Program Areas

Entomology and Plant Pathology  - Undergraduate Minor

Entomology and Plant Pathology - MS

  • Bioinformatics and Genomics concentration
  • Entomology concentration
  • Plant Pathology concentration

Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Nematology - PhD

  • Biodiversity and Ecosystem Resilience concentration
  • Bioinformatics, Genomics, and Molecular Interactions concentration
  • Organismal Biology and Ecology concentration
  • Sustainable Disease and Integrated Pest Management concentration


The Department Of Entomology and Plant Pathology offers a graduate program leading to the Master of Science with a major in Entomology and Plant Pathology, and a Doctor of Philosophy with a major in Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Nematology.



Master of Science Degree

The M.S. degree program is designed to provide students with the principles and research background for a career in the life sciences. Graduates have proven to be competitive in obtaining positions at academic institutions, in public service or the private sector, or admission to Ph.D. programs.

Students concentrating in entomology can study crop entomology, forest entomology, insect biology, insect ecology, insect pest management, taxonomy, molecular systematics, medical and veterinary entomology, biological control, integrated pest management, insect physiology, insect pathology, or innovative uses of traditional and bio rational pesticides.

Students choosing the plant pathology concentration can study foliar and stem fungal diseases, plant nematology, virology, nematology, epidemiology, disease physiology, biological control, or ecology of soil borne plant pathogens.

Many of the specialties within the department involve cross‑disciplinary activity. These studies include close cooperation and interaction with soil scientists, plant geneticists, horticulturists, veterinarians, and ecologists. For instance, the department has special interest and expertise in alternative methods of insect and disease management, such as biological control, resistant cultivars, integrated pest management, and cultural techniques, to help meet the need for healthful food production without or with reduced use of pesticides.

A student seeking the M.S. degree must complete a written thesis based on original research and the completion of a minimum of 24 semester hours of course work for graduate credit, approved by the student's advisory committee.  Included in the course requirements are two acceptable seminar presentations for 1 credit hour each.  Students are strongly encouraged to publish papers derived from their theses.  An oral final exam must be passed to the satisfaction of the advisory committee after the thesis has been completed.  The oral exam is both comprehensive and a defense of thesis.

A minor is not required but may be selected at the option of the student.  The minor will include at least 6 semester hours and not more than 10 hours of graduate‑level credit in the minor department. The student's committee shall include a member of the faculty from the minor department to assist in designating courses required for the minor.



Ph.D. Degree

The doctoral degree is evidence of exceptional scholarly attainment and demonstrated capacity in original investigation.  Requirements for the degree, therefore, include courses, examinations, and a period of resident study, as well as arrangements which guarantee sustained, systematic study and superior competency in a particular field.

The student’s program of study is subject to University Graduate Council policies and individual program requirements. The program of study as listed by the student on the Admission to Candidacy form must be approved by the doctoral committee.  Doctoral programs include a major field or area of concentration and, frequently, one or more cognate fields. Cognate fields are defined as a minimum of 6 semester hours of graduate coursework in a given area outside the student’s major field.

A candidate for doctoral degree must complete a minimum of 24 hours of graduate coursework beyond the master’s degree, which is a prerequisite for entry into most doctoral programs.  If the doctoral program does not require a master’s degree, the candidate must complete a minimum of 48 hours of graduate coursework beyond the baccalaureate degree. A minimum of 12 of the 24 hours, or 30 of the 48 hours, must be graded A-F. A minimum of 6 hours of the student’s coursework must be taken in University of Tennessee courses at the 600 level, exclusive of dissertation.

Ph.D. students are required to present two seminars. The first seminar (for 1 hour of EPP 640 credit) is the research proposal seminar. The second seminar (for 1 hour of EPP 640 credit) is required for the student to present an exit seminar.

In addition, 24 hours of course 600 Doctoral Research and Dissertation are required.

Written and oral Comprehensive and Defense of Dissertation Examinations are required of Ph.D. students in the EPPN program.