Academic Programs Catalog

College of Natural Science

Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

Victor DiRita, Chairperson

The Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics is administered jointly by the colleges of Natural Science, Human Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine.

Microbiology involves the study of microscopic organisms:  bacteria, viruses, algae, fungi, and protozoa, as well as research on the interaction of pathogenic and beneficial microbes with their hosts. Microbiology also includes the study of complex communities of microbes, such as those found in soil or within humans and animals.  

Molecular genetics and genomics includes study of the basis of heredity and the mechanisms by which genes exert their effects as well as genetic engineering and gene manipulation. Much of this study originates in microbial systems or employs microbiology-based technologies, but these approaches can be applied to larger organisms as well.

The microbial sciences influence nearly every area of biology.  Microbes are not only key in disease, industrial processes, and the environment, but they are among the best studied model systems in biology. 

The microbiologist today may specialize in one or more of the diverse aspects of the science. At the undergraduate level, students may pursue their interests by completing a course of study  leading to a bachelor's degree in microbiology, genomics and molecular genetics, or environmental biology/microbiology.
Employment opportunities for microbiologists and molecular geneticists exist at all levels of education. Careers are available as teachers and researchers in universities and institutes, and as scientists in a variety of governmental, medical, and industrial laboratories.

Because the programs in microbiology or molecular genetics offer a broad overview of biology, they are excellent choices for students who are interested in fundamental and applied biological science and also for students who plan to apply for admission to graduate professional programs, such as human or veterinary medicine.

Students who are enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics may elect the Specialization in Food Processing and Technology.  For additional information, refer to the Specialization in Food Processing and Technology statement in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition statement in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources section of this catalog.

The Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics also participates in the joint bachelor’s degree/master’s degree of the College of Natural Science. For additional information, refer to the College of Natural Science Dual Degree Program:  Bachelor of Science and Master of Science section of this catalog.


Undergraduate Programs


Environmental Biology/Microbiology

Environmental microbiology is a large and diverse field that addresses concerns such as soil fertility, water purity and quality, and safety of the food supply.   Although environmental biology is concerned with all members of the biosphere and the geochemical surroundings, microorganisms are at the heart of the biological activities in the environment.  Many of the environmental problems facing society are microbiological ones, or ones for which microbiological solutions may be found.

The Bachelor of Science degree program with a major in environmental biology/microbiology is designed for students who plan to pursue careers involving microbiology and the environment or who plan to pursue graduate study in microbiology and related environmental areas.

The educational objectives of the program are to:

  1. Help students to acquire knowledge of microbiology and related environmental areas.
  2. Prepare students to solve problems in environmental microbiology.

On completion of the program, the graduate may apply for certification with the National Registry of Microbiologists of the American Society for Microbiology.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Biology/Microbiology

  1. The University requirements for bachelor's degrees as described in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog; 120 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Biology/Microbiology.

    The University's Tier II writing requirement for the Environmental Biology/Microbiology major is met by completing Microbiology 408.  That course is referenced in item 3.b.(1) below.

    Students who are enrolled in the College of Natural Science may complete the alternative track to Integrative Studies in Biological and Physical Sciences that is described in item 1. under the heading Graduation Requirements in the College statement.  Certain courses referenced in requirement 3. below may be used to satisfy the alternative track.
  2. The requirements of the College of Natural Science for the Bachelor of Science degree.

    The credits earned in certain courses referenced in requirement 3. below may be counted toward College requirements as appropriate.
  3. The following requirements for the major:
                   
