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Overview

Entomology majors gain a vast knowledge of all aspects of the insect world. First and foremost, they study the insects themselves—the many different types of them, their differences and similarities, and how we classify them into major groups—a practice known as taxonomy. You’ll study the evolution of insects, and see how they’ve been affected by changes in the environment and human society. You’ll learn the ways in which insects are both harmful and helpful to our health, and the many methods available to control them.


The scope of your studies will vary widely. For instance, you’ll learn about the biological aspects of insects, such as their anatomy, biochemical processes, and growth. You’ll learn about various problems that insects present to agriculture and urban life, and how we can best manage insects in these realms. You’ll study relatives of insects such as spiders, ticks, and mites. And you’ll gain an understanding of environmental concerns, and how insects, the environment, and humans are connected. (Bonus: you’ll understand Elton John’s “Circle of Life” at a much deeper level as an Entomology major.)


An Entomology major, like any other scientific field, requires a great deal of research and laboratory work. Field work is also an integral part of many programs. This is an exciting way to get hands-on experience and see how your studies relate to the real world.

SAMPLE CURRICULUM

  • Aquatic Insects

  • Arthropods Affecting Urban Life and Public Health

  • Biology

  • Ecology

  • Evolution and Classification of Insects

  • Field Ecology of Disease Vectors

  • Fundamentals of Pesticides

  • Inorganic Chemistry

  • Insect Ecology

  • Insect-Plant Disease Relationships

  • Insects, Science, and Society

  • Livestock Entomology

  • Microbiology

  • Molecular Genetics

  • Organic Chemistry


HIGH SCHOOl PREPARATION

If you’re considering a major in Entomology, you should try to take as many biology, chemistry, and math courses as you can. These will be your best preparation. Computer courses will be good as well. And don’t forget your English classes—good researchers must also be good communicators.