Prospective Students

Why Choose the University of Minnesota?

The Entomology Graduate Program offers M.S. Plan A (with thesis), M.S. Plan B (without thesis), and Ph.D. degrees (with dissertation). The mission of the Department of Entomology is to conduct research and education in the science of entomology. Faculty research areas include: Pollinator Biology, Invasion Biology, Physiology & Neurobiology, Insect Ecology, Taxonomy & Evolution, Integrated Pest Management, Host-Microbe Interactions, Genomics, Biology of Disease Vectors, and Biological Control.

Active and Inclusive Student Organization

Frenatae, the UMN Entomology Graduate Student Organization, works to represent students within the Department of Entomology. As a self-governing group, they partner with the Department to support the development of professional skills among students, foster an environment for the exchange of scientific ideas, and create a social network for the student body. Frenatae organizes numerous public outreach events, invites guest speakers, plans professional skill-building workshops, provides networking opportunities for entomology students, and are active on the departmental Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee. Read more about the department’s diversity initiatives.


The Entomology department has a long history of excellence in research, teaching, and extension that dates back to 1888. Many of our students receive prestigious awards and fellowships for their research and academic performance. There are many fellowships available for first and subsequent years through the Department of Entomology, CFANS, and University of Minnesota.

Connecting Students with Potential Employers

Students are provided with opportunities outside of the classroom to enhance their overall learning experience and connect them with other entomology networks. Opportunities include:

  • Networking with potential employers
  • Tours of local agencies that employ entomologists
  • Alumni events
  • CFANS mentorship program


Students in a river. photo by Dave Hansen

How to Apply/Forms

Application Deadlines

Applications should be submitted by December 15 for admission to graduate school starting in the fall semester. Under certain circumstances, these deadlines may be extended, or a spring semester start might be considered, so feel free to contact Dr. Karen Mesce (Director of Graduate Studies),  or Sarah Cowan (Graduate Program Coordinator).

See the Prospective Student Toolkit on the Graduate School website for information and fellowship funding opportunities for the upcoming Academic year.

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Admission to our department is contingent on academic potential and the ability of a potential advisor to provide multi-year funding. Prior to applying to the graduate program, you are encouraged to contact prospective faculty advisors to discuss research interests, learn whether they are taking students, discuss funding opportunities, and determine whether your interests and experiences are a good fit with their lab(s). Any of the departmental faculty and additional graduate faculty are eligible to serve as entomology graduate student advisors.
  • A 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) for undergraduate work, and 3.5 for prior graduate work are considered competitive performance levels for admission. Graduate Record Exams (GRE's) are not required for admission. We consider all credentials provided in the application packet to reach an individual admission decision for each applicant.
  • For prospective students that are required to demonstrate English language proficiency (see international students and language proficiency tests), a minimum score on the TOEFL exam of 79 or 6.5 on the IELTS is the required performance level for admission. Go to the Graduate School website for more information on exams, scores, and other acceptable forms of documenting English language proficiency.
  • In addition to the requirements of the Graduate School, students should have a firm background in biology, with fundamentals of mathematics, physics, and chemistry. Opportunities exist early in a student's program to take background courses in the case that some undergraduate course work is deficient in certain areas.


All application materials should be submitted directly to the online admissions system. We cannot review your application until all of the required materials listed below are submitted successfully. Submission of the following indicates a complete application file:


Materials:Where to submit:How to submit:
ApplicationElectronicallyRequired fields: Personal Information, Application Information, Educational Background, Languages, Awards & Activities, Employment/Residence Information, Financial Support, Curriculum Vitae, Applicant Statements #1 (personal statement, see below) & #2 (diversity statement, see below), and Recommendations.

Optional fields: All other fields or application materials are optional, but will be taken into consideration if submitted.

online application
Personal StatementElectronically

The personal statement is required. Please limit this statement to no more than a total of three (3) pages with 1" margins and 12-point font. Your statement should outline:

  • Your background (e.g., personal, educational, work and research experience) to highlight how your past might prepare you for the future.
  • Your research interests. While specific research projects are frequently shaped in partnership with the faculty advisor, we do expect an applicant to be able to articulate their interests in a broad sense.
  • Your career goals and your view of how graduate school will help you attain those goals.
  • What motivates you as it relates to your interests and goals. Can you provide an example or two of your tenacity or resilience?
  • Why you are interested in UMN Entomology and note any Entomology faculty member(s) with whom you have been in contact and with whom you wish to work.
Diversity StatementElectronicallyThe diversity statement is required. In the Entomology Department and the Entomology Graduate Program, we are committed to building and supporting a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community that promotes wellness, growth, and success of students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds. With this in mind, please describe how your experiences and/or background have prepared you to be an active participant in this kind of environment. We are aware that discussions of diversity, equity, and inclusion are shaped by each applicant’s unique life experience, and we encourage you to express yourself in a way that is reflective of that. Please limit this statement to no more than a total of three (3) pages with 1" margins and 12-point font.
Curriculum VitaeElectronically

There is no page limit for the Curriculum Vitae.

Please visit UMN Career and Internship Services or the College of Liberal Arts for more information on preparing a CV. 

Application FeeElectronically Please visit Graduate School Admissions for more information about fees.
TranscriptsElectronicallyUnofficial transcripts or academic records should be uploaded directly to the online application. International students should also upload an English translation if the transcript is not in English. Please do not mail in paper copies of your transcripts, there is no need for official transcripts or academic records for initial review.

If you are admitted, the University will then request official copies of this material.

Please visit Graduate School Admissions for more information about uploading your transcripts and materials.
Three (3) Letters of RecommendationElectronically Acceptable recommendations will come from current or former professors who can assess your potential for graduate work. Other recommenders, such as employers, are also acceptable. More information on letters of recommendation can be found at Graduate School Admissions.
English Language test scores (TOEFL, IELTS, etc.)ElectronicallyInternational students: Please visit Graduate School Admissions for more information about TOEFL scores.
PublicationsElectronicallyOptional: Upload your publications and articles into the Program Additional Material portion on the Graduate Program Supplementary Information section of the online application.


If you have additional questions, please contact Dr. Karen Mesce (Director of Graduate Studies),  or Sarah Cowan (Graduate Program Coordinator).

Funding and Fees

Graduate students in the Department of Entomology may be funded through fellowships or assistantships. However, you may still be responsible for student fees. More information regarding fees can be found via One Stop. Please note that additional fees apply to international students.