Georgetown University.

Georgetown University Medical Center

Georgetown University.

PhD in Microbiology & Immunology

Through the PhD in Microbiology and Immunology, students will learn the dynamics of the host/parasite relationship, including the host defense systems, and the relationship of microorganisms to diseases. Upon graduation, students will have a firm foundation in methods, tools, and techniques for a career in research as well as mentorship from Georgetown University faculty who are leading experts in the field.

Our PhD program is customized to the student’s interests. Upon entering the program, students will meet with their advisors to plan their coursework and select laboratories for research rotations.

PhD students can receive merit-based aid through fellowship and assistantship awards. The awards cover tuition, stipend, student health insurance, and mandatory fees. An average of 2 students are awarded each year. Visit the Biomedical Graduate Education website for more information on PhD Funding.

Learn about the application process and requirements.

Learn about the required exams, research rotations, courses, and PhD Dissertation here.

Check the list of required and elective courses.

Course Schedule

Find an example course schedule.

Student Resources

Browse resources and opportunities for our students.

Get more information about the program and department.

Career Advancement

Our students benefit from the services of the Biomedical Graduate Education career office, including one-on-one advising, skills workshops, leadership programs and more to help them take the next step in their professions.

Microbiology, PHD

On this page:, at a glance: program details.

  • Location: Tempe campus
  • Second Language Requirement: No

Program Description

Degree Awarded: PHD Microbiology

The PhD program in microbiology offers a dynamic research environment; a broad range of basic, translational and use-inspired research areas; advanced transdisciplinary training; and opportunities to work with world-class faculty and collaborative research partners committed to training scientific leaders with skills necessary for addressing significant global microbiological problems and challenges.

This program focuses on the smallest of living things and immunology. Students can tailor the program around their interests and gain skills in contemporary approaches used in microbiology, biomedicine and biotechnology. They train in a broad array of fields, including microbial ecology and evolution, geomicrobiology, bacterial physiology and genetics, bacterial pathogenesis, metabolic engineering, immunology and vaccine development, and cancer biology.

Faculty members are associated with the School of Life Sciences, The Biodesign Institute, The Translational Genomics Institute, Barrow Neurological Institute, and other area hospitals and research centers.

Interdisciplinary partners within ASU

Participating faculty members and researchers come from many departments, colleges, centers and institutes across the university.

  • ASU School of Life Sciences
  • ASU Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering
  • ASU The Biodesign Institute
  • ASU School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment
  • ASU School for Energy, Material and Transport Engineering

Interdisciplinary parters outside ASU

  • St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center/Barrow Neurological Institute
  • Carl T. Hayden Veteran's Administration Medical Center
  • Mayo Clinic in Arizona
  • Translational Genomics Research Institute
  • University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix
  • Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Program Faculty   PhD Students

Courses and electives

Elective courses (6 - 24 credit hours).

  • MIC 791 Seminar: Virology Journal Club
  • MIC 598  Special Topics: Immun: Molecular and Cell Foundations
  • MIC 598 Special Topics: Advanced Immunology
  • MCB 791  Seminar: Molecular Virology Journal Club 
  • BIO 611 Topics Resp Conduct Research: Emerging Technologies Life Science
  • MIC 598: Immunology: Molecular & Cellular Foundations
  • MIC 598: General Virology
  • MIC 598: Advanced Immunology
  • MIC 598: Bacterial Diversity and Systematics
  • MIC 598: Novel Models for Host-Microbe Interactions
  • MIC 598: Bioinformatic Analysis of High-throughput DNA Data
  • MIC 598: Bacterial Pathogenesis
  • MIC 598: Geomicrobiology
  • MIC 598: Microbial Ecology and Evolution
  • MIC 598: Viromics 

Application and admission information

How to apply.

Applications open September 1 for admission in Fall of the following year. The application deadline is December 1. We accept applications for Fall semesters only. We cannot guarantee that applications received after the December 1 deadline will be considered for admission.

All applicants must apply by filling out ASU's Graduate Admissions application. All application materials must be submitted through the application or to Graduate Admissions directly. Please do not mail or email any documents to the School of Life Sciences. 

  • Required materials and information include the following:
  • 1-2 page personal statement
  • An up to date CV or resume
  • The names of relevant SOLS faculty you have been in touch with who you might be interested in being supervised by
  • Unofficial transcripts and English proficiency test scores (if applicable)
  • The names and emails of at least 3 recommenders to write you letters of recommendation

Application review process and timeline

Following the December 1 deadline, faculty will begin reviewing applications. Applicants should monitor their My ASU priority tasks to ensure there are no missing materials in their application.

Faculty will decide which applicants they would like to invite to our Graduate Recruitment Weekends (GRWs), typically held in February. Applicants will hear from the School of Life Sciences in January if they are invited to participate in the GRWs.

Admission decisions will begin after the GRWs, and applicants typically receive final decisions by April 1.

Requirements

Minimum requirements for admission include the following:

  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • There are other ways to demonstrate English proficiency beyond the tests, so please refer to ASU's English proficiency webpage to review how you might satisfy requirements

Desired qualifications typically seen in competitive candidates:

  • Research experience and a letter of recommendation from a faculty research supervisor
  • English proficiency scores that meet these teaching assistant language proficiency requirements

Please note that the GRE is not required.

Students offered admission to a PhD program in the School of Life Sciences will typically receive a funding offer as well. While individual funding offers may differ to some degree, they typically include teaching assistant and/or research assistant positions each semester (summer optional) for 5 years. These positions provide financial coverage through the following:

  • A standard salary stipend paid biweekly
  • Tuition remission covering enrollment in 6-18 credit hours for fall and spring semesters and 1-14 credit hours for summer semesters
  • Health insurance coverage

To discover more, check out the ASU Graduate College's funding opportunities !

Degree Requirements

Curriculum plan options.

  • 84 credit hours, a written comprehensive exam, an oral comprehensive exam, a prospectus and a dissertation

Required Core (4 credit hours) BIO 610 Introduction to Responsible Conduct of Research in Life Sciences (1) MIC 501 Foundations in Microbiology (3)

Electives or Research (68 credit hours)

Culminating Experience (12 credit hours) MIC 799 Dissertation (12)

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in the biological sciences, biochemistry or a closely related field from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

Applicants must submit the following:

  • graduate admission application and application fee
  • official transcripts
  • academic record form
  • personal statement
  • curriculum vitae or resume
  • three letters of recommendation
  • proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency.

Prior research experience is a desired qualification for admission.

Next Steps to attend ASU

Learn about our programs, apply to a program, visit our campus, learning outcomes.

  • Able to review the scholarly literature associated with research questions in microbiology.
  • Able to design and execute a research plan in an area of microbiology under advisement of their mentors.
  • Able to communicate science effectively, both orally and in writing.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of this program's intense and interactive educational and research training are prepared for advanced careers in research and education, specifically in bacteriology, virology, mycology, immunology and oncology.

Career possibilities are diverse, with opportunities in academic organizations, research and development industries, government service and other professional organizations. Examples include:

  • instructors in universities and colleges
  • principal investigators in government labs and nonprofit organizations
  • professors in universities and colleges
  • research associates in universities
  • research scientists in industry

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.

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  • Microbiology, PhD

Rack of test tubes in a microbiology lab

The Department of Bacteriology in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology in the School of Medicine and Public Health (see separate course listings) administer the interdepartmental microbiology doctoral training program (MDTP). Incoming students have the opportunity to do laboratory rotations with any of the primary faculty, affiliate faculty, and trainers from multiple departments. This group includes more than 90 faculty members in numerous departments and programs involved in microbiology research and graduate training. In addition to this breadth of opportunities in microbiology research training, the program also encompasses graduate courses offered by both departments. Please refer to the separate Microbiology listing in this catalog for more detailed information, or visit the program website.

The PhD program prepares graduates for research and teaching positions in universities and colleges, for industry or government, and for clinical microbiology. Research emphasis includes, but is not limited to, prokaryotic (bacteria and archaea), viral and lower eukaryotic systems (fungi, oomycetes, and parasites); antibiotics and antibiotic resistance, biofilm formation; bioinformatics and computational biology; biotechnology and industrial microbiology, including biofuels; cell–cell signaling; cell motility and chemotaxis; DNA, including nucleic acid synthesis, DNA replication and recombination; food microbiology; fungal development, pathogenesis, and metabolism; gene expression and its regulation; immunology; microbial physiology and metabolism; macrophage activation and other cell immune systems; mechanisms of microbial persistence; mechanisms of pathogenesis; microbial cell division; microbial ecology; microbial microbiota and metagenomics; nitrogen fixation; quorum sensing; RNA, including molecular structure–function relationships of transfer RNA, small RNAs, RNA polymerase, and other components of transcription and translation; secondary metabolism; structural microbiology; symbioses, including host–microbe symbioses, plant–microbial interactions, animal–microbial interactions, microbe–microbe interactions; and virology, including host–virus interactions. Dissertation research emphasizes creative and innovative problem-solving using basic knowledge acquired through scientific interactions and collaborations in addition to a thorough understanding of the scientific literature.

In order to better train MDTP students for microbiology-related professions, students need a chance to gain knowledge and experience not just in academic research, but also in other fields where their microbiology education may be put to good use.

The professional development options encompass many professional development opportunities for MDTP students beyond academic research and teaching. Opportunities for professional development can consist of course work, an internship, a summer workshop, outreach experiences, or a second teaching-practicum experience.

Double Degree

Students may complete a double PhD degree in MDTP and another program on campus under the following conditions. The student must apply for admission to MDTP by the program's yearly deadline and be admitted using the same criteria applied to other applicants. The student must complete all requirements of the MDTP in addition to the requirements for the other program sponsoring the double degree. The student must pass a different preliminary examination in each program. The student's dissertation committee and preliminary examination must adhere to MDTP guidelines. The PhD advisor must be a trainer in the MDTP. A significant portion of the student's dissertation research must be completed in the laboratory of the PhD advisor. The student's program, including any deviations, must be approved by the steering committee.

Please consult the table below for key information about this degree program’s admissions requirements. The program may have more detailed admissions requirements, which can be found below the table or on the program’s website.

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School as well as the program(s). Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online .

Graduate Admissions Requirements
Requirements Detail
Fall Deadline December 1
Spring Deadline The program does not admit in the spring.
Summer Deadline The program does not admit in the summer.
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Not required.
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not exclusively in English, must provide an English proficiency test score earned within two years of the anticipated term of enrollment. Refer to the Graduate School: Minimum Requirements for Admission policy: .
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

Program Application Materials

Note that all application materials are submitted through the UW Graduate School Admissions Office. See the Microbiology program website for more information and guidance for the application components.

  • Personal statement, also known as “Statement of Purpose”.
  • An applicant background statement describing how the applicant’s background and life experiences have motivated their decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Wisconsin.
  • An unofficial copy of transcripts from each college or university attended.
  • Three or more letters of reference from individuals (faculty, staff, supervisor, mentor) who can comment on the applicant’s qualifications.  This should include scholarly and academic qualifications, and can also include experiences in teaching, outreach, and community service.  Directions for submission will be provided once you have initiated your application.
  • A brief resume/CV listing academic awards, scholarships, location and length of research experiences, co-authorship on any publications or presentations at scientific conferences.

This program is a research-intensive program. Therefore, strong letters of recommendation, a well-crafted personal statement, and extensive research experience often aid students with below-average grades.

Course Prerequisites

We have recommended courses based on material that previous students have found valuable for success in the program, both in the lab and in required graduate level coursework. However, we recognize that the backgrounds of many students — and future student career goals — are varied and diverse, and that this diversity is a strength of our program. In the online application process, you will be asked if you have completed the following prerequisites:

  • Biology: Two semesters. Such as the following UW-Madison course equivalents: ( BIOLOGY/​BOTANY/​ZOOLOGY  151 and  BIOLOGY/​BOTANY/​ZOOLOGY  152 ) or ( BIOLOGY/​ZOOLOGY  101 , BIOLOGY/​ZOOLOGY  102 , and BIOLOGY/​BOTANY  130 )
  • Genetics: One semester. Such as: MICROBIO 470 ,  GENETICS 466 , or ( GENETICS 467 and GENETICS 468 )
  • Chemistry: Four semesters, including two semesters organic chemistry with one semester organic chemistry lab component. Such as: ( CHEM 103 and CHEM 104 ), CHEM 109 , or ( CHEM 115 and CHEM 116 ), and ( CHEM 343 , CHEM 344 , and CHEM 345 )
  • Biochemistry: One semester. Such as: BIOCHEM 501 , ( BIOCHEM 507 and BIOCHEM 508 )
  • Physics: One semester. Such as: ( PHYSICS 104 , PHYSICS 202 , or PHYSICS 208 )
  • Mathematics: Two semesters of calculus or one semester each of calculus and statistics. Such as: MATH 171 , MATH 217 ,  MATH 221 , STAT 301 , or STAT 371
  • Second semester of physics OR other quantitative reasoning course such as physical chemistry, differential equations, or upper-level course in computer programming, bioinformatics or statistics. Such as: PHYSICS 104 , PHYSICS 202 , PHYSICS 208 ,  CHEM 561 , ( CHEM 563   and CHEM 565 ), MICROBIO 657 ,  COMP SCI 319 , COMP SCI/​B M I  576 , STAT 303 , MATH 319 , or MATH 320

For each prerequisite, please be prepared to enter the course name and number.  If you do not have all the recommended coursework, please use the text box in the application system to explain any deficiencies.  We ask that you fill in the course list as appropriate, but more broadly that you include a dedicated section within your personal statement to note how your academic preparation has prepared you for PhD training in microbiology. 

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid.  Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

Program Resources

Research assistantships are available for most students from department and college-level funding sources or from competitive fellowship and traineeship awards, with continued support contingent upon adequate progress in classes and research. Applicants with outstanding records will be nominated for special fellowships or for traineeships on one of several NIH training grants awarded to UW–Madison.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Major requirements.

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements , in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Mode of Instruction

Mode of Instruction
Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions

Accelerated: Accelerated programs are offered at a fast pace that condenses the time to completion. Students typically take enough credits aimed at completing the program in a year or two.

Evening/Weekend: ​Courses meet on the UW–Madison campus only in evenings and/or on weekends to accommodate typical business schedules.  Students have the advantages of face-to-face courses with the flexibility to keep work and other life commitments.

Face-to-Face: Courses typically meet during weekdays on the UW-Madison Campus.

Hybrid: These programs combine face-to-face and online learning formats.  Contact the program for more specific information.

Online: These programs are offered 100% online.  Some programs may require an on-campus orientation or residency experience, but the courses will be facilitated in an online format.

Curricular Requirements

University General Education Requirements
Requirements Detail
Minimum Credit Requirement 51 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 32 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement 26 credits must be graduate-level coursework. Refer to the Graduate School: Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement policy: .
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required. Refer to the Graduate School: Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement policy: .
Other Grade Requirements n/a
Assessments and Examinations Doctoral students are required to take a comprehensive preliminary/oral examination after they have cleared their record of all Incomplete and Progress grades (other than research and thesis). Deposit of the doctoral dissertation in the Graduate School is required.
Language Requirements None.
Graduate School Breadth Requirement All doctoral students are required to complete a doctoral minor or graduate/professional certificate. Refer to the Graduate School: Breadth Requirement in Doctoral Training policy: .

Required Courses

Course List
Code Title Credits
Required Courses10
Current Issues in Microbiology
Advanced Problems in Microbiology
At least three courses must come from the following list:
Eukaryotic Molecular Biology
Advanced Genomic and Proteomic Analysis
Physiology of Microorganisms
Advanced Microbial Genetics
Prokaryotic Molecular Biology
Bioinformatics for Microbiologists
Microbial Symbiosis
Microbiology at Atomic Resolution
Special Topics
Immunology
Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenesis
General Virology-Multiplication of Viruses
Biology and Genetics of Fungi
Seminar Requirement 6
Seminar
Seminar
Breadth10
The remaining credits may be other MICROBIO or M M I courses approved by the Advising Committee or your thesis committee, excluding research, directed study, seminar or journal club course except as approved by the Steering Committee.
Research Credits
Students complete enough credits of 990 to meet the total minimum credit requirement. Credits of 990 in subjects outside of MICROBIO and M M I are acceptable with advisor approval.
Research and Thesis
Research
Total Credits51

Students must enroll for the program's seminar ( MICROBIO 731 or M M & I 901 ) during their first three years. Students are expected to present during their third year when enrolled in the seminar as well as in their fourth year of the program, although they may not be enrolled.

Rotation Requirement

Incoming students are required to rotate in a minimum of three research labs. Students who are directly admitted into a lab are exempt from this rotation requirement.

Professional Development Requirement

Professional Development is a required part of the program's curriculum. Students are required to perform a second semester of teaching practicum, carry out an internship for as long as one semester, take at least 2 credits of coursework from the list of approved classes or through the Delta Program, or perform other professional development activities equivalent to 2 semester hours of coursework as judged by the thesis committee. The thesis committee must give approval for the student to participate in the chosen professional development activity. Thesis committees will also determine if each student has met the requirement. Students should complete the professional development requirement by the end of the fourth year.

Options for completing Professional Development requirement:

The Graduate School has agreed to allow dissertator students to enroll in courses from a limited list of classes appropriate for professional development of the program's students.  Students would take one or two courses in an area of interest after they become dissertators. Additional courses may be added to this list if they are appropriate for the program's students and are approved for this purpose by the Graduate School.

