The microbiology graduate program stresses solving fundamental problems of biology through molecular, biochemical, and immunological approaches. A wide range of research opportunities is offered.
The program encompasses topics concerning the cell and molecular biology, genetics, physiology, and biochemistry of microorganisms and cells of higher organisms. The flexible program of study is designed to provide excellent training and research opportunities individually tailored to each student's needs.
To be admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree, the student must complete during the first three years a two-part preliminary examination. Part A, taken in the spring of the student's second year, consists of presentation and defense of a mock National Institutes of Health grant proposal. Part B, taken about nine months later, consists of presentation of a proposal for dissertation research.
Individual programs of study are tailored to the student's interests, but each student must complete Biology 395F, 395G, 395H, 395J (with a grade of at least B in each), 398T, and at least six additional hours in graduate lecture courses approved by the graduate adviser. He or she and must attend a weekly journal club each semester.
The student must also pursue independent, original research under the direction of a faculty member; the results of this research constitute the dissertation, which fulfills the requirements of the required courses Biology 399R and 399W.
Each student must serve as a teaching assistant for a long-session semester; two six-week summer terms are considered equivalent to a semester. A well-qualified student can usually complete the doctoral degree program in five to six years.