Home < Schools, Colleges, and Programs < College of Agricultural and Life Sciences < Degrees, Majors, and Certificate Programs < Entomology

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences


Requirements for the Major

237 Russell Labs, 1630 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706; 608-262-0625; www.entomology.wisc.edu

Professors Paskewitz (chair), Goodman, Gratton, Hogg, Lindroth, Raffa, Williamson, Young, Zhu; Associate Professors Brunet, Groves; Assistant Professors Guedot, Schoville, Steffan

Insects have dominated the terrestrial planet for more than 350 million years. While entomologists have recognized and named more than one million different species of insects, experts vary widely on the true number of insects species—with estimates ranging as widely as from 3 to 30 million unique species. At any given moment, 200+ million insects live for every human on Earth; over 70 percent of all animal species are insects. They have achieved something that has eluded humans—sustainable development. Insects are the primary consumers of plants, yet they are also the dominant pollinators, thus ensuring plant reproduction. They play a critical role in disease transmission yet the service they provide to ecological maintenance is unparalleled.

Entomologists conduct insect-based research in numerous areas ranging from general biology, natural history, systematics, ecology and behavior, to molecular biology, physiology and development, to medical and agricultural entomology. Emerging areas include invasive species, biodiversity, pollination ecology, forensics, global health, and genomics. Entomology is a very specific discipline, yet at the same time, an immensely broad and diverse field of study touching a wide array of other subjects. As such, entomological training provides many choices and opportunities for those interested in the diversity of nature. While some entomologists work in the field, others work in the laboratory or classroom.

Students majoring in entomology study in a variety of fundamental and applied fields. Graduates find employment in college and university teaching, research and extension work, state and federal government service, industry, and research institutes.

Students can complete an undergraduate major in entomology under the Bachelor of Science degree program.

Students interested in graduate work should consult the Graduate School Catalog.

See the department website for current course rotation information.

Requirements for the Major

Required Courses
Mathematics (10 cr.)

Math [112 and 113], or 114, or 171* or placement exam
Math 211, or 217*, or 221
*Math 171 and 217 must be taken together

Chemistry (9-17 cr.)

Chem [103 and 104] or 109 

One of the following sets:
Chem 341 and 342

Chem 343 and 344 and 345

Biology (16 cr.)

One of the following sets:

Biology/Botany/Zoology 151 and 152

Zoology 101 and 102 and Botany 130

Biocore 381 and 382 and 383 and 384


Genetics 466

3 additional credits from any course coded as "B" or "P" in the course guide (a course in ecology or botany is recommended, see advisor for specific recommendations).

Physics (8-10 cr.)

One of the following sets:

Physics 103 and 104

Physics 201 and 202 

Physics 207 and 208

Entomology Core

Entom/Zoology 302 

Complete at least 3 credits from at least two of the following three subsets (organismal, suborganismal, or applied) and up to three credits from "Other," must have a total of 11 credits:

Organismal: Entom 331, 342, 432, 468, 473, 530, [632 and 633 and 634], 701
Suborganismal: Entom 321, 505
Applied: Entom 371, 500, 541
Other: Entom 375, 399, 681, 682, 691, 699


Entom 468, taken after the junior year, is the recommended capstone course (can double count in Core Courses).  Entom 681, 682, 691, 699 can be substituted in special circumstances (and can double count up to 3 credits in Core Category); see advisor.