Teaching practicum

A second semester of teaching practicum may be the most appropriate training for students that seek a career in academic research and teaching. If students do not arrange for other professional development activities, the default professional development training would be a second semester of teaching in a teaching practicum.

The Delta Program

Students interested in teaching as a career can participate in the Delta Program, allowing students to take classes and gain experience in teaching. Successful students are granted a certificate from the Delta Program, and this achievement and experience likely make the students more attractive for teaching positions.

Summer courses or workshops

For students most interested in continuing in academic research, one or more summer courses or workshops may be the most appropriate training. Examples of such courses are those that cover research areas or methods or scientific writing or grant preparation.

As an alternative to class work or a second semester of teaching practicum, students could participate in an internship with a business or other organization. Students doing internships would have to arrange to be paid through the organization, and they would not be paid by their advisors while away from their research.

Teaching Practicum Requirement

All students in the program are required to complete a Teaching Practicum.  This Teaching Practicum is usually completed during the second year.  Students choose from a list of courses and work with faculty delivering instruction in a lecture or lab setting.

Graduate School Policies

The  Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures  provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Major-Specific Policies

Prior coursework, graduate credits earned at other institutions.

With program approval, up to 9 credits of coursework may be accepted from other graduate institutions. Coursework earned ten or more years prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

Undergraduate Credits Earned at Other Institutions or UW-Madison

For well-prepared advanced students, the program may decide to accept up to 6 credits numbered 300 or above completed at UW–Madison toward fulfillment of minimum graduate degree credit requirements. This work would not be allowed to count toward the 50% graduate coursework minimum unless taken in coursework numbered 700 or above. Coursework earned ten or more years prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

Credits Earned as a Professional Student at UW-Madison (Law, Medicine, Pharmacy, and Veterinary careers)

Refer to the Graduate School: Transfer Credits for Prior Coursework policy.

Credits Earned as a University Special student at UW-Madison

The program may decide to accept up to 9 University Special student credits as fulfillment of the minimum graduate degree credit requirement. UW–Madison coursework taken as a University Special student would not be allowed to count toward the 50% graduate coursework minimum unless taken in coursework numbered 700 or above. Coursework earned ten or more years prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

Refer to the Graduate School: Probation policy.

Advisor / Committee

Refer to the Graduate School: Advisor and Graduate School: Committees (Doctoral/Master’s/MFA) policies. Exceptions follow:

To ensure that students are making satisfactory progress toward a degree, students are required to meet with their advisor annually.

The committee is required to have five faculty members, two of which must hold appointments in either Bacteriology or Medical Microbiology and Immunology.

Credits Per Term Allowed

Time limits.

Refer to the Graduate School: Time Limits policy.

Grievances and Appeals

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

  • Bias or Hate Reporting  
  • Graduate Assistantship Policies and Procedures
  • Office of the Provost for Faculty and Staff Affairs
  • Employee Assistance (for personal counseling and workplace consultation around communication and conflict involving graduate assistants and other employees, post-doctoral students, faculty and staff)
  • Employee Disability Resource Office (for qualified employees or applicants with disabilities to have equal employment opportunities)
  • Graduate School (for informal advice at any level of review and for official appeals of program/departmental or school/college grievance decisions)
  • Office of Compliance (for class harassment and discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence)
  • Office Student Assistance and Support (OSAS)  (for all students to seek grievance assistance and support)
  • Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (for conflicts involving students)
  • Ombuds Office for Faculty and Staff (for employed graduate students and post-docs, as well as faculty and staff)
  • Title IX (for concerns about discrimination)

The program will follow the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Grievance Policy.  For clarity, the program director, vice-director and/or the program coordinator shall serve as grievance advisors.  The grievance advisor will refer complaints to the program's Steering Committee. 

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences: Grievance Policy  

In the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS), any student who feels unfairly treated by a member of the CALS faculty or staff has the right to complain about the treatment and to receive a prompt hearing. Some complaints may arise from misunderstandings or communication breakdowns and be easily resolved; others may require formal action. Complaints may concern any matter of perceived unfairness.

To ensure a prompt and fair hearing of any complaint, and to protect the rights of both the person complaining and the person at whom the complaint is directed, the following procedures are used in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Any student, undergraduate or graduate, may use these procedures, except employees whose complaints are covered under other campus policies.

  • The student should first talk with the person at whom the complaint is directed. Most issues can be settled at this level. Others may be resolved by established departmental procedures.
  • If the complaint involves an academic department in CALS the student should proceed in accordance with item 3 below.
  • If the grievance involves a unit in CALS that is not an academic department, the student should proceed in accordance with item 4 below.
  • If informal mediation fails, the student can submit the grievance in writing to the grievance advisor within 10 working days of the date the student is informed of the failure of the mediation attempt by the grievance advisor. The grievance advisor will provide a copy to the person at whom the grievance is directed.
  • The grievance advisor will refer the complaint to a department committee that will obtain a written response from the person at whom the complaint is directed, providing a copy to the student. Either party may request a hearing before the committee. The grievance advisor will provide both parties a written decision within 20 working days from the date of receipt of the written complaint.
  • If the grievance involves the department chairperson, the grievance advisor or a member of the grievance committee, these persons may not participate in the review.
  • If not satisfied with departmental action, either party has 10 working days from the date of notification of the departmental committee action to file a written appeal to the CALS Equity and Diversity Committee. A subcommittee of this committee will make a preliminary judgement as to whether the case merits further investigation and review. If the subcommittee unanimously determines that the case does not merit further investigation and review, its decision is final. If one or more members of the subcommittee determine that the case does merit further investigation and review, the subcommittee will investigate and seek to resolve the dispute through mediation. If this mediation attempt fails, the subcommittee will bring the case to the full committee. The committee may seek additional information from the parties or hold a hearing. The committee will present a written recommendation to the dean who will provide a final decision within 20 working days of receipt of the committee recommendation.
  • If the alleged unfair treatment occurs in a CALS unit that is not an academic department, the student should, within 120 calendar days of the alleged incident, take his/her grievance directly to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. The dean will attempt to resolve the problem informally within 10 working days of receiving the complaint. If this mediation attempt does not succeed the student may file a written complaint with the dean who will refer it to the CALS Equity and Diversity Committee. The committee will seek a written response from the person at whom the complaint is directed, subsequently following other steps delineated in item 3d above.

We offer funding to all students in the program through fellowships, trainees and research assistantships.

  • Professional Development

Take advantage of the Graduate School's  professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

In order to better train MDTP students for microbiology-related professions, students need a chance to gain knowledge and experience not just in academic research, but also in other fields where their microbiology education may be put to good use. Opportunities for professional development can consist of coursework, an internship, a summer workshop, outreach experiences, or a second teaching practicum experience. Professional Development plans must be approved by a student’s thesis committee. Please see requirements for more information.

  • Learning Outcomes
  • Gain a broad understanding of the microbiology principles that underlie all biological processes.
  • Articulate, discuss and define limits to the theory and knowledge in microbiology.
  • Think critically to address research challenges using a broad range of the theories, research methods, and approaches to scientific inquiry.
  • Communicates complex ideas in a clear and understandable matter.
  • Collaborate with investigators within the program, university, and beyond to advance the science of microbiology.
  • Foster professional and ethical conduct in the sciences.
  • Ethical design of experimental protocols.
  • Reproducibility of experimental results.
  • Professional behavior in industrial, government and academic settings.
  • Develop communication skills that enable the articulation of research to fellow scientists and non-scientists.
  • Develop teaching and mentoring skills in both lecture and laboratory settings.
  • Explore career development opportunities in industry, government, academia and private industry to realize professional goals.

Faculty: Professors JD Sauer (program director, Medical Microbiology and Immunology), and Trina McMahon (vice-director, Bacteriology) lead the current MDTP Steering Committee. For a list of more than 90 participating faculty, see the  program website  or contact the program office.

  • Requirements

Contact Information

Microbiology College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, School of Medicine and Public Health microbiology.wisc.edu

Terra Theim, Program Coordinator [email protected] 608-265-0689 1326 Microbial Sciences 1550 Linden Dr., Madison, WI 53706

JD Sauer, Program Director [email protected]

Graduate Program Handbook View Here

Graduate School grad.wisc.edu

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UW Microbiology

Ph.d. requirements and curriculum, graduate curriculum requirements for the phd.

The requirements listed below are the minimum requirements to be met by all students in the Ph.D. program.   The student's supervisory committee may require or recommend additional courses as deemed appropriate, based on the student's background and research plans.

Graded Course Requirements

A total of 18 graded credits are required before taking the General Exam, and a minimum 2.7 grade in each course is required. Students are required to take courses in bacteriology, virology, and biostatistics chosen from the following lists, with the required minimum number of credits indicated for each area of study. 

Bacteriology (3 credits) •    CONJ 557 (Spring, 2 credits), Microbial Evolution •    CONJ 558 (Winter, 1.5 credits), Prokaryotic Biology

Virology (3 credits) •    MICROM 540 (Autumn, even years, 3 credits), Virology •    MCB 532 (Autumn, odd years, 3 credits), Human Pathogenic Viruses

Biostatistics (2 credits) •    BIOSTAT 511    (Autumn, 4 credits), Introduction to Statistics in Health Sciences •    UCONJ 510 (Summer, 2 credits), Introductory Laboratory Based Biostatistics

The remaining credits (for a total of 18 graded credits) can come from taking more than the minimum number of credits in each distribution or from additional departmentally approved 500-level graduate courses listed in Appendix 1. If you are interested in a class that is not listed, please petition the Graduate Program Policy and Advising Committee (GPAC) by contacting the chair for permission to have it count towards the degree before you take the class.  Note that courses change, so verify course details online.  Also investigate the anticipated workload, which varies considerably among graduate classes. Program policy limits you to no more than 6 graded credits per quarter.

Program Requirements

  • Attending departmental seminars (MICROM 520) and “work in Progress” (WIP, MICROM 522) is mandatory. Both courses are graded Credit/No-Credit. Departmental seminars are crucial for contributing to the breadth of student knowledge, and students must register for seminar each year of graduate school. WIP serves to develop oral presentation skills. Students must register for WIP through year 5 and will be scheduled and must present in WIP every year of graduate school. The requirement for a grade of “Credit” and the manner in which this requirement will be assessed will be conveyed to students at the beginning of the academic year.  A grade of “No-Credit” will result in a warning, which may escalate to Probation, Final Probation, and Drop (see https://grad.uw.edu/policies/3-7-academic-performance-and-progress/ ) should the deficiency not be addressed satisfactorily. Failure to register for WIP will immediately escalate to Probation.
  • While completing the course requirements, students should register for enough MICROM 500 or MICROM 600 to bring their total credits to 10-18 per quarter in Autumn, Winter, and Spring. Register for exactly 2 credits in Summer, which is either UCONJ 510 (to fulfill the biostatistics requirement) or MICROM 600.  When graded credit requirements have been fulfilled, register for MICROM 600 prior to completing the General Exam and for MICROM 800 after passing the General Exam for a total of 10-18 credits per quarter during the academic year and for exactly 2 credits during summer quarter.
  • BIOETHICS. All of our students must take either 5 lectures and attend 3 discussion groups that are part of the Biomedical Research Integrity (BRI) series in the first or second summer (register at http://depts.washington.edu/uwbri/front ) or Bioethics 101 taught by the Biochemistry Department (register for the Winter Quarter BIOC 533).  
  • TA in at least two lab courses for undergraduates, which is usually satisfied in the first and/or second year.
  • Give at least two formal lectures in an undergraduate course, which is usually satisfied in the fourth or fifth year.
  • Be first author on at least one paper related to thesis research, which is published or accepted for publication in refereed journals prior to the thesis defense.

MICROM

599

2

A

Faculty Research Presentations for 1st year students

 

MICROM

520

1

A,W,Sp

Micro Seminar series

MICROM

522

1

A,W,Sp

Work in Progress (WIP)

 

MICROM

500

(var)

A,W,Sp, Su

Lab Rotations. Minimum of 3 quarters. First Year

MICROM

600

(var)

A,W,Sp, Su

Independent Study Lab research.  Prior to passing general exam.

MICROM

800

(var)

A,W,Sp, Su

Doctoral Dissertation.  After passing general exam.

Graduate School Requirements

(see https://grad.uw.edu/policies-procedures/doctoral-degree-policies/doctoral-degree-requirements/)

  • Completion of a program of study and research as planned by the Graduate Program Coordinator in the student's major department or college and by the Ph.D. Supervisory Committee. At least 18 credits of course work at the 500 level and above must be completed prior to scheduling the General Examination.  Note that this includes classes that are not graded (CR/NC).
  • Presentation of 90 credits, 60 of which must be taken at the University of Washington.
  • Numerical grades must be received in at least 18 quarter credits of course work taken at the University of Washington prior to scheduling the General Examination. The Graduate School accepts numerical grades in departmentally approved 400 and 500 level courses. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 is required for a graduate degree at the University.
  • Completion of a total of 60 credits prior to scheduling the General Examination (a master's degree from the UW or another institution may be used as a substitute for 30 of these credits).
  • Creditable passage of the General Examination.  Registration and completion of credits as a graduate student is required the quarter the exam is taken and candidacy is conferred.
  • The Candidate must register and complete a minimum of 27 credits of dissertation (MICROM 800) over a period of at least three quarters.  At least one quarter must come after the student passes the General Examination. With the exception of summer, when students take 2 credits, students are limited to a maximum of 10 credits per quarter of dissertation (MICROM 800).
  • Creditable passage of a Final Examination, which is usually devoted to the defense of the dissertation in the field with which it is concerned. The General and Final Examinations cannot be scheduled during the same quarter. Registration and completion of credit as a graduate student is required the quarter the exam is taken AND the degree is conferred.
  • Preparation of and acceptance by the Dean of the Graduate School of a dissertation that is a significant contribution to knowledge and clearly indicates training in research.
  • Completion of all work for the doctoral degree within ten years. This includes quarters spent On-Leave or out of status as well as applicable work from the master's degree from the University of Washington or a master's degree from another institution, if used to substitute for 30 credits of enrollment.
  • Registration and completion of credits as a full- or part-time graduate student at the University for the quarter in which the degree is conferred (see detailed information under Final Quarter Registration).

Training Grants

All U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to apply for training grants.  A list of available Training Grants can be found at http://blogs.uw.edu/tgrants/graduate-students/ .

APPENDIX 1:  Other Courses

The following courses are approved to count towards the degree.  Keep in mind that we try to keep this list accurate; however, departmental offerings change from year to year.  And, the quarter in which courses are offered, especially conjoints (CONJ), can vary.  Note that the categories are based on the course title rather than a thorough review of the syllabus.

BIOCHEMISTRY CLASSES:

B STR

515

Biological X-Ray Structure Analysis

3

 

X

   

B STR

519

Current Problems in Macromolecular Structure

2

 

 

X

 

BIOC

440

Biochemistry

4

X

     

BIOC

441

Biochemistry

4

 

X

   

BIOC

442

Biochemistry

4

   

X

 

BIOC

530

Introduction to Structural Biology

3

X

     

BIOC

540*

Literature Review

2

X

     

BIOC

541*

Literature Review

2

 

X

   

BIOC

542*

Literature Review

2

   

X

 

CONJ

544

Protein Structure, Modification, and Regulation

1.5

 

X

 

 

CONJ

545

Molecular Interactions and Medicine

1.5

   

X

 

GENOME

540

Introduction to Computational Molecular Biology:

Genome and Protein Sequence Analysis

4

 

X

   

GENOME

555**

Protein Technology

1.5

   

X

 

MEDCH

541

Biological Mass Spectrometry

3

   

X

 

CELL BIOLOGY CLASSES:

CONJ

524

Structural Basis of Signal Transduction

1.5

 

X

   

CONJ

530

Directing Stem Cells Toward Regenerative Medicine

3

   

X

 

CONJ

531

Signaling Mechanisms in Excitable Cells

1.5

X

     

CONJ

532

Signal Transduction from the Cell Membrane to the Nucleus

1.5

X

     

CONJ

533

The Dynamic Chromosome

1.5

X

     

CONJ

537

Mechanism of Transcriptional Regulation

1.5

X

 

 

 

CONJ

542

Development

1.5

X

     

CONJ

583

Molecular Targets in Cancer Therapy

1.5

X

     

GENOME

551**

Principles of Gene Regulation

1.5

 

X

   

MCB

539

Biological Basis of Neoplasia

3

   

X

 

MCB

543

Logic Constructs and Methodologies of Biological Research

3

   

X

 

COMMUNICATING SCIENCE AND COMMERCIALIZATION:

BIOEN

504

Introduction to Technology Commercialization

4

X

     

CONJ

512

Scientific Speaking Seminar

1.5

 

X

   

CONJ

559

Scientific Ideas at Work

1.5

 

X

 

 

GENOME

541

4

   

X

 

GENOME

552**

Technologies for Genome Analysis

1.5

X

     

GENOME

553**

Advanced Genetic Analysis

1.5

X

     

GENOME

559

Introduction to Statistical and Computational Genomics

3

 

X

   

GENOME

561

Molecular Population Genetics and Evolution

1.5

 

X

 

 

GENOME

565

Advanced Human Genetics

4

 

X

 

 

GENOME

570

(every other year)

3

 

X

   

MCB

533

3

   

X

 

IMMUNOLOGY, MEDICINE, PATHOGENESIS, and OTHERS:

IMMUN

441

Introduction to Immunology

4

X

     

BIOENG

599

Special Topics – Contemporary Microscopy and Biophotonics

3

   

X

 

IMMUN

537

Immunological Methods

1.5

X

     

IMMUN

538

Immunological Based Diseases and Treatments

2

   

X

 

IMMUN

550

Selected Topics in Immunology

1

X

X

X

 

CONJ

504

Topics of Molecular Medicine

1.5

   

X

 

CONJ

526

Introduction to Systems Biology and Quantitative

Approaches to Biomedical Sciences

1.5

 

X

   

IMMUN

532

Intersection of Innate and Adaptive Immunity in Disease

4

 

X

   

MICROM

555

Advanced Clinical Microbiology

2.5

X

X

X

 

   CONJ 

539

Modern Approaches to Vaccines

1.5

   

X

 

MOLMED

514

Molecular Medicine

1.5

 

X

   

MOLMED

540

Medicine in Action

1.5

X

X

X

 

EPI

529

3

       

G H

560

3

     

X

MEDCH

561

4

   

X

 

PABIO

551

Biochemistry and Genetics of Pathogens and Their Hosts

4

X

     

PABIO

552

4

 

X

   

CWEA

540

  Microbiological Process Fundamentals

3

X

     

* These classes are primarily for Biochemistry graduate students, who take them as a cohort.  Microbiology students can take them with permission of the instructor.

