Insect Ecology and Conservation Undergraduate Program

Why insect ecology and conservation?

Insects are becoming extinct faster than any other group of species. Conserving insects, the foundation of the world’s biodiversity, is the first step towards protecting the planet. Insect Ecology and Conservation is the study of the most abundant creatures on Earth—insects—and their interactions with other wildlife, humans, and the environment. Our students wonder how and why insects do what they do. They use this curiosity to try and figure out how to reduce negative effects of insects on humans without negatively affecting other life forms. Looking at insects’ structure, function and behavior, entomology majors spend much time in lab and in the field, which are both part of this challenging, biology-based curriculum. Students specialize in all aspects of insect ecology, conservation, physiology, and taxonomy. We have a hands-on curriculum where students learn by doing.


The University of Delaware boasts the only insect ecology and conservation undergraduate major in the nation! UD has the only department that couples insect and wildlife ecology and conservation providing a holistic program that provides our graduates with a more diverse set of professional skills and career options. We have a small and dedicated faculty that work closely with our students on a regular basis through undergraduate research, study abroad trips, in-class field trips, and local research opportunities.


Graduates are prepared to enter the workforce as pest control operators or agricultural entomologists working in the areas of integrated pest management, biological control, urban entomology, forensic entomology, or environmental educators. Students that wish to strengthen their skills pursue graduate education in entomology in fields such as insect ecology, insect conservation, or insect taxonomy.

Career paths

Integrated pest management. Biological control. Pesticide research. Forensic entomology. Environmental consulting. Nature education. These careers and more are shared by hundreds of entomology alumni. While some students enter the workforce right after college, others choose to further their education in graduate school, studying subjects like pest management, insect ecology, and genetics. Whatever your goal, you will be encouraged to participate in our job-search workshops and career days, seek an internship, develop your communication skills, and learn to network with prospective employers. This, in addition to doing well academically, will greatly enhance your post-graduate opportunities.

For more information, visit the UD Online Catalog.

Related student organizations

Contact Us

Dr. Debbie Delaney, Associate Professor of Entomology

  See how recent insect ecology and conservation grads are succeeding >