2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
    
    Dec 04, 2020  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Entomology, Plant Pathology and Nematology Major, PhD


The PhD degree is evidence of exceptional scholarly attainment and demonstrated capacity in original investigation. Requirements for the degree include courses, examinations, and a period of resident study, as well as arrangements that guarantee sustained, systematic study and superior competency in the chosen concentration. The program of study as listed by the student on the Admission to Candidacy form must be approved by the doctoral committee and the Director of Graduate Studies.

Concentrations (Required)

Bioinformatics, Genetics, and Molecular Interactions
Organismal Biology, Ecology, and Systematics
Sustainable Disease and Integrated Pest Management

Campus Code

Knoxville Campus

Admissions Standards/Procedures

  • For admission to the Doctor of Philosophy program, applicants must meet all requirements of the Graduate School of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and must have completed at least 24 credit hours of biological and physical sciences at the undergraduate level.
  • Applicants should submit an online application, a nonrefundable application fee, official transcripts, and official scores from the general portion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
  • International students, whose native language is not English, must submit official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
  • The online application procedure will also direct the applicant to submit
    • three letters of reference (and/or three Graduate Rating Forms) from persons capable of assessing the applicant’s suitability for graduate work, and
    • a statement of career goals and interests in entomology, plant pathology, or bioinformatics and genomics.
      • In the statement letter, the concentration of interest and preferred major professor should be indicated.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to make contact with prospective major professors early in the application process.
  • All materials must be submitted electronically through the Office of Graduate Admissions portal.

Academic Standards

  • Students must assume responsibility for knowledge and compliance with Graduate School and department requirements in their degree program, as described in the current Graduate Catalog, and the Entomology and Plant Pathology Graduate Student Handbook, respectively for their degree program.
  • A graduate student whose GPA falls below 3.00 will be placed on probation for the next academic semester. A student will be allowed to continue in the program if each semester’s grade point average is 3.00 or greater. Upon achieving a cumulative GPA of 3.00, the student will be removed from probationary status. A student must achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.00 in order to graduate.
  • If research progress for the dissertation is deemed insufficient, the major advisor in consultation with the graduate committee may recommend probation with specific goals set for a specified time or termination.

Concurrent Master’s Degree

Applicants admitted to the EPPN PhD program who have a BS degree, but no thesis-based MS degree, will be required to complete an MS degree during the course of their PhD program. The student will work with their graduate advisor to submit a manuscript based on their original research to a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Following completion of requirements for an MS degree, including 24 graduate credit hours plus 6 credit hours of EPP 500 , the student will complete requirements for a PhD as outlined below.

Bioinformatics, Genomics, and Molecular Interactions Concentration

Bioinformatics is the retrieval and analysis of biochemical and biological data using mathematics and computer science. Students concentrating in bioinformatics, genomics, and molecular interactions can study biological sequencing and analysis of DNA and RNA, epigenetics, metagenomics and metatranscriptomics, phylogenomics, genotyping by sequencing, differential gene expression, population genomics, gene interactions and/or proteomics. A student with prior coursework and/or experience may petition the EPP faculty for a course exemption(s). An exemption may be granted by majority vote on the basis of documentary evidence, or written and/or oral exams.

Credit Hours Required

  • 48 graduate credit hours beyond the Master’s degree, or
  • 72 graduate credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree

Required Courses

  • A candidate for the doctoral degree must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours of graduate course work numbered 503 or higher beyond the master’s degree.
  • Candidates not having a master’s degree must complete a minimum of 48 credit hours of graduate course work beyond the baccalaureate degree, 24 credit hours of which must be numbered 503 or higher.
  • A minimum of 12 of the 24 credit hours, or 30 of the 48 credit hours, must be graded A-F.
  • At least 9 credit hours of the student’s course work must be from outside the Entomology and Plant Pathology curriculum
  • A minimum of 6 credit hours of courses numbered 601 or higher must be taken at the University of Tennessee, excluding EPP 603 .
  • A student with prior course work and/or experience may petition the EPP faculty for an exemption(s). An exemption may be granted by majority vote on the basis of documentary evidence, or written and/or oral exams.
  • EPP 570  (1 credit hour)
  • EPP 600  (24 credit hours)
  • EPP 622  (3 credit hours)
  • EPP 640  (1 credit hour)
  • EPP 675   (3 credit hours)
  • A minimum of 6 credit hours from entomology and plant pathology (EPP) courses, including EPP 505 , EPP 508 , EPP 512 , EPP 514 , EPP 520 , EPP 521 , EPP 523 , EPP 525 , EPP 530 , EPP 548 , EPP 561 , EPP 552 , and EPP 630  
  • A minimum of 7 credit hours of elective coursework from within or outside EPP; the list of coursework outside EPP is not all-inclusive, as the course needs of individual student programs vary. Recommended courses include BCMB 510 , BCMB 511 , BCMB 512 , BCMB 517 , BCMB 523 , CEM 541 COSC 594  (section titled Bioinformatics), CBE 672 , ENVE 561 , ENVE 655 , GEOL 590 , LFSC 507 , LFSC 520 , LFSC 521 , MICR 520 , MICR 520   / LFSC 517 MICR 650  , PLSC 552 , PLSC 553 , PLSC 554 , PLSC 610 , and PLSC 653 . In addition, special topics on bioinformatics are periodically offered in BCMB 520 , GEOL 590 , LFSC 595 , and LFSC 695 .
  • Advanced quantitative methods course (3 credit hours) is required. Recommended courses include COSC 505 COSC 526 , COSC 565 , EEB 560 , PLSC 561 STAT 576 , and STAT 577 .

See Additional Courses and Non-Course Requirements below.

Organismal Biology, Ecology, and Systematics Concentration

Organismal biology, ecology, and systematics includes the study of the life history of an organism including its interactions within communities and with the environment, as well as classification, taxonomy, and nomenclature. Topics may include biology and ecology of plant associated insects, nematodes and microbes; plant, human and animal disease vectors; arthropods associated with humans and their structures; disease epidemiology; host-pathogen, host-parasite, and host-parasitoid interactions; biology of biological control agents; entomopathogenic bacteria, fungi and nematodes; plant, insect, and nematode microbial symbioses; nematodes and insects as environmental bioindicators; pollinator biology and ecology, and forensic entomology.

Credit Hours Required

  • 48 graduate credit hours beyond the Master’s degree, or
  • 72 graduate credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree

Required Courses

  • A candidate for the doctoral degree must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours of graduate course work numbered 503 or higher beyond the master’s degree.
  • Candidates not having a master’s degree must complete a minimum of 48 credit hours of graduate course work beyond the baccalaureate degree, 24 credit hours of which must be numbered 503 or higher.
  • A minimum of 12 of the 24 credit hours, or 30 of the 48 credit hours, must be graded A-F.
  • At least 9 credit hours of the student’s course work must be from outside the Entomology and Plant Pathology curriculum
  • A minimum of 6 credit hours of courses numbered 601 or higher must be taken at the University of Tennessee, excluding EPP 603 .
  • A student with prior course work and/or experience may petition the EPP faculty for an exemption(s). An exemption may be granted by majority vote on the basis of documentary evidence, or written and/or oral exams.
  • EPP 570  (1 credit hour)
  • EPP 600  (24 credit hours)
  • EPP 640  (1 credit hour)
  • EPP 675   (3 credit hours)
  • A minimum of 9 credit hours selected from entomology and plant pathology (EPP) courses, including EPP 505 , EPP 514 , EPP 520 EPP 521 EPP 523 EPP 525 EPP 530 EPP 548 , and EPP 552  
  • A minimum of 7 credit hours of elective coursework selected from within or outside EPP; the list of coursework outside EPP is not all-inclusive, as the course needs of individual student programs vary. Recommended courses include ANSC 571  / PLSC 571 BSE 555 , BZAN 553  / STAT 573 , CEM 504 , CEM 507 , CEM 601 , CEM 602 , PLSC 561 , EEB 509 , EEB 560 , EEB 583 , EPP 512 , ESS 516 , STAT 578 STAT 579 , WFS 501 , and WFS 545 .
  • Advanced quantitative methods course (3 credit hours). Recommended courses include ANSC 571 , EEB 560 , FWF 525 , PLSC 561 , PLSC 571 , STAT 531 , STAT 532 STAT 576 , STAT 577 , and STAT 579 .

See Additional Courses and Non-Course Requirements below.

