Master of Science in Entomology

Online and Distance Education Programs


The online Master of Science in Entomology program is designed for science professionals who are interested in broadening their skill sets and education in Entomology. The flexibility of this program allows students to create a program that is specific to an individuals needs and interests. Students will be able to apply the coursework from this program directly to their professions.

Through coursework, students will:

  • Develop a theoretical and applied understanding of entomology
  • Gain a knowledge base, enabling them to examine entomological problems and develop strategies to address these problems
  • Enhance analysis and synthesis of divergent viewpoints
  • Develop new professional skills and knowledge applicable to their career field

Students gain a well-rounded understanding of Entomology as a whole and are able to focus coursework in areas such as:

  • Forensic and medical entomology
  • Natural history
  • Insects in education
  • Insect pest management, toxicology and biological control
  • Insect ecology, physiology and biochemistry
  • Plant resistance


Option I
  • Minimum 30 cr, including 20-24 cr of regular coursework.
  • Thesis required, equivalent to 6-10 cr. At least half of the required work, including thesis, must be in one major subject.
  • Minor optional, at least 9 cr.
  • 8 cr, in addition to the thesis, must be in graduate-only courses.
Option II
  • Minimum 36 cr, a major and one or two minors.
  • No thesis required.
  • Minor required, at least 9 cr.
  • At least 12 of the 36 cr must be in graduate-only courses.

MEd is only available as Option II.

Option III
  • Minimum 36 cr.
  • No thesis required.
  • No minor available.
  • At least 18 of the 36 cr must be in graduate-only courses.

Accountancy MPA is only available as Option III; its students must earn at least 20 cr in graduate-only courses and at least 15 cr of those must be in Accountancy.


Core Courses
ENTO 801: Insect Physiology (3 credits) Functions and other phenomena associated with the major organ systems of insects; the cuticle, nervous, circulatory, digestive, metabolism, nutrition, locomotion, reproduction, respiration, and growth and development.
ENTO 806: Insect Ecology (3 credits) Prereq: NRES/BIOS 220 and 222. ENTO 406/806 is offered spring semester of odd-numbered calendar years. Offered on in the spring semester of odd-numbered calendar years. Interrelationships of the biotic and abiotic factors as they influence insect development, behavior, distribution, and abundance.
ENTO 818: Insect Identification and Natural History (4 credits) Prereq: Introductory course in entomology. Credit toward the degree may not be earned in both ENTO 800 and ENTO *818. Application of entomology to legal issues. Criminal investigations, insects of forensic importance, insect succession on carrion, and case studies.
Elective Courses
ENTO 802: Aquatic Insects (2 credits) (ENTO 402; BIOS 885; NRES 802) (2 cr II) Lec 2. Prereq: 12 hrs biological sciences or permission Biology and ecology of aquatic insects.
ENTO 803: Management of Horticultural Crop Insects (3 credits) Prereq: Introductory course in biology. Credit toward the degree cannot be earned in both ENTO 303 and ENTO 403/803. Biology, ecology and management of insect pests of horticultural crops such as vegetables, fruit trees, trees and shrubs, greenhouse crops, turf and ornamentals. Employs IPM strategies to maintain pests below damaging levels while minimizing the use of traditional insecticides.
ENTO 809: Insect Control by Host Plant Resistance (3 credits) Explore resistance of crops to herbivorous arthropods. Investigate how insect behavior and physiology are affected by resistance, critically review current research on plant resistance genes, and the molecular, biochemical and physiological aspects of insect/microbe interactions with host plants. Prereqs: 12 hrs agricultural sciences and/or biological sciences including one course in entomology and one course in genetics.
ENTO 810: Insects as Educational Tools for the Classroom (3 credits) Prereq: Introductory entomology course or permission. Class taught via Blackboard. Offered fall semester. Insect diversity, insect structure and function, insect ecology and behavior, and the beneficial and detrimental roles of insects. Integrates the study of insects into the classroom to enhance science education.
ENTO 812: Entomology and Pest Management (3 credits) Prereq: Introductory course in entomology. Principles and practices of managing insect pests. Pest management theory, use of sampling, evaluation, tactics, types of insect pests, and current issues.
ENTO 813: Biological Control of Pests (3 credits) Prereq: 12 hrs BIOS and/or agricultural sciences. ENTO/PLPT 813 is offered spring semester of even-numbered calendar years.Principles and practices of using natural enemies and antagonists to manage the abundance of pests and reduce economic losses.
ENTO 814: Forensic Entomology (3 credits) Prereq: An introductory course in entomology. Application of entomology to legal issues. Criminal investigations, insects of forensic importance, insect succession on carrion, and case studies.
ENTO 815: Medical Entomology (3 credits) Prereqs: Introductory course in ENTO. Direct and indirect importance of insects in human medicine. Principles of arthropod-borne disease, medically important arthropod groups, and arthropod-transmitted diseases.
ENTO 819: Insect Behavior (3 credits) Prereq: An introductory course in entomology. Offered in the summer of even-numbered calendar years. Principles of animal behavior as applied to insects and terrestrial arthropods. Techniques in studying insect behavior.
ENTO 820: Insect Toxicology (3 credits) (3 cr I) Lec 3. Prereq: 12 hrs BIOS; 4 hrs organic chemistry.Offered fall semester of even-numbered calendar years.Principles of toxicology, insecticide classification, mode of action, metabolism and consequences of insecticide use.
ENTO 825: Management of Agronomic Insects (3 credits) Lec 3. Prereq: An introductory entomology course. Identification, biology, ecology and management of insect pests of agronomic crops such as corn, soybeans, sorghum, wheat, and alfalfa. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies employed to maintain pests below damaging levels while minimizing the use of traditional insecticides.
ENTO 826: Scientific Illustration (3 credits) (3 cr II) Ind. Prereq: 12 hrs agricultural and/or biological sciences. Offered spring semester of even-numbered calendar years. Prepare scientifically accurate, high quality illustrations and graphics for the teaching, presentation, and publication of scientific information. Drawing techniques, drafting, copyright, and publication and presentation of scientific art work.
ENTO 827: Population and Ecological Genetics (3 credits) Introduction to key theoretical concepts in population genetics and their application. Mutation, genetic drift, structured populations, natural selection, molecular evolution. Prereqs: Introductory Genetics, Introductory Algebra
ENTO 830: Introduction to the Development of Distance Education Courses (3 credits) Introduction to practical aspects of developing and facilitating distance education courses. Create and facilitate interaction, assessments, course delivery, assignments, course etiquette and ADA compliance. Develop a distance course module grounded in distance education theory and instructional design principles.
ENTO 888: MS Degree Project (4 credits) Prereq: Completion of 24 hrs toward the MS degree. Application of graduate course work for the non-thesis MS degree program.
ENTO 896: Independent Study in Entomology (1-6 credits) (1-6 cr, max 12 I,II,III) Prereq: 12 hrs biological sciences or agricultural sciences. Individual or group projects in research, literature review, or extension of course work under supervision and evaluation of a departmental faculty member. Independent study contracts for ENTO 896 must be filed with department.
ENTO 915: Presentation Methods This course prepares entomology graduate students to give scientific and public presentations. It includes instruction in preparing posters and on-screen shows, image editing, finding entomological resources in libraries and on the internet, insect photography, and public speaking. Students develop a portfolio of their work, and they make two 12- and one 30-minute presentations to their classmates. Prereq: Permission
Tuition and Fees How to Apply Contact Us

