Our department has a long tradition of excellence in undergraduate education in entomology. Although never numerous, our undergraduate alumni have achieved distinction; recent graduates include in their ranks two winners of the Entomological Society of America Undergraduate Achievement Award and a Churchill Fellow. With over a million species, insects are the most diverse terrestrial organisms on the planet; moreover, insects arguably have a greater impact on human health and well-being than any other class of organisms. These impacts mean that the science of entomology has applied aspects that are not always easily accommodated within traditional life science boundaries or, indeed, within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Entomology is currently available as an IPS major, or Individual Plan of Study. For more information on the IPS program, please read this information from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, or view a sample Entomology IPS curriculum. Graduates in our IPS can find entry-level positions in research at universities or in research, development and technical sales in agrochemical, seed, and biotechnology companies, in state or federal cooperative extension service or experiment stations, in federal regulatory agencies, in zoos, museums, corporate farms, or nurseries, in integrated pest management consulting firms, in sanitary inspection service, in mosquito abatement programs, and in conservation and natural heritage non-governmental agencies. As well, an undergraduate concentration in entomology is excellent preparation for admission to graduate programs in entomology and allied disciplines as well as for admission to professional programs (including medical school; one of our recent undergraduate alumni, after working as a laboratory technician after graduation in a life science laboratory was admitted to medical school at UIUC).
The faculty within our department and in our graduate program (spanning four Colleges on the campus) have historically been extremely supportive of undergraduate research. Independent research is a key component of the entomology IPS and we stand eager to provide opportunities and mentoring. Our department head, May Berenbaum, works personally to insure that our IPS students can gain admission into courses they need and can facilitate their interactions with an entomology community on campus and at the Illinois Natural History Survey that exceeds 3 dozen in number. This is an outstanding opportunity for motivated students and we pledge our support to accommodate their interests, which, as entomologists ourselves, we understand and relate to with great enthusiasm!