** These are smaller Genome Sciences class, so registration may be difficult.

  • Distinguished Lectureships
  • Degree Programs

Ph.D. in Microbiology

  • M.S. in Microbiology
  • Master’s of Microbiology (M.M.)
  • Master of Microbial Biotechnology (M.M.B.)
  • Graduate Minor in Microbiology
  • Research Areas
  • Research Facilities
  • Research Awards
  • Microbiomes and Complex Microbial Cluster
  • BeeMORE Program

Student Resources

  • Microbiology Graduate Student Association
  • Adjunct Faculty
  • Give Now 

phd microbiology requirements

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is the highest degree offered by the Microbiology Graduate Program (MGP). The goal of our doctoral program is to provide students with the foundation necessary to pursue a career in a university, industry or research institute setting.

Students in our doctoral program are trained to recognize significant biological problems, design experimental approaches for solving these problems and communicate their results to the scientific community and the public.

Join the Pack

Review Our Admission Requirements and Apply Now! 

phd microbiology requirements

The requirements listed below are the minimum requirements to be met by all students in our Ph.D. program. A student’s advisory committee may recommend additional requirements as deemed appropriate, based on a student’s background and research plans.

Curriculum and Courses

The Microbiology Graduate Programs at NC State are interdisciplinary. Our Ph.D. students take many courses taught by MGP faculty, as well as elective courses offered in numerous disciplines and departments across campus, including Biochemistry , Biotechnology , Animal Science , Food Science and Genetics . Our Ph.D. curriculum allows for flexibility Doctoral students will have completed at least 72 credits by the end of their fourth year in the program.

All microbiology graduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. The Graduate Student Support Plan (GSSP; tuition and health benefits) also requires continuous enrollment, meaning all graduate students must enroll for a minimum of nine credits in each Fall and Spring semester to qualify. After the first year, most of these are Research credits.

Required Course Credits for a Ph.D. in Microbiology

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
variableMicrobiology-Related Courses12
MB 870Laboratory Rotations1
MB 886Teaching Experience1
MB 801Seminar in Microbiology2
MB 895Doctoral Dissertation Research6 minimum
variableProfessional Development1
500-800Elective Courses
(MB or others)
variable

Required Courses

As listed above, students are required to register for the following:

MB 500s-700s – Microbiology Courses

Students are required to take 12 graduate-level, letter-graded microbiology (MB) credits. Courses are 3 credits each.

MGP students are able to take courses that focus on the various specialized disciplines of microbiology, including bacterial physiology, environmental microbiology, immunology, molecular genetics and virology. Prior experience can impact which courses a student can enroll in.

Prerequisites in biochemistry are required for many of these courses, so we recommend that all microbiology graduate students have the equivalent of introductory biochemistry ( BCH 553 ) at NC State early in the curriculum.

An example of courses that fit into two of many different microbiology “tracks” or concentrations:

Environmental/IndustrialHost-Pathogen Interactions
MB 520 Microbial Cell Bio-transformationsMB 535 Pathogenic Microbiology
MB 532 Soil MicrobiologyMB 718 Introductory Virology
MB 555 Microbial BiotechnologyMB 751 Immunology
MB 590 Symbiosis & MicrobiomesBCH 553 Biochemistry of Gene Expression
MB 505 Food MicrobiologyBCH 705 Molecular Biology of the Cell
MB 714 Metabolic RegulationBMA 771/772 Biomathematics
MB 725 Fermentation MicrobiologyCBS 712 Repro & Domestic Animal Disease
MB 758 Microbial Gen & GenomicsENT 582 Med and Veterinary Entomology
 PP 707 Plant-Microbe Interactions
 ST 511/512 Exper Statistics for Bio Sciences

MB 870 – Laboratory Research Rotations

Doctoral students supported by a teaching or research assistantship are required to participate in a minimum of two research rotations , allowing them to experience the types of research performed in MGP faculty member’s laboratories and choose a research area of high interest to them. An additional rotation is possible, with approval from the Director of Graduate Programs (DGP) and the respective faculty.

Research rotations take place each year from July through the end of the Fall semester. Students earn 1 credit (MB 870) for both laboratory rotations, and their performance is formally evaluated by the principal investigator of the laboratory. Students must also provide a written or oral report about their rotation experience. Following their last research rotation, students may choose a laboratory for their dissertation research.

Although doctoral students supported by a stipend funded from a faculty grant or other source are not required to participate in the research rotations, they may choose to do so with approval from the principal investigators. We encourage all students to review MGP  faculty pages and meet with faculty before deciding upon a specific lab for their rotation.

MB 886 – Teaching Experience

A minimum teaching responsibility is part of the requirements for a Ph.D. degree in Microbiology from NC State. Students must serve as a laboratory teaching assistant for at least one semester in an NCSU on-campus course. Prior teaching experience in an M.S. program will be considered to fulfill this requirement. One credit of MB 886 is provided for each semester the student teaches.

The teaching requirement should be fulfilled at the earliest possible time in the graduate program. Example courses approved for fulfilling the teaching requirement are: MB 352, MB 412, MB 452 and BIO 181. Specific tools for enhancing teaching effectiveness are provided for teaching assistants, including workshops and constructive evaluation by the instructor and the students.

MB 801 – Seminar in Microbiology

The MGP requires all graduate students to attend Microbiology seminars throughout their degree program. All Ph.D. students must register for at least two semesters (two credits) of seminar.

MB 893/895 – Microbiology Research

MB 893 and MB 895 provide credit for research students perform in our Ph.D. program.  Students register for MB 893 prior to passing their Preliminary Exam , after which they may sign-up for a variable number of MB 895 credits each semester. A minimum of six credits is required for the Ph.D. degree. However, this is a research-intensive degree, so many credits will end up being for research (MB 895 Microbiology Research).

Other Professional Development

All our graduate students are required to attend either the Microbiology course in Professional Development and Responsible Conduct of Research, or a similar module offered in related programs (BIT, GN, etc.). One credit hour is required.

Elective Graduate Courses

Doctoral students can choose to take other courses offered by departments and programs throughout NC State (Biochemistry, Genetics, Statistics, etc.). Selection of elective courses is done by the student, in consultation with and approval by the advisory committee. Letter graded or satisfactory/unsatisfactory course formats can be used.

Below are examples of elective courses available. The graduate catalog  should be consulted for the current comprehensive listing.

  • BAE 525 – Industrial Microbiology & Bioprocessing
  • BCH 553 – Biochemistry of Gene Expression
  • BCH 701 – Macromolecular Structure
  • BCH 703 – Macromolecular Synthesis and Regulation
  • BCH 705 – Molecular Biology of the Cell
  • BIT 510 – Core Technologies in Biotechnology
  • BIT 595X  – Advanced Modules in Biotechnology
  • GN 513 – Advanced Genetics
  • GN 701 – Molecular Genetics
  • GN 735 – Functional Genomics
  • GN 850  – Professionalism and Ethics
  • MB(PP) 730  – Fungal Genetics and Physiology
  • MB 610  – Special Topics in Microbiology
  • MB 620  – Special Problems
  • MB 801  – Seminar in Microbiology
  • MB 705  – Biological Scanning Electron Microscopy
  • MB(IMM) 783 – Advanced Immunology
  • MB 790I  – Practical Digital Imaging

Advisory Committees

Doctoral students are required to select a dissertation advisor before the end of their second semester (until then, the Director of Graduate Programs (DGP) serves as a temporary advisor). By the end of their first year, each student must also have selected a graduate advisory committee with the help of their dissertation advisor. Advisory committee’s will consist of a student’s dissertation advisor, at least two additional faculty members from the MGP and one faculty member who holds a graduate faculty appointment in another program.

All required committee members must hold appointments within the Graduate School at NC State. Students may select scientists who are not members of the Graduate School faculty (e.g., adjunct faculty, industry scientists) for their committee, but it is in addition to the required members. Graduate advisory committees must meet no less than once a year.

Graduate Plan of Work (PoW)

A Graduate Plan of Work (PoW) will include all courses, a tentative dissertation title and an anticipated timetable for taking each course. Students and their dissertation advisors will informally outline the PoW as soon as possible. The plan will be submitted for approval to and/or amendment by the student’s advisory committee. Then the PoW will be formally submitted to the graduate school by the end of the student’s third semester at NC State.

Visit the Graduate School website for more information about the graduate PoW .

Annual Research Progress Reports

The MGP will facilitate scheduling an annual meeting of the student’s advisory committee, at which the student will make an oral presentation and submit a written report on their laboratory research. A Graduate Student Progress Evaluation Form will be completed by the advisory committee. A satisfactory evaluation will be necessary for the student to receive assistantship support and/or be able to register for the next semester.

Dissertation and Defense

All Ph.D. students must write a dissertation on their research and this must conform to the regulations laid down in the NCSU “Thesis and Dissertation Guide.” The content and structure of the dissertation must be approved by the advisory committee, and all degree candidates are expected to prepare their research results for publication prior to completing their program. Doctoral candidates who have completed their research and other degree requirements (72 credit hours) may enroll in MB 899 (Dissertation Preparation) while they are writing their dissertation. All Ph.D. candidates must also present a seminar hosted by the MGP prior to defending their dissertation. Subject to the satisfactory defense of the Ph.D. dissertation, the advisory committee will approve it for transmittal to the Graduate School.

Course Catalog

Explore our course offerings and microbiology course descriptions 

Review our admission requirements and apply now! 

Discover some of the helpful resources available to MGP students 

Fill out our interest form and we will be in touch! 

Graduate Admissions

Aerial photo of University of Iowa campus

Microbiology (PhD)

The PhD in Microbiology is awarded by the Graduate College. Instruction is offered through the Carver College of Medicine.

Applicants must meet the  Admission Requirements of the Graduate College  and the department offering the degree program (review the department's website or the General Catalog for departmental requirements).

International students whose first language is not English are advised to review the English language proficiency recommendations for prospective applicants.  

Students admitted to the PhD program receive a stipend and a health insurance allowance in addition to full payment of their tuition and mandatory fees.

  • Priority deadline for all applicants—Dec. 1
  • Spring semester—not offered
  • Summer session—not offered

The graduate application process has two steps

  • You must first submit the online application to the Graduate College and pay the $60 application fee by credit card ($100 for international applicants).
  • Once you have submitted your application, you will receive an email instructing you on how to upload your supporting documents and submit letters of recommendation. All supplemental material must be uploaded from your Admissions Profile in MyUI, our online service center for applicants and students. You can only access this AFTER you have submitted your application.

GRE scores are not required for this program.

Degree Program Supplemental Materials

  • Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
  • Research Statement
  • Personal Statement

Recommendations

The application requirement section of your Profile includes an electronic letter of recommendation feature. If your program of study requires letters of recommendation, you will be asked to give the contact information of your recommenders including their email on your Admissions Profile. The recommender will then get an email giving them instructions on how to upload the recommendation letter and/or form.

Materials to send to Admissions

  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A set of your unofficial academic records/transcripts uploaded on your Admissions Profile. If you are admitted, official transcripts will be required before your enrollment. For international records, all records should bear the original stamp or seal of the institution and the signature of a school official.  Documents not in English must be accompanied by a complete, literal, English translation, certified by the issuing institution.
  • International students may also be required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or DuoLingo scores to comply with the university's English Language Proficiency Requirements .
  • Once recommended for admission, international students must send a Financial Statement .

Apply Online , the $60 application fee ($100 for international students) is payable by Discover, MasterCard, or Visa.

Fee Waiver - Applicants for whom payment of the application fee presents a significant financial hardship may request an application fee waiver .

Reimbursement - Applicants will have their application fee reimbursed by the Department of Microbiology if they receive an interview invitation and complete the interview process.

Department of Microbiology The University of Iowa 3-403 Bowen Science Building Iowa City, IA 52242  [email protected] 1-319-335-7809

Enrollment Management The University of Iowa 2900 University Capitol Centre 201 S. Clinton St. Iowa City, IA 52242 [email protected] 1-319-335-1523

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  • Microbiology

derre students in lab

Program Faculty

Abounader, roger.

Basic and translational brain tumor research

Agaisse, Hervé

Genetic approaches, cellular and molecular biology of intracellular pathogen infection

Arandjelovic, Sanja

Innate immunity, Cell clearance, Inflammatory and autoimmune disease

Bailey, Stefanie R.

Increasing the safety and efficacy of CAR-T cells

Bouton, Amy H.

Signaling Pathways and Breast Cancer

Brown, Michael G.

Natural Killer Cells, Viral Immunity, Genetic basis of host resistance to viral infection, Tumor immunity, Immune cell regulation

Bullock, Timothy N.

Pathways to enhance T cell function in tumors.

Casanova, James E.

Role of Arf family GTPases in vesicular transport and cytoskeleton assembly. Cell Biology of bacterial pathogenesis. The innate immune response to bacterial infection.

Cliffe, Anna

Herpes Simplex Virus Infection of Neurons

Cowardin, Carrie A.

The maternal and infant microbiome in childhood growth and immunity

Criss, Alison K.

Cellular and molecular mechanisms of Neisserial pathogenesis

Derré, Isabelle

Host/pathogen Interaction - Chlamydia Infection

Desai, Bimal N.

Ion channels and Ca2+-signaling in inflammation, immunity and tissue homeostasis

Dolatshahi, Sepideh

Systems Immunology, Cancer Systems Biology, , Neonatal and Maternal Immunology

Dremel, Sarah

Herpesvirus gene expression & RNA biology

Dudley, Andrew

Tumor microenvironment and mechanisms of tumor neovascularization

Engel, Daniel A.

Drug Discovery and Molecular Biology of Pathogenic RNA viruses: Ebola, SARS-CoV-2, Influenza and Zika

Engelhard, Victor H.

Identification of MHC-restricted tumor antigens / Control of T cell homing to tumors / Tertiary lymphoid structures and intratumoral immunity

Erickson, Loren D.

Immune mechanisms of pathogenic antibody production in allergy and autoimmunity

Ewald, Sarah

Innate immunity, chronic disease, host-parasite interactions, Toxoplasma gondii, proteomics

Fox, Jay W.

Basement Membrane Structure and Metalloproteinases

Garcia-Blanco, Mariano A.

RNA-protein interactions in antiviral immunity and autoimmune diseases.

Gioeli, Daniel

Signal transduction in cancer cells

Guler, Jennifer

Mechanisms of Genetic and Metabolic Adaptation in the Malaria Parasite, Plasmodium falciparum

Hahn, Young S.

Immune regulation for HCV infection and chronic liver inflammation

Hammarskjöld, Marie-Louise

Post Transcriptional Gene Regulation and the Molecular Biology of Human Retroviruses

Harris, Tajie H.

Immune response to infectious disease in the CNS

Hughes, Molly A.

Biodefense and emerging pathogens

Kashatus, David F

The Role of Mitochondrial Fusion and Fission in Tumorigenesis.

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Human Herpes virus associated with malignancy, including Kaposi's Sarcoma

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Bacterial cell signaling, host-pathogen interactions, intestinal pathogens

Loughran, Jr., Thomas P

Hematologic malignancies; bone marrow disorders; leukemia; large granular lymphocyte (LGL)

McNamara, Coleen A.

Immune System Regulation of Cardiometabolic Disease

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Pathogenesis of diarrheagenic Escherichia coli and Shigella.

Park, Kwon-Sik

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Microbial Pathogenesis

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Sheybani, Natasha

Sperling, anne.

Immune Responses in asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, and lung injury.

Viral immunology, T cells, Macrophages, Tissue repair

Taylor, Justin J

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Woodfolk, Judith A.

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The University of Kansas

2024-25 Academic Catalog

Doctor of philosophy in microbiology, molecular biosciences doctoral programs.

Molecular Biosciences is an interdisciplinary group of faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students who perform cutting edge research across a wide range of  areas , including biochemistry, biophysics, structural biology, bioinformatics, cancer biology, genetics, genomics, immunology, microbiology, virology, neurobiology, molecular, cellular and developmental biology. Our researchers investigate fundamental biological and biomedical problems on all levels, from molecules to cells to organisms. Our research labs collaborate to solve complex questions using a range of approaches, and make use of the world-class core facilities at KU. The Department of Molecular Biosciences at the University of Kansas is an excellent environment for research and graduate training in biology.

