Master of Science in Entomology

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Comments about Master of Science in Entomology - At the institution - New Brunswick - New Jersey

  • Course description
    The Entomology Graduate Program is designed to educate scientists who can function in a wide array of professional endeavors. The requirements are intended to present the student with contemporary thought and methods of entomological research.

    Application for admission must be made through the Office of Graduate Admissions of Rutgers University.
    Final admission to the program, including transfers from other Graduate Programs at Rutgers, may be attained only by recommendation of the Program's Graduate Student Acceptance/Progress Committee with the approval of the Department Chairman and the Dean of the Graduate School.

    1. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores in verbal, quantitative, analytical and advanced areas must be on file with the Graduate Program Director prior to acceptance into the program. International applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the TOEFL examination.

    2. Course requirements for Admission are:
    Biology - 2 semesters or equivalent
    General Chemistry - 2 semesters or equivalent
    Calculus - 2 semesters or equivalent, or 1 semester of calculus and 1 semester of statistics

    3. Depending on a student’s background and research interests, the student’s committee can require that a student take additional courses in Organic Chemistry, Physics, Biochemistry, Ecology or Genetics.

    4. Any deviation from these requirements must be approved by the Program for each individual case. Admission to the Program with deficiencies is permitted but the course requirements must be met prior to defense of the thesis. The Acceptance/Progress Committee will notify the Graduate Director in writing of any deficiencies. Notification to the applicant of all deficiencies and a timetable for meeting them will accompany the Admission letter. The advisory committee chairman will notify in writing the Graduate Director when the necessary work is complete. If no entomology course work is included in the student's course background, he/she may, at the discretion of the advisory committee, be required to enroll in Insect Biology without credit.


    1. The entomology core curriculum for the M.S. degree is:
    Insect Structure and Function
    Insect Taxonomy
    Insect Collection
    Seminar in Entomology
    2 credits

    2.  (During at least one of the two semesters the student must present a seminar to the Department).

    3. Two additional elective graduate entomology courses (other than Seminar and Special Topics in Entomology, 11:370:601, 602).

    4.  Students in the Program must satisfy the core curriculum requirements prior to completion of their degree. Failure of any core course will ordinarily result in termination from the Program. Students entering the Program who feel that their previous training is sufficient to meet all or part of the core courses may petition the Program faculty, before the end of their second semester of enrollment, to have any portion of the requirements waived. Waiver will require that the student either (1) pass a competency exam administered by the Acceptance/Progress Committee in consultation with the course instructor, or (2) present satisfactory evidence to this Committee of having taken, with a grade of B or better, an equivalent course at another institution ("equivalent" means closely similar in subject matter, depth, and rigor to that required in the core course). A petition must be by letter, endorsed by their advisory committee, to the Acceptance/Progress Committee stating the student's reason(s) for waiver of the requirements. The Acceptance/Progress Committee, with support from appropriate faculty, evaluates the request and makes a recommendation to be discussed by the Program Faculty. All waivers require a majority vote by the faculty.

    Each candidate for the masters in Entomology must demonstrate to the Graduate Student Progress Committee competency in Entomology in the following areas; insect structure and function, and taxonomy. Competency will normally be assured by taking the corresponding courses of the Entomology Core Curriculum; if these are passed with a grade of B or better no additional examination is required. Students receiving a grade lower than B must take a competency exam administered by the Progress Committee.

    1. Two plans are available for achievement of the master's degree:
    o     Plan A (with Thesis): 24 credit hours of formal courses and 6 research credits; or
    o     Plan B (without Thesis): 30 hours of formal courses with no research or thesis

    Plan A is designed for students who anticipate a career in research. The purpose of the thesis is to teach the principles of experimental design, collection of scientific data, interpretation of results, and scientific writing. Plan B is intended for students who wish to gain expertise in the field of entomology but do not expect to work in a research environment. Students completing the M.S. degree via Plan B will not be recommended for continuation to the Ph.D. program. The plan is intended for secondary school teachers or non-academic professionals who wish to upgrade their proficiencies in science without continuation to the Ph.D. degree.

    2. The Graduate School requires a minimum of 12 credit hours of courses in the 500 and 600 level (strictly graduate courses) for a Plan A degree, and 18 credit hours of 500 and 600 level courses for a Plan B degree (without thesis).

    3.  The student must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the advisory committee an ability to write in a scientific manner before completion of the degree, regardless of whether he/she follows Plan A or Plan B.

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