EPP students have the opportunities to study a range of topics related to plant pathology, entomology. and bioinformatics. Our students conduct basic and applied research at every level, from molecules and genes, to individuals and populations, to species and communities. We offer an M.S. degree with thesis and non-thesis options, and concentrations in Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Bioinformatics and Genomics. Our M.S. program provides students with the principles and research background for a career in the life sciences or for admission to Ph.D. programs. We also offer a Ph.D. degree with concentrations in Bioinformatics, Genomics, and Molecular Interactions; Organismal Biology, Ecology and Systematics; and Sustainable Disease and Integrated Pest Management Systems. Our graduates are competitive for positions at academic institutions, government agencies, agricultural industries, and other private sector entities.

Degree Programs

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Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Nematology


  • Bioinformatics, Genomics, and Molecular Interactions
  • Organismal Biology, Ecology, and Systematics
  • Sustainable Disease and Integrated Pest Management Systems
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Entomology and Plant Pathology


  • Bioinformatics and Genomics
  • Entomology
  • Plant Pathology
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Graduate Minors

Entomology and Plant Pathology

Options include:

  • Entomology
  • Plant Pathology
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Undergraduate Minor

Entomology and Plant Pathology

Application Process and Requirements

Applications for admission to the M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Entomology & Plant Pathology (EPP) are accepted once a year. The deadline for receipt of all application materials is February 1st for enrollment in the upcoming fall semester. Exceptions to this deadline for U.S. residents are considered on a case-by-case basis. Funding often is limited for those who wish to begin their studies in spring or summer semesters. Students accepted into the EPP graduate program are not guaranteed funding and must identify an advisor before final acceptance. We do not have laboratory rotations. Interested students should contact advisors directly before applying.

Dr. Bernard assisting in the research of his students

Entomology and Plant Pathology Graduate Program Highlights

  • Our faculty members conduct applied and basic research in diverse areas of entomology and plant pathology.
  • EPP graduate students are publishing in high-quality research journals.
  • All graduate students have the opportunity for graduate stipends.
  • Numerous job opportunities are available for graduates in various economic sectors.
  • Scholars enjoy state of the art research facilities throughout the campus and within the main EPP building.
  • On-campus genomics hub and greenhouse space are available.
  • We offer multiple diverse locations for research:

Why Knoxville?

Knoxville, Tennessee is a growing, vibrant community of more than 200,000 people with a variety of recreational and cultural activities to offer.

  • over 100 miles of bike greenways and hiking trails in Knoxville
  • nearby access to outdoor activities, such as whitewater rafting, kayaking, hiking
  • several nearby national and state parks, attractions, and museums
  • recurring festivals and parades, a variety of genres of live music
  • reasonable cost of living and affordable housing close to campus
The paved trail in the UT Gardens, right next to an array of colorful flowers
Group Lab Photo: (pictured left to right, top to bottom) Marcin, Nicholas, Meher, Sarah, Bethany

Student diversity

The Entomology and Plant Pathology Department is fully committed to a diverse, welcoming, and inclusive environment. We welcome students, postdoctoral research associates, visiting scholars and others regardless of age, appearance, disability status, gender, gender identity, geographic background, marital/partnered status, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation and all other characteristics that make each of us unique. We continually work to create an inclusive environment that reflects the diversity of society in general. We aim to cultivate an environment built on mentorship, encouragement, tolerance, and mutual respect. We believe diversity brings together a wide range of abilities, experiences, perspectives and worldviews that are crucial to enriching experiences and addressing challenging research questions.

More questions?

Please feel free to contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies or Director of Graduate Studies.

Dr. Kevin Moulton
Director of Undergraduate Studies
2505 E.J. Chapman Drive
130 Plant Biotechnology Building
Knoxville, TN 37996
Phone: 865-974-8411

E-mail generally will get a faster response.

Dr. Bonnie Ownley
Director of Graduate Studies
2505 E.J. Chapman Drive
370 Plant Biotechnology Building
Knoxville, TN 37996
Phone: 865-974-0219