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Graduates of the online Master of Science in Entomology program may find careers in a multitude of areas, including:

  • Middle and high school teachers
  • Zoos, botanical gardens, butterfly houses
  • Seed industry
  • Agrochemical industry
  • Food industry
  • Crop consultation
  • Urban pest control
  • Military pest control

I like that it's diversified and I can take classes that interest me. It's also easier to get a minor in whatever I want without having to invest additional time in college.

Applied Science Student in Central City, Nebraska

Service you expect from a leading University

  • Access the same student services available to on-campus students
  • An academic adviser will guide you along your journey
  • Career services are available when you are ready to take your next step


  • Combine a number of disciplines to create a unique degree
  • Choose more than 50% of the courses you take as electives
  • Complete coursework during the time of day that works best for you within a select timeframe

Quality learning experience

  • The University of Nebraska has offered distance education courses for more than 100 years
  • Interact with faculty and students through e-mail, discussion forums and chat groups
  • Direct access to world-class faculty – researchers who are experts in their fields or practitioners with real-world experience

To be accepted to this program

  1. A bachelor's degree
    Undergraduate degree must include coursework in math, chemistry, and biology
  2. 3.00 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale
  3. Taken the TOEFL or IELTS
    (Only required if English is not your native language)
  4. 3 letters of recommendation
  5. Official transcripts from all previous schools
NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states

Application Deadlines

Rolling admissions. Application review will begin upon receipt of all required application materials.

Tom Weissling

Tom Weissling, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Distance Education Coordinator

Tom Weissling serves as the distance education coordinator for the entomology program in addition to his teaching and extension responsibilities. He has been invited to nearly 200 seminars, created training programs, conducted outreach programs and has written many articles in the field of entomology.


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