The department offers Doctor of Philosophy degrees in  Biochemistry and Biophysics , in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology ( MCDB ), and in  Microbiology . General information about the department, our faculty and students, and alumni of our graduate programs can be found on our  website . Detailed information about  admission  and  financial support  is also available.

Note that the various B.A. and B.S. undergraduate degree programs in biology are listed at the  Biology Undergraduate Programs  page.

Admission to Graduate Studies

An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Graduate Admission

The Department of Molecular Biosciences recognizes the importance of investing in the careers of future biomedical scientists. We welcome graduate students into our vibrant scientific community, where they have the opportunity to become outstanding researchers and prepare for an exciting future in science. 

All students seeking a graduate degree must submit a formal application to the Molecular Biosciences graduate program. Full information on the application process, and a link to apply online can be found on our website . Application materials for the Molecular Biosciences graduate program include:

  • An application form
  • 1 official copy of all academic transcripts (international students must also provide a translated copy);
  • A Curriculum Vitae or résumé (1 to 2 pages);
  • 3 letters of recommendation from qualified individuals using the Graduate Letter of Recommendation form;

A Statement of Research Interests and Goals.  A strong statement will include: (a) A description of previous research experiences, if applicable, discussing how these have prepared you for graduate school both professionally and personally, (b) A discussion of your broad research interests, and (c) A description of your future career goals, discussing how a PhD from our department will help further these goals. (1-2 pages)

  • Application Fee

Non-native speakers of English must meet the English proficiency requirements for employment as a GTA/GRA:  minimum TOEFL (iBT) SPEAKING score of 22, AND all other parts scores at least 20; or IELTS SPEAKING score of 8, with no other part score below 5.5.  Scores must be less than 2 years old from the time of initial enrollment.

More information can be found here:  https://gradapply.ku.edu/english-requirements

GRE scores are not required for your application. You may submit your official GRE scores if you feel it will help the admissions committee better understand your academic capabilities. But electing not to submit scores will not impact your chance of admission.

Complete applications received by December 1st are reviewed by the Molecular Biosciences graduate admissions committee. Admission into our program is competitive, and we receive a large number of applications each year. Students will be informed of admission decisions early in the new year, admissions decisions are finalized by April 15, and newly admitted students matriculate in August.

Our holistic evaluation is based on several criteria, including grades, the strength of recommendation letters, previous research experience, and the fit of your career goals with our educational program.

The department is committed to enhancing diversity in the life sciences, encourage participation from individuals with diverse life experiences, and strive to foster an inclusive research and training environment for all our faculty, students, and staff.

All supporting documentation should be uploaded online when you apply. If this is not possible, please send documentation to:

Cassandra Jim Graduate Program Coordinator The University of Kansas Department of Molecular Biosciences Haworth Hall 1200 Sunnyside Ave., Room 2034 Lawrence, KS 66045

Microbiology

General requirements for all molecular biosciences ph.d. students.

Students should be familiar with departmental expectations associated with their degree. We recommend contacting the Graduate Program Coordinator who can provide additional detail on departmental policies, recommendations, and requirements.

  • Complete a common first-year curriculum (see below). This includes BIOL 817 , which satisfies both the responsible scholarship and the research skills requirements.
  • Establish a graduate advisory committee during Fall of the second year of graduate study at the latest. This committee must meet a minimum of once a year.
  • From the start of the second year of graduate study, enroll in either  BIOL 701 Cellular and Molecular Proteins or BIOL 905 Advanced Molecular Genetics , every semester.
  • To assist with development and writing of the orals research proposal, enroll in  BIOL 925 Research Grant Proposal Preparation  during the second year of graduate study.
  • Prepare an orals research proposal. Steps include: (a) have a graduate advisory committee meeting to discuss the specific aims of the orals proposal during the semester BIOL 925 is taken, (b) following approval of the aims, write the full proposal, (c) submit a full draft of the proposal to your readers (your major advisor, the Chair of your orals committee, and one other committee member) the semester following enrollment in BIOL 925 , and (d) submit the final version of the proposal to your entire committee prior to the comprehensive orals examination.
  • Schedule the comprehensive orals examination between May 1 and June 30 of the second year of graduate study.
  • Complete at least two semesters of teaching as a GTA (Graduate Teaching Assistant) during the program.
  • Write a dissertation based on original research, provide the document to your graduate advisory committee for evaluation, and describe your research in a public oral presentation.
  • Complete the degree within seven years. (Exceptions to this requirement require a recommendation from the Director of Graduate Studies.)

First-year curriculum for all Molecular Biosciences PhD Students

Course List
Code Title Hours
Topics in: _____ (Molecular Biosciences Seminar. Enroll in both Fall and Spring Semester of the first year.)1-3
Graduate Molecular Biosciences3
Rigor, Reproducibility and Responsible Conduct in Research3
Advanced Study (fall and spring semester)1-10

Specific Ph.D. Requirements: Microbiology

Course List
Code Title Hours
Advanced Molecular and Cellular Immunology
Mechanisms of Host-Parasite Relationships
Advanced Molecular Virology
Advanced Molecular Genetics
Doctoral Dissertation

Note that the graduate advisory committee may recommend that additional courses be taken.

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Microbiology, PhD

for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology

The requirements for a PhD from the Department of Microbiology include successful completion of course work, teaching, one to two first-author manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, passing a preliminary examination, and writing and depositing a research thesis.

Graduate Degree Program in Microbiology

The Department of Microbiology at Illinois offers unique opportunities for graduate students to become skilled and creative microbiologists. Our graduate program of study leads to the doctor of philosophy degree (PhD.) We have outstanding resources in our internationally recognized faculty, graduate students, and research facilities. This exposes our students to the latest research techniques and fosters their development as independent scientists. The program has particular strengths in the areas of microbial physiology, metabolism, genetics, evolution, and pathogenesis. For an application and departmental materials that provide greater detail on programs, offerings, admission, degree requirements, and financial aid, visit our website .

Graduates from the Department of Microbiology are employed in colleges and universities, industry, and government. Scientific advances in genetic engineering and biotechnology provide many opportunities in pharmaceutical, chemical, and genetic engineering companies.

The Department of Microbiology is a part of the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB), which also includes the Departments of Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology, and Molecular and Integrative Physiology. The Department is part of an umbrella program in MCB that encompasses over 70 different research laboratories. Students admitted into any of these departmental graduate programs can select faculty thesis advisors from these active research laboratories in the School. Close ties are also maintained with the School of Integrative Biology, the School of Chemical Sciences, the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Admission Applicants interested in the Microbiology PhD program will need to apply directly to the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) PhD program .  The MCB PhD program is an umbrella program that requires admitted students to spend their first semester rotating among three different labs to explore their interests before joining one of our four departments.

MCB Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree in biological or physical sciences, a grade point average of a 3.0 or higher (A = 4.0), prior research experience and three letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to the applicant’s academic and research background. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required. Applicants interested in pursuing a PhD in Microbiology should have a total of at least 15 credit hours of physical or biology sciences, including general biology, or microbiology, chemistry through organic chemistry and biochemistry, and mathematics through calculus. In addition to these requirements, non-native English speaking applicants must attain a minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) overall score of 96, with at least a score of 22 on the speaking section. MCB does not accept the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to show English proficiency. Graduate College requirements also apply.

Graduate Teaching Experience Experience in teaching is considered to be a vital part of the graduate program and is required as part of the academic work of all PhD degree candidates.  For the Department of Microbiology, a minimum of two semesters of teaching experience is a degree requirement.

Faculty Research Interests Major areas of research interest include gene expression and regulation in bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes; virus pathogenesis and host-cell interactions; viruses of bacteria and archaea; membrane biogenesis; lipid and polysaccharide synthesis in bacteria and yeast; cell wall biogenesis; bacterial pathogenesis and bacteria-host interactions; immunology; DNA replication, recombination, and repair; anaerobic microbiology; the biochemistry and physiology of methane formation; mechanisms of oxygen toxicity; bacterial and archaeal genomics, ecology, and evolution. For further details, please consult the Department of Microbiology's website .

Facilities and Resources The Microbiology Department is located in the modern Chemical and Life Sciences Laboratory (CLSL). Central to main campus, the CLSL houses all of the major equipment and expertise necessary for research in microbiology, cell biology, molecular biology, genomics, and biochemistry.

The University of Illinois has excellent core facilities to aid in scientific research, many of which are located in buildings adjacent to CLSL. Each core facility has full-time salaried support staff for training and support. The Roy J. Carver Biotechnology Center includes core research facilities supporting genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, flow cytometry, bioinformatics and translational medical research.  The Center for Microscopic Imaging is a campus-wide service center for electron, confocal, and light microscopy

Several services are available to graduate students for support outside of the classroom and laboratory. The University of Illinois library is the nation's third largest university library, allowing access to reference books and on-line scientific journals. The Writers Workshop offers free, personal writing assistance for class assignments, scientific manuscripts, and theses. Please visit the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology   to learn about these and other resources available to graduate students.

Financial Aid All students admitted into the PhD program receive financial support throughout their graduate training. Incoming graduate students are supported by the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology. Several University Fellowships are awarded to outstanding applicants on a competitive basis. Financial support is usually in the form of a research assistantship, teaching assistantship, and/or fellowship. In addition to this stipend, we offer a tuition and service fee waiver. A health insurance fee and other miscellaneous fees, must be paid by the student.

The requirements for a PhD from the Department of Microbiology include successful completion of course work, teaching, two first-author manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, passing a preliminary examination and annual assessments of progress thereafter, and writing and depositing a research thesis.

For specific information, visit the Department's Graduate Student Handbook and the  Graduate College Handbook . 

Course List
Code Title Hours
Master’s level requirements32
Core coursework:19
Advanced Biochemistry
Advanced Molecular and Cell Biology
Res Ethics & Responsibilities
Laboratory Rotation I
Laboratory Rotation II
Laboratory Rotation III
Current Topics in Microbiology
Registration in every semester of enrollment (9 min)9
400- or 500-level discussion-based courses (3 min)3
400- or 500-level lecture-based courses (12 min)12
Research/Project Hours (min/max applied toward degree):before prelim
Thesis Research (min/max applied toward degree)after prelim
Total Hours96

Other Requirements

Grad Other Degree Requirements
Requirement Description
Other requirements may overlap
Two first-author manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals. At the time of graduation at least one of these manuscripts must be accepted.
A minimum of two semesters as a teaching assistant
Masters Degree Required for Admission to PhD? No, but Masters level requirements must be met.
Qualifying Exam Required No
Preliminary Exam Required Yes
Final Exam/Dissertation Defense Required Yes
Dissertation Deposit Required Yes
Minimum GPA: 3.0

Students graduating with a PhD in Microbiology will have:

  • Effective oral communication skills that are developed via one or more of the following tasks: group discussions in courses; presentations in departmental seminar courses; discussion of scientific topics in courses; defending their work in a preliminary exam; acting as a teaching assistant for at least 2 semesters; giving yearly student seminars.
  • Effective written communication skills that are developed via one or more of the following tasks: writing at least one original, full-length manuscript that has been accepted for publication in a refereed journal; writing a dissertation; writing an NIH-style grant for the preliminary exam.
  • A level of competency and research independence commensurate with the degree, such that they can obtain an initial science-related placement in a job that uses critical thinking components.
  • Demonstrated ability to organize and execute a research project that uses critical-thinking components and problem-solving expertise, hypothesis-driven, and fills a gap in knowledge.
  • Knowledge of the discipline and acquired technical skills in general Microbiology and in their specialized Microbiology research area.

Department of Microbiology Head of Department: James Slauch Directors of Graduate Studies: Andrei Kuzminov, Cari Vanderpool, and Rachel Whitaker Microbiology Department website B103 Chemical and Life Sciences Laboratory, 601 South Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801 (217) 333-1736 MCB Graduate Admissions email

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences College of Liberal Arts & Sciences website

School of Molecular & Cellular Biology School of Molecular & Cellular Biology website

Admissions Overview of MCB Admissions Requirements Graduate College Admissions & Requirements

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2024-2025 Catalog (PDF)

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  • K-State home
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Requirements for a PhD in Microbiology

The PhD in Microbiology requires a minimum of 90 credit hours, including at least 24 credit hours of graded coursework and at least 30 hours of research credit. 15 credit hours of the graded coursework must be at the 800 level or higher. Specific courses are selected with the guidance of the student’s major professor and supervisory committee. The only required courses are BIOL 863 (Professional Skills and Ethics), BIOCH 755 (Biochemistry I) and BIOCH 765 (Biochemistry II). Most Microbiology PhD students will graduate in about 5 years and publish 2-5 papers.

microbiologist

Arizona State University

Microbiology, PhD

  • Program description
  • At a glance
  • Degree requirements
  • Admission requirements
  • Tuition information
  • Program learning outcomes
  • Career opportunities
  • Contact information

Science, Scientist, approved for STEM-OPT extension, molecular, plant, sols

Join us to learn how microbes impact human health and the environment, gain theoretical and practical training in your chosen area of interest, and become an expert ready to contribute to the greater good.

The PhD program in microbiology offers a dynamic research environment; a broad range of basic, translational and use-inspired research areas; advanced transdisciplinary training; and opportunities to work with world-class faculty and collaborative research partners committed to training scientific leaders with skills necessary for addressing significant global microbiological problems and challenges.

This program focuses on the smallest of living things and immunology. Students can tailor the program around their interests and gain skills in contemporary approaches used in microbiology, biomedicine and biotechnology. They train in a broad array of fields, including microbial ecology and evolution, geomicrobiology, bacterial physiology and genetics, bacterial pathogenesis, metabolic engineering, immunology and vaccine development, and cancer biology.

Faculty members are associated with the School of Life Sciences, The Biodesign Institute, The Translational Genomics Institute, Barrow Neurological Institute, and other area hospitals and research centers.

This program may be eligible for an Optional Practical Training extension for up to 24 months. This OPT work authorization term may help international students gain skills and experience in the U.S. Those interested in an OPT extension should review ASU degrees that qualify for the STEM-OPT extension at ASU's International Students and Scholars Center website.

The OPT extension only applies to students on an F-1 visa and does not apply to students completing a degree through ASU Online.

  • College/school: The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Location: Tempe

84 credit hours, a written comprehensive exam, an oral comprehensive exam, a prospectus and a dissertation

Required Core (4 credit hours) BIO 610 Introduction to Responsible Conduct of Research in Life Sciences (1) MIC 501 Foundations in Microbiology (3)

Electives or Research (68 credit hours)

Culminating Experience (12 credit hours) MIC 799 Dissertation (12)

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in the biological sciences, biochemistry or a closely related field from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

Applicants must submit the following:

  • graduate admission application and application fee
  • official transcripts
  • academic record form
  • personal statement
  • curriculum vitae or resume
  • three letters of recommendation
  • proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency.

Prior research experience is a desired qualification for admission.

Program learning outcomes identify what a student will learn or be able to do upon completion of their program. This program has the following program outcomes:

  • Able to review the scholarly literature associated with research questions in microbiology.
  • Able to design and execute a research plan in an area of microbiology under advisement of their mentors.
  • Able to communicate science effectively, both orally and in writing.

Graduates of this program's intense and interactive educational and research training are prepared for advanced careers in research and education, specifically in bacteriology, virology, mycology, immunology and oncology.

Career possibilities are diverse, with opportunities in academic organizations, research and development industries, government service and other professional organizations. Examples include:

  • instructors in universities and colleges
  • principal investigators in government labs and nonprofit organizations
  • professors in universities and colleges
  • research associates in universities
  • research scientists in industry

School of Life Sciences | LSA 181 [email protected] 480-965-1768

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  • Microbiology (MICR)

Microbiology (Ph.D.)

https://colsa.unh.edu/molecular-cellular-biomedical-sciences/program/phd/microbiology

The Ph.D. in Microbiology combines a dynamic curriculum in a broad range of areas with interdisciplinary research opportunities at the frontiers of microbiology, host-microbe interactions, and environmental microbiology. Graduates of the program are equipped for leadership positions in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, academic and government research laboratories, and successful careers in teaching and research at the college and university level.

Distinctive Features of the Program

  • Research opportunities are available in many cutting-edge microbiology research areas
  • Emphasis on interdisciplinary research training
  • Well-equipped research laboratories and core facilities on the UNH campus
  • Laboratory rotations upon entry to the program to become familiar with different research laboratories
  • Weekly graduate student seminar presentations, as well as a departmental seminar series of invited speakers
  • Opportunities to gain teaching experiences as a Graduate Teaching Assistant

Research Opportunities

  • Host-microbe interactions, parasitology, and immunology
  • Environmental microbiology
  • Signal transduction pathways
  • Molecular microbiology
  • Genomics and bioinformatics
  • Microbial ecology and evolution
  • Biotechnology

Financial Support

  • Students admitted to the Ph.D. Program are typically supported by Research Assistantships or Teaching Assistantships
  • Intramural summer and academic year fellowships are available to students on a competitive basis

Career Prospects

  • Research scientists in biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries
  • Lab managers in academic research labs and research institutes, state and federal government agencies
  • Academic preparation for future teaching and research roles in a college or university environment

Admission Requirements

  • Otherwise well-qualified applicants can correct academic deficiencies with enrollment in appropriate courses or independent study during the first year of graduate studies
  • Applicants from non-English speaking countries must provide Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement, including research interests and names of two or three potential Microbiology faculty thesis advisors.

