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Application Process

Featured Image Above by Megan Asche

Applying for graduate school in the Washington State University Entomology Department is a different process than applying to an undergraduate institution. In particular, identifying a potential advisor is an integral part of graduate school. It is most often useful to contact potential advisors to see if the faculty member is  currently recruiting graduate students. Faculty often have grants that pay for the tuition, a monthly stipend, and benefits (such as health insurance) of a student that works to complete the goals of the grant. In addition, there are other options to fund graduate school, such as the Research Assistantships for Diverse Scholars, and teaching assistantships. You can find more information .


Regardless of how your graduate program is funded, it is important that you find an advisor whose interests align with yours. Below, we suggest steps to applying to the Entomology graduate program at WSU.


How to get a Graduate position in the WSU Entomology Department

  1. Identify your general interest area within entomology (e.g., insect physiology, ecology, integrated pest management, evolution, etc.).
  2. Browse through our faculty and identify a faculty advisor(s) that you might want to work with. We have faculty on the Pullman campus, as well as at our research and extension centers (REC) that advise graduate students. Information on faculty can be found
    1. It is best practice to read a few articles recently published by the faculty member to understand the direction of their research.
    2. Our faculty are highly collaborative and often have similar interests, so you are encouraged to contact multiple faculty within the department.
  3. Contact faculty through email. Here’s a helpful blog about why and how to contact a faculty advisor:
  4. It’s good practice to send a follow-up email after a week if you don’t receive a reply from the faculty member.
  5. Set-up a virtual or phone meeting to gauge interest for both parties.
  6. From here, you may be invited to visit the campus and meet the faculty’s lab member.
  7. Discuss funding options with the advisor. If they have identified funding and a position are available for your graduate position proceed to complete the graduate school application process
    1. If you are in need of financial aid in applying for graduate school, you might be eligible for a graduate school application waiver. This is only if you’re applying for the Entomology program.  Please let the faculty know if this is the case.
  8. Get ready to join our team. Welcome!
  9. After arriving in Pullman, please refer to this new student checklist (Add link) and this Entomology Graduate Student resource website.

Our Graduate Program requires the following in order to process your application:

  • WSU Graduate School application. There is a $90.00 application fee.
  • A brief (1-2 pages) statement of purpose that states your career goals and outlines how you came to be interested in Entomology. The more specific you are, the better we will be able to match your interests with available openings and funding. Feel free to list more than one interest area, but indicate the priority of your interests and the faculty member you would like to work with. It is highly recommended that you contact individual faculty members you would like to work with prior to submitted your application.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vita (Upload PDF in the ‘Supporting Documents’ section, with statement of purpose.)
  • One complete set of official transcripts of all previously earned credits to be sent directly to the Graduate School (copies of official transcripts are acceptable for the application review process and may be uploaded with your application). Applicants who attend school outside the United States or Canada must submit: transcripts, mark sheets, grade reports, or examination results, along with degree certificates from all higher education institutions attended outside the United States or Canada. When sending official transcripts from schools located in non-English-speaking countries, have each institution submit both the English translation plus an original language record. Please review the Graduate School website here for further information on transcript requirements, as well as addresses to send your transcripts. The Graduate School requires that applicants must have least a B (3.00 on a 4.00 scale) grade point average, or the equivalent in the last 60 hours of their graded undergraduate work, from a recognized college or university; and at least a B (3.00 on a 4.00 scale) grade point average in any graduate work from a recognized graduate school are eligible for admission. Applicants will not be considered for a research or teaching assistantship without a 3.0 GPA. For interpretations, inquiries should be addressed to the Dean of the Graduate School. Students with a baccalaureate degree from a non-accredited institution will be considered for admission only upon special petition to the Dean of the Graduate School and supported by the respective department.
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. Original scores must be sent directly from ETS to WSU Graduate School. WSU Institution code: 4705. For more information on this examination, go to To be competitive in our program, the student should score at least 150 on the verbal and 150 on the quantitative sections and 4.0 on the analytical writing section (or 500 on the analytical section on the old test). *GRE scores are not required.
  • TOEFL score (for international students only). Minimum acceptable score is 80. Original scores must be sent directly from ETS to WSU Graduate School. WSU Institution code: 4705. For more information on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Exam go to Washington State University also accepts the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam scores. The score band for this exam is 1-9. Level 7 is the minimum acceptable score for WSU. Additional information regarding this exam may be found on-line at
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation. Three references will be provided on the Graduate School Application. Be sure to have current email addresses available for each recommender. These references will be contacted directly by CollegeNET, the company contracted for online applications, be sure to alert your recommenders so they can watch their email (occasionally these will end up in the “junk” email box).
  • FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: the U.S. Department of State will require confirmation of your acceptance by Washington State University prior to issuing your visa. The visa process takes approximately 2-3 months, so the sooner we get your file complete the better. The Graduate School will require verification of financial responsibility for international students coming without the offer of a research assistantship.

Once your file is complete, it is presented to the Department of Entomology’s Admission Committee, who review and make recommendations on applicants.

Applications for admission are valid only for the semester specified on the application form. If a student is not admitted and enrolled for the specified semester, he/she may be required to submit a new application. If a student has been accepted and for some unforeseen reason is unable to start on the specified semester, it is possible to do an updated application at the request of the department. This needs to be done within 30 days of the start of the semester.

Admission Considerations

On the basis of the above data, the Graduate School and the department evaluate the prospective student’s qualifications.  Recommendations for admission are made provided that:

  • The student meets the Graduate School’s criteria (see Graduate School Admission);
  • The student meets the department criteria;
  • A member of the departmental faculty agrees to serve as that student’s major advisor; and
  • There is a committed source of funding to support the student (an assistantship or a commitment that the student will be self-supporting.)

Departmental criteria generally include a G.P.A. of 3.0 or better, as stipulated by the Graduate School, supportive letters of recommendation, a clear “statement of purpose” by the prospective student, and competitive GRE scores. Within the department, the decision for admission and recommendation to the Graduate School is made by the department’s Graduate Admissions Committee, and approved by the department chair. Although the department sends unofficial notice of acceptance, formal notice of acceptance into the graduate program will come from the Graduate School.

We look forward receiving your application materials!

Correspondence and Information:
Johnson Hall Graduate Center (liaison with the department and Graduate School)