    a. The following courses outside the Department of Microbiology (62 or 64 credits):  
      (1) One of the following, either a. or b. (4 or 6 credits):  
        (a) BMB 461 Advanced Biochemistry I 3
          BMB 462 Advanced Biochemistry II 3
        (b) BMB 401 Comprehensive Biochemistry 4
      (2) All of the following courses (57 credits):  
        BS 161 Cell and Molecular Biology 3
        BS 162 Organismal and Population Biology 3
        BS 171 Cell and Molecular Biology Laboratory 2
        BS 172 Organismal and Population Biology Laboratory 2
        CE 280 Principles of Environmental Engineering and Science 3
        CEM 141 General Chemistry 4
        CEM 142 General and Inorganic Chemistry 3
        CEM 161 Chemistry Laboratory I 1
        CEM 162 Chemistry Laboratory II 1
        CEM 251 Organic Chemistry I 3
        CEM 252 Organic Chemistry II 3
        CEM 255 Organic Chemistry Laboratory 2
        CSS 210 Fundamentals of Soil Science 3
        GLG 201 The Dynamic Earth 4
        GLG 421 Environmental Geochemistry 4
        MTH 132 Calculus I 3
        PHY 231 Introductory Physics I 3
        PHY 232 Introductory Physics II 3
        PHY 251 Introductory Physics Laboratory I 1
        PHY 252 Introductory Physics Laboratory II 1
        STT 231 Statistics for Scientists 3
        ZOL 355 Ecology   3
        ZOL 355L Ecology Laboratory (W) 1
    b. The following courses in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (19 credits):  
      (1) All the following courses (16 credits):  
        MMG 301 Introductory Microbiology 3
        MMG 302 Introductory Laboratory for General 1
              and Allied Health Microbiology  
        MMG 408 Advanced Microbiology Laboratory (W) 3
        MMG 421 Prokaryotic Cell Physiology 3
        MMG 425 Microbial Ecology 3
        MMG 431 Microbial Genetics 3
      (2) One of the following two options (3 credits):  
        (a) MMG 491 Current Topics in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics 3
        (b) MMG 492 Undergraduate Research Seminar 1
          One of the following courses:  
          MMG 499 Undergraduate Research 2
          MMG 499H Honors Research 2
          The completion of either of these two options fulfills the department's capstone course requirement.  
    c. One course from two of the following areas (6 credits):  
      (1) CSS 455 Pollutants in the Soil Environment 3
      (2) FOR 404 Forest Ecology 3
      (3) FSC 440 Food Microbiology 3
      (4) GEO 206 Physical Geography 3
        GEO 221 Introduction to Geographic Information 3
      (5) MMG 426 Biogeochemistry 3
      (6) MMG 445 Microbial Biotechnology (W) 3
      (7) FOR 466 Natural Resource Policy 3
        ZOL 446 Environmental Issues and Public Policy 3
      (8) FW 420 Stream Ecology 3
        FW 472 Limnology 3



Genomics and Molecular Genetics

The objective of the Bachelor of Science degree program with a major in genomics and molecular genetics is to provide a broad foundation in science, with emphasis in genomics and molecular genetics. Although the majority of the course work is prescribed, students have an opportunity to tailor their degree program to their own interests within the field by choosing a suitable course combination from a slate of options. On completion of the program, graduates may apply for certification with the National Registry of Microbiologists of the American Society for Microbiology.

In addition to the general degree requirements of the College of Natural Science, the undergraduate program in genomics and molecular genetics encompasses fundamental training in chemistry, mathematics, physics, and biology. This foundation provides the prerequisites for undertaking the basic courses in genomics and molecular genetics. In order to increase the flexibility of the program, and to provide additional intellectual stimulation, students are encouraged to participate in mentored independent research for at least two, and ideally three or more, semesters. Independent research is available to both Honors College and other students, and often culminates with a report written in manuscript style by the student. This research may fulfill part of the department’s capstone course requirement for the bachelor’s degree with a major in genomics and molecular genetics.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Genomics and Molecular Genetics

  1. The University requirements for bachelor's degrees as described in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog; 120 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Science degree in Genomics and Molecular Genetics.

    The University's Tier II writing requirement for the Genomics and Molecular Genetics major is met by completing Microbiology 434.  That course is referenced in item 3. b. (2) below.

    Students who are enrolled in the College of Natural Science may complete the alternative track to Integrative Studies in Biological and Physical Sciences that is described in item 1. under the heading Graduation Requirements in the College statement.  Certain courses referenced in requirement 3. below may be used to satisfy the alternative track.
  2. The requirements of the College of Natural Science for the Bachelor of Science degree.

    The credits earned in certain courses referenced in requirement 3. below may be counted toward College requirements as appropriate.
  3. The following requirements for the major:
                   
    a. The following courses outside the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
    (47 to 57 credits):
     