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

Students with appropriate academic training at the baccalaureate or master's level may be considered for admission to the doctoral program. Students admitted to the Ph.D. program are required to conduct an independent research project in conjunction with a Microbiology graduate program faculty adviser. Specific coursework is determined in conjunction with the graduate committee.

Advancement to candidacy requires the successful completion of the following:

  • All courses required by the graduate committee
  • A written qualifying exam administered by the graduate program coordinator and graduate faculty
  • An independent research proposal developed in conjunction with a faculty adviser
  • An oral defense of the research proposal

Students enrolled in the doctoral program are required to complete one semester of teaching and successfully complete and defend a dissertation based on their research proposal. The acceptance of the dissertation is contingent on its approval by the doctoral committee and evidence that at least two manuscripts based on the thesis research have been submitted to a peer-reviewed journal appropriate to the topic.

All graduate students are required to enroll in and attend  MCBS 997 Seminar each semester and present one seminar each year.

Course List
Code Title Credits
Approved courses for the Microbiology Ph.D. and M.S. programs:
Biological Sciences
Plant-Microbe Interactions3
Microbiology
Immunology3
Immunology Laboratory2
Genetics
Microbial Genetics and Genomics5
Microbial Ecology and Evolution4
Molecular Microbiology5
Natural Resources
Soil Ecology4
Additional non-disciplinary courses to consider:
Design, Analysis, and Interpretation of Experiments4
Cell Phenotyping and Tissue Engineering Laboratory4
Cell Culture5
Molecular Biology Research Methods5
Experimental Design & Analysis4
Writing and Publishing Science2
Scientific Communication2
Programming for Bioinformatics5
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Preparation0
Ethics in Research and Scholarship2 or 3
College Teaching2
Statistical Methods for Research3
Introduction to Research in the Life Sciences2
Applied Bioinformatics3
Cell Signaling Networks Across the Kingdoms3
Seminar1
Grant Writing2
Analysis of Ecological Communities and Complex Data4

All MCBS graduates will be able to:

  • Critically apply theories, methodologies, and knowledge to address fundamental questions in their primary area of study.
  • Pursue research of significance in the discipline or an interdisciplinary or creative project. Students plan and conduct this research or implement this project under the guidance of an advisor while developing the intellectual independence that typifies true scholarship.
  • Demonstrate skills in oral and written communication sufficient to publish and present work in their field and to prepare grant proposals.
  • Follow the principles of ethics in their field and in academia.
  • Demonstrate, through service, the value of their discipline to the academy and community at large.
  • Demonstrate a mastery of skills and knowledge at a level required for college and university undergraduate teaching in their discipline and assessment of student learning.
  • Interact productively with people from diverse backgrounds as both leaders/mentors and team members with integrity and professionalism.

Graduates of the Microbiology Ph.D degree program will be able to:

  • Demonstrate strong foundational knowledge in microbiology theory and practice, and sub-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary knowledge specific to the student’s research area.
  • Critically analyze and interpretate the primary literature.
  • Integrate knowledge by 1) synthesizing research questions and/or hypotheses, 2) designing, executing, and interpretating research and 3) contextualizing their contributions to the field of study.
  • Demonstrate competency in laboratory safety, and specialized microbiological methods.
  • Promote the importance of science, the discipline of microbiology, and microbes themselves to society by communicating the meaning and value of your scholarship across formal and informal forums.
  • Independently construct analytical arguments as demonstrated by the development, execution, defense and publication of a dissertation research project.

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School of Molecular & Cellular Biology

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phd microbiology requirements

Department of Microbiology

Pursue a PhD in Microbiology

Microbes are the dominant organisms on the planet and drive all aspects of life. The Department of Microbiology is a close-knit group of creative, bold, and passionate scientists who are addressing some of the toughest challenges facing our world through discoveries in bacterial and archaeal biology and physiology, bacterial and viral pathogenesis, antibiotic discovery, and microbial ecology and evolution. We are a collaborative, supportive, and active community with many opportunities for connecting with other scholars in the department, school, and across campus.

With a PhD in Microbiology, you can launch a career in academia, industry, or government.   Our graduates can be found around the world, leading research programs at companies such as Abbvie and Eli Lilly and directing labs at top universities, research institutes, and government agencies.

Request information   Program overview   Apply   Current PhD students

Microbiology PhD student with a pipette

Title Hear more from our students

Stefanie Eben, a PhD candidate in the Department of Microbiology, shares how she fell in love with microbiology and how her graduate studies at UIUC have offered the perfect mixture of academic and personal fulfillment.

The PhD Program

Graduate degrees are earned through a combination of graded courses, oral and written examinations, and independent research. We empower students to design a program, in consultation with their advisors, that aligns with their academic background and scientific (or career) goals. Because the department is part of an umbrella PhD program in MCB, students admitted into any of these departmental graduate programs can select faculty thesis advisors from over 65 research laboratories in the school. Close ties are also maintained with the School of Integrative Biology, the School of Chemical Sciences, the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, the College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Microbial Systems Initiative.

Our department provides a comprehensive training program in microbiology and molecular biology. During your first semester, you will take two core courses designed to provide a strong background in cell physiology, biochemistry (MCB 501), and genetics (MCB 502). Subsequent course work is selected to complement your interests and area of research.

First-year students rotate through three research labs to become acquainted with several labs and to learn new experimental techniques. Each rotation is five weeks long. You can choose rotation laboratories from any department in the School of MCB. Near the end of the fall semester, you will choose a research advisor, and together propose a research project that forms the basis of a dissertation.

In the spring semester of the first year, you will write a short, NIH-style grant proposal on the proposed project and describe it to a faculty committee. The committee makes suggestions regarding project strategy and may recommend areas of basic knowledge that should be explored in greater depth to enhance your success on the project and in the preliminary exam.

At the end of the second year, you will take an oral preliminary exam to test your scientific knowledge and ability to solve research problems. After passing the preliminary exam, you will concentrate on research. It takes approximately five years to complete the PhD program.

Degree requirements ​​​​​  Departmental handbook   Courses

Financial Support

All students admitted to the Ph D program receive financial support throughout their graduate training. Support includes a tuition waiver and a stipend. After the first semester, graduate students are supported by research assistantships, training grants, or teaching assistantships. Graduate students are required to pay the university health fee to cover insurance and health benefits.

The Department of Microbiology is located in the state-of-the-art Chemical and Life Sciences Laboratories (CLSL). Central to main campus, the CLSL houses all of the major equipment and expertise necessary for research in microbiology, cell biology, molecular biology, and biochemistry. Both the School of MCB and campus house a wide array of  research facilities and support services . Faculty collaborate on reseach with partners across campus.

Title Community

The Microbial Early-career Researchers Association ( microERA ), a networking and professional development group for early-career scientists at Illinois, welcomes all undergraduate, graduate students, and postdocs conducting research broadly relevant to microbiome or microbial sciences to join.

The  MCB Graduate Student Association , also known as the MCBees, organizes professional development and social activities as well as outreach events, such as Science on Tap and visits to local schools.

How to Apply

The Department of Microbiology is a part of the School of Molecular & Cellular Biology (MCB), which includes the Departments of Biochemistry, Cell & Developmental Biology, and Molecular & Integrative Physiology.

Students interested in pursuing the PhD in Microbiology should apply directly to the MCB PhD Program  and select "Microbiology" for the field of specialization in the application.

To be considered for admission, you must:

  • have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with course work in biological sciences, chemistry, and physics;
  • submit three letters of recommendation, including at least two from science professors (if research has been performed, letters of recommendation should include one from the research supervisor);

MCB PhD Programs

Shawna M. Smith, MCB Graduate Program Coordinator Lori Raetzman, Associate Director of MCB Graduate Program [email protected] ; 217-333-1737

Andrei Kuzminov, Professor of Microbiology; Director of Graduate Studies [email protected]

James M. Slauch, Professor and Department Head [email protected] ; 217-244-1956

Diane L. Tsevelekos, Office Support Specialist [email protected] ; 217-333-1736

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Ph.D. in Microbiology

The program leading to the Ph.D. degree is designed to develop the student’s ability to pursue independent and original research in microbiology and allied fields, communicate the results of such research to the scientific community and serve as an effective teacher. Students normally enter the doctoral program after receiving a master’s degree. Four years are required to complete the program.

Ph.D. Student learning outcomes

Program purpose.

The Ph.D. program in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Hawaii is designed to give students the academic and technical skills to become independent scientists and researchers. We strive to provide each graduate student with broad knowledge in microbiology and in-depth knowledge in their area of specialization. Students are trained in both traditional and state-of-the-art technologies to be applied to the design and conduct of original research projects. Additionally, students have access to both basic and advanced coursework to further their academic and research goals.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Design microbiological or immunological experiments at an advanced graduate level.
  • Demonstrate proficiency with a variety of classical and modern microbiology techniques.
  • Read, understand and evaluate current literature in their discipline. Produce significant scientific research results.
  • Research results and interpretations of those results should be clearly presented both orally and in peer reviewed publications.
  • Develop awareness and perspective as a member of a local, national and global scientific community.
  • Compete successfully for productive employment or postdoctoral training in industry or academic institutions.
  • General Information and Procedures for the Ph.D. Degree

Advancement to Candidacy (Ph.D)

Advancement to doctoral candidacy involves four steps:, 1. comprehensive written exam..

The comprehensive exam consists of two sections.

  • A general knowledge section that tests students in all areas of microbiology and contains questions that all professional microbiologists should be capable of answering.
  • A current topics section that tests students on two current topics in microbiology.

This section of the exam tests a student’s ability to independently research and understand a concept, pathway, phenomenon, or other aspect of microbiology that is emerging at the forefront of the field. Students will be given the two topics a minimum of six weeks prior to the exam date.

Sections of the exam will be administered on consecutive days once each semester and summer term. This is a closed-book exam. The student will have 3 hours to complete each section. Exams will be written and graded by a three-member panel of Microbiology faculty. Graded exams will be returned to students within one week of their completion.

The written comprehensive may be repeated the following semester if a non-passing grade is received after the first attempt. Two successive non-passing grades will result in removal from the Ph D program.

2. Comprehensive oral exam.

A comprehensive oral exam will be administered by the three Microbiology faculty approximately one week after receipt of the graded written exam. Questions on the oral exam will focus on, but are not limited to, responses to questions on the written exam. A student’s mentor cannot serve on the comprehensive exam panel.

It is strongly recommended that students take the comprehensive exam in their fifth semester or earlier (third semester or earlier for students with a UH Microbiology MS degree). The first attempt at the comprehensive exam must be completed by the end of the sixth semester of study.

3. Dissertation written proposal.

Upon successfully completing the comprehensive exam, a written document describing the research that will constitute the student’s doctoral dissertation will be submitted to members of the student’s doctoral committee.

4. Dissertation oral proposal.

A succinct presentation of the proposal will be made to the student’s doctoral committee approximately 2 – 4 weeks after distribution of the written proposal. Committee members will be permitted to question the student on the research proposal. At the end of the proposal meeting, committee members will determine if the proposal is acceptable and whether the student is ready to advance to candidacy. Upon acceptance of the proposal, the student is conferred “doctoral candidate” status.

It is strongly recommended that students complete the oral dissertation proposal by the end of their sixth semester of the program.

Course Requirements

Completion of 30 credit hours as follows:

  • 12 cr. of classes 600 level and up, excluding MICR 699. It is expected that the majority of these classes will be in Microbiology. Classes from outside the program may be included, upon approval of student’s committee chair. Up to 3 credits of MICR695 may be applied toward the degree.
  • 7 cr. of Directed Research, MICR 699.
  • 1 cr. Seminar, MICR 690.
  • 1 cr. Thesis, MICR 800.
  • (e) 9 cr. of classes, which can include 400 level and graduate-level Microbiology classes. Directed Research (MICR 699) may not be included. Graduate-level classes from outside the program may be included, upon approval of student’s committee chair.

Note: certain adjustments can be considered for those with a M.S. degree in Microbiology or closely related field.

Teaching Requirement

At least one year of teaching experience is considered part of the training of the Ph.D. candidate and is a requirement for the degree. This requirement can be waived for equivalent experience or for other extraordinary circumstances.

Seminar Requirement

The student is expected to give at least one departmental seminar (MICR 690) in addition to the defense seminar at the end of the student’s program.

Ph.D. Language Examination

There is no program foreign language requirement.

Dissertation Review

Much of the Dissertation writing and review is done under the supervision of the major professor (mentor). Thus, a sufficient period must be allowed for first and second draft revisions. This period is not dictated in any way by the University or Program and will depend on the scientific and editorial qualities of the drafts. Also, it is not unlikely that a mentor will have several theses or dissertations to review in a semester. If the dissertation has not been properly reviewed and drafted by the student and his/her mentor, the other committee members are not obligated to read or judge the document until it is in reasonable shape.

Dissertation Defense

This will be given as an advertised public seminar of approximately one hour duration with an unlimited questioning period to follow. Consult the Graduate Division for advertising deadlines.

Dissertation Copies

In addition to the requirements of the Graduate Division, students are required to provide two bound copies of their dissertation to the Program before graduation, one of which goes to the chairman of the dissertation committee.

Remember:   It is the personal responsibility of each student to see that all requirements are fulfilled and all deadlines met in a timely manner. See the university general catalog for the official calendars.

phd microbiology requirements

  • Doing a PhD in Microbiology

What Does a PhD in Microbiology Focus On?

The exact focus of a PhD in microbiology can vary greatly, reflecting the nature of the field of study as a whole. Microbiology is defined as the study of microbes. Microbes are living organisms that are too small to be visible to the naked eye, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

From diseases to the production of food, microorganisms such as these play a vital role in life as we know it. The role of microbiologists includes treating and preventing infections, tracking the role of microbes in climate changes, ensuring food is safe.

A microbiology PhD programme can include:

  • Molecular bacteriology – which focuses on bacterial pathogens of humans. A PhD in this field could involve studying the cellular biology of bacteria and investigating how they interact with the human immune system.
  • Virology – which is the study of viruses. A PhD in virology typically revolves around infectious diseases and developing our understanding of the way viruses function.
  • Molecular biology – where a student could learn about the composition and processes of cells. Research into cell biology has a wide range of application such as gene therapy, and planning effective targeting for new disease treatments.
  • Mycology – which is the study of fungi. Postgraduate research in mycology could see researchers looking at the genetic properties of fungi to develop new tools to monitor and control their toxicity.
  • Environmental microbiology – which focuses on the role microbes play in the environment. A PhD programme in environmental microbiology could conduct research into biofuels and bioremediation of contaminated land. Alternatively, it could focus on the monitoring of diseases in algae or coral reefs.
  • Biogeochemisty – which studies the chemical, geological and biological process within the natural environment. Doctoral students in this field could investigate the emission of methane from microbes and how they contribute to climate change.

These are just a few of the areas a PhD in microbiology can specialise in. There are many others with medical, agricultural, environmental and commercial applications. Research projects typically revolve around lab work, and involve coordinating with another faculty or school within the university, and working alongside microbiologists, immunologists, biologists, biomedical scientists, and chemists.

Browse PhDs in Microbiology

A next-generation genetic technology to identify biotechnologically-valuable enzymes and transporters, development of fluorescent organic molecules for application in super-resolution imaging techniques, ubiquitin-dependent signalling pathways in ageing, speciation in facultatively sexual species, energy dissipation in human soft tissue during impacts, entry requirements for a phd in microbiology.

Basic requirements are typically a strong (2:1) Master’s degree in a relevant subject from an accredited university. Due to the scope of microbiology, relevant subjects can include biology, biochemistry, biomedical science, civil engineering, geoscience, medicine, agriculture, and earth sciences .

International students will also need to meet several minimum English language requirements set by the university, usually as part of a TOEFL or IELTS exam.

It is a good idea to think about your research interest before deciding to apply for a PhD in microbiology. For example, an undergraduate degree in medicine would be a good foundation ahead of a microbiology PhD programme focusing on the interaction of microbes and the human immune system. Alternatively, a graduate student of civil engineering would be suited for a research project investigating the degradation of crude oil in petroleum reserves.

Duration and Programme Types

The typical duration for a microbiology PhD programme is 3-4 years full-time, or 6 years part-time. In addition to the microbial research, most PhD programmes also include lectures and seminars which aim to equip postgraduates with transferable research skills such as project management, academic writing and commercial awareness.

A postgraduate microbiology course involves conducting original research in this area; therefore, applicants can expect to be involved in lab work. Most universities have the facilities for you to work on-campus, however some specialist subjects may require working at dedicated research centres. However, it is important to read the details of the research programme you are interested in. Though most programmes have a focus on lab work, other courses can be computational or statistical in nature. Therefore, the exact requirements for doing a PhD in microbiology depend greatly on the specific project.

Costs and Funding

The cost of doing a PhD in microbiology will depend on the university you study with, but average tuition fee is £4000-£6000 per academic year for UK/EU students and £20,000-£28,000 per academic year for international students.

A variety of scholarship and funding support options are available for postgraduate study. For microbiology in particular the BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnerships oversee a number of PhDs, and provide tuition fees for postgraduate research students. Each university has their own funding sources, which are advertised on their websites.

