Application Process

Application Process Contents

Please use the links below to jump to specific sections of the application process page.

Faculty Advisors

All Entomology applicants, both MS and PhD, 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

  1. financial support for the student is currently in the hands of a faculty member, or is assured by the time a student begins, or
  2. a student brings independent funding and has contacted a faculty member who agrees to serve as advisor.   Some students are able to find partial support for independent funding through Teaching Assistantship positions in other departments on campus (i.e. Zoology).

Thus, it is advantageous to contact potential advisors before applying; this may save the application fee if no support is available or the professor/area of interest is not taking new students at a given time.  To determine the availability of research support, students should directly contact faculty members whose interests match their own and also review the positions posted on the Graduate Training Opportunities page.  The most successful applicants are those who have developed a research focus and can relate their desired area of study to that of a particular faculty member, so personal contact is imperative.  Contact should be made at least 6-12 months prior to the anticipated admissions semester.

Please note that acceptance by a faculty member (advisor) may or may not be accompanied by an offer of a research or teaching assistantship and stipend.  If such financial support is required, please be sure that this is discussed this with the faculty advisor in advance of the formal application to the department.

Once a student receives confirmation of support from a faculty member they should contact Sara Rodock who is the Student Services Coordinator.  This ensures that the application is routed to the appropriate faculty member.

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Deadlines

The Entomology department accepts applications on a rolling basis; however, it is advantageous to apply as early as possible.  The department requests that all materials be submitted 6 weeks before the intended start semester.  The Graduate School requires all admissions decisions, including reentry requests, to be made two weeks before the start of a semester.  Applications will not be reviewed until all application materials (listed below) have been received.

Fall and Summer Admissions Deadline
Certain fellowships, awards and prospective student recruitment funds are only available to applicants who apply by February 1 for the following summer and fall semester.  It is strongly recommended that applications be received by the February 1 preference date unless otherwise instructed by a faculty member in the department.

We make every effort possible to have all admissions decisions finalized by April 15 for applicants who submit their materials by the February 1 preference date.

Spring Admissions Deadline
There is no set deadline for spring admissions consideration.

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Application Materials

The Entomology department requires specific materials for the graduate application.  These materials include

  • Graduate School Application Form and Application Fee
    • All applicants must complete the Graduate School's online application which is available on their Electronic Application website.
  • Supplementary Application
    • To assist the admissions committee in reviewing files, we require applicants to submit a supplementary application.
    • The supplementary application will appear as a part of the Graduate School's electronic application once the applicant selects Entomology.
  • Resume or CV
    • Applicants must submit resume or CV electronically through the supplementary application (preferred) or via email to the Student Services Coordinator, Sara Rodock.
  • Transcripts
    • Applicants must submit two official sets of transcripts for all previous undergraduate and graduate study.
    • Applicants are asked to upload unofficial transcripts electronically through the supplementary application, applicants should note that this does not replace the need to have official hard copy transcripts sent as a part of the application (unless your institution does official transcripts electronically), applicants should not submit unofficial transcripts via email.
    • International academic records must be in the original language accompanied by an official English translation. Documents must be issued by the school with the official seal/stamp and an official signature.
    • The Entomology department requires all applicants to have a BA/BS degree from an accredited institution.
    • A minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) on the equivalent of the last 60 semester hours from the most recent bachelor's degree institution is required for regular admission. If an applicant has received a post-baccalaureate degree and the GPA for that degree is above a 3.0, then they may be admitted with full standing even if their undergraduate GPA does not meet the standards above. Under some circumstances, applicants with lower averages are admitted on probation but this is not common.
  • Statement of Purpose
    • This should describe the applicant's graduate program objectives and career focus. Since applicants are rarely admitted to our PhD program without prior research experience, applicants must describe past research experiences in their statement.
    • The statement of purpose should be around two pages in length.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
    • These letters are preferably from people acquainted with the applicant's academic, research and/or professional qualifications.
    • The preferred method for submitting letters is online through the Graduate School's electronic format (see the admissions FAQ for more information).
    • Applicants may also submit their letters in hard copy, (must be on letterhead stationery), if the reference is submitting a letter in hard copy the appropriate cover sheet should accompany the letter (MS, PhD).
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores
    • The UW-Madison code is R1846 and no departmental code is needed.
    • The department does not require any subject GRE test scores.
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
    • Every applicant whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English, must provide official scores from TOEFL, the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB).
    • An admitted applicant whose TOEFL internet based (iBT) test score below 92; TOEFL (paper-based) test score is below 580; TOEFL computer-based test (CBT) score below 237; IELTS score below 7; or MELAB below 82 must take an English assessment test upon arrival. Students must then register for any recommended English as a Second Language (ESL) course(s) in the first enrolled semester.

Note: International student financial information will only be requested by the Graduate School after the departmental recommendation for admission. The Graduate School provides a list of international student expenses

Additional information regarding admission requirements can be found on the Graduate School website. Please refer to the Application Process at a Glance for items that should be sent directly to the Graduate School.

Submitting Application Materials

All materials that are submitted in hard copy should be mailed to:

Sara Rodock
284 Russell Laboratories
1630 Linden Dr
Madison WI 53706

All materials that are submitted electronically (that are not submitted through the Graduate School's online application) can be sent to the Student Services Coordinator, Sara Rodock.

All questions regarding the admissions process, applications and double/joint degrees should also be directed to Student Services Coordinator, Sara Rodock (email, or 608-262-9926).

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Curriculum Overview

Below is an overview of the curriculum requirements for the Entomology MS and PhD degrees.  For a more comprehensive listing of the degree requirements please visit the degree requirements and forms page.

MS Curriculum

  • Entomology 302 Introduction to Entomology, or equivalent
  • Entomology 601 Seminar in Methods of Scientific Oral Presentations
  • At least two additional courses in Entomology with a total of 6 or more credits. The selected courses must include more than one subdiscipline of entomology as defined by the department (suborganismal, organismal and applied entomology).
  • One seminar course from either Entomology 901 Seminar in Organismal Entomology, Entomology 903 Seminar in Evolutionary Entomology, or Entomology 905 Seminar in Applied Entomology
  • Entomology 990 Research, 1-4 credits (minimally)

All MS students are also required to write and defend a thesis as a part of their degree requirements

PhD Curriculum

All Entomology PhD students are required to complete the following major requirement courses:

PhD Prerequisite Courses

  • Biological sciences: courses in four of the five areas: biochemistry, genetics, physiology/cytology, ecology or population dynamics and structure or phylogeny
  • Chemistry: general chemistry with lab (2 semesters), organic chemistry with lab
  • Physics: introductory physics course, or applications of physics to biological, chemical or atmospheric sciences
  • Mathematics: two college level mathematics including statistics

PhD Course Requirements

  • General Entomology - Entomology 302 Introduction to Entomology (or equivalent)
  • Four courses distributed from the three following areas (at least one course in each category)
    • Suborganismal
    • Organismal
    • Applied Entomology
  • Entomology 601 Seminar in Methods of Scientific Oral Presentations
  • Entomology 901 Seminar: “Synthesis in Entomology” taken twice
  • Entomology 875 Seminar in Special Topics

All PhD students are also required to pass their preliminary exam and produce and defend a dissertation.

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Last updated: December 2, 2013

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