      (1) One of the following, either a. or b. (4 or 6 credits):  
        (a) BMB 461 Advanced Biochemistry I 3
          BMB 462 Advanced Biochemistry II 3
        (b) BMB 401 Comprehensive Biochemistry 4
      (2) One of the following groups of courses (6 or 9 credits):  
        (a) BS 161 Cell and Molecular Biology 3
          BS 162 Organismal and Population Biology 3
        (b) LB 144 Biology I: Organismal Biology 4
          LB 145 Biology II: Cell and Molecular Biology 5
        (c) BS 181H Honors Cell and Molecular Biology 3
          BS 182H Honors Organismal and Population Biology 3
      (3) One of the following courses (2 credits):  
        BS 171 Cell and Molecular Biology Laboratory 2
        BS 172 Organismal and Population Biology Laboratory 2
        BS 191H Honors Cell and Molecular Biology Laboratory 2
        BS 192H Honors Organismal and Population Biology Laboratory 2
        This requirement is waived for students who selected item (2) (b) above.  
      (4) One of the following groups of courses (9 or 10 credits):  
        (a) CEM 141 General Chemistry  4
          CEM 142 General and Inorganic Chemistry  3
          CEM 161 Chemistry Laboratory I  1
          CEM 162 Chemistry Laboratory II  1
        (b) LB 171 Principles of Chemistry I  4
          LB 172 Principles of Chemistry II  4
          LB 171L Introductory Chemistry Laboratory I  1
          LB 172L Principles of Chemistry II – Reactivity Laboratory 1
        (c) CEM 151 General and Descriptive Chemistry  4
          CEM 152 Principles of Chemistry  3
          CEM 161 Chemistry Laboratory I  1
          CEM 162 Chemistry Laboratory II  1
        (d) CEM 181H Honors Chemistry I  4
          CEM 182H Honors Chemistry II  4
          CEM 185H Honors Chemistry Laboratory I  2
          CEM 186H Honors Chemistry Laboratory II  2
      (5) One of the following groups of courses (8 credits):  
        (a) CEM 251 Organic Chemistry I  3
          CEM 252 Organic Chemistry II  3
          CEM 255 Organic Chemistry Laboratory  2
        (b) CEM 351 Organic Chemistry I  3
          CEM 352 Organic Chemistry II  3
          CEM 355 Organic Laboratory I  2
      (6) The following course (4 credits):  
        ZOL 341 Fundamental Genetics 4
      (7) One of the following groups of courses (8 to 10 credits):  
        (a) PHY 231 Introductory Physics I  3
          PHY 232 Introductory Physics II  3
          PHY 251 Introductory Physics Laboratory I  1
          PHY 252 Introductory Physics Laboratory II  1
        (b) LB 273 Physics I  4
          LB 274 Physics II  4
        (c) PHY 183 Physics for Scientists and Engineers I  4
          PHY 184 Physics for Scientists and Engineers II  4
          PHY 191 Physics Laboratory for Scientists, I  1
          PHY 192 Physics Laboratory for Scientists, II  1
        (d) PHY 193H Honors Physics I - Mechanics 4
          PHY 294H Honors Physics II - Electromagnetism 4
          PHY 191 Physics Laboratory for Scientists, I  1
          PHY 192 Physics Laboratory for Scientists, II  1
      (8) Both of the following courses (6 to 8 credits):  
        (a) One of the following courses (3 or 4 credits):  
          LB 118 Calculus I 4
          MTH 124 Survey of Calculus I 3
          MTH 132 Calculus I 3
          MTH 152H Honors Calculus I 3
        (b) One of the following courses (3 or 4 credits):  
          LB 119 Calculus II 4
          MTH 126 Survey of Calculus II 3
          MTH 133 Calculus II 4
          MTH 153H Honors Calculus II 4
          STT 231 Statistics for Scientists 3
          STT 421 Statistics I 3
    b. The following courses in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (19 credits):  
      (1) All of the following courses (13 credits):  
        MMG 301 Introductory Microbiology 3
        MMG 302 Introductory Laboratory for General and Allied Health Microbiology 1
        MMG 409 Eukaryotic Cell Biology 3
        MMG 431 Microbial Genetics 3
        MMG 433 Microbial Genomics 3
      (2) One of the following courses (3 credits):  
        MMG 408 Advanced Microbiology Laboratory (W) 3
        MMG 434 Laboratory in Genomics and Molecular Genetics (W) 3
      (3) One of the following two options (3 credits):  
        (a) MMG 491 Current Topics in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics 3
        (b) MMG 492 Undergraduate Research Seminar 1
        One of the following courses:  
        MMG 499 Undergraduate Research 2
        MMG 499H Honors Research 2
        The completion of Microbiology 491, or Microbiology 492 and 499 or 499H, fulfills the department’s capstone  course requirement.  
    c. Two of the following courses (6 to 8 credits):  
      ANS 314 Genetic Improvement of Domestic Animals 4
      ANS 425 Animal Biotechnology 3
      CSE 231 Introduction to Programming I 4
      CSE 232 Introduction to Programming II 4
      CSS 350 Introduction to Plant Genetics 3
      CSS 441 Plant Breeding and Biotechnology 3
      MMG 404 Human Genetics
    3
      MMG 413 Virology     3
      PLB 400 Introduction to Bioinformatics 3
      ZOL 445 Evolution (W)
    3