Available Career Paths

A research degree in microbiology can lead to a variety of career paths and jobs, so microbiologists can be found in a wide range of industries. The lab work nature of most PhD programmes equips you with the necessary skills for the research and development industry. Options for R&D work include specialist research areas such as molecular microbiology, microbial physiology, microbial pathogenesis, molecular genetics and immunology. Generally, the typical microbiology salary is higher in R&D than in the public sector.

Many post doctorates work in clinical setting such as medical laboratories and hospitals, operating as biomedical scientists or clinical scientists. In this setting you could expect to test samples to diagnose infections or develop treatments and vaccines.

phd microbiology requirements

Another career path for microbiology doctorates includes environmental science. Microbes contribute greatly to global warming, and microbiologists investigate the way in which microbes affect the atmosphere. Microbes can also be used for biofuel and for land decontamination.

Some doctorates choose to pursue microbiology jobs in agriculture, investigating the role of microbes in soil, developing techniques to contain plant pests, and preventing infectious disease in cattle. Alternatively, food manufacturing factors often look for microbiologists to oversee manufacturing processes to ensure the quality and safety of their products.

Postgraduate research often leads to a career in academia. Being a lecturer at a university is a great way to share your knowledge with others, and allows you to propose research projects and supervise PhD students to continue your research.

As mentioned previously, most microbiology PhD courses include research skill modules which equip doctorates with transferable skills which can be applied outside of the career options described above. Effective communication, project management, and research skills allow PhD students to work in any field.

Due to the wide range of microbiology jobs available, microbiology doctorates can expect a generous salary. The salary of microbiologists working for the NHS is determined by a set of pay bands , which include around £40,000 upon qualification and can exceed £100,000 at the highest pay band.

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Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

General info.

  • Faculty working with students: 64
  • Students: 78
  • Students receiving Financial Aid: 100%
  • Part time study available: No
  • Application terms: Fall
  • Application deadline: November 30

Matt Scaglione, PhD Director of Graduate Studies Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology DUMC Box 3054 Durham, NC 27710

Phone: (919) 684-9152

Email: [email protected]

Website:  http://mgm.duke.edu

Program Description

The Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology graduate program trains young researchers to solve fundamental problems in microbiology and genetics. Research in the program spans both model and pathogenic organisms and the full spectrum of genetics from unicellular to multicellular eukaryotic organisms, including bacteria, fungi, C. elegans, zebrafish, stickleback fish, mice, and humans. Interdisciplinary centers associated with the program include the Center for Host-Microbial Interactions, the Center for Virology, the Division of Human Genetics, the Center for RNA Biology, and the Duke Microbiome Center. There is also focus on chromosome biology; DNA repair and surveillance; neuronal development, function and dysfunction in diverse models; as well as next-generation genomic and computational approaches to these questions. In addition to course work, training and interactions are supported by student-centered activities in a diverse, supportive community that includes students, post-doctoral fellows, staff, and faculty.

  • Molecular Genetics and Microbiology: PhD Admissions and Enrollment Statistics
  • Molecular Genetics and Microbiology: PhD Completion Rate Statistics
  • Molecular Genetics and Microbiology: PhD Time to Degree Statistics
  • Molecular Genetics and Microbiology: PhD Career Outcomes Statistics

Application Information

Application Terms Available:  Fall

Application Deadline:  November 30

Graduate School Application Requirements See the Application Instructions page for important details about each Graduate School requirement.

  • Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts required with application submission; official transcripts required upon admission
  • Letters of Recommendation: 3 Required
  • Statement of Purpose: Required
  • Résumé: Required
  • GRE General: Optional
  • GRE Subject tests (Biology, Chemistry, or Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology): Optional This program does not require applicants to provide GRE (Graduate Record Examination) or other graduate entrance exam scores, but does allow you to upload scores if you feel they enhance your application. If you choose to submit test scores, you may enter them on the Test Scores page. If you choose to enter self-reported test scores, official test scores will become a required component of your application.
  • English Language Exam: TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test required* for applicants whose first language is not English *test waiver may apply for some applicants
  • GPA: Undergraduate GPA calculated on 4.0 scale required

Department-Specific Application Requirements (submitted through online application)

Writing Sample None required

Additional Components Optional Video Essay: How would a Duke PhD training experience help you achieve your academic and professional goals? Max video length 2 minutes; record externally and provide URL in application.

We strongly encourage you to review additional department-specific application guidance from the program to which you are applying: Departmental Application Guidance

List of Graduate School Programs and Degrees

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PhD in Microbiology (MED)

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Degree Requirements

  • Qualifying/Comprehensive Exams
  • Ph.D. Dissertation Guidelines

Program of Study

Program overview.

The Molecular Pathogenesis and Therapeutic Graduate Program (MPT) was collaboratively designed by the Department of Molecular Microbiology & Immunology (MMI) and the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology (VPB). The MPT Program offers comprehensive graduate-level training leading to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree. This program provides individualized training that is strongly oriented toward basic research in molecular and cellular biology, microbial pathogenesis, virology, immunology and host-parasite interactions. Graduates completing this training are prepared to pursue challenging and rewarding professional careers that involve research and teaching at supervisory levels in the academic, government and private sectors.

Graduate students entering into the program should be highly motivated toward a career in research in microbiology. They must have, as a minimum, a baccalaureate degree with an undergraduate record showing superior performance in introductory and advanced coursework in prerequisite subjects (biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics). They must have taken the Graduate Record Examination and should have superior scores. Additionally, international applicants will require demonstration of English fluency via TOEFL scores. Letters of recommendation from individuals who are qualified to judge should clearly indicate aptitude for, and dedication to, a career in science.

The MMI and VPB Departments are central components of an eminent, interdisciplinary campus program in molecular biology and life sciences, which also involves molecular biologists in Biochemistry and Biological Sciences as well as many other University departments. Campus core facilities provide cell culture and immunology services, DNA sequence analysis, transcriptional analysis, protein structural analysis, transgenic animals, protein expression, proteomics, electron microscopy and molecular cytology.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree

The program involves (i) a course of study which includes required and elective course work, (ii) participation in programmatic seminars and journal clubs, (iii) training in teaching through participation in laboratory courses for undergraduates, (iv) a comprehensive examination designed to evaluate a student’s ability to propose and experimentally evaluate a significant scientific question, and (v) the successful completion of a creative and original scholarly research project.

On average, the graduate degree program will require four to six years of full-time effort, although this may vary depending on the ability and previous experience of the individual student.  A Master of Science Degree is not a prerequisite for the Ph.D. degree.

All students in the program are supported by a stipend (currently $30,000 per year) plus tuition costs and basic medical insurance.

Laboratory Rotations and Schedule

All new graduate students admitted into the MPT Graduate program are required to complete three laboratory rotations starting in the Fall semester and concluding in mid-January before the Spring semester begins. Students will meet with the Director of Graduate Studies prior to each rotation to determine the appropriate laboratory and rotation advisor. Laboratory rotations expose graduate students to research activities within the Program and to the experimental laboratory environment in which they will evolve. Prior to finishing the third laboratory rotation the graduate student selects a mentor based on mutual agreement between the student and the mentor. Once the mentor has been selected, the student will perform his or her doctoral research under the guidance of the mentor in his/her laboratory.

The MPT Graduate Student Laboratory Rotation Program represents a vehicle to introduce the research laboratory to incoming students and to stimulate a direct interaction between students, faculty and other program personnel.  The program is designed to expose students as quickly as possible to research activities within the Program and to the experimental laboratory environment in which they will evolve.

Laboratory rotations dates can be found in the MPT Graduate Student Handbook at: https://medicine.missouri.edu/departments/molecular-microbiology-immunology/graduate-program/graduate-requirements

Students who wish to enter the program early at the beginning of the summer semester preceding their first academic semester may do so, if financial resources are available.**  However, this will be considered a “summer research experience” with one of the faculty members but not an official rotation.  The student will still be required to perform three rotations with different faculty advisors, starting in the fall. The student would then be able to select one of those advisors including the “summer research experience” advisor as his or her doctoral advisor.   Students engaging in the “summer research experience” will register for 4 credit hrs. of TR_BIOSC 9085 Problems (Rotations) for the summer semester and will need to be on campus by the beginning of the MU summer semester (usually first Monday in June).

Required Courses for Gradute Students in Program
Required Courses taken Fall semester, 1st year
Introduction to Graduate Biochemistry I3
Graduate Student Survival Skills1
Rotations in Translational Bioscience1-99
Choose two from the following Basic courses
Foundations in Bacterial Pathogenesis2
Fundamental Virology2
Immunology 3
Choose three from the following (only one of these may be an approved elective)
Advanced Bacterial Pathogenesis (only offered Spring semester of odd years)4
Advanced Immunology (only offered Spring semester of even years)4
Infection and Immunity (only offered Fall semester)4
Topics in Microbiology (Take Advanced Virology, offered every other Spring semester of odd year)4
Approved 8000/9000 current literature-based electives
8000/9000-level electives: The DGS and the Curriculum Committee must approve these courses. They should also be approved by the student's doctoral committee. (Examples of courses still needing approval are given below):
Pathogenic Mechanisms in Veterinary Pathobiology3
Developmental Genetics3
Integrative Neuroscience I3
Integrative Neuroscience II3
Transmembrane Signaling4
Molecular Exercise Biology3
Introduction to Research Ethics (every Spring semester)1
Seminar in Microbiology (required to take this four times: 2nd-5th years, offered every Spring semester)1
Advanced Medical Microbiology (credit for teaching)2

Other duties

Act as a teaching assistant (TA) in MICROB 2800 or MICROB 3200 for two semesters (to be completed during the first two years, but not during the Fall semester of the first year).

Attend Program seminars (any invited speakers and student seminars) on Wednesdays at 1:15 pm usually in Monsanto Auditorium in the Bond LSC; attendance will be taken; enroll in MICROB 9087 Seminar in Microbiology  for 1 credit hr. in the Spring semesters of years 2-5.  You will need to give a seminar during those years; course grade will be determined by attendance and your presentation.

English-Language Proficiency Requirements for International Students Any graduate student who completed primary and secondary education (equivalent of K-12 in the U.S.) in a country where English is not the primary language is required by the state of Missouri law to be assessed for English language proficiency. The Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit (SPEAK) test is conducted through the Graduate School. International graduate students must receive a level 2 or higher on their language assessment to meet the requirements to TA. If they receive a score below 2 additional courses may be recommended for the student to increase their language skills before their English language is reassessed.

ONITA training is offered during the week preceding the Fall and Spring semester. The training is required for all new international graduate students before the first semester of teaching or assisting with teaching at MU.

Credit Hour Requirements:

The Graduate School requires 72 hours of advanced study to be completed for the Ph.D. degree.  A minimum of 15 hours of 8000-9000 level course work, not including  TR_BIOSC 9085 Rotations in Translational Bioscience  and MICROB 9090 Research in Microbiology .  A maximum of four hours of   MICROB 9087 Seminar in Microbiology  can count toward this requirement. 

Full-time Student Enrollment

Graduate student full-time enrollment statues pre-comprehensive exam:

9 credit hours for fall and spring, 4 credit hours for summer.

Graduate student full-time enrollment statues post-comprehensive exam:

2 credit hours for fall and spring, 1 credit hour for summer.

Dual Degree

A program leading to the combined Ph.D. /M.D. degrees can be designed for students who are admitted to the Medical School and to the MPT Graduate Program. It is anticipated that these students will fulfill their first two years of Medical School academic requirements before entering the MPT Graduate Program for the research- oriented Ph.D. degree.  All coursework, TA responsibilities, rotations, comprehensive examination and research requirements are the same as for any other graduate student. Dual degree students will be encouraged to complete research rotations during the summer semesters of their two years of medical curriculum so that a dissertation research project can be initiated immediately upon entering the Ph.D. program.  Typically, clinical requirements for the M.D. will be completed after fulfillment of the requirements for the Ph.D.

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Requirements for Qualifying and Comprehensive Exam

Each student will be required to master two phases of the curriculum, qualifying and advanced, designed to achieve the educational objectives described above. The MPT Graduate Program Curriculum Committee makes decisions regarding additions or changes to the basic curriculum. Due to the changing environment in this field of research, the MPT Graduate Program curriculum may be subject to change.

Qualifying Phase

A required basic series of courses are designed to establish a foundation in bacteriology and pathogenesis ( MICROB 8404 ), virology ( MICROB 8303 ), and immunology ( MICROB 8304 ). 

Advanced Phase

It is expected that combinations of advanced courses in molecular biology of eukaryotes ( MICROB 9432 ), immunology ( MICROB 9407 ), virology MICROB 9001 ), infection and immunity ( MICROB 9449 ), and bacterial pathogenesis ( MICROB 9404 ) will comprise the core curriculum, although alternative courses may be prescribed by the MPT Curriculum Committee and by Doctoral committees based upon individual student needs. Satisfactory performance is defined as a grade of B or above in these 8000/9000 level courses. Unsatisfactory performance(s) must be corrected according to the recommendations of the Graduate Student Advisory Committee. Such recommendations may include retaking the course(s), additional examinations, or dismissal from the Graduate Program.

Goals and Purpose of Qualifying and Comprehensive Exams

Qualifying exam.

The goal of this exam is to determine whether the student is qualified to enroll in advanced graduate courses as well as intellectually prepared to perform research in this program. Passage of all three fundamental courses will constitute passage of the qualifying exam. The guidelines for this process are covered in greater detail in Section VI of our MPT Graduate Student Handbook .

Comprehension Exam

The purpose of the comprehensive exam is to certify that the student has sufficient scientific knowledge (from the course work) and research insight to advance to candidacy for the Ph.D. This knowledge and insight are examined in this program through the student writing and orally defending an NIH-style research grant proposal. This examination will be administered at the end of the fall semester of the third year. The guidelines for this process are covered in greater detail in Section VII of the MPT Graduate Student Handbook .

PhD Dissertation Guidelines

The final educational requirement for the Ph.D. degree is the written and oral presentation of a novel and creative piece of scholarly research that represents new information and significantly advances knowledge in that field of research. The dissertation project must be approved by the student’s doctoral committee and should demonstrate the student’s scientific maturity and ability to write in a scholarly fashion. At the completion of the dissertation research, the student will present his/her research findings in a public seminar for program faculty and personnel and will defend the project before his/her doctoral committee. The project will be detailed in a formal written thesis that conforms to Graduate School guidelines with respect to format. Approval of the scientific content of the thesis is the responsibility of each doctoral committee and requires the signature of each committee member, with no more than one dissenting or abstaining vote. The evaluation will consider the following guidelines with respect to thesis content.

a. Introduction – The manuscript should describe pertinent background material that establishes the foundation for the overall thesis proposed as well as the specific research questions being addressed and the significance of this project with respect to the field.

b. Materials and Methods – The thesis should describe in detail the experimental protocols used in the study; where applicable, references to published protocols should be made, but modifications to such procedures should be defined. The methods may be presented as a component of each Results chapter, or may be combined into a single, separate chapter.

c. Results – Presentation of the data accumulated during the study that is relevant to the thesis being examined and the conclusions reached. The data should be presented in chapter format, with each chapter devoted to particular questions relative to the overall thesis. Since students are encouraged to publish their work during their graduate studies, these chapters may represent those publications (however, the student must be responsible for the writing and presentation of this work in the thesis).

d. Discussion – While each chapter presenting research data may contain a discussion of those specific data, the thesis should be concluded with a summary discussion that presents the student’s overall conclusions about the study and the relevance of this work to the field as a whole. This summary provides the student an opportunity for knowledgeable speculation as to the significance of the work and its impact on the field.

The program involves satisfactory completion of a minimum of 72 hours of graduate study as well as completion of original research and a thesis, which demonstrates research competence. Of the 72 hours graduate credit, 15 hours must be in courses numbered 8000/9000 (excluding research and problems courses, but including up to 4 credit hours of seminar courses). 

More information at the MPT Graduate Student Handbook .

Research and Teaching Assistantships

Students in the doctoral program are awarded  Graduate Research Assistantships, (currently at $30,000). Graduate Research Assistants work with faculty members to obtain practical experience in carrying out a research project through the collection of research data and writing research reports. All students in the graduate program are required to participate as teaching assistants for two semesters during their graduate studies.

Degree Completion Requirements

To be accepted for candidacy into the MPT PhD program, all applicants must perform satisfactorily in a core curriculum that includes advanced-level courses in the sub disciplines of immunology, molecular biology and microbial pathogenesis. Under the guidance of a doctoral program committee, a course of study is individually designed to fit each student’s academic background, experience and objectives. Interdisciplinary courses in biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology and genetics provide breadth and balance in the program and enhance the student’s research abilities. In addition, the PhD program consists of the following:

  • Practical experience in teaching
  • Successful completion of a comprehensive examination that tests the student’s ability to develop an original scientific hypothesis and devise a feasible research plan that will test the hypothesis.
  • A demonstration of research and writing ability by completing a scholarly dissertation on an approved research problem that results in the contribution of significant new knowledge. The final examination primarily covers this dissertation research.

The Molecular Pathogenesis and Therapeutics Graduate Program (MPT) is offered through the Departments of Microbiology and Immunology in the School of Medicine and Veterinary Pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine. This graduate training program is designed to prepare students for an advanced professional career in microbiology and immunology. Emphasis is placed on developing outstanding students for productive supervisory roles in universities and colleges, industry, government and research institutes. Enrollment is limited to those students who show evidence of potential for research.

Application Deadline

New student applications are not accepted at this time. 

