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Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology

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Ph.D. Degree Requirements

Course Requirements

Students must demonstrate competence in the content of the IGPBS curriculum and in 2 of the following areas:

  • Immunology,
  • Virology, and
  • Bacteriology.

Students should also take an advanced course in the student’s research area. Students also must present literature seminars and participate in the Research in Progress series.

Research Skills

All students in doctoral programs must meet the research skills and responsible scholarship requirement of the university.

Microbiology Ph.D. students meet these requirements during their IGPBS year of study by taking GSMC 857 Biographics, GSMC 852/GSMC 855 Introduction to Biomedical Research I and II, and GSMC 856 Introduction to Research Ethics.

Comprehensive Examination

The student takes an oral comprehensive examination based in part on defense of an original written research proposal. This examination evaluates the student’s ability to write and defend an original research proposal, design experiments, and interpret results in a sound and critical manner.


Doctoral candidates are expected to conduct original research, prepare a written dissertation detailing the results, and defend the dissertation in a final oral examination. It is expected that the research will be published in reputable scientific journals.

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Plan of Study

During the first year students, enroll in the IGPBS curriculum and do rotations. At the end of the first year, students select an adviser and commence thesis research. During the second year, students enroll in the Principles of Microbiology series, take 2 additional courses, participate in literature seminar series, and continue research. As the beginning of the third year, students complete the oral examination and continue to do thesis research

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