Ph.D. Program

man using net in field and person taking plant sample

Doctoral Program

The Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology offers a Ph.D. in Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences with specified concentrations in entomology or plant pathology.

Ph.D. with Entomology Concentration (AFLSPH-ENTO):

Students studying for the Ph.D. in Entomology degree are required to produce a dissertation based on original research in an area of entomology. Applied focus of research could include management of insect pests of crops, arthropod vectors of animal and human diseases, biocontrol, or pollinator biology. Graduates often pursue careers in applied ecology, food safety, human health, veterinary biology, agriculture, disease epidemiology, and forestry.

Ph.D. with Plant Pathology Concentration (AFLSPH-PLPA):

The Department offers the only Plant Pathology graduate program in the state and is accredited through the Graduate School of the University of Arkansas by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. Students in this program conduct novel research in advanced areas of plant pathology. Topics of study can include molecular biology, microbiomes, biological control, and natural disease resistance in major crops. Outcomes target real world problems such as diagnosis and management of diseases in food crops and ornamental plants.

Advanced Degrees

Ph.D. in Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences with Entomology Concentration (AFLSPH-ENTO)

Ph.D. in Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences  with Plant Pathology Concentration

Graduate Coordinators


  • Ashley Dowling


  • Ioannis Tzanetakis


Phone: 479-575-2445


Graduate School Requirements

A student admitted to the University of Arkansas, pursuing an M.S. and in good academic standing may apply to be admitted to the doctoral program and forgo completing the M.S. degree if so approved by the AFLSPH Steering Committee and the AFLSPH Graduate Concentration Admissions Committee. A minimum grade point average of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) on previous college-level course work is required.

Admission Requirements


*Please Note: GRE scores for Fall 2022 are waived and GRE scores for Spring 2023 will be required*


 Applicants for graduate studies must meet entry requirements of the Graduate School and the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology.

Entomology and Plant Pathology Ph.D. Degree Requirements

  • A Master of Science degree in a related field from an accredited institution is preferred, with a GPA >3.00.
    • A student with a Bachelor of Science and an exceptional record in academics and/or research may be approved for admission to the Ph.D. program in Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences if the Graduate Student Concentration Admissions Committee of the desired concentration deems them qualified and approval is granted by the AFLSPH Steering Committee. 
  • GRE scores for verbal, quantitative and writing tests (institutional code is 6866)
  • Suitable preparation in physical or biological sciences or related areas
  • International Students TOEFL score
    • minimum: >79 internet-based/580 paper and >4.5 on TWE
  • Official transcripts of all previous college-level coursework
  • A letter of intent (2 pages in length) indicating areas of interest, background and career goals.
  • Email contact information for three people who can submit letters of recommendation. These should address the character and academic capability of the applicant


 How to Apply

Complete and submit an application for graduate studies (M.S. or Ph.D.). Submit your application and the documents required by the Graduate School (transcripts, TOEFL, GRE, etc.). 

The application will also require you to include:

  • Statement of Purpose
  • Graduate Assistantship Application Form (if applicable) 
  • The contact information for the reference letters

*The Graduate School will send instructions for three letters of recommendations to be submitted online.

 Applications received will be considered for admission based on departmental requirements and the availability of positions and funding.

The Review Process

The Graduate School will review applications to determine qualifications based on the Graduate School requirements. Applications are then forwarded to the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology for review by the Graduate Program Coordinator, Department Head,  and Faculty to determine acceptance based on departmental requirements.

Application Deadlines



Application Deadline 


April 1


September 1


March 1

Degree Completion Requirements

Students are expected to comply with departmental and Graduate School requirements for degree completion.

Ph.D. in Entomology Concentration Degree Requirements 
  • 72 credit hours (or 42 hours after M.S. degree)
    • 6 credit hours of electives
    • 18 credit hours of doctoral dissertation
  • 3.25 GPA
  • Entrance Seminar
  • Comprehensive written and oral candidacy exams
  • Dissertation
  • Exit seminar and dissertation defense


Ph.D in Plant Pathology  Concentration Degree Requirements 

General course requirements for each degree candidate are arranged on an individual basis by the Faculty Advisor, the Graduate Advisory Committee and the candidate in accordance with guidelines of their concentration. Alternate courses may be selected at the discretion of the committee. 

  • 72 credit hours (or 42 hours after M.S. degree)
    • 6 credit hours of electives
    • 18 credit hours of doctoral dissertation
  • 3.25 GPA
  • Entrance Seminar
  • Comprehensive written and oral candidacy examination
  • Dissertation
  • Exit Seminar and dissertation defense.