Academic Programs Catalog

College of Natural Science

Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

Graduate Study
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.


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.