Entomology at Clemson University

Fossil antENTOMOLOGY is the scientific discipline devoted to the study of insects. The oldest known insects are found in fossils over 280 million years old. By the Jurassic Era (100 million years ago) most types of insects found in either rock or amber fossils are very similar to those that we see today. There are nearly 1 million  insect  species  now  identified  making  up almost 70% of all living animals. Insects can be found in virtually every habitat on earth.  Insects have played a variety of important roles in human history:  they are an important food source for many animals including some human societies; they are often important elements in mythology; as transmitters of diseases, they have determined the outcome of wars and the fate of civilizations; as pests of crop plants they have had significant impacts on crop production, and; as predators or parasites they are important regulating agents for many species of plant and insect pests.  They are among the most important human competitors and, at the same time, are vital for human survival.Mosquito

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES IN ENTOMOLOGY are exciting and often adventurous. Jobs with universities, state and federal government agencies, the military and private businesses and industry often include a chance to travel and explore many exotic regions of the world. Professional entomologists play a significant role in the search for new knowledge about insects in areas as diverse as health, the natural world, biotechnology, urban and landscape environments, forensics, environmental quality, manufacturing, agriculture and industry.

AT CLEMSON UNIVERSITY, you can minor in entomology as part of any undergraduate degree program. This requires 16 credits of entomology courses in addition to courses required in a student’s major.

Parasitic waspUNDERGRADUATE MAJORS in Biological Sciences can follow a curriculum that results in a degree with an emphasis in Entomology. Many Entomology courses are cross-listed in Biological Sciences allowing any student to receive credit in their major for courses about insect science.

Metallic wood borerUNDERGRADUATE STUDENT RESEARCH is strongly encouraged, and supported, by our Department.  Students in any major who are interested in entomology are encouraged to apply for summer intern/research positions with faculty located at the main campus, the Pee Dee, Edisto, or Coastal Research and Education Centers, or the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory.  Additional internship opportunities are also often available with private firms.

OUR DEPARTMENT OFFERS GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAMS with a focus in environmental entomology. Students pursuing M.S. or Ph.D. degrees have the opportunity to work with a faculty advisor in one of four research emphasis areas: aquatic arthropod diversity, crop-insect management, genetics and biotechnology, and urban entomology.


Prepared by J. D. Culin, Department Chair/Professor, Department of Entomology, Soils, and Plant Sciences, Clemson University.
EIIS/BB-5 (New 05/2000; Revised 02/2005).


This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied. Brand names of pesticides are given as a convenience and are neither an endorsement nor guarantee of the product nor a suggestion that similar products are not effective. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed.

The Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer. Clemson University Cooperating with U.S. Department of Agriculture and South Carolina Counties. Issued in Furtherance of Cooperative Extension Work in Agriculture and Home Economics, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914.