The department is a diverse unit of researchers whose work spans the areas of suborganismal, organismal, and applied entomology. Research programs of the faculty are broadly interdisciplinary employing cutting edge technology in all areas. Individual faculty web pages provide in-depth descriptions of the diversity of research in entomology.

Suborganismal research in the department focuses on insect physiology and population genetics. Areas of specialization include the molecular action of insect hormones and the insect/microbiome interface. Studies of gene flow utilize various molecular methods. Genomic data are used to understand adaptation, gene flow on landscapes, the genetic basis of phenotypes, and the phylogenetic relationships of insect species.

Organismal: Entomology faculty members are leaders in the areas of basic ecology of insects in a variety of natural and managed systems, such as forests, lakes and agroecosystems. Studies in taxonomy, chemical ecology, spatial analysis, vector biology, behavioral ecology, and landscape ecology have strong representation in the department. Research examines how they affect crops and forests, influence ecosystem processes such as nutrient and carbon cycling and the "services" they provide in natural and managed ecosystems such as pollination and pest suppression.

Applied/Extension: Faculty in the department extend a long tradition of research on insects as they impact humans. Excellence in agricultural research continues in vegetable crops, field and forage crops and the turf and ornamental "green industry" where work has continued to advance the application of integrated pest management in agricultural systems. Basic research conducted by faculty in cropping systems also has implications for pest management, conservation, bioenergy, resource management. This research extends to global health issues focusing on arthropod borne diseases and insects as a novel food source.

Research in the department explores the interconnections across scales of biological organization, from molecular and cellular interactions to ecosystem-level studies, in both managed and natural systems, and from basic to applied research. Faculty members collaborate with colleagues in other departments in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and beyond the college and university.

Graduate education in the Department of Entomology provides many opportunities for collaborative research. Faculty members participate in joint instructional programs with other departments on campus and with scientists at other universities, in federal and state agencies, and in industry. Because several entomology faculty members are also adjunct professors in zoology, forest and wildlife ecology, molecular and environmental toxicology, and other departments, they may serve as primary advisers to graduate students majoring in those fields. Opportunities exist to conduct research in a variety of distant tropical and temperate regions, to gain experience in classroom instruction and individual mentoring, and to participate in outreach activities such as addressing K–12 classes, naturalist groups, and commodity producers.

Fall Deadline August 1
Spring Deadline December 1
Summer Deadline February 1
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Required.
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

The Graduate School sets minimum requirements for admissions. Academic program admission requirements are often more rigorous than those set by the Graduate School. Please check the program’s website for details.

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and processes related to funding.

Program Resources

Additional information regarding funding for Entomology graduate students is available on the departmental website.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements


Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions


Minimum Credit Requirement 51 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 32 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement Half of degree coursework (26 credits out of 51 total credits) must be completed graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide.
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements The Graduate School requires an average grade of B or better in all course work (300 or above, not including research credits) taken as a graduate student unless conditions for probationary status require higher grades. Grades of Incomplete are considered to be unsatisfactory if they are not removed during the next enrolled semester.
Assessments and Examinations Doctoral students are required to take a comprehensive preliminary/oral examination after they have cleared their record of all Incomplete and Progress grades (other than research and thesis). Deposit of the doctoral dissertation in the Graduate School is required. Additional information regarding assessment and examinations is available on the departmental website (
Language Requirements Contact the program for information on any language requirements.
Doctoral Minor/Breadth Requirements All doctoral students are required to complete a minor.

Required COURSES 

Additional information and forms related to program-specific courses is available in the program handbook including foundation courses.

