The BSPM 4+1 Program

Interested in the world of plants, insects, and pathogens?

You can now earn a M.S. in Pest Management in just one year with the Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management Department’s Sequential Degree Program (SDP), BSPM 4+1

Just 34 credits to complete your M.S. in Pest Management

Earn up to 9 credits towards the M.S. degree while an undergraduate

Complete an internship for real-world experience

There is no thesis requirement for the BSPM 4+1 Masters’ Program

Program at a glance:

If you are currently an undergraduate student in the Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Soil and Crop Science or Ecosystem Science and Sustainability programs, you can earn a M.S. in Pest Management in just one year after completion of your undergraduate degree.

  • Students may apply for admission to the 4+1 program beginning in their sophomore year.
  • As an undergrad, students may earn up to nine credits from graduate-level courses (500- level) towards the M.S. degree.
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required for admission.
  • Upon completion of the B.S. degree, students are admitted into the Graduate School and the BSPM M.S. program.
  • A BSPM faculty advisor provides guidance for course selection, as well as assistance with placement in an internship.
Sophomore Year

Apply for provisional acceptance into the BSPM 4+1 program

You must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher

Advisor selection

Your BSPM advisor will help you plan which courses to take each semester to ensure that you can complete your M.S. in one year
Junior Year

Take prerequisite courses

This includes BSPM 302, BSPM 308, & BSPM 361

Upon contingent admission to the BSPM 4+1 program take up to 9 credits of 500- level (graduate level) courses

In order for these credits to be applied to the M.S. degree, you must file a form with the Registrar’s office.
Senior Year

Apply to the CSU Graduate School

Upon completion of the B.S. degree, you are fully enrolled in the BSPM graduate program

To meet the requirements of the M.S. degree, all students must complete coursework from three broad categories, as well as complete a professional paper and an internship.

1. Core Requirements

All students enrolled in the BSPM 4+1 program must complete the following three courses:

BSPM 551: Advanced IPM

  • Credits: 4
  • Course description: history, motivations underlying Integrated Pest Management (IPM), including supporting ecological components; economic concepts used to determine pesticide use; use of non-pesticidal IPM components to reduce need for chemical control.
  • Prerequisite: BSPM 302 OR BSPM 308 OR BSPM 361
  • Instructor: Peairs
  • Term offered: Spring, odd years

BSPM 792: Seminar

  • Credits: 1
  • Course description: attend weekly departmental seminar.
  • Prerequisite: none
  • Instructor: TBD
  • Term offered: Fall, Spring

BSPM 792: Seminar (Includes one presentation)

  • Credits: 2
  • Course description: attend weekly departmental seminar, AND present one seminar on a topic related to IPM, entomology, plant pathology, or weed science. Note: presentation may be given outside of the regular seminar series (e.g., conference or professional meeting).
  • Prerequisite: none
  • Instructor: TBD
  • Term offered: Fall, Spring

2. BSPM Core Electives

Select 9 credits from the BSPM courses listed below.

BSPM 502B: Topics in Plant Pathology: Bacteriology

  • Credits: 1
  • Course description: provides an overview of the range of interactions that bacteria have with plants, with an emphasis on interactions leading to disease.
  • Prerequisite: At least three credits of any courses within BIO 300, BIO 400, BSPM 300, BSPM 400, BZ 300, BZ 400, LIFE 300, or LIFE 400.
  • Instructor: Leach
  • Term offered: Fall, odd years

BSPM 509: Herbicide Selectivity and Action

  • Credits: 3
  • Course description: selectivity of major photosynthetic and growth inhibitor herbicides based on herbicide transport, metabolism, and mode of action.
  • Prerequisite: BSPM 308 OR BZ 440
  • Instructor: Nissen
  • Term offered: Fall, even years

BSPM 521: Forest Health Issues

  • Credits: 2
  • Course description: an in-depth study and discussion of current topics related to forest and shade tree health.
  • Prerequisite: none
  • Instructor: Stewart
  • Term offered: Fall, even years

BSPM 523: Advanced Evolution, Classification of Insects

  • Credits:4
  • Course description: major groups of insects, living and fossilized; major evolutionary trends in structure and behavior.
  • Prerequisite: none
  • Instructor: Kondratieff
  • Term offered: Fall, odd years

BSPM 526: Evolutionary Ecology (BZ 526)

  • Credits: 3
  • Course description: Adaptation to abiotic and biotic environments; how current ecological processes interact with evolutionary history.
  • Prerequisite: LIFE 320 OR LIFE 220 OR LAND 220
  • Instructor: McKay, Ghalambor
  • Term offered: Fall

