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Distance Masters Degree in Entomology

Introduction and Background on the Degree Program


The Department of Entomology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) offers a full curriculum distance M.S. degree in Entomology. The distance option emphasizes course work in entomology and flexibility in non-entomological training specific to individual student needs and interests. The distance M.S. option was developed for students who cannot participate in an on-campus degree program. Intended audiences for this degree are individuals actively involved in entomologically related professions where advanced training in entomology is desirable, as well as those seeking such positions. Examples include agricultural professionals, crop consultants, pest control operators, middle and high school science and biology teachers, and military personnel. Students enrolled in the distance program will have the opportunity to apply the training they receive in this program to their individual professions. In the Department of Entomology, we strive to build programs designed to meet the needs of our students!

Here are a few highlights:
  • The Distance M.S. in Entomology degree program follows the requirements for an Option III masters degree. This is a non-thesis option. These requirements are determined by UNL's Graduate College.
  • The degree requires 36 credit hours of graduate level coursework.
  • The degree requires 18 credit hours in entomology.
  • The degree requires that at least 18 hours be from graduate courses that do not have an undergraduate counterpart.
  • The degree requires that at least 18 credit hours be from UNL.
  • The specific course requirements are determined between the student and an advisor.
  • Distance courses are taught via video, CD-ROM, and the Internet.
  • Transfer credits from other fully accredited institutions may be applied to the degree.
  • The degree can be completed in as few as 2 years, but typically would take 3 to 4 years.
  • Admission requirements include an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university, and course work in biology, chemistry, and mathematics.
  • The distance M.S. in Entomology degree program is a fully recognized and accredited degree program of the University of Nebraska.

Interested in Applying?

Details on the Distance Masters of Science in Entomology

Entrance Requirements

Students must hold a B. S. or B. A. degree from an accredited college or university. Baccalaureate course work must include chemistry, mathematics, biology, and introductory entomology. A grade of C or better is required for all prerequisites. An undergraduate level statistics course will not fulfill the college level mathematics prerequisite. (A limited number of deficiencies in course work can be made up during the graduate program, but these will not count toward the program of study.) An undergraduate G.P.A. of 3.0 or better is required for Full Graduate Standing. Applicants with a G.P.A. of less than 3.0 will be considered on an individual basis for provisional admission. Provisionally admitted students must earn a B or better in their first 9 credit hours of graduate entomology courses. Provisionally admitted students will have their admission revoked if they do not meet the academic standard set in their provisional admittance. Provisional status will be upgraded to full admission when the provisional admittance requirement is met. Students whose native language is not English must have a TOEFL score of 550 or better for admission into the department (students with scores between 500-550 may be considered for provisional admission).

Degree Requirements

Students in the distance masters degree program must earn a minimum of 36 semester hours of credit, at least 18 of which must be earned in courses open exclusively to graduate students (900 or 800 level without 400 or lower counterparts). The program must include not fewer than 18 hours in the major. Students must take or have taken Entomology 818, Insect Identification and Natural History, Entomology 806, Insect Ecology, and Entomology 801, Insect Physiology. Additionally, students must take Entomology 888, Masters Degree Project, for 4 credit hours, in which students will develop an independent project applying their graduate training to a practical question of interest. At the end of the graduate program, students must pass the Board Certified Entomology (BCE) general exam through the Entomological Society of America or the Department of Entomology's general exam. A specialized written comprehensive exam, prepared by the distance education committee must also be passed at the end of the degree program.

Developing a Program of Study and Satisfactory Progress Requirements

On admission to the degree, students will work directly with the Distance Education Coordinator to select course work, evaluate progress toward the degree, and administer the written comprehensive exam. The student and advisor will work together to develop a memorandum of courses.

Time Requirements

Work for a Masters Degree must be completed within ten consecutive calendar years. Course work exceeding ten years will not apply toward partial fulfillment of the degree requirements for Masters degrees at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. Upon recommendation of the Department, a graduate student may apply to the Dean of Graduate Studies for permission to take a special examination or the current semester final examination, in courses for which graduate credit has been recorded and is more than six years old, counting from the last day of classes for the semester or term in which the student registered for the course. However, the Graduate Council has adopted the general principal of denying permission to validate credit hours more than 10 years old. Courses may be validated up to the 10 years limit, counting from the last day of classes for the semester or term in which the student registered for the first course that is used on the program. A report of the results of the examination, which is prepared, given, and graded by the Department, is filed in the Graduate Studies office. Unless a grade of B is obtained in the examination, the student is required to take additional work, the amount and nature of which is determined by the major advisor and the Dean of Graduate Studies. The student is ultimately responsible for meeting all time requirements and deadlines.

Transfer of Credit

Not less than 50 percent of the course work of the minimum number of graduate credits required for the Masters degree (18 credits hours) must be completed through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. For graduate credits from another fully accredited institution to be accepted in the Masters degree program, the Department of Entomology must approve the quality and suitability as equal to or superior to the offerings available at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Only graduate credit that was not applied to a degree can be transferred. Credit from professional courses is not transferable. Students must have been enrolled in the institution that offered the course and must provide 2 copies of the of official transcripts. Approval of the Office of Graduate Studies also is required for the transfer of graduate work taken elsewhere, and copies of official transcripts must be sent to the Office of Graduate Studies.

Time to degree

The Distance M. S. degree is designed to be completed in 2.5 or 3 years, based on completing 6 credit hours for each of 6 semesters. A typical program would include 36 credit hours of entomology or closely related courses, including a 4 credit hour M.S. degree project.


The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a fully accredited graduate and undergraduate institution. The distance Masters of Science degree program in Entomology is conducted and administered by the Department of Entomology in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and by the Graduate College of the University of Nebraska. The distance M.S. in Entomology degree program is a fully recognized and accredited degree program of the University of Nebraska.

Other Policies and Additional Information

Additional information on policies and procedures are provided in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Graduate Studies Bulletin and in the Department of Entomology Graduate Handbook. The Chair of the Department of Entomology Graduate Committee also acts as a resource for applicants and current graduate students.

Course Schedule for Distance Education Masters in Entomology,University of Nebraska-Lincoln.