Core Courses
ENTOM/​ZOOLOGY  302 Introduction to Entomology4
Must take at least 3 credits from each of the 3 categories below, plus one additional course for a total of 4 courses.
Taxonomy of Mature Insects
Taxonomy and Bionomics of Immature Insects
Basic and Applied Insect Ecology 1
Basic and Applied Insect Ecology Laboratory
Plant-Insect Interactions
Ecotoxicology: The Chemical Players
Ecotoxicology: Impacts on Individuals
Ecotoxicology: Impacts on Populations, Communities and Ecosystems
Advanced Taxonomy
Physiology of Insects
Plant-Microbe Interactions: Molecular and Ecological Aspects
Molecular Ecology
Principles of Economic Entomology
Medical Entomology
Basic and Applied Insect Ecology
Basic and Applied Insect Ecology Laboratory
Insects in Forest Ecosystem Function and Management
ENTOM 601 Seminar in Methods of Scientific Oral Presentations1
ENTOM 875 Special Topics1
ENTOM 901 Seminar in Organismal Entomology2
Students must take 2 instances of ENTOM 901
Additional Credits
Students must take additional credits, in consultation with their advisor, to reach a total of 51 credits. This may include ENTOM 990.

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Major-Specific Policies

Graduate Program Handbook

The Graduate Program Handbook is the repository for all of the program's policies and requirements.

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With Advisory Committee and Academic Affairs Committee approval, students may count credits of coursework from other institutions. Coursework earned ten years or more prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

With Advisory Committee and Academic Affairs Committee approval, the student may apply up to 7 credits numbered 300 or above completed at UW–Madison toward fulfillment of minimum degree and minor credit requirements. This work would not be allowed to count toward the Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement unless taken at the 700 level or above. Coursework earned ten or more years prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison University Special

With payment of the difference in tuition (between University Special and graduate tuition) and with Advisory Committee and Academic Affairs Committee approval, the student may apply up to 15 University Special student credits as fulfillment of the minimum graduate residence, graduate degree, or minor credit requirements on occasion as an exception (on a case-by-case basis). UW–Madison coursework taken as a University Special student would not be allowed to count toward the Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement unless taken at the 700 level or above. Coursework earned ten or more years prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.


The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School.


Every graduate student is required to have an advisor. An advisor is a faculty member, or sometimes a committee, from the major department responsible for providing advice regarding graduate studies. An advisor generally serves as the thesis advisor. In many cases, an advisor is assigned to incoming students. Students can be suspended from the Graduate School if they do not have an advisor.

To ensure they are making satisfactory progress toward a degree, the Graduate School expects that students meet with their advisor on a regular basis.

A committee often accomplishes advising for the students in the early stages of their studies.


15 credits

Time Constraints

Doctoral degree students who have been absent for ten or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.

A candidate for a doctoral degree who fails to take the final oral examination and deposit the dissertation within five years after passing the preliminary examination may be required to take another preliminary examination and to be admitted to candidacy a second time.


All Entomology applicants (M.S. and Ph.D.) must contact faculty members in the department before and during the admissions process. All students are admitted directly into a faculty member's lab. Additionally, we do not accept new graduate students into the program unless financial support for the student is currently in the hands of a faculty member, or is assured by the time a student begins, or a student brings independent funding and has contacted a faculty member who agrees to advise.

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

Program Resources

Students in the Department of Entomology are strongly encourage to participate in student organization activities.

  1. Develop a broad knowledge base of entomology, inclusive of suborganismal, organismal, and applied entomology.
  2. Develop state-of-the-art research skills and command of the scientific literature.
  3. Integrate research discoveries with prior knowledge to demonstrate expertise in entomological science.
  4. Advance our current knowledge of entomology and related fields.
  5. Demonstrate critical thinking skills in defining problems, assembling facts, and applying logic to scientific arguments.
  6. Demonstrate excellent written and oral communication skills.


Brunet, Johanne
Goodman, Walter
Gratton, Claudio
Groves, Russell
Lindroth, Richard
Paskewitz, Susan (chair)
Raffa, Kenneth
Williamson, R. Chris
Young, Daniel
Zhu, Jun

Assistant Professors

Guedot, Christelle
Schoville, Sean
Steffan, Shawn

Adjunct & Affiliated Faculty

Bartholomay, Lyric (Pathobiological Sciences)
Currie, Cameron (Bacteriology)
Ives, Anthony (Integrated Biology)
Mattson, William (adjunct)
Peckarsky, Bobbi (adjunct)

Instructional Staff

Brabant, Craig, Curator Wisconsin Insect Research Collection
Liesch, Patrick (PJ), Assistant Faculty Associate Insect Diagnostic Lab