Microbiology

The objective of the Bachelor of Science degree program with a major in microbiology  is to provide a broad foundation in science, with emphasis in microbiology.  In order to assist students in planning a course of study, elective microbiology courses are organized by interest group (cell and molecular biology, immunology and medical microbiology, microbe biology, and microbial biotechnology) and students are advised in personal consultations to select a set of electives according to their interests. Thus, different emphases may be chosen by students intending to acquire technical competence in the field, to pursue graduate education in microbiology or another biological science, or to attain competence in a basic medical science preparatory to or in conjunction with professional study in human or veterinary medicine. On completion of the program, graduates may apply for certification with the National Registry of Microbiologists of the American Society for Microbiology.
In addition to the general degree requirements of the College of Natural Science, the undergraduate program in microbiology encompasses fundamental training in chemistry, mathematics, physics, and biology. This foundation provides the prerequisites for undertaking the basic courses in microbiology.

In order to increase the flexibility of the program, and to provide additional intellectual stimulation, students are encouraged to participate in tutored independent research for at least two, and ideally three or more, semesters. Independent research is available to both Honors College and other students, and often culminates with a report written in manuscript style by the student. This research may fulfill part of the department's capstone course requirement for the bachelor's degree with a major in microbiology.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Microbiology

  1. The University requirements for bachelor's degrees as described in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog; 120 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology.

    The University's Tier II writing requirement for the Microbiology major is met by completing Microbiology 408.  That course is referenced in item 3. b. (1) below.

    Students who are enrolled in the College of Natural Science may complete the alternative track to Integrative Studies in Biological and Physical Sciences that is described in item 1. under the heading Graduation Requirements in the College statement.  Certain courses referenced in requirement 3. below may be used to satisfy the alternative track.
  2. The requirements of the College of Natural Science for the Bachelor of Science degree.

    The credits earned in certain courses referenced in requirement 3. below may be counted toward College requirements as appropriate.
  3. The following requirements for the major:
                   
