The program of the department is designed to provide the Ph.D. candidate with the tools required for a research career. The research activities of the faculty span a broad spectrum of sub-disciplines and utilize cellular, biochemical, and molecular approaches to study current problems in microbiology and immunology.
To ensure that students become acquainted with the dynamics of the host/parasite relationship, including host defense systems, an emphasis is placed on the relationship of these microorganisms to disease. Upon entering each student and his/her advisor plan an academic program. Courses are chosen to fit individual needs from both departmental offerings and from pertinent courses offered by other departments. Course work is usually complete in the first three semesters. During this time the student also participates in both the departmental seminar program and research rotations through the laboratories of faculty members chosen by the student. Laboratory rotations provide the opportunity for students to become acquainted with faculty research programs available for thesis research.
A minimum of 34 credit hours is required for the Ph.D degree. It is expected that all students will complete courses in General Microbiology, General Biochemistry, Advanced Techniques in Microbiology and Immunology, and Microbiology Seminar. Graduate level specialty courses offered by the Department of Microbiology and Immunology or other graduate departments of the University may be taken to fulfill the remainder of the credit hour requirement, and are chosen after consultation with the student's advisor. For students entering with advanced degrees, the program can be modified in accordance with their previous background, training and interests.
Assistantships and fellowships normally include a stipend and a full tuition scholarship. For 2015-2016, the stipend for the PhD program in Microbiology & Immunology is $29,000. An average of 2 students is awarded each year. Thesis research tuition for PhD students is $5,500 per annum and Fellows' tuition and several other fees are covered by the University, in addition to their stipend. Only full-time students pursuing the Ph.D. will be considered for assistantship and fellowship awards. For more information on the current tuition and fees schedule, please visit the Office of Biomedical Graduate Education's Tuition and Fees page here.