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Integrated Pest Management (M.S.)

Course Description

Integrated pest management (IPM) can be described as the intelligent selection and use of pest-control actions to promote favorable economic, ecological, and sociological consequences. Scientists involved in agricultural pest management programs try to optimize pest control by using multiple pest-control tactics. By maintaining pests below economic injury levels, scientists strive to provide protection against pest damage, ensure a competitive agriculture, and enhance environmental stewardship.

The Department of Crop Sciences offers expertise in the pest management arena through faculty in entomology, plant pathology, and weed science.

Opportunities for Study
Research programs may lead to M.S. degrees with course requirements and thesis research arranged to meet students' objectives. Student research may be largely lab oriented or involve intensive field research. Specific IPM research efforts may involve:

-optimizing management programs for insect, disease, and weed pests of field, fruit, and vegetable crops;
-increasing our knowledge of the ecology and biology of insect, disease, and weed pests;
-designing management strategies for pests with transgenic varieties of crops;
-designing sampling strategies and economic thresholds for pests, and evaluating the economics of pest control strategies;
-evaluating alternative (non-chemical) pest management strategies; and
-improving the safe and efficient use of pesticides.

Career Opportunities
Opportunities exist for M.S. graduates with companies in the seed and agri-chemical industry, universities, government agencies, and crop consulting firms.

International applicants whose native language is not English must score a minimum of 570 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Applicants who are not U.S. citizens also must submit evidence that they have sufficient financial support for their entire program of study.

Prospective students are urged to apply by February 15 for the following summer or fall, or by November 1 for the following spring. However, applications are accepted at any time; they are considered and acted upon by the departmental graduate applications committee monthly.

Financial Aid
To apply for fellowships, assistantships, and tuition and fee waivers, prospective students should indicate their desire to be considered for financial aid on the admission application form. Credentials submitted with the form are used in determining financial aid.

Students already enrolled in the graduate program without financial aid from the University of Illinois may apply for financial assistance. Demonstration of exceptional ability in their studies and/or research activities is an important criterion in selecting students for available fellowships and assistantships.

Fellowships are awarded to graduate students in the Department of Crop Sciences in recognition of superior achievement and potential. Funding comes from a number of sources, each with specific criteria and opportunities.

The Department of Crop Sciences offers part-time positions to study with departmental faculty on research, teaching, or extension activities. Research assistantships are offered based on availability of funds and space in an appropriate faculty member's laboratory. Teaching assistantships require meeting University standards of English language skills, excellent teaching potential, and competence in the area being taught.

These assistantships include an annual stipend and can be awarded at different levels of time commitment. In addition to the stipend, assistantships of at least one-quarter time carry a waiver of all tuition and most fees. These waivers are worth several thousand dollars over and above the stipend. The department will be pleased to provide current values for assistantships and waivers.

Entry Requirements

Applicants are considered for admission if they have a baccalaureate or equivalent degree comparable to that granted by the University of Illinois, with a "B" average or higher over the last 60 hours of undergraduate work and any graduate work completed. Graduate record examination (GRE) scores also are required. Taking the biology section of the GRE is recommended, but not required. Strong letters of reference, evidence of motivation to undertake graduate study, high GRE scores, and good preparation in basic science courses enhance an applicant's credentials.

Course Fees

Please visit http://www.registrar.illinois.edu/tuition-fees for more details.

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Recipient: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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