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 six 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 two long-session semesters; 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.
2. Six credit-hours of graduate level coursework inside the Microbiology Graduate Program. The Graduate Advisor will help to determine which lecture courses are relevant to the student's program. (Must receive a grade of 'B' or better )
3. Weekly journal club per fall and spring term. The purpose of these journal club offerings is to give students the opportunity to participate in discussions with faculty and peers about various topics and research problems.(All first-year students are exempt from taking journal clubs during their first semester.)
4. Weekly research seminar per fall and spring term (after completion of fourth year of study). Students present their own research findings in this seminar, and receive feedback from faculty and peers.
5. Supervised Teaching - Teaching under close supervision of course instructors for two semesters; weekly laboratory instruction of undergraduates in microbiology and/or general biology, group meetings with the instructor, individual consultations, and reports throughout the teaching period. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.
6. Lab rotations. Provide students the opportunity to explore different research interests prior to the selection of a Ph.D. supervisor. Students will be required to complete three rotations within the first academic year, with an optional fourth rotation during the summer. Students will choose their rotations amongst the Microbiology Graduate Studies Committee.
7. BIO 182 to prepare for the Preliminary Part A and Part B exams.
8. Teaching assistant for one long-session semester; two six-week summer terms are considered equivalent to a semester.
9. Student must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher. (In order to maintain satisfactory academic progress at The University of Texas at Austin)
10. Successfully pass Preliminary Part A and Part B (Advancement to Candidacy).