BSPM 528: Invasive Plants and Weeds: Ecosystems to Molecules

  • Credits: 3
  • Course description: contributions of disciplines of weed science and invasion ecology to understanding the biology, ecology, and management of “problem plants”.
  • Prerequisite: (LIFE 320 OR LIFE/LAND 220) AND BZ 120 AND (LIFE 102 OR LIFE 103).
  • Instructor: Brown
  • Term offered: Spring, even years

BSPM 550: Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions

  • Credits: 3
  • Course description: principles of plant-microbe interactions, physiological and molecular aspects of plant defense, genomic approaches to study plant defense.
  • Prerequisite: three credits BZ 1– OR BZ 2–OR BZ 3– OR BZ 4—AND (BZ 346 OR SOCR 330).
  • Instructor: Argueso, Broders
  • Term offered: Spring, even years

BSPM 556: Biological Control of Pests

  • Credits: 3
  • Course description: management of insect pests of plants and weeds using biological control agents such as insects, bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
  • Prerequisite: (BZ 120 OR LIFE 103) AND (LIFE 320 OR LAND/LIFE 220)
  • Instructor: Ode
  • Term offered: Fall, even years

BSPM 570: Chemical Ecology

  • Credits: 3
  • Course description: chemical interactions among animals, plants, fungi, and microorganisms.
  • Prerequisite: none
  • Instructor: Bjostad
  • Term offered: Spring, even years

BSPM 580A4: Molecular Genetics and Evolution of Pesticide Resistance

  • Credits: 3
  • Course description:
  • Prerequisite:
  • Instructor: Gaines
  • Term offered: Fall, odd years

3. Degree-supporting BSPM electives &/or non-departmental electives

Select 9 credits from the BSPM courses listed below, OR from courses in the SOCR, HLA, ESS departments. See your advisor for details.

BSPM 300: Livestock Entomology (ANEQ 300B)

  • Credits: 1
  • Course description: identification, biology, and management of arthropod pests of livestock.
  • Prerequisite: At least one, 3-credit BZ1– or LIFE1– course
  • Instructor: Kondratieff, Peairs
  • Term offered: Spring

BSPM 302: Applied and General Entomology

  • Credits: 2
  • Course description: insect evolution and diversity; anatomical structure and function; interactions with humans and environment; management strategies for problem species.
  • Prerequisite: none
  • Instructor: Ode
  • Term offered: Fall

BSPM 303A: General Entomology Lab

  • Credits: 2
  • Course description: biology and taxonomy of insects; emphasis on adaptations of insects to the environment; identification of common insects to the family level.
  • Prerequisite: BSPM 302 (may be taken concurrently)
  • Instructor: Kondratieff
  • Term offered: Fall

BSPM 303B: Horticultural Entomology Lab

  • Credits: 1
  • Course description: biology and recognition of immature and adult forms of 13 insect orders.
  • Prerequisite: BSPM 302 (may be taken concurrently)
  • Instructor: Cranshaw & Camper
  • Term offered: Fall

BSPM 303C: Agricultural Entomology Lab

  • Credits: 1
  • Course description: biology, recognition, and control of arthropod pests of agronomic and vegetable, rangeland, livestock and poultry.
  • Prerequisite: BSPM 302 (may be taken concurrently)
  • Instructor: Kondratieff
  • Term offered: Fall, even years

BSPM 308: Ecology and Management of Weeds

  • Credits: 3
  • Course description: classification, characteristics; weed biology and ecology; control by cultural mechanical, chemical, and biological means; successional management.
  • Prerequisite: (BZ 120 OR LIFE 103) and (CHEM 107 OR CHEM 111)
  • Instructor: Beck
  • Term offered: Fall

BSPM 310 Understanding Pesticides

  • Credits: 3
  • Course description: Identification, properties, use, labeling, environmental interactions, and application of major classes of pesticides.
  • Prerequisite: at least one, 3-credit BZ 1– course OR one 3-credit CHEM 1– course
  • Instructor: Peairs
  • Term offered: Spring, even years

BSPM 361: Elements of Plant Pathology

  • Credits: 3
  • Course description: major concepts and principles of plant pathology; examination of important plant pathogens; means of disease control.
  • Prerequisite: BZ 104 OR BZ 120 OR HORT 100 OR LIFE 102
  • Instructor: Broders
  • Term offered: Spring

