Entomology is the study of insects and how they interact with their environment, other species and humans. Professional entomologists contribute to the betterment of humankind by helping to understand and mitigate the spread of insect-borne diseases such as malaria and zika virus, by helping to find ways to protect food and fiber crops, livestock, forests, structures, and other systems from ravages of insect pests, and by helping to protect and sustain populations of beneficial insects that are critical to agriculture, food security, and societal well-being. Insects also serve as important models for basic studies in biological diversity, ecology, evolutionary biology, genetics, physiology, medicine, and other fields of science. Entomologists are employed at Universities and museums, non-profit organizations, as Extension educators, and in federal government agencies (EPA, USDA, APHIS); state departments of agriculture and public health, state agricultural research stations, agrichemical companies, agricultural consulting firms; timber and seed production companies, international development agencies, criminology and forensics, and the military.
The University of Kentucky’s Department of Entomology, celebrating its 125th continuous year of education, research and service, is one of the oldest and most productive intact units of its kind in the nation. The Department has a rich legacy of vibrant scholarship and innovative education and outreach, coupled with strong commitment to graduate education. It is designated a nationally Top 10 Entomology Program by the Chronicle of Higher Education Faculty Scholar Activity Index, and boasts four faculty members who have served as President or been elected as Fellows of the Entomological Society of America. The UK Entomology graduate program consistently ranks among the top graduate programs at the University of Kentucky, as measured by total number of graduate student presentations and publications.
Our mission is to improve the quality of human life and protect our environment through a better understanding of insects and related arthropods. Within the department, we strive for a creative synergy between fundamental and applied entomological research, developing long-term solutions to entomological problems, while providing answers that address immediate short-term problems. We have a strong integration of research, extension, and graduate education. The department’s response to critical entomological problems; e.g., the world-wide outbreak of bed bugs, pollinator decline, emerald ash borer, and Zika virus demonstrate how we respond to critical needs within the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the nation, and the world.
We conduct fundamental and applied research on insects; deliver information through education and outreach activities; educate graduate and undergraduate students; develop and provide resources to professionals involved in managing insect populations that affect plant, animal and human health; implement integrative and effective systems for pest/vector management; and enhance science education and public appreciation of human-insect interactions. We strive for continuous improvement in our programs and success of our students. Recent graduates are employed as university or college faculty, as research scientists with federal and state agencies (e.g., USDA, US Forest Service) or Industry, as extension educators, as entomologists in the military, public health agencies, or pest control firms, and as agricultural consultants, pest control specialists, and small business owners.
The personal and professional development of our faculty and staff; diversity among our students, faculty and staff; and being a collaborative part of the CAFE and the UK are among our core values.
Program requirements may change at any time. Contact the DGS of your intended program to confirm requirements.
201C Gillis Building
College of Agriculture, Food & Environment
Department of Entomology
S-225 Agricultural Science Center North