Admission Criteria

  • Minimum English scores
Minimum IELTS Scores
Item Score
Academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 6.5 (6.5 Graduate School requirement)
Internet-Based test (IBT) 92 (80 Graduate School requirement)
PTE 62 (59 Graduate School requirement)
Cambridge - C1 Advanced 185 (180 Graduate School requirement)
  • Minimum GRE scores
When did you take GRE?
When did you take the GRE? Verbal + Quantitative Analytical
No more than 5 years old. 300 3.0
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • Courses in the following: biology; advanced courses in biochemistry and/or molecular biology are highly desirable; chemistry (quantitative or organic); physics; mathematics

The PhD degree is offered only to students who demonstrate a high level of specialized knowledge and clear evidence of research potential.

Required Application Materials

To the Graduate School :

  • All required Graduate School  documents
  • TOEFL score (if international applicant)
  • 3 letters of recommendation from individuals competent to comment on the applicant’s potential for graduate research and course
  • GRE scores are required by our program
  • Personal statement and research experience

University of Missouri Graduate School Application:   

Applications should be submitted through the University of Missouri, Graduate School . Applicants will not be registered with the University of Missouri, Graduate School until they have completed the graduate school application and paid the graduate school application fee.

Applicants who are in the United States and reviewed favorably by the Graduate Admissions Committee will be invited to visit the University of Missouri for an interview for which the program defrays expenses. This visit provides an excellent opportunity for the prospective student to meet the faculty members, talk and interact with our current students, view the University of Missouri-Columbia and the Molecular Pathogenesis and Therapeutics Graduate Program, and experience Columbia, Missouri.

All application materials are filed alphabetically under the family name as indicated by the applicant on the International Student Application form. It is important that all supporting documents use the same name and spelling as the International Student Application so they can be quickly matched up to complete the application file.

Upon acceptance by the Molecular Pathogenesis and Therapeutics Graduate Program, the applicant should then convey his/ her decision to Accept or Decline by April 15th - deadline set by the Council of Graduate Schools, which MU is a member.  Once the applicant has declared his decision to the MPT Program, and start date they are posted in the MU application system for the MU Graduate School final review of transcripts and English requirements. The Graduate School will notify the applicant and program of any deficiencies in the application and will let the applicant know that final transcripts will be needed.  

Contact Information: Kristen Clark, Business Support Specialist II Department of Molecular Microbiology & Immunology M616 Medical Sciences Building Columbia, MO 65212 [email protected]

Director of Graduate Studies: Adam Schrum, PhD [email protected]  

Published by the University Registrar, 125 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211 Phone: 573-882-7881

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PhD Degree in Microbiology

There is a connecting thread to all the research in the Microbiology Graduate Program: the study of diverse microorganisms from the molecular level to the organismal and community levels in order to develop a complete picture of the role of microbial life in our biosphere. Since its formation, in 1953, the Department of Microbiology has enjoyed sustained growth and developed an international reputation in prokaryotic biology. Our faculty participate in several interdepartmental and multi-institutional research programs, including the Academy of the Environment, the Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute, the Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases, the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, and the Institute of Bioinformatics. Research in the department is well supported by external funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and a number of private foundations and corporations.

Degree requirements include the successful completion of course work and comprehensive exams, and submission of a thesis or dissertation consisting of original, scholarly research in the field of microbiology. In the first three semesters, students take a core curriculum in microbial physiology and metabolism, molecular biology, and microbial diversity. Advanced courses in specialized areas are also available through the Department of Microbiology and the Division of Biological Sciences. Teaching experience is vital to careers in science, so we require all graduate students in our program to teach a minimum of two courses at some suitable point while in our program. We take great pride in our graduate instructors and provide the necessary mentoring in instructional skills. The University also honors outstanding teaching assistants with various awards. The M.S. program is generally completed in two to three years, while the Ph.D. usually requires five to six years. The program of study is designed by the student and his or her advisory committee to provide a broad foundation in microbiology, preparing the student for a career in research and/or teaching in academia, industry, or the government.

Graduate students in the Department of Microbiology will be supported by assistantships or fellowships. Several Ph.D. candidates have also been awarded the University’s highly competitive Presidential Graduate Fellowship, which has an annual stipend. In addition, full annual tuition is waived for graduate students on any kind of fellowship or assistantship. Prospective students who are interested in financial aid will be considered automatically for any Graduate School, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, or departmental assistantships for which they are eligible.

  • Course Requirements - PhD
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Microbiology (PhD)

Ohio State offers training in virtually every aspect of modern microbiology. Our PhD program in microbiology offers an individualized approach to graduate study in one of the nation's largest teaching and research institutions. You will actively participate in planning your graduate program while working with colleagues from around the world.

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PhD in Microbiology in USA: Top Universities, Requirements & Salary

phd microbiology requirements

Jasmine Grover

Senior Content Specialist | Updated On - May 27, 2024

  • Program Availability: Over 90 PhD in Microbiology in USA programs are available in US, spanning 4 to 6 years.
  • Tuition Fees : The cost of studying PhD in Microbiology in US ranges from INR 6.43 lakhs to 67.03 lakhs.
  • Career Opportunities : Graduates can pursue careers in research and teaching with an average salary of $93,000 per year.
  • Salary Range : The average salary of a microbiologist in the USA is approximately 206,000 USD per year (1.71 Crore INR).
  • High Demand : Microbiology is in high demand in the USA, especially at the doctoral level, with many PhD holders working as professionals or faculty in top institutions.

PhD in Microbiology in USA is a 2-4 years full-time degree, also available in part-time mode with a duration of 4 to 5 years or more in some US universities . PhD in Microbiology mainly involves the study of microorganisms and the effects of diseases produced by them. For international students, the tuition fee for a Ph.D. in Microbiology in USA is typically between 7,719 USD - and 80,390 USD  per year. The PhD in microbiology graduates have a range of career opportunities in the USA with the majority of them working as microbiologists, researchers, forensic scientists, biomedical scientists, administrators, and science advisors. The average salary after PhD in Microbiology in the USA is around INR 77.54 lakhs per annum.

Top Universities for PhD in Microbiology in USA

Tabulated below are the top universities in USA for PhD in microbiology with the programs they offer and their admission deadlines.

University Programs Duration Admission Deadlines Total Annual Fees (USD)
5-6 years December 2024 131,561
Stanford University Ph.D. in Microbiology | | Ph.D. in Microbiology - Biomedical Sciences 5.0-5.5 years December 2024 58,746
Cornell University Ph.D. in Microbiology - Food Science and Technology - Food | 4-5 years December 2024 20,800
Yale University 2-3 years December 2024 48,300
Ph.D. in Microbiology - Microbial Pathogenesis 5 years December 2024 34,696
Ph.D. in Microbiology 5 years December 2024 62,698
Texas A and M University-College Station 7 years December 2024 40,824
Ph.D. in Microbiology - Biomedical Sciences 5-6 years December 2024 65,706
Ph.D. in Microbiology | Ph.D. in Infectious Diseases and Microbiology | Ph.D. in Microbiology - Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology 4-6 years December 2024 44,242
Ph.D. in Microbiology 5-6 years December 2024 17,682

Why Study PhD in Microbiology in USA

International students from all over the world come to study in USA for many reasons. Some of the major reasons are listed below:

  • The United States houses the most prestigious universities in the world. More than 150 US universities are listed among the world's top universities in QS and Times Higher Education. Some universities offering PhD in the USA are listed among the top universities across the globe.
  • Though top US universities are some of the most expensive universities in the world, some are highly affordable. The cost of PhD in microbiology in USA typically costs between 7,719 USD - 80,390 USD (6.43 lakhs - 67.03 lakhs INR) .

The universities in the USA have the most vibrant and lively student life. Apart from studies, the students may take part in various clubs and organisations responsible for cultural activities, sports, and events on campus.

PhD in Microbiology in USA Course Details

The Ph.D. in microbiology course involves the study of metabolic processes and genetics in microscopic organisms as well as non-microscopic organisms. The program combines practical and theoretical learning. The practical part focuses more on human activity, agriculture, nutrition, and medicine. While the theory consists of molecular and cellular biology, nuclear physics, and microbiology logistics. The program also covers other areas like Biomedicine, chemistry, public health, human health, and environmental impact. Some of the major topics discussed in PhD in microbiology are:

  • Genetics of microbiology
  • General virology
  • Microbial pathogens
  • Infectious diseases
  • General parasitology
  • Microbial ecology

PhD in Microbiology in USA Admission Requirements

To be eligible for pursuing a PhD in microbiology, the students must fulfil the below admission criteria:

Basic admission Requirements for PhD in Microbiology:

  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 - 3.5 in Bachelor's degree
  • A GPA of 3.0 or above in a Master's degree in microbiology or a relevant field
  • GRE score between 300 - 320
  • IELTS- 90 - 100
  • TOEFL IBT- 6.5 - 7.5

Documents Required for PhD in Microbiology in USA:

  • An unofficial record of all qualifications achieved, including scores achieved
  • Official transcripts will be required after acceptance to the university
  • Personal Statement
  • Research Statement
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Passport copy
  • Financial statement

PhD in Microbiology in USA without GRE

Some colleges in USA waive the GRE requirement for admissions to PhD in Microbiology in USA. These are -

  • University of Iowa
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • Iowa State University

PhD in Microbiology: University-Specific Requirements

University Application Fee PA Required ELP Scores GRE Score Documents Checklist
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 75 USD 3.0 GPA IELTS: 7.0 | TOEFL iBT: 100 Not required 3
105 USD 3.96 (Average) IELTS: 7.0 | TOEFL iBT: 90 Not required SOP | 3 LORs | Resume
125 USD 3.3 IELTS: 7.0 | TOEFL iBT: 90 Not required Academic SOP | LOR
105 USD 3.0 GPA IELTS: 7.5 | TOEFL iBT: 100 155 in Verbal, and 165 in Quantitative Academic SOP | 3 LORs | Resume or CV
University of California - Los Angeles 140 USD 3.5 GPA IELTS: 7.0 | TOEFL: 87 Not required LORs | SOP | Resume
Arizona State University 115 USD 3.0 GPA IELTS: 6.5 | TOEFL: 80 Not required Personal statement | 3 LORs | CV or Resume
Texas A and M University 90 USD 3.0 GPA IELTS: 6.0 | TOEFL: 80 146 in the GRE Verbal section Dissertation proposal
California Institute of Technology 100 USD 3.5 GPA IELTS: 7.5 | TOEFL iBT: 100 Not required LOR | Resume or CV
University of Pittsburgh 50 USD 3.2 GPA IELTS: 7.5 | TOEFL iBT: 100 Not required 3 LORs | Personal statement
University of Texas at Austin 90 USD 3.0 GPA IELTS: 6.5-7.5 | TOEFL iBT: 80 Not required 3 LORs | Personal statement | CV or Resume

PhD in Microbiology in USA Tuition Fees

A PhD degree is generally less expensive than a  master's degree in USA . The tuition fee for PhD in Microbiology can be as low as 19,000 USD (15.42 lakhs INR) and can go beyond 60,000 USD (48.69 lakhs INR) in some universities. Apart from tuition fees, the students are also required to meet living costs in the USA which involve the cost of accommodation, food, transportation, and books & supplies. The cost of living may vary depending on the university and location.

Tuition Fees

Tabulated below is the tuition fee in the United States for Ph.D. in Microbiology at top universities.

University Annual Tuition Fee(USD) Tuition Fee(INR)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 80,390 67.03 lakhs
California Institute of Technology 63,402 52.86 lakhs
Stanford University 56,487 47.10 lakhs
Yale University 48,300 40.27 lakhs
University of Pittsburgh 44,242 36.89 lakhs
Arizona State University 34,290 28.59 lakhs
Cornell University 20,800 17.34 lakhs
University of Texas at Austin 7,719 6.43 lakhs
Texas A and M University 18,084 15.07 lakhs
University of California - Los Angeles 12,264 10.22 lakhs

Cost of Living

Estimated cost of living in USA for international students while pursuing a PhD or other graduate degree in top US universities.

Expenses Total Cost of Living (USD) Total Cost of Living (INR)
Housing 9,180 - 23,820 7.65 lakhs - 19.86 lakhs
Health Insurance 3,237 2.69 lakhs
Transportation 1,682 - 3,428 1.40 lakhs - 285 lakhs
Personal Expenses 4,482 - 9,000 3.73 lakhs - 7.50 lakhs
Books and Supplies 776 - 1,400 64,705 - 1.17 lakhs
Food 8,395 - 9,460 7 lakhs - 7.88 lakhs

PhD in Microbiology in USA Scholarships

International students may avail of scholarships while pursuing PhD degree in USA either on merit basis or as financial assistance. Some of the popular scholarships available in the USA for studying PhD in Microbiology funded by top universities:

Scholarship Name Eligibility Criteria Award/Benefit
Fellowships/Assistantship - Stanford Department of Biology The student must register at least 10 units during the winter, spring, autumn and summer terms

Apply for PhD funding online via AXESS

36,162 USD

25% + Fellowship (Year 1)
50% Salary (2 - 4)
25% fellowship + 25% (Year 5)

Long-Term Financial Hardship Assistance - MIT Biology For doctoral/PhD students with financial hardship

The students must be admitted to a PhD program at MIT
Demonstrate satisfactory academic performance

Varies
PhD Fellowship by Yale University PhD students with financial need Cover full tuition cost + minimum stipend of 38,300 for 12 months
American Society for Microbiology (ASM) - Robert D. Watkins Graduate Research Fellowship - CalTech Research fellowship for PhD students during the last year

The applicants must prepare themselves to complete dissertations during the period of fellowship

Varies

Learn More : Scholarships to Study in USA

USA Scholarships

PhD in Microbiology in USA Job Opportunities

The average salary of a microbiologist in USA is recorded to be around 206,000 USD (1.71 Crore INR) per annum. The annual microbiologist salary in USA ranges between 107,000 USD to 315,000 USD (89.22 lakhs - 2.62 Crore INR) . Following are some of the top recruiters in USA for PhD in microbiology:

PhD in Microbiology in USA Top Recruiters

Tabulated Below are the Top Paying Job Profiles in USA for PhD in Microbiology Graduates:

Job Profile Average Salary(USD) Average Salary(INR)
Senior Research Scientist Biotechnology 105,422 87.90 lakhs
Staff Scientist 97,831 81.57 lakhs
Bioinformatics Scientist 92,427 77.06 lakhs
Project Manager/ Pharmaceuticals 91,148 76 lakhs
Research Scientist 85,559 71.34 lakhs
Research Scientist Biotechnology 81,613 68 lakhs
Microbiologist 80,910 67.46 lakhs
Assistant Professor Post-secondary/higher education 67,709 56.45 lakhs
Postdoctoral Research Associate 55,212 46.03 lakhs

PhD in Microbiology is an ideal choice for those having relevant research experience and interest in this field. The demand for professionals in microbiology is quite high in the United States and many top recruiters prefer PhD graduates to fill such positions in a variety of high-paying job profiles with an average salary of 206,000 USD per annum (1.71 Crore INR) .

Ques. How many years does it take to get a PhD in Microbiology?

Ans . In USA, those who get admitted to a PhD in Microbiology after a master's degree may receive their degree after 2 to 3 years while those admitted after completion of bachelor’s usually receive a PhD in 3 to 4 years. However, in some universities, it may take longer than 4 years. Mentioned below are the duration of PhD in Microbiology programs in top US universities:

University Duration of PhD in Microbiology Program
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 5-6 years
Stanford University 5.0-5.5 years
Cornell University 4-5 years
Yale University 2-3 years
University of California - Los Angeles 5 years
Arizona State University 5 years
Texas A and M University 7 years
California Institute of Technology 5-6 years
University of Pittsburgh 4-6 years
University of Texas at Austin 5-6 years

Ques. Is microbiology in demand in USA?

Ans . Microbiology is one of the most in-demand courses in USA, especially at the Doctoral level. The majority of the PhD holders with microbiology are either working as microbiologists or teaching as professors in top schools and universities across the United States.

Ques. What is the highest-paying job in microbiology?

Ans . Microbiology Research Scientist is likely the highest-paying microbiology job in the USA. Here's the breakdown:

  • Job Title: Microbiology Research Scientist
  • Salary Range: While data varies across sources, some report a range of $90,000 - $174,000 per year, with a median around $81,792 

Ques. How much is a microbiologist paid in USA?

Ans . In the United States, the average salary of microbiologists is 206,000 USD per year. The lowest salary for microbiologists in USA is seen to be around 107,000 USD per annum while the highest salary can go beyond 315,000 USD per year. 

Ques. How can international students apply for PhD in microbiology in USA?

Ans . Students seeking admission to PhD in microbiology in USA must follow the below steps to apply:

  • Shortlist universities in USA offering PhD in microbiology.
  • Review the eligibility requirements and course guidelines.
  • Select the university of your choice and apply before the deadline
  • Upload required documents
  • Wait for the admissions decisions
  • Confirm your admission offer if admitted

Ques. What are the entry requirements for PhD in microbiology in USA?

Ans . The entry requirements for a Ph.D. in Microbiology in the USA:

  • Academic Background: Master's degree in Microbiology or a closely related field (e.g., Biochemistry, Immunology).
  • GPA: Strong academic record, typically a minimum GPA of 3.0 (out of 4.0) is required, often focusing on the last 60 credits of your bachelor's degree or entire master's program.
  • Standardized Tests: GRE scores are common, but some programs may waive this requirement. Check with each program for their specific policy.
  • Supporting Documents: Letters of recommendation from professors familiar with your research experience are crucial.
  • Research Experience: Prior research experience in microbiology or a related field is highly recommended by most programs.

