Entomology Major & Minor

Thinking small to tackle global challenges

Home to the first entomology department in the country, CALS' undergraduate entomology major offers innumerable opportunities to study the basic and applied aspects of the field, while gaining a broad education in the biological and environmental sciences. 

Join research that spans the globe and impacts human lives on many levels, influencing a broad range of disciplines including human and veterinary medicine, farming, biodiversity and genomics.

Major in Entomology

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

The Entomology major provides an education in biological and environmental sciences, with a special emphasis on insects. Students in this major are not just fascinated by the most diverse group of animals on Earth; they understand that research in entomology is critical to human lives. For example:

  • Many serious diseases across the world are spread by insects; finding cures to these diseases will require a detailed understanding of insect biology.
  • A number of physiological processes—such as neurobiological systems—can be studied more easily in insects than in mammals.
  • Insects have evolved solutions to problems that still confound engineers. Examining the functional morphology of insects has helped inspire better designs of everything from robots to solar panels.

The entomology curriculum prepares you for a wide range of options after graduation, including the pursuit of graduate studies in entomology or related sciences upon completion of the B.S. degree.

Alternatively, students may immediately begin careers in various aspects of basic or applied insect biology including integrated pest management, insect pathology, environmental assessment, medical or veterinary entomology, insect toxicology, apiculture, insect systematics or insect ecology. Because of the diversity of career options, the major includes flexibility among the core requirements and electives that can be selected by students in consultation with their advisors.

CALS seeks students who maintain a rigorous high school curriculum and demonstrate an outstanding record of academic achievement.

  • 4 Units of English

  • 4 Units of Mathematics* (including pre-calculus)

  • 3 Units of Science (biology, chemistry and physics recommended)

  • Also recommended: an additional unit of science

The entomology curriculum provides students with a basic background in biological and natural sciences with a special emphasis on the study of insects. Majors may pursue graduate studies in entomology or related sciences upon completion of the B. S. degree. Alternatively, students may immediately begin careers in various aspects of basic or applied insect biology including integrated pest management, insect pathology, environmental assessment, medical or veterinary entomology, insect toxicology, apiculture, insect systematics or insect ecology. Because of the diversity of career options, the major includes flexibility among the core requirements and electives that can be selected by students in consultation with their advisors.

General Requirements

General Requirements for CALS (see Graduation Requirements for Bachelor of Science) Basic Science and Math Requirements

Physical Sciences

  • One semester of college statistics or biometry (ENTOM 3030, STSCI 2150 or BTRY 3010)
  • One semester of physics (may need two depending on future plans) Excluding any 1200 level course for non-science majors
  • CHEM 2070 and CHEM 2080 General Chemistry I&II (or)
    • CHEM 2150 and AP credit in chemistry.
  • CHEM 1570 Introduction to Organic and Biological Chemistry (or) 
  • CHEM 3570 and CHEM 3580 Organic Chemistry for the Life Sciences (for students planning on medical school)

Introductory Life Science

  • BIOG 1500 Investigative Biology Laboratory
  • BIOMG 2800/2801 Genetics and Genomics (Lab)
  • BIOEE 1780 Evolutionary Biology and Diversity
  • BIOG 1610 Ecology and the Environment (or)
    • ENTOM 4550 Insect Ecology

Choose two courses from two out of the following three groups: (Choice depends on student interest in organismal vs. cellular/molecular aspects of biology)

  • BIOMG 3300, 3310, 3320, 3330 (or) 3350 Principles of Biochemistry
  • BIOMG 1350 Principles of Cell and Developmental Biology
  • BIOG 1440 Introduction to Comparative Physiology (or) ENTOM 4830 Insect Physiology

Entomology Requirements (15-21 credits)

  • ENTOM 2120 Insect Biology - 4 cr

Group A (core courses)

Choose two of the following courses. If ENTOM 3030, 4550 or ENTOM 4830 have been used to satisfy the core requirements above, they will not satisfy the Group A or B requirements.

  • ENTOM 3310/3311 Insect Diversity and Evolution (Lab) - 4 cr
  • ENTOM 3330 Maggots, Grubs and Cutworms: Larval Insect Biology - 3 cr
  • ENTOM 3410 Applied Entomology - 3 cr
  • ENTOM 4440 Integrated Pest Management - 4 cr
  • ENTOM 4520/4521 Introduction to Disease Vectors (Lab) - 4 cr
  • ENTOM 4550 Insect Ecology - 4 cr
  • ENTOM 4830 Insect Physiology - 4 cr

Group B (advanced electives)

  • ENTOM 3030 Applied Statistics:  Biological Experiments in Practice - 3 cr
  • ENTOM 3070 Pesticides, the Environment and Human Health - 2 cr
  • ENTOM 3150 Spider Biology - 3 cr
  • ENTOM 3200 Grape Pest Management - 3 cr
  • ENTOM 3250 Insect Behavior - 3 cr
  • ENTOM 3350 Naturalist Outreach Practicum - 3 cr
  • ENTOM 3440 Insect Conservation Biology - 3 cr
  • ENTOM 3630 Bugs in Bugs - 3 cr
  • ENTOM 3690 Chemical Ecology - 3 cr
  • ENTOM 3755  Social Animal Behavior - 3 cr
  • ENTOM 4610 Model-Based Phylogenetics and Hypothesis Testing - 3 cr
  • ENTOM 4700 Ecological Genetics - 4 cr
  • ENTOM 4730 Ecology of Agricultural Systems - 3 cr
  • ENTOM 4900 Toxicology of Insecticides - 3 cr

Two additional entomology courses from Groups A or B

For a complete list of courses please visit our Entomology Courses of Study page.

