Entomology Graduate Program

Information about our graduate program and requirements to apply for graduate school.    Read More

Entomology Undergraduate Minor

Undergraduate students interested in insects, their management, and their role in natural and agricultural ecosystems can obtain an Entomology minor.

Read More

History of Entomology at NCSU

Beekeepers at Primose Hall circa 1910-1920


Entomology at NCSU has a history spanning over 100 years. It became an official department in 1912. On July 1, 2016, it was merged with Plant Pathology.  The Entomology Program has  23 active faculty with post-doctoral researchers, graduate students and staff covering a diversity of research, teaching, extension areas.  We are great group of talented individuals who find insects interesting and strive to share our knowledge as we learn more about them.


1877 - N.C. Legislature established the N.C. Department of Agriculture (now called the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services) and created an Agricultural Experiment and Fertilizer Control Station in the Chemical Laboratory of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
1887 - U.S. Congress passed the Hatch Act, bringing federal funding to the state experiment stations. N.C. Legislature passed a bill creating the N.C. College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts at Raleigh, One of the five departments, the Department of Horticulture, Arboriculture, and Botany, included a study of insect pests of all kinds as part of its curriculum, although there was no entomologist on the staff.
1889 - N.C. College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts opened its doors. Cornerstone of Holladay Hall laid.
1891 - Gerald McCarthy served as "Botanist and Acting Entomologist" for the Agricultural Experiment Station. W.F. Massey, Department of Horticulture, Arboriculture and Botany, taught Botany, Forestry and Entomology in the College.
1893 - Master of Science degree offered (in Biology).
1897 - W.F. Massey, horticulturalist, assumed entomologist responsibilities for the N.C. Agricultural Experiment Station.
1898 - Horticulture moved to a new building, Primrose Hall.
1900 - Franklin Sherman employed by the Department of Agriculture as State Entomologist.
1902 - F. Sherman assumed principal entomological responsibility for the N.C. Agricultural Experiment Station while also State Entomologist.
1903 - Entomology listed in college catalog for first time as a distinct subject. - Agricultural Hall (now Patterson Hall) was built. Housed botany, zoology, vegetable pathology, physiology and veterinary medicine.
1907 - R.I. Smith became principal Station Entomologist.
1909 - Department of Agricultural Extension organized.
1912 - Z.P. Metcalf added to College Faculty as Head of the newly formed Department of Zoology and Entomology; also Entomologist at the N.C. Agricultural Experiment Station.
1914 - Department of Zoology and Entomology moved into the Animal Industry Building. Eventually came to be known as the Zoology Building. Torn down in 1953. Mann Hall now on this location.
1917 - N.C. College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts renamed North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering.
1924 - First Master of Science degree awarded in entomology (Theodore B. Mitchell).
1931 - University of Chapel Hill, State College and the North Carolina College for Women at Greensboro were consolidated into one institution, the Greater University of North Carolina.
1948 - Ph.D. program established at North Carolina State College.
1950 - Division of Biological Sciences created. Entomology was a faculty group within this division with Clyde F. Smith as Head.
1952-53 - Gardner Hall built to house the Division of Biological Sciences.
1953 - First Ph.D. awarded in entomology (Henry F. Howden). 1954 - Two semester system replaced quarterly system.
1955 - The Division of Biological Sciences was dissolved and the sections were given full departmental status, including the Department of Entomology.
1956 - N.C. Entomological Society organized at a meeting on the N.C. State College campus.
1959 - Agricultural Institute (two-year program) established, with an Urban and Industrial Pest Control curriculum included.
1961 - Pesticide Residue Research Laboratory becomes part of the Department of Entomology.
1963 - The name North Carolina State College was changed to North Carolina State of the University of North Carolina at Raleigh.
1964 - Edward H. Smith became Head of Entomology. - Toxicology program established within the Department (coordinator: F.E. Guthrie).
1965 - Following pressure from alumni, the university name was again changed to North Carolina State University at Raleigh to further distinguish it from that school in Chapel Hill. The "at Raleigh" is usually not used.
1968 - Kenneth L. Knight became Head of Entomology.
1980 - Ronald J. Kuhr appointed Head of Entomology.
1987 - Ernest Hodgson became Acting Head of Entomology.
1989 - James D. Harper appointed Head of Entomology. - Department of Toxicology is formed with five Entomology faculty positions transferred to it. (Department of Toxicology is later renamed Environmental and Molecular Toxicology)
1990 - Blanton J. Whitmire donates $4 million to the Department to create two endowed chaired professorships in structural pest management announced.   These positions are filled by Coby Schal (1993) and Jules Silverman (1999)
1996 - New insectary with 4,000 sq. feet of space dedicated as part of the new Biological Resources Facility.
2009 - Insectary ceases operations due to budget cuts.
2009 - George Kennedy appointed Interim Department Head.
2013 - Ed Vargo appointed Interim Department Head
2014 - Wes Watson appointed Interim Department Head
2016 - Entomology is merged with Plant Pathology to become a program with the new Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology with Rick Davis as Department Head. Wes Watson appointed as Associate Department Head.