    a. The following courses outside the Department of Microbiology (43 to 53 credits):  
      (1) One of the following, either a. or b. (4 or 6 credits):  
        (a) BMB 461 Advanced Biochemistry I 3
          BMB 462 Advanced Biochemistry II 3
        (b) BMB 401 Comprehensive Biochemistry 4
      (2) One of following groups of courses (6 or 9 credits):  
        (a) BS 161 Cell and Molecular Biology 3
          BS 162 Organismal and Population Biology 3
        (b) LB 144 Biology I: Organismal Biology 4
          LB 145 Biology II: Cell and Molecular Biology 5
        (c) BS 181H Honors Cell and Molecular Biology 3
          BS 182H Honors Organismal and Population Biology 3
      (3) One of the following courses (2 credits):  
        BS 171 Cell and Molecular Biology Laboratory 2
        BS 172 Organismal and Population Biology Laboratory 2
        BS 191H Honors Cell and Molecular Biology Laboratory 2
        BS 192H Honors Organismal and Population Biology Laboratory 2
        This requirement is waived for students who selected item (2) (b) above.  
      (4) One of the following groups of courses (9 or 10 credits):  
        (a) CEM 141 General Chemistry  4
          CEM 142 General and Inorganic Chemistry  3
          CEM 161 Chemistry Laboratory I  1
          CEM 162 Chemistry Laboratory II  1
        (b) LB 171 Principles of Chemistry I  4
          LB 172 Principles of Chemistry II  4
          LB 171L Introductory Chemistry Laboratory I  1
          LB 172L Principles of Chemistry II – Reactivity Laboratory 1
        (c) CEM 151 General and Descriptive Chemistry  4
          CEM 152 Principles of Chemistry  3
          CEM 161 Chemistry Laboratory I  1
          CEM 162 Chemistry Laboratory II  1
        (d) CEM 181H Honors Chemistry I  4
          CEM 182H Honors Chemistry II  4
          CEM 185H Honors Chemistry Laboratory I  2
          CEM 186H Honors Chemistry Laboratory II  2
      (5) One of the following groups of courses (8 credits):  
        (a) CEM 251 Organic Chemistry I  3
          CEM 252 Organic Chemistry II  3
          CEM 255 Organic Chemistry Laboratory  2
        (b) CEM 351 Organic Chemistry I  3
          CEM 352 Organic Chemistry II  3
          CEM 355 Organic Laboratory I  2
      (6) One of the following groups of courses (8 to 10 credits):  
        (a) PHY 231 Introductory Physics I  3
          PHY 232 Introductory Physics II  3
          PHY 251 Introductory Physics Laboratory I  1
          PHY 252 Introductory Physics Laboratory II  1
        (b) LB 273 Physics I  4
          LB 274 Physics II  4
        (c) PHY 183 Physics for Scientists and Engineers I  4
          PHY 184 Physics for Scientists and Engineers II  4
          PHY 191 Physics Laboratory for Scientists, I  1
          PHY 192 Physics Laboratory for Scientists, II  1
        (d) PHY 193H Honors Physics I - Mechanics 4
          PHY 294H Honors Physics II - Electromagnetism 4
          PHY 191 Physics Laboratory for Scientists, I  1
          PHY 192 Physics Laboratory for Scientists, II  1
      (7) Both of the following courses (6 to 8 credits):  
        (a) One of the following courses (3 or 4 credits):  
          LB 118 Calculus I 4
          MTH 124 Survey of Calculus I 3
          MTH 132 Calculus I 3
          MTH 152H Honors Calculus I 3
        (b) One of the following courses (3 or 4 credits):  
          LB 119 Calculus II 4
          MTH 126 Survey of Calculus II 3
          MTH 133 Calculus II 4
          MTH 153H Honors Calculus II 4
          STT 231 Statistics for Scientists 3
          STT 421 Statistics I 3
    b. The following courses in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (16 credits):  
      (1) All of the following courses (13 credits):  
        MMG 301 Introductory Microbiology 3
        MMG 302 Introductory Laboratory for General and Allied Health Microbiology 1
        MMG 408 Advanced Microbiology Laboratory (W) 3
        MMG 421 Prokaryotic Cell Physiology 3
        MMG 431 Microbial Genetics 3
      (2) One of the following, either (a) or (b) (3 credits):  
        (a) MMG 491 Current Topics in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics 3
        (b) MMG 492 Undergraduate Research Seminar 1
            and      
          One of the following courses:  
          MMG 499 Undergraduate Research 2
          MMG 499H Honors Research 2
          The completion of Microbiology 491, or Microbiology 492  and 499 or 499H, fulfills the department’s capstone  course requirement.  
    c. Complete four of the following courses (12 or 13 credits):  
      EPI 390 Disease in Society: Introduction to Epidemiology and Public Health 4
      FSC 440 Food Microbiology  3
      MMG 413 Virology      3
      MMG 425 Microbial Ecology  3
      MMG 433 Microbial Genomics  3
      MMG 445 Microbial Biotechnology (W)  3
      MMG 451 Immunology    3
      MMG 461 Molecular Pathogenesis 3
      MMG  463 Medical Microbiology  3



Graduate Study

The Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics is administered jointly by the colleges of Natural Science, Human Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine.  Study for the Master of Science degree in microbiology and molecular genetics or the Doctor of Philosophy degree in microbiology and molecular genetics may be administered by any one of the four colleges referenced above. Study for the Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in microbiology—environmental toxicology is administered by the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Students who are enrolled in Master of Science degree programs in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics may elect a Specialization in Food Safety.  For additional information, refer to the statement on the specialization in the College of Veterinary Medicine section of this catalog.



Microbiology and Molecular Genetics - Master of Science

In general, qualified students will be admitted to graduate study leading directly to the Ph.D. degree in microbiology and molecular genetics.  Students who are enrolled in the professional programs in the colleges of Human Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine, or in professional programs in other colleges, may pursue a graduate degree in microbiology and molecular genetics concurrently.

The objective of the graduate programs in microbiology and molecular genetics is to provide basic education in various subdisciplines of microbiology and intensive research experience in specialty areas relative to the student's interest.  In the master's program, students extend their comprehension of microbiology and cognate science through advanced course work, seminars, and research. The Doctor of Philosophy is a research–oriented degree; the emphasis is placed on original research, and the aim is to enable the student to become a self–educating and creative scholar. Facilities and opportunities are also available for postdoctoral associates. Financial subsidy is available for qualified applicants.