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About this Program

The Bachelor's/Master of Health Science (MHS) in Health, Behavior and Society is designed exclusively for undergraduate students currently enrolled at Johns Hopkins University (JHU). 

JHU undergraduate students have the unique opportunity to seek early admission to the MHS degree. The combined Bachelor's/Master of Health Science (MHS) in Health, Behavior and Society program is intended to prepare students for either further doctoral training in public health or work in public health research or policy. The MHS in Health, Behavior and Society is an advanced research degree, which focuses on integrating and applying a broad range of knowledge and analytical skills in social aspects of public health, with an emphasis on contemporary health problems.

Students may apply up to 16 credits of interdivisional public health coursework counted towards their undergraduate degree to their MHS degree. Students in this program will receive co-advising from both schools to optimize their academic experience.

To learn more, please review the specific program details for the  Master of Health Science (MHS) in Health, Behavior and Society program offered by the Department of Health, Behavior and Society .

Admissions Requirements and Eligibility

Bachelor's/Master of Health Science (MHS) in Health, Behavior and Society degree applications should be submitted through  SOPHAS Express  by July 1 between junior and senior years. JHU seniors can also apply during the beginning of their senior year until October 15 once the application reopens in mid-August.

Please note that admitted students must complete their bachelor's degree before formally matriculating into the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Eligible Majors:  JHU undergraduates of all majors are eligible to apply.

Required Coursework:  We strongly recommend that applicants complete the following courses: 

  • An upper-level mathematics course (calculus and statistics recommended)
  • A social science course
  • A public health course

Applicants must submit the following:

  • Transcripts from Johns Hopkins University and, if applicable, transcripts from any other college-level institutions you have attended*
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Statement of purpose and objectives

*Please send an official transcript to the Admissions Services Office at: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Admissions Services 615 N. Wolfe St., Ste. E1002 Baltimore, MD 21205

Questions about the program? We're happy to help.

Program Director Tyler Derreth, PhD [email protected]  

  • Andy & Barbara Gessner College of Nursing
  • Undergraduate Programs
  • Second Degree BSN
  • Program Requirements

Second Degree BSN Program Requirements/Admission

The primary focus of the second degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is healthcare in diverse settings. The graduate will utilize scientific inquiry, evidence-based practice and nursing leadership concepts.The curriculum will provide graduates with strong critical thinking skills, leadership and management skills, and the ability to incorporate research findings and information from other disciplines into nursing practice. In addition, graduates will be ready to enter graduate degree programs with majors in administration, education, clinical nurse leadership, and advance practice nursing roles.

The following requirements apply to all candidates for the Second Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree:

All bachelor’s degrees from the University of Houston require completion of the Texas Core Curriculum before the August 1 application deadline. All students applying to the Second Degree BSN program must meet the credit hour requirements for all ten of the categories. Students may refer to the Transfer of College Credits page for additional information. Core Requirements may change from time to time, so students should stay in regular communication with their advisor. Applicants must satisfy all Texas Core Curriculum requirements for an undergraduate degree in addition to the track requirements below

Summary of Required Core Hours by Component Area and Nursing Curriculum:

  • 3 semester hours of Statistics
  • 3 semester hours of Nutrition.
  • 8 semester hours of Human Anatomy and Physiology.
  • 3 semester hours of Chemistry (may take Introductory Chemistry or General Chemistry).
  • 4 semester hours of Microbiology.
  • 6 semester hours of Psychology (PSYC 2301 Introduction to Psychology, and PSYC 2314 Human Growth and Development).
  • 3 semester hours of Sociology (SOCI 1301 Introduction to Sociology).
  • The following 60 semester hours of Upper Division curriculum will be completed by admitted students in the Second Degree BSN Program: 60 semester hours of Nursing core (Nursing Professional Role I, Nursing Professional Role II, Nursing Professional Role III, Pharmacology for Collaborative Nursing Practice, Reading and Interpreting Scientific Literature, Introduction to Evidence-Based Nursing Practice, Nursing Process for Symptom Management, Nursing Process for Collaborative Practice I, Nursing Process for Collaborative Practice II, Clinical Nursing Practice I, Clinical Nursing Practice II, Clinical Nursing Practice III, Nursing Research, and a Nursing elective).

If a student successfully completes the core curriculum at an institution of higher education, that block of courses may be transferred to any other institution of higher education and must be substituted for the receiving institution’s core curriculum. A student shall receive academic credit for each of the courses transferred and may not be required to take additional core curriculum courses at the receiving institution unless the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has approved a larger core curriculum at that institution.

Requirements for Undergraduate Second Degree BSN Admission

  • Applicants must complete an online application through NursingCAS .
  • Applicants must submit official transcript(s) from EACH college or university attended, sent directly from each institution completed to NursingCAS before August 1 . (For timely and accurate processing, students should ensure that all official documents have been submitted to NursingCAS at least 6 weeks prior to the deadline date.) Mailing address is: NursingCAS P.O. Box 9201 Watertown, MA 02471
  • Applicants to the second degree BSN program must have graduated from an accredited baccalaureate degree program. The baccalaureate degree must have been completed prior to the August 1 deadline.
  • Applicants to the second degree BSN program must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and a GPA of 3.0 in natural and behavioral sciences is expected.
  • Applicants to the second degree BSN program must have completed all prerequisite course work and submitted transcripts prior to the deadline date of August 1 . No in-progress courses will be accepted.
  • Schedule a time and complete the TEAS VII nursing entrance exam. Register for the exam at ATI . Maximum two (2) attempts. Request test results sent directly to UH Andy and Barbara Gessner College of Nursing. In addition, the exam results will be uploaded into the NursingCAS application. Applicants to the second degree BSN program must pass the school approved pre-admission test. The Gessner College of Nursing is accepting (TEAS VII) as the school approved pre-admission test. Once completed, the scores will need to be uploaded into the NursingCAS application.
  • Applicants to the second degree BSN must complete a release of social security number form to the College of Nursing office or by fax 713-743-1164.
  • Applicants must satisfy the College of Nursing Policy for Clinical Readiness Requirements .

Texas Medical Center

School of Nursing home

Alternate Entry Master of Science in Nursing (AE-MSN) Leadership in Diverse Settings (LeaDs)

Alternate Entry Master of Science in Nursing

AE-MSN Program Overview

Application Deadline: October 1 Application Available: August 1   Program Start: Summer once a year only    Length of Program: 3 years full-time    Degree Awarded: Master of Science in Nursing    Part-Time Study Available? After the foundation (first) year
    Distance Learning Available? Not at this time    AE Information Sessions

""

Ranked #8 among public schools and #14 among all schools in Best Nursing Schools: Master's Programs

(U.S. News & World Report 2024)

Best Rankings TFE Times

Ranked #9 among public schools and #18 among all schools in Best Master’s of Nursing Programs

(TFE Times 2024)

Note: If you have a bachelor's degree outside of Nursing, an Associate’s Degree in Nursing and you are a licensed registered nurse please visit the Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program . Additional Alternate Entry (AE) programs include AE Master of Science in Nursing (AE MSN) Leadership in Diverse Settings (LeaDs) , AE Doctor of Nursing Practice (AE DNP) ,and the AE Doctor of Philosophy (AE PhD) .

About the AE-MSN

The Alternate Entry Master of Science in Nursing (AE-MSN) program is designed for people holding baccalaureate or graduate degrees in disciplines other than nursing and who are interested in pursuing both their Registered Nurse (RN) License and Master of Science in Nursing degree. After completing the rigorous academic and clinical training, AE-MSN graduates are expected to assume entry-level positions and advance rapidly in their nursing careers as they acquire experience in the field.

Leadership in Diverse Settings (LeaDs)

The Leadership in Diverse Settings (LeaDS) program is a master's level curriculum created to address the need for nurses to take on leadership roles in various healthcare environments. The aim of the LeaDS program is to equip graduates with a comprehensive set of skills to lead in patient-centered healthcare, community, and educational settings. Graduates of the LeaDS program will be prepared to drive change in complex and dynamic environments. The program offers courses and guided experiences to develop leaders with the following competencies:

  • Advanced Clinical Practice Skills
  • Advocacy for Diverse and Underserved Populations
  • Resource Stewardship
  • Effective Communication, Collaboration, and Negotiation
  • Commitment to Mentoring and Developing Others
  • Organizational Change Management
  • Project Management
  • Visionary Leadership for the Future of Healthcare and Nursing Education
  • Completion of an Evidenced-Based Practice (EBP) or Quality Improvement (QI)
  • Capstone project

Degree Plans

  • AE-MSN - Leadership in Diverse Settings: Program of Work (PDF)
  • AE-MSN - Leadership in Diverse Settings: Schedule (PDF)

LeaDS Alumni – Where are they now:

Past LeaDs graduates work in diverse healthcare settings, such as inpatient and outpatient healthcare settings, surgery centers, public health departments, specialty clinics, and institutes of higher education. Many are serving as nurse managers, nurse educators, quality assurance specialists, unit leaders, and nursing faculty.

Alumni Testimonials:

LeaD-er 1: “I am so thankful for everything the faculty in LeaDS have done to support and help us grow throughout this process. I am genuinely proud of my project and grateful that my hard work has been recognized!”

LeaD-er 2: “My future aims after graduation are striving to heighten awareness of the disparities in women's health and actively participate in educating and contributing to innovative solutions to ensure equitable perinatal care.”

LeaD-er 3: “After graduating from the LeaDS Program, I never dreamed that I would be teaching my supervisors how to create a project charter or a project plan. I am grateful to have been provided the tools for success as a leader in my organization.”

AE-MSN Resources

The Foundation Year: The AE program is designed to satisfy RN licensure requirements and train students in advanced practice and specialty nursing roles. The first year of the program is an intensive, full-time series of foundation courses. The A E-MSN Foundation Year (Pre-Licensure) Courses (PDF) are accelerated, specially designed graduate courses. These courses include content and experiences required to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and are required for graduate-level study in nursing. All foundation courses must be completed before students are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. The sequence of AE foundation courses begins in the first summer session of the program, and full-time enrollment during the foundation sequence is required.

Master’s Coursework: After passing the NCLEX-RN and obtaining their RN license, students are eligible to work as an RN in Texas only. The second and third years of the program focus on the coursework required for the Master of Science in Nursing degree in the student's chosen concentration area. The MSN degree is typically awarded in the spring of the third year. After degree completion, the RN license can be endorsed outside of Texas.

  • Accept responsibility and accountability for the ethical practice of nursing at an advanced level.
  • Critically apply theoretical perspectives, teaching/learning principles, and evidence-based knowledge from nursing and related sciences to professional nursing practice across healthcare environments.
  • Systematically and comprehensively investigate complex issues encountered in nursing practice to promote optimal health outcomes for individuals, families, communities, populations, and systems.
  • Advocate for patients, families, caregivers and communities to access healthcare services and to preserve and promote health.
  • Lead initiatives that contribute to the delivery of safe, high quality, person-centered health care with considerations for social, ethical, legal, economic, environmental, epidemiological, systems and policy issues.
  • Use advanced communications skills to facilitate stakeholder collaboration to optimize health and healthcare delivery.
  • Use relevant information, technologies, and communications and informatic processes that informs advanced nursing practice to improve healthcare outcomes for individuals, families, communities, populations, and systems. 
  • Practice in an advanced nursing specialty (e.g., leadership) or advanced practice nursing role.
  • Engage in self-reflection and personal development activities that contribute to life-long learning, leadership development and resilience.

All students interested in applying for graduate study in Nursing at the University of Texas at Austin must meet the admission requirements established by the University’s Graduate School and the School of Nursing. Applicants are expected to be graduates of accredited colleges or universities. Below are the minimum requirements for admission.

Below are the minimum requirements for admission:

  • Degree : Bachelor’s degree in an area other than Nursing.
  • GPA : 3.0 (4.0 scale) or comparable GPA in completed upper-division work (junior- and senior-level courses) and graduate work.
  • Recommendations : 3 required and 1 reference must be from a healthcare professional. Written recommendations are not accepted.
  • Prerequisites: Completion of AE Prerequisite Courses (PDF).  See pdf for completion time requirements and policies.
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Curriculum Vitae/resume

*Applicants to the AE-MSN program are encouraged to have volunteer or work experience in a healthcare related field.

Any person applying for formal admission to the AEMSN program must submit the following application materials by the October 1 deadline .

Application for Admission

Complete the online application for admissions and pay the application fee. The application is only open between August 1st and October 1st. The online application is data entry only. All supporting application documents are uploaded on the My Status page after the application is paid and submitted.

* Recommendation : Complete online application, at minimum, 2 weeks before the October 1 deadline ensuring all documents are provided by the application deadline.

Supporting Documents

  • Official transcripts with a print day of one year or less, from all post-secondary colleges or universities attended, including community colleges. See AE-MSN LeaDs Application Checklist (PDF) for transcript upload procedures.
  • Curriculum Vitae: include educational background, professional experience, volunteer experience and other relevant information (e.g., publications, scholarship and awards, professional organizations, and community activities).
  • Personal Statement: Maximum two (2) pages. Readable font, 12-point, double spaced, 1-inch margins
  • Using our secure, personalized form, three (3) professional recommendations that attest to the applicant's academic ability, professional competency and personal character must be submitted electronically by each recommender.
  • One reference must be from a healthcare professional, a nurse, physician, nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist.
  • Written recommendations are not accepted.
  • See the International Students webpage for English language requirements.
  • Alternate Entry Prerequisite Checklist (PDF) informs the admissions committee details regarding the applicant’s prerequisite courses. The form must be fully completed and signed.

Visit the Graduate Admissions webpage for additional information.

For additional details on how to prepare your graduate application materials and personal statement instructions, please view the AE-MSN LeaDs Application Checklist (PDF).

All materials must be submitted electronically to the MyStatus page which is available approximately 48 hours after submitting the online application.

In addition to a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field, applicants must complete 24 credits (grade C- or better) of prerequisite coursework from an approved institution.

  • Anatomy with lab (4 credits)
  • Physiology with lab (4 credits)
  • Microbiology with lab (3 credits)
  • Pharmacology (3 credits)
  • Human Growth and Development Through the Lifespan (3 credits)
  • Nutrition (3 credits)
  • Statistics (3 credits)

Prerequisite Policies  

  • A grade of “C-” or higher must be earned in all prerequisite courses.
  • Human Anatomy and Microbiology must be two of the five courses. 
  • Final grades for any prerequisite courses in progress during the fall admissions semester must be provided by the second week in January . 
  • *Applicants MUST have completed Human Anatomy with lab, Human Physiology with lab, and Pharmacology courses within the past 6 years from the anticipated AE program enrollment date. 
  • All 7 prerequisite courses must be completed before ENROLLING in the AE program. Therefore, if admitted, one to two courses can be completed in the spring before starting the program. 
  • All prerequisite courses can be completed in a distance learning format. 
  • All prerequisite courses are subject to approval by the Graduate Student Services Office. 

Review the common approved Prerequisite Course Equivalencies (PDF) for local and distance learning courses.

Prerequisite Transcript Evaluations are recommended. Contact Graduate Student Services at [email protected] , for additional information.

The School of Nursing Graduate Admissions and Progression Committee (GAPC) begin preliminary admission reviews after the October 1st deadline. All application materials must be submitted by the program’s application deadline; files that remain incomplete will not be reviewed or acted upon by GAPC.

If admitted, applicants will be notified of the admission decision by early February. Decisions are communicated in the following ways:

  • Offers of admission are sent via email by the School of Nursing.
  • Official e-letters from the Graduate and International Admission Center notifying you of the admission decision of the Office of Graduate Studies are available on the application Status Check page.

Acceptance by the School of Nursing and the Graduate is necessary before enrollment is permitted. Please be aware, if admitted, completion of all compliance requirements is required at least one month before the first day of class.

NOTE: Email is the official means of communication for all university business.

If not admitted, applicants will be notified by the Graduate Admissions Office.

Please email Graduate Student Services Office if you have questions about the admission process.

All files are in PDF format.

  • AE Prerequisite Courses
  • AE Prerequisite Checklist
  • AE-MSN LeaDs Application Checklist
  • AE-MSN FAQs
  • AE-MSN Foundation Year (Pre-Licensure) Courses
  • Professional and Technical Standards for Nursing Practice

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  26. Bachelor's and MHS in Health, Behavior and Society

    Bachelor's/Master of Health Science (MHS) in Health, Behavior and Society degree applications should be submitted through SOPHAS Express by July 1 between junior and senior years. JHU seniors can also apply during the beginning of their senior year until October 15 once the application reopens in mid-August.

  27. Second Degree BSN Program Requirements/Admission

    The primary focus of the second degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is healthcare in diverse settings. The graduate will utilize scientific inquiry, evidence-based practice and nursing leadership concepts.The curriculum will provide graduates with strong critical thinking skills, leadership and management skills, and the ability to incorporate research findings and information ...

  28. Alternate Entry Master of Science in Nursing (AE-MSN) Leadership in

    Course of Study. The Foundation Year: The AE program is designed to satisfy RN licensure requirements and train students in advanced practice and specialty nursing roles. The first year of the program is an intensive, full-time series of foundation courses. The A E-MSN Foundation Year (Pre-Licensure) Courses (PDF) are accelerated, specially designed graduate courses.