Requirements for Master's Degree

Graduate Advisory Committee

The Graduate Advisory Committee consists of at least 3 members of the Graduate Faculty, at least one of whom is a full member of the Graduate Faculty.  The Major Professor is the chair of the committee with other members chosen by the student in consultation with the Major Professor.  If there is an external minor, one committee member must represent the minor department.  The committee must be established within the first 6 months of the student’s tenure in the Department. 

Credit Hours and Course Work

The minimum requirement for a Master’s degree is 30 hours of graduate work, including 24 hours of course work and 6 hours of thesis research.  At least 15 hours of course work must be graduate (7000) level, which includes required courses and the 6 hours of research (ENTM 8000). Available courses are shown in Appendix A.  The Master’s degree must be completed within five years from entrance into the degree program.

Required Courses

Specific departmental course requirements include:


  • ENTM 4005 Insect Taxonomy (4)
  • ENTM 7001 General Entomology (4)
  • ENTM 7016 Insect Physiology (4)
  • ENTM 7007 Seminar in Entomology (1)
  • Additional Courses (11)*
  • ENTM 8000: Thesis Research (6)

* Only upper level undergraduate (4000) or graduate (7000) courses can be taken to satisfy this requirement. Special topics (ENTM 7008) may be taken multiple times when topics vary for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

Thesis Research Proposal

A Master’s student is required to have a research proposal and a plan of study accepted by his or her Graduate Advisory Committee by the end the first 6 months of study.  Guidelines for this proposal are given in Appendix B.  A list of completed courses and those proposed to meet departmental requirements should also be prepared.  A meeting of the Graduate Advisory Committee should be convened by the student within 6 months to discuss his/her proposal and course work. (Appendix C) 

The Thesis

The thesis must follow the guidelines for Preparation of Theses and Dissertations available online at  The thesis should be delivered to the Graduate Advisory Committee members no later than 2 weeks prior to the defense examination.  If possible, the student’s departmental seminar (ENTM 7007) should be scheduled to immediately precede the defense.

Master’s Examination/Thesis Defense

Master’s students are required to pass a comprehensive oral examination. The scope of this examination includes, but is not confined to, the student’s thesis research.  Members of the student’s committee will use a standardized rubric (Appendix D) to evaluate his/her performance in three areas:

  • understanding of fundamental principles of entomology
  • proficiencies in oral and written communication
  • the Master’s research, which includes development of a research plan, knowledge of relevant scientific literature and statistical techniques, and conduct of the research. 

Performance in each area is judged using the following scale:

  • 1= below average
  • 2= average
  • 3= good
  • 4 = very good
  • 5= superior (top 5%).

Rankings from each committee member will be averaged, and the student must receive a passing score (i.e., > 2.0) from the majority of committee members.  A student not passing may be re-examined upon a majority vote of the committee.  Failure upon reexamination will result in termination of the student’s enrollment as a graduate student in Entomology.

A series of forms with deadlines are required and a schedule of important dates is published each semester by the Graduate School.   If a student fails the defense and is to be re-examined, forms recording the failure are to be turned in to the Graduate.  The graduate student is responsible for making sure the Graduate School receives these forms on time.  See a later section in this handbook, Schedule of Academic Events/Master’s Degree (page 7), for a list of required forms.  Turn in voucher specimens (see page 10) to the Louisiana State Arthropod Museum by the time the thesis is submitted to the Graduate School.


Application for admission is through the LSU Graduate School.

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