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Academics

The Department of Entomology offers many courses and seminars dealing with a broad range of entomological topics. Furthermore, the interdisciplinary nature of faculty interests creates a diverse set of research topics, ranging from neuroethology to biological control and everything in between. If it has something to do with an insect, chances are someone at the University of Illinois is studying it! Below you will find information on the courses offered at the University of Illinois Department of Entomology. For a more complete list of classes offered in the School of Integrative Biology see this page.

The over 30 faculty and affiliates in the department offer a very broad range of topics for study. Emeritus faculty continue to be an integral part of the intellectual atmosphere of the department, and our association with the Illinois Natural History Survey makes our department one of the most challenging and diverse in the country.

For a Master’s Degree

A graduate student must complete the following requirements in order to graduate with a master’s degree as his/her highest degree from the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois:
  1. Fulfill the prescriptions made following the prescription examination.
  2. Pass with a grade of A or B four of the following courses:
    • Classification and Evolution of Insects (IB 468)
    • Genomic Analysis of Insects (IB 504)
    • Insect Physiology (IB 427)
    • Insect Ecology (IB 444)
    • Fundamentals of Insect Pest Management (IB 482)
    A grade of C or below in one or more of these courses requires remedial work.
  3. The Department of Entomology sponsors its own colloquium series (generally on Monday at 4 p.m.) and it is required that our graduate students sign up for 1 hour credit as IB 526B every semester and attend all departmental colloquia. Only if a student has a conflict at the time of the colloqium, can they be allowed to miss it for that semester only.
  4. Submit a thesis prepared on original research performed with the supervision of a faculty member of the graduate program in entomology.
  5. Pass the final examination on the thesis material and successfully deposit the thesis with the Graduate College.
  6. Complete 32 credit hours of coursework including the core courses, thesis research (Ent. 599) and electives. At least 12 hours must be in the major field (Entomology). No more than 12 hours of thesis credit (Ent. 599) may be included in the 32-hour program. At least 16 hours must be from courses meeting at the Urbana-Champaign campus, or other courses approved for residence credit by the Graduate College. Courses taken as credit/no credit may not be included in the 32 hours of credit.
  7. Complete all requirements for the degree within five calendar years after initial registration in the Graduate College.
  8. Maintain a 3.0 grade point average, which is the GPA required for degree certification.

For a Ph.D. Degree

A graduate student must complete the following requirements in order to graduate with a Ph.D. degree as his/her highest degree from the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois:
  1. Fulfill the prescriptions made following the prescription examination.
  2. Pass with a grade of A or B all five of the following courses:
    • Classification and Evolution of Insects (IB 468)
    • Genomic Analysis of Insects (IB 504)
    • Insect Physiology (IB 427)
    • Insect Ecology (IB 444)
    • Fundamentals of Insect Pest Management (IB 482)
    A grade of C or below in one or more of these courses requires remedial work.
  3. Statistics Course(s)--Ph.D. students are required to take four-credit hours of Statistics. Approved courses are offered by many different campus units. The departmental office maintains an informal list of approved courses. A student should consult with GSAC to ensure that a new course or a course not on the list is acceptable.
  4. The Department of Entomology sponsors its own colloquium series (generally on Monday at 4 p.m.) and it is required that our graduate students sign up for 1 hour credit as IB 526B every semester and attend all departmental colloquia. Only if a student has a conflict at the time of the colloqium, can they be allowed to miss it for that semester only.
  5. Obtain a grade of ďsatisfactoryĒ in at least three semesters of Seminar in Entomology (IB 526) (the Entomology Colloquium does not count towards this requirement). Each semester, one IB 526 "advanced topics" seminar (or equivalent advanced topics course approved by the Head or GSAC) will be offered by the department in one of the five core areas (ecology, genomics, physiology, systematics, IPM) or in toxicology or behavior. In order to count towards fulfilling this requirement, each of the three IB 526 "advanced topics" seminars must be in a different subject area.
  6. If the candidate has entered the graduate program without a masterís degree, he or she must complete, defend and deposit a Masterís thesis before taking preliminary examinations.
  7. Pass the Preliminary Examination.
  8. Complete at least 96 hours of graduate credit. A student entering with a masterís degree is given credit for 32 hours irrespective of the University or Department where this degree was earned. At least 64 of the hours, including thesis credit, must be courses meeting on the Urbana-Champaign campus or at other locations approved by the Graduate College for residence credit.
  9. Submit a dissertation prepared on original research performed under the supervision of a faculty member or affiliate member of the Department of Entomology as advisor.
  10. Present a seminar to the department on the completed research project.
  11. Pass the Final Examination on the dissertation material and successfully deposit the dissertation with the Graduate College.
  12. Fulfill at least two semesters of teaching assistantships while a graduate student here (this is a new requirement as of Spring 2018).
  13. Complete all requirements for this degree within seven calendar years, which includes the two years applied toward the Masterís degree, after initial registration in the Graduate College, except in two cases. A candidate for the doctorate who has received a masterís degree elsewhere must complete all requirements for the degree within six years after initial registration in the doctoral program on this campus. A student whose program of study has been significantly interrupted after receiving a masterís degree from the University of Illinois and who later returns to work for the doctorate will have six years from the date of return to complete degree requirements.
  14. Maintain a 3.0 grade point average, which is the GPA required for degree certification.

Courses currently offered by Department of Entomology faculty:

  • IB 109: Insects and People - This courses teaches the fundamentals of insect biology as reflected in human culture; insect physiology, ecology, and behavior are discussed in the context of art, literature, movies, medicine, sports, law, and history. An optional two-hour laboratory for 1 hour additional credit. This course is worth 3 or 4 hours.

