Department of

Graduate Admissions

The Graduate Program in Entomology at the University of Illinois is eagerly seeking talented graduate students interested in an interdisciplinary education in entomology. Our program provides a unique and challenging approach to the study of entomology. A traditional grounding in the key elements of entomology such as insect taxonomy, physiology, genomics, pest management, and ecology is complemented and expanded by a tightly-knit community containing expertise in neurobiology, ethology, evolutionary biology, sociobiology, molecular biology, toxicology, biological control and many other diverse areas of interest. The department also has strong ties to other programs in the life sciences, including the Program in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology, the Plant Biology program, the Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior program, and the Neuroscience Program. The combination of these factors allows us to offer one of the most challenging and rewarding entomology educations in the country. Below you will find information regarding admissions and application procedures. If your questions are not answered below, the head of the Graduate Student Administration Committee is happy to answer any questions by email, or you can contact a specific graduate student or faculty member directly.

What type of students are we looking for?

Graduate students are an integral part of this rich environment, and thus we are committed to enrolling the most talented students in the country. Students from all biological backgrounds are highly encouraged to apply, regardless of previous entomological experience, or lack thereof.

How does the decision to accept an applicant occur?

The decision to accept a student is made within the Entomology Department, even though the application is processed by the Graduate College. The Entomology Department admits students both to the program and directly to faculty labs. Therefore, it is essential to have one or more faculty members who are interested in becoming your advisor and having you join their lab. Before you apply to Entomology, please look at the faculty website and contact faculty members with whom you might want to work. The faculty members can then let you know if they will be accepting new students in the Fall, and let you know whether your education, experience and interests are a good fit for their lab. Undergraduate GPA, letters of recommendation, and a written personal statement all factor into the decision, as does prior research experience (although no previous experience is required to apply). GRE scores are not required by our Department but can be submitted if they will support your application. The Graduate College does have Minimum Requirements for admission with regards to Bachelor’s degree GPA (or comparable GPA for international applicants), as well minimum English proficiency requirements for international applicants. If you still have questions after reviewing these webpages, please email your questions to the department at

How do you apply for admission to the department?

Application to the Department of Entomology is now completed online, including the option to pay the application fee by credit card. Domestic and international applications require different items to be submitted. All of the information necessary to apply is located on the application instructions page. For full consideration for admission to the following Fall semester, you must complete and submit your application by December 1. Please be aware that the Entomology office is CLOSED from December 23 until January 2. Any emails or phone calls will NOT be answered during that time.

Domestic Application Procedures
International Application Procedures

How can you arrange to visit the department?

The department schedules visits by invitation during its recruitment weekend in February once applications are complete. Visits outside this period need to be organized through a prospective advisor.

What can you expect as a new graduate student?

A more in depth look at graduate student life is provided in a separate section here. But briefly, once accepted into the department, all students should expect to be funded through RAs, TAs, and/or fellowships for the duration of their graduate careers provided they remain in good academic standing, make satisfactory and timely progress toward their degree, meet degree requirements as outlined in the graduate student handbook, and satisfactorily fulfill responsibilities of any research or teaching appointments they accept as outlined in the appointment offer letters. For those students who entered the department without a Master's degree, the first two years of the program are often spent completing course work, especially core course requirements, and developing research interests while working on a Master's project. Once the Master's project is completed, students are expected to petition the Graduate Student Administration Committee (GSAC) to either remain in the PhD program (if they originally entered the doctoral program) or transition into the PhD program (if they originally entered the Master's program and wish to continue on to the doctoral program). Those students who entered the doctoral program having already earned a Master's degree often spend the first two years completing core course requirements and developing their doctoral research goals. The work then becomes more independent and more time is engaged in research, as well as in elective seminars and classes.

What information should international students know?

International students have concerns beyond that of our local colleagues. The university has established an extremely useful web site at the International Student and Scholar Services that can provide a wealth of information for both incoming and current international graduate students. We highly recommend reading this page if you have any questions regarding international student status.

How can I talk to someone directly about my questions?

If email is not getting the job done for you, the Department of Entomology office staff can be contacted about any question you may have regarding applications. Again, please note that the Entomology office is CLOSED from December 23 until January 2. Any emails or phone calls will NOT be answered during that time.

Department of Entomology
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
320 Morrill Hall
505 S. Goodwin Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801
phone: (217) 333-2910
fax: (217) 244-3499
Admissions contact: Kim Leigh (