Entomology Major

Entomology is the study of insects. CALS’ program in Entomology was the first of its kind in the U.S., and remains one of the largest programs in the nation. The program ranks as one of the top in the country, with research that spans the globe and impacts human lives on many levels, influencing a broad range of disciplines including human and veterinary medicine, farming, biodiversity, and genomics.

The Entomology major provides an education in biological and environmental sciences, with a special emphasis on insects. Students in this major are not just fascinated by the most diverse group of animals on Earth; they understand that research in entomology is critical to human lives. For example:

  • Many serious diseases across the world are spread by insects; finding cures to these diseases will require a detailed understanding of insect biology.
  • A number of physiological processes—such as neurobiological systems—can be studied more easily in insects than in mammals.
  • Insects have evolved solutions to problems that still confound engineers. Examining the functional morphology of insects has helped inspire better designs of everything from robots to solar panels.

Employment Fields

Most undergraduates who major in this program subsequently go on to graduate studies in entomology or related sciences. Others find that the Entomology major is good preparation for a medical career

  • Evolutionary Biologist: Insects are among the best studied and most tractable groups of organisms in which to study evolution from fruit fly genetics to butterfly populations.
  • Molecular biologist: Many insects are exquisitely suited to laboratory study to understand basic questions in physiology, genetics and toxicology.
  • Medical entomologist: find ways to prevent insects from spreading diseases and work with physicians to develop methods for treatment.
  • Agricultural entomologist: work with farmers to find ways to protect crops from insect pests while protecting beneficial insects.
  • Taxonomic entomologist: conduct field studies to discover new insects and their relationships.
  • Conservation Biology
  • Veterinary Entomology
  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

What recent graduates are doing

  • Research and Development Project Manager
  • Research Assistant
  • Ecology Intern
  • Animal Behavior PhD
  • Immunology PhD
  • Ecology & Evolutionary Biology PhD

Sample Classes

ENTOM 2010 Alien Empire: Bizarre Biology of Bugs

Insects are the most abundant and diverse animals on earth. This course explores the often bizarre biology of insects and their interaction with humans.

ENTOM 2100 Plagues and People

This course takes a long view of the associations of humans and pathogens, parasites, and arthropods that have had great impact on human lives, culture, and enterprise from Biblical times, through the Black Death of medieval Europe, to modern scourges, such as malaria, that still kill millions of people every year.

ENTOM 3350 Naturalist Outreach

Whether you are more interested in insects or in other aspects of the natural world, this course will help you develop your passion and share it with others. Students learn to prepare engaging multimedia presentations and take them into secondary school classrooms throughout Central New York.

    More about Entomology from the Department