  • IB 220: Introduction to Applied Entomology - Lectures, laboratory, and field trips cover the biology of insects and the recognition and management of insect pests of agricultural, forest, and urban ecosystems. This course covers insect structure and physiology, classification, life histories, behavior, and pest management. It is worth 3 credit hours.

  • IB 302: Evolution - Broad introduction to evolutionary biology, including natural selection and microevolution, phylogeny, speciation, molecular evolution, macroevolution and the fossil records. The laboratory emphasizes a survey of biodiversity and processes and patterns of evolution.

  • IB 329: Animal Behavior - Introductory course emphasizing how patterns of behavior promote survival, change through evolution, and are modified by the environment.

  • IB 361: Ecology and Human Health - Exploration of the emergence of infectious diseases and other human health issues from an ecological perspective, including vector-borne diseases, diseases spread from wildlife in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and the role of pathogens and parasites in community and population ecology, food webs, and ecosystem functioning. Attention will be placed on how current and future global change and biodiversity loss will contribute to the increasing prevalence of human emerging diseases.

  • IB 401: Introduction to Entomology - This course is made up of lectures and labs featuring integrated studies of the principal morphological, physiological, ecological and behavioral relationships among insects. This is a course for biology majors and related fields, and includes techniques of insect collection and taxonomy as well as laboratory studies of all aspects of insect lives.

  • IB 411: Bioinspiration - Focuses on how experts in biology and technological fields find inspiration in nature and use it as a model to make technological innovations and solve societal problems. In the future, our day-to-day living, health, and the environment will benefit from interdisciplinary teams using findings in basic biological research for technological innovation. Topics to be explored include human health, efficient architecture, cooperative control, robotics, swarm logic, and advanced biological materials.

  • IB 427: Insect Physiology - Study of the principal physiological and biochemical functions of insects. Lecture and laboratory. This course is one of the five core courses in the entomology graduate program.

  • IB 432: Genes and Behavior - Concepts, methods, and problems in the analysis of the relationship between genes and behavior, the complex neurobiological processes that mediate action on behavior, in appropriate ecological and evolutionary contexts.

  • IB 435: Critical Evaluation of Herbal Remedies - One-third of Americans use health care products derived from natural sources, particularly plants, but also animals, and fungi. This course examines the biological activity of natural products with respect to their ecological functions and their therapeutic uses. Principles of evidence-based medicine will be reviewed and students will evaluate natural remedies through lectures, in-class activities, discussions, and analyses of scientific papers. Overall, students develop skills useful for evaluating alternative remedies and for communicating their conclusions to the general public.

  • IB 444: Insect Ecology - Discussion of the practical and theoretical aspects of ecology in relation to insects as individuals, populations, and communities; emphasis on the role of insects in the environment. This course is one of the five core courses in the entomology graduate program.

  • IB 451: Conservation Biology - Synthesis of conservation biology with an emphasis on the preservation of biological diversity and its evolutionary potential. Laboratory includes an introduction to the use of modern molecular techniques in conservation biology, computer simulation modeling, and field conservation problem solving.

  • IB 468: Classification and Evolutionary History of Insects - Analytical survey of the classification and evolution of the orders and principal families of insects, with practical experience in the identification of insects at these taxonomic levels; field trips required. Lecture and laboratory. This course is one of the five core courses in the entomology graduate program.

  • IB 481: Biology of Disease Vectors - Examines the major groups of arthropods and associated pathogens that affect the health and well-being of humans and other animals. Training will include identification, classification, methods of injury, habits, vector competence, and control of insects, ticks and mites that are predators, parasites, or vectors of disease. The course will examine and use both classical and molecular technologies to address epidemiological, ecological, and diagnostic factors associated with arthropod-borne diseases.

  • IB 482: Fundamentals of Insect Pest Management - Study of the principles underlying the control of important insect pests of agriculture and of human and animal health; emphasis on integrated pest management involving a systems approach which combines biological, cultural, and chemical suppressive factors into ecologically sound and socially and economically acceptable technology. Lecture and laboratory. This course is one of the five core courses in the entomology graduate program.

  • IB 483: Insect Pathology - Examines the general principles of pathology as they apply to insects; includes non-infectious and infectious diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and nematodes. Studies the epizootiology of naturally occurring insect disease and the use of insect pathogens as microbial control agents. Lecture and laboratory.

  • IB 485: Environmental Toxicology & Health - Explores toxicological, environmental, public health, occupational and ecological aspects of the use and release of toxic substances in the environment; features case histories of environmental contamination that illustrate ecological, health, and social aspects of pollution; emphasizes biochemical mechanisms and ecosystem consequences.

  • IB 486: Pesticide Toxicology - Examines the biological effects of major classes of insecticides and herbicides, and of selected individual fungicides, including: toxicity to nontarget organisms, persistence and fate in the environment, biotransformation, and ecological consequences. Current regulations on pesticide testing will also be presented. The mechanism of action on target species will be discussed only in relation to effects on nontarget organisms.

  • IB 504: Genomic Analysis of Insects - Comprehensive and integrated presentation of insect genomic analysis from the molecular level to that of the population; concepts are applied to certain aspects of insect population regulation. This course is one of the five core courses in the entomology graduate program.

  • IB 526: Seminar in Entomology - Each semester a different faculty member chairs a small group of students that discuss, review, and critique papers in a specific field of entomology. Previous topics have included "Caste Determintation in Social Insects," "Steroid Receptors and Insect Metamorphosis," and "Insect Toxicology." Each graduate student must complete three different semesters of these small group discussions.