Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

The graduate program in Microbiology focuses on microbial infection, host responses to infection, and other aspects of the immune system in health and disease.  The track faculty members apply state-of-the-art experimental approaches, including genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics, as well as other genetic, biochemical, cellular and functional assays to study the regulation, host interactions and pathogenesis of viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections.  In addition to mechanisms of host interactions with microorganisms, responses to allergens, tumor, and self-antigens are also investigated at the molecular, cellular and systemic levels.  Students will have the opportunity to gain the broad knowledge and skills necessary for future research careers in many different areas of basic and clinical life sciences, including Microbial Genetics, Physiology and Pathogenesis, Infectious Diseases, Immune Regulation, Vaccinology, Tumor Immunology, Autoimmunity and Allergy. 

Microbiology and Immunology Admissions Requirements

Applicants are required to have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0.  Applicants should have received credit for courses taken in:

  • Biology1 2 yrs. as required for science majors
  • Chemistry1 1 yr. general chemistry and organic chemistry
  • Physics 1 yr.
  • Mathematics   minimum of 1 semester of calculus
1

courses should include laboratory experience

All applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The GRE must be taken within the last 5 years and the TOEFL within the last 2 years. There is no minimum score required for the GRE.

In addition to the GRE, international applicants are also required to take one of two English proficiency tests: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS: Academic module only). The minimum required scores for the TOEFL are 560 for the paper test and 68 for the internet test. The minimum score on the academic IELTS is 6.5.

Three letters of recommendation are required. The applicant must submit 3 essays stating the reasons for your interest in the program, a description of your professional goals and an outline of your undergraduate, industrial or summer research. On campus recruitment interviews are conducted during February and March. Phone interviews for international application occur in January and February.

The admission committee makes its decision based on the candidate’s research experience, grade point average, personal statement, GRE score, interviews, letters of recommendations and how the candidate matches up against other interested applicants.

Microbiology and Immunology Degree Requirements

A minimum of 72 credit hours and a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 is required for the Ph.D. degree. In addition, all doctoral candidates must register for the MICR 7099 Dissertation for at least two semesters in order to graduate. The student is required to demonstrate intellectual command of the subject area of the graduate program and capability to carry out independent and original investigation in the area. The student must successfully defend a dissertation and be recommended by their program COGS for approval of their degree to the Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

M&I - Plan of Study (Course Curriculum Timeline)

First Year
FallCredit Hours
IBMS 5000Fundamentals Of Biomedical Sciences (Fundamentals of Biomedical Sciences) 8
IBMS 5008Lab Rotations (Lab Rotations) 2
Journal Club (any track)  
Attend weekly research seminars (any track once/week)  
Spring
MICR 5003Core Concepts In Microbiology & Immunology 4
MICR 5029Building Scientific Thinking Skills 2
INTD 6002Ethics In Research 0.5
IBMS 5008Lab Rotations (Lab Rotations) 2
MICR 6091Seminars In Microbiology & Immunology 1
Journal Club (any track)  
Summer
Advanced Elective if available - see department  
MICR 6097Research 1-9
Second Year
Fall
MICR 5090Acquiring Presentation Skills 1
MICR 5030Microbiology And Immunology Track Journal Clubs 0.5
MICR 6091Seminars In Microbiology & Immunology 1
MICR 6097Research 1-9
Advanced Elective if needed - see department  
Spring
MICR 5090Acquiring Presentation Skills 1
MICR 5030Microbiology And Immunology Track Journal Clubs 0.5
MICR 6091Seminars In Microbiology & Immunology 1
MICR 6097Research 1-9
Advanced elective if needed - see department  
Summer
Advanced Elective if available - see department  
MICR 6097Research 1-9
Third Year
Fall
MICR 5090Acquiring Presentation Skills 1
MICR 5030Microbiology And Immunology Track Journal Clubs 0.5
MICR 6091Seminars In Microbiology & Immunology 1
MICR 6097Research 1-9
Spring
MICR 5090Acquiring Presentation Skills 1
MICR 5030Microbiology And Immunology Track Journal Clubs 0.5
MICR 6091Seminars In Microbiology & Immunology 1
MICR 6097Research 1-9
Summer
MICR 6097Research 1-9
Fourth Year
Fall
MICR 5090Acquiring Presentation Skills 1
MICR 5030Microbiology And Immunology Track Journal Clubs 0.5
MICR 6091Seminars In Microbiology & Immunology 1
MICR 6097Research 1-9
Spring
MICR 5090Acquiring Presentation Skills 1
MICR 5030Microbiology And Immunology Track Journal Clubs 0.5
MICR 6091Seminars In Microbiology & Immunology 1
MICR 6097Research 1-9
Summer
MICR 6097Research 1-9
Fifth Year
Fall
MICR 5090Acquiring Presentation Skills 1
MICR 5030Microbiology And Immunology Track Journal Clubs 0.5
MICR 6091Seminars In Microbiology & Immunology 1
MICR 6097Research 1-9
MICR 7099Dissertation 1-9
Spring
MICR 5090Acquiring Presentation Skills 1
MICR 5030Microbiology And Immunology Track Journal Clubs 0.5
MICR 6091Seminars In Microbiology & Immunology 1
MICR 6097Research 1-9
MICR 7099Dissertation 1-9
Summer
MICR 6097Research 1-9
MICR 7099Dissertation 1-9
 Total Credit Hours: 100.5-126.5

Microbiology and Immunology Objectives/Program Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to demonstrate proficiency in core (general) principles of the biomedical sciences and in principles specific to the discipline of microbiology/immunology.
  2. The student will be able to conduct biomedical research.
  3. Students will be able to demonstrate competence in written and verbal communication.
  4. Students will be able to critically read and evaluate the biomedical literature.
  5. Students will have a fundamental knowledge of ethics in research.
  6. Students will complete dissertation research, and write and successfully defend their dissertation.