BS 110 Organisms-Populations and BS 111 Cells-Molecules
* CEM 141 General Chem, CEM 143 Organic Chem, and CEM 161 Lab
* PHY 231 Physics I, PHY 232 Physics II, and PHY 251 Lab
* CSE 101 Computing Concepts
* MTH 124 Calculus I and MTH 126 Calculus II or STT 421 Statistics
* CSS 210 Fundamentals of Soil Science
* PLB 218 Plants of Michigan
* ZOL 355 Ecology and ZOL 355L Ecology Lab
* ENT 404 Fundamentals of Entomology
* ENT 470 Nematology or ENT 478 IPM (Tier 2 Writing)
* At least 16 additional credits in Entomology
Higher equivalent course substitutions may be made for chemistry, mathematics, and physics courses with adviser approval. Students who pass a waiver examination will not be required to complete Computer Science and Engineering 101.
Opportunities for students
Entomology students have access to many opportunities outside of the classroom, including research projects and paid summer jobs in many entomology faculty programs. Some companies, such as Rose Pest Solutions, also offer summer internships to department undergraduates.
Undergraduate students are eligible for departmental funding to support travel to scientific meetings, such as the annual National Entomological Society meeting, or for Study Abroad Programs.
Using your degree
Insects are everywhere, and so are people who work with insects! Insects are important in careers that involve agriculture, natural resources, human & veterinary medicine, forensic investigation, ecology, biomonitoring, genetics, molecular biology, and toxicology. Careers may involve many activities, including teaching, research, public outreach, regulatory inspection, pest scouting and control, and insect rearing. Entomologists work for schools and universities, museums, parks, and zoos, agribusiness, pest control companies, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and the military.
Requirements for the Entomology Minor (15 total credits)
1) ENT 404 Fundamentals of Entomology
2) At least 12 additional Entomology credits from this list:
* ENT 205 Pests, Society, and Environment
* ENT 364 Turfgrass Entomology
* ENT 407 Diseases and Insects of Forest and Shade Trees
* ENT 410 Apiculture and Pollination
* ENT 422 Aquatic Entomology
* ENT 460 Medical and Veterinary Entomology
* ENT 469 Biomonitoring of Streams
* ENT 470 Nematology
* ENT 478 Integrated Pest Management
* ENT 479 Organic Pest Management
With specific approval from the Entomology undergraduate advisors, Entomology courses not listed above may be substituted towards the 12 additional credits for the minor.
Before beginning a minor, contact Drs. Pett or DiFonzo to plan your program.