A new graduate student in microbiology and molecular genetics  is advised by the Director of Graduate Studies until a major professor is chosen.  This choice should be made by the end of the second semester of enrollment in the program.  The major professor assists the student in selecting a guidance committee.  The committee helps the student in planning a program of study.  The program must be approved by the end of the third semester of enrollment in the program.  A Manual for Graduate Study in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics is available from the department.  This manual contains a philosophy of graduate education and information about the department's master's and doctoral degree programs and related procedures.

Several members of the faculty of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics are appointed jointly in other departments or are affiliated with the NSF Science and Technology Center for Microbial Ecology or with the Michigan Biotechnology Institute.  Some members of the faculty contribute to interdepartmental graduate programs of study.

Scheduled courses and research are offered at the W. K. Kellogg Biological Station located at Gull Lake, near Battle Creek.  

Master of Science

Most students admitted to the M.S. program in microbiology and molecular genetics  have the Ph.D. degree as their eventual goal.
In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Natural Science, Human Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, or Veterinary Medicine, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

In general, applicants should have had the equivalent of two semesters each of physics, inorganic chemistry, and organic chemistry; one biochemistry course; mathematics through integral calculus; and one or more courses in the biological sciences. Applicants should have proficiency in written and spoken English, a minimum grade–point average of 3.00, and grades of 3.0 or above in science and mathematics courses. Scores on the Graduate Record Examination General Test and a personal letter of professional intent and objectives are required. Although preparation in the fundamentals of microbiology is desirable, interested students with degrees in any of the physical or biological sciences or mathematics are invited to apply for admission to the program. Applicants not possessing all of the requirements may be admitted to the program provisionally and permitted to make up deficiencies on a collateral basis.

Requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

The student must complete 30 credits under Plan A (with thesis).  At least 5 credits of master's thesis research are required.  The final oral examination, which covers both course work and thesis research, is administered by the student's guidance committee and a representative of the department Graduate Committee.  The examining committee recommends a grade for the thesis research and the advisability of further graduate study.  All master's students are required to participate in laboratory teaching, and are expected to attend departmental seminars.

 


Microbiology and Molecular Genetics - Doctor of Philosophy

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Natural Science, Human Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, or Veterinary Medicine, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

A student may apply for admission to the doctoral program in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics when the individual is about to earn or has earned a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, Master of Science, or a professional medical degree. In general, applicants should have had the equivalent of two semesters each of physics, inorganic chemistry, and organic chemistry; one biochemistry course; mathematics through integral calculus; and one or more courses in the biological sciences. Applicants should have proficiency in written and spoken English, a minimum grade–point average of 3.00, and grades of 3.0 or above in science and mathematics courses. Scores on the Graduate Record Examination General Test and a personal letter of professional intent and objectives are required. Although preparation in the fundamentals of microbiology is desirable, interested students with degrees in any of the physical or biological sciences or mathematics are invited to apply for admission to the program. Applicants not possessing all of the requirements may be admitted to the program provisionally and permitted to make up deficiencies on a collateral basis.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

The student must:

  1. Complete a minimum of four graduate courses (excluding topics and seminar courses) covering the areas of genetics, microbiology, and biochemistry.  At least two of these courses must be offered by the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics.
  2. Complete five graduate seminar courses, each of which involves an oral presentation by the student.
  3. Complete at least two, and preferably three, rotations in the laboratories of different faculty members in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics.  This requirement must be completed by the end of the first calendar year of enrollment in the program.
  4. Pass the preliminary examination, which involves an oral defense of the research proposal.  This examination is normally given at the end of the second year of enrollment in the program.
  5. Submit a dissertation and a publishable manuscript, based on original research and representing a new and significant contribution to knowledge.

All doctoral students in microbiology and molecular genetics are required to participate in laboratory teaching, and are expected to attend departmental seminars.

Academic Standards

Failure to pass the preliminary examination will result in dismissal from the program.



BioMolecular Science Gateway - First Year

Students are encouraged to apply for admission to the Ph.D. program through the BioMolecular Science Gateway – First Year, where students choose a doctoral major from any of six Ph.D. programs: biochemistry and molecular biology, cell and molecular biology, genetics, microbiology and molecular genetics, pharmacology and toxicology, or physiology. For additional information refer to the College of Natural Science section of this catalog.


Microbiology - Environmental Toxicology - Doctor of Philosophy

For information about the Doctor of Philosophy degree program in microbiology—environmental toxicology, refer to the statement on Multidepartmental Doctoral Programs in Environmental Toxicology in the Graduate Education section of this catalog.