BSPM 365: Integrated Tree Health Management

  • Credits: 4
  • Course description: insects and diseases in forest and urban ecosystems; effects, diagnosis, prevention and interactions.
  • Prerequisite: BZ 120 OR LIFE 102
  • Instructor: Stewart
  • Term offered: Fall

BSPM 423: Evolution and Classification of Insects

  • Credits: 3
  • Course description: major groups of insects, living and fossilized; major evolutionary trends in structure and behavior.
  • Prerequisite: None
  • Instructor: Kondratieff
  • Term offered: Fall, odd years

BSPM 424: Principles of Systematic Zoology (BZ 424)

  • Credits: 3
  • Course description: principles and methods of classification, zoological nomenclature, taxonomic decisions regarding species and higher categories.
  • Prerequisite: BZ 111 AND (BZ 110 OR LIFE 103)
  • Instructor: Kondratieff
  • Term offered: Spring, even years

BSPM 445: Aquatic Insects

  • Credits: 4
  • Course description: Biology and recognition of major orders and families of aquatic insects; a collection is required.
  • Prerequisite: BZ 111 OR LIFE 103
  • Instructor: Kondratieff
  • Term offered: Fall

BSPM 462: Parasitology and Vector Biology (MIP 462, BZ 462)

  • Credits: 5
  • Course description: Protozoa, helminthes, and insects and related arthropods of medical importance; systematics, epidemiology, host damage and control.
  • Prerequisite: (BZ 110 OR LIFE 103) AND (BZ 212 OR LIFE 206 OR MIP 302)
  • Instructor: Black, Cheney
  • Term offered: Fall

BSPM 500: Foundations of Bioagricultural Sciences

  • Credits: 2
  • Course description: specific content knowledge and vocabulary in the major areas encompassed by BSPM; strengthen critical thinking skills through analysis and interpretation of data; develop written and oral communication skills.
  • Prerequisite: None
  • Instructor: Hufbauer, Jahn

BSPM 508: Environmental Fate of Pesticides

  • Credits: 3
  • Course description: processes that affect fate of pesticides and their metabolites in the environment with emphasis on soil and water.
  • Prerequisite: BZ 440 OR CHEM 245 SOCR 240
  • Instructor: TBD
  • Term offered: Spring, odd years

BSPM 520: Advanced Systematics (BZ 520)

  • Credits: 3
  • Course description: Theory and practice of modern systematics.
  • Prerequisite: BSPM 424 OR BZ 424 OR BZ 325
  • Instructor: Kondratieff, Simmons
  • Term offered: Spring, odd years

BSPM 555: Immature Insects

  • Credits: 3
  • Course description: characteristics of immature forms of orders and families of insects, emphasizing those important to society.
  • Prerequisite: BSPM 303A OR BSPM 303B OR BSPM 303C
  • Instructor: Kondratieff
  • Term offered: Spring, odd years

BSPM 571: Techniques in Chemical Ecology

  • Credits: 1
  • Course description: practical experience with chemical techniques for separation, analysis, and synthesis of natural products together with biological assays for activity.
  • Prerequisite: None
  • Instructor: Bjostad
  • Term offered: Spring, even years

BSPM 576: Bioinformatics (MIP 576)

  • Credits: 3
  • Course description: technical computing across platforms using bioinformatics tools in molecular analysis.
  • Prerequisite: one of the following: BC 463, BZ 310, BZ 350, CM 501, CS 155, ERHS 332, MIP 275, MIP 300, MIP 450, STAT 307, ERHS 307
  • Instructor: TBD
  • Term offered: Fall, Spring

4. Additional Requirements

BSPM 698: Professional Paper

  • Credits: 6
  • Instructor: advisor
  • Term offered: all

BSPM 587/594: Internship

  • Credits: 3
  • Instructor: advisor
  • Term offered: all

Tuition and fees for the program will vary depending on your residential status. Please see CSU’s Office of Financial Aid for details.

As a graduate student in the BSPM department, you are eligible for a variety of scholarships and awards through the College of Agriculture.

Teaching Assistantships – Teaching assistantships in the Biology department are available each fall and spring. Apply by September 1 for  spring semester admission and by January 15 for fall semester  admission to be considered for teaching assistantships. Please contact Janet Dill in the main office for more information on applying for Biology department Graduate Teaching Assistantships.

Coming soon…

Click here for an application. Simply print it, fill it out, and return to Janet Dill in the BSPM main office (Plant Sciences C129).

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