Sustainable Disease and Integrated Pest Management Systems Concentration

Sustainable disease and integrated pest management (SDIPM) systems provide economic means to reduce pest and disease losses while minimizing negative impacts on the environment. As the global population is expected to reach nine billion people by 2050, production systems will have to become more efficient to produce the quality and quantity of food needed to supply the world. SDIPM systems can provide the solutions to positively impact food production and meet the increased global demand. SDIPM systems can also improve plant and animal health in forests, parks, landscapes and other natural systems and enhance quality of life by balancing and reducing risks from pests and pesticides in residences and other human structures. These systems incorporate many disciplines, including entomology, nematology, plant pathology, weed science, animal science, veterinary medicine, public health, and food science.

Credit Hours Required

  • 48 graduate credit hours beyond the Master’s degree, or
  • 72 graduate credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree

Required Courses

  • A candidate for the doctoral degree must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours of graduate course work numbered 503 or higher beyond the master’s degree.
  • Candidates not having a master’s degree must complete a minimum of 48 credit hours of graduate course work beyond the baccalaureate degree, 24 credit hours of which must be numbered 503 or higher.
  • A minimum of 12 of the 24 credit hours, or 30 of the 48 credit hours, must be graded A-F.
  • At least 9 credit hours of the student’s course work must be from outside the Entomology and Plant Pathology curriculum
  • A minimum of 6 credit hours of courses numbered 601 or higher must be taken at the University of Tennessee, excluding EPP 603 .
  • A student with prior course work and/or experience may petition the EPP faculty for an exemption(s). An exemption may be granted by majority vote on the basis of documentary evidence, or written and/or oral exams.
  • EPP 570  (1 credit hour)
  • EPP 600  (24 credit hours)
  • EPP 630  (3 credit hours)
  • EPP 640  (1 credit hour)
  • EPP 675   (3 credit hours)
  • A minimum of 6 credit hours selected from EPP courses, including EPP 505 , EPP 508 , EPP 512 , EPP 514 , EPP 520 EPP 521 EPP 523 EPP 525 , and EPP 530  
  • A minimum of 7 credit hours of elective coursework selected from within or outside EPP; examples are provided below. This list is not all-inclusive, as the course needs of individual student programs vary. Recommended courses include ANSC 571  / PLSC 571 BSE 555 FWF 535 , PLSC 515 , PLSC 552 , and PLSC 634 .
  • Advanced quantitative methods course (3 credit hours). Recommended courses include ANSC 571 , EEB 560 FWF 525 , PLSC 561 , PLSC 571 , STAT 531 , STAT 532 STAT 576 , STAT 577 , and STAT 579 .

See Additional Courses and Non-Course Requirements below.

For All Concentrations

Additional Course Requirements

  • A minor is not required, but may be selected at the option of the student. A minor includes 6 (minimum) to 12 (maximum) credit hours of graduate-level credit in the minor department.

Non-Course Requirements

  • The student and the major advisor will select three members to serve on the student’s doctoral committee, with least two faculty from the University of Tennessee, holding the rank of assistant professor or above. The responsibility of this committee is to assist the student in planning a program of study and carrying out research, and to assure fulfillment of the degree requirements.
    • The major professor and committee members must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School.
    • At least one member of the committee must be from outside the department.
    • If the student has a minor, one member of the committee must be a faculty member from the minor department to assist in designating courses required for the minor.
    • The doctoral committee must be formalized by the end of the second semester of graduate study.
  • Research Ethics training is required, which may be achieved through (CITI RCR) training, as evidenced by presenting a valid CITI RCR certificate to the EPP Director of Graduate Studies or their designee.
  • Environmental Health and Safety training is required. Evidence (certificates or test scores) of this training must be provided to the EPP Director of Graduate Studies or their designee.
  • Computer Security Awareness training is required. Evidence (certificates or test scores) of this training must be provided to the EPP Director of Graduate Studies or their designee.
  • Title IX Mandatory Reporter training is required. Evidence (certificates or test scores) of this training must be provided to the EPP Director of Graduate Studies or their designee.
  • Students are expected to attend (in person or online) seminar (EPP 640 ) each academic semester of their PhD program.
  • Satisfactory preparation of a written dissertation proposal to the student’s committee is required. The dissertation proposal must be completed during the first two semesters of graduate study and before enrollment in EPP 600 .
  • Both written and oral sections of the comprehensive examination must be passed. Candidates will be tested on their knowledge of their proposed dissertation and related fields.
  • Satisfactory preparation of a written dissertation and an oral defense to the student’s doctoral committee are required.
  • An oral final examination that covers the dissertation and coursework is required, and must be passed to the satisfaction of the student’s doctoral committee after the dissertation has been completed.
  • An oral departmental seminar presentation on the dissertation is required.