ENTOM 2010 Alien Empire: Bizarre Biology of Bugs

Insects are the most abundant and diverse animals on earth. This course explores the often bizarre biology of insects and their interaction with humans.

ENTOM 2100 Plagues and People

This course takes a long view of the associations of humans and pathogens, parasites and arthropods that have had great impact on human lives, culture and enterprise from Biblical times, through the Black Death of medieval Europe, to modern scourges such as malaria, that still kill millions of people every year.

ENTOM 3350 Naturalist Outreach

Whether you are more interested in insects or in other aspects of the natural world, this course will help you develop your passion and share it with others. Students learn to prepare engaging multimedia presentations and take them into secondary school classrooms throughout Central New York.

Minor in Entomology

A deeper understanding of entomology can bring new insights and perspectives to a wide range of studies and pursuits. 

Any undergraduate student in CALS is eligible to enroll in the minor except students majoring in Biological Sciences. Biological Sciences majors interested in Insect Biology should instead enroll in the Insect Biology Program of Study, rather than Minor in Entomology.

Requirements for a Minor in Entomology are completion with a grade of C- or better of at least three courses, totaling a minimum of 10 credits, including: ENTOM 2120 (Insect Biology, 4 credits), one course from Group A (below) and one additional course from Group A or B (below).

Required Course

  • ENTOM 2120 Insect Biology - 4 cr

Group A - Core Elective Courses

  • ENTOM 3310/3311 Insect Diversity and Evolution (Lab) - 4 cr
  • ENTOM 3330 Maggots, Grubs and Cutworms: Larval Insect Biology - 3 cr
  • ENTOM 3410 Applied Entomology - 3 cr
  • ENTOM 4440 Integrated Pest Management - 4 cr
  • ENTOM 4520/4521 Introduction to Disease Vectors (Lab) - 4 cr
  • ENTOM 4550 Insect Ecology - 4 cr
  • ENTOM 4830 Insect Physiology - 4 cr

Group B - Specialized Elective Courses

  • ENTOM 3030 Applied Statistics: Biological Experiments in Practice - 3 cr
  • ENTOM 3070 Pesticides, the Environment and Human Health - 2 cr
  • ENTOM 3150 Spider Biology - 3 cr
  • ENTOM 3200 Grape Pest Management - 3 cr
  • ENTOM 3250 Insect Behavior - 3 cr
  • ENTOM 3350 Naturalist Outreach Practicum - 3 cr
  • ENTOM 3440 Insect Conservation Biology - 3 cr
  • ENTOM 3630 Bugs in Bugs: The World of Pathogens, Parasites and Symbionts- 3 cr
  • ENTOM 3690 Chemical Ecology - 3 cr
  • ENTOM 3755 Social Animal Behavior - 3 cr
  • ENTOM 4610 Model-Based Phylogenetics and Hypothesis Testing - 3 cr
  • ENTOM 4700 Ecological Genetics - 4 cr
  • ENTOM 4730 Ecology of Agricultural Systems - 3 cr
  • ENTOM 4900 Toxicology of Insecticides - 3 cr

Transfer requirements

Get an education in biological and environmental sciences, with a special emphasis on insects—the most diverse group of organisms on Earth. The Department of Entomology was the first of its kind in the U.S., and remains one of the largest programs in the nation.

Academic Record

  • Strong academic record at the college level. In general, competitive applicants have at least a 3.0 (B) average.

  • CALS Required Coursework should be completed or in-progress with a “B” or better before applying.

  • The most competitive applicants are full-time students who have met the GPA and course requirements.

(or transfers with two full-time college semesters of study (post-high school) completed or in progress at time of application).

Required:

Strongly encouraged (but not required):

  • College math (e.g., Finite Mathematics, Calculus, Statistics)

  • General (Inorganic) Chemistry I & II with labs

Courses that meet the CALS social science and humanities requirements in Cultural Analysis, Historical Analysis, Knowledge, Cognition and Moral Reasoning, Literature and the Arts, Social and Behavioral Analysis and Foreign Language.

(or transfers with four full-time college semesters of study (post-high school) completed or in progress at time of application).

Required:

  • One full academic year of Introductory Biology with labs

  • At least two upper level biology courses

  • Two College Writing/English Composition courses or one writing/composition and Public Speaking

  • College math (e.g., Finite Mathematics, Calculus, Statistics)

  • General (Inorganic) Chemistry I & II

Strongly encouraged (but not required):

  • Physics I

  • Courses in entomology or more upper level biology

Courses that meet the CALS social science and humanities requirements in Cultural Analysis, Historical Analysis, Knowledge, Cognition and Moral Reasoning, Literature and the Arts, Social and Behavioral Analysis and Foreign Language.

Careers in Entomology

moth and other insects in shadow box

Research

  • Research assistant
  • Biological science technician
  • Bird loss project assistant
  • Entomological research assistant
  • Research & development project manager

More

  • Honey bee technician
  • Plant science technician
  • Museum technician
  • Healthcare sanitarian
  • Public and private school teaching, K-12
  • Pest Control business
  • Tree service/arborist business
  • Various agriculture-related jobs including working on farms, agrochemical industry, pest management consulting

Explore your opportunities

A CALS education goes beyond the classroom and gives students frequent opportunities to apply what they learn in real-world settings.