Curriculum

The Curriculum is intended to develop the skills necessary for pursuing research in the chosen discipline. It includes the core courses that are required for all students, and electives chosen by the student and advisor to augment topics relevant to the individual's research. Core courses are usually completed in the first year of study.

Core Requirements Common to All Tracks

  • IND 501 - Ethics in Research
  • IND 408 - Advanced Biochemistry
  • MBI 501 - Microbiology & Immunology Student Seminar
  • MBI 507 - Laboratory Rotations
  • MBI 519 - Experimental Design and Analysis

Microbiology Track

Track requirements

Three (3) 400-level courses plus co-seminars chosen from the following list:

  • MBI 414 - Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenesis + Co-Seminar (MBI 514) (Given every other year)
  • MBI 421 - Microbial Genetics + Co-Seminar (MBI 521) (Given every other year)
  • MBI 431 - Microbial Physiology + Co-Seminar (MBI 531) (Given every other year)
  • MBI 473 - Immunology + Immunology Co-Seminar (MBI 573; optional for Microbiology track)
  • MBI 570 - Molecular Biology Seminar (Three years (six semesters) required)

Electives

At least two for a total of at least 6 credits, chosen after consultation with the research advisor and Ph. D. committee, to best serve the needs of the student's program, background, and interests.  Electives taken by students have included:

  • MBI 403 - Drug Discovery
  • IND 409 - Cell Biology
  • IND 410 - Molecular Biology & Genetics
  • MBI 456 - General Virology (Given every other year)
  • MBI 581 - Oral Microbiology (Given every other year)
  • MBI 518 - Critical Thinking in Research

Immunology Track

Track requirements

  • MBI 473 - Immunology + Co-Seminar (MBI 573)
  • IND 409 - Cell Biology
  • IND 410 - Molecular Biology & Genetics
  • *MBI 540 - Advanced Topics in Immunology
  • *MBI 580 - Journal Club and Immunology Research-In-Progress Seminar (RIPS)

Electives

At least two for a total of at least 6 credits, chosen after consultation with the research advisor and Ph.D. committee, to best serve the needs of the student's program, background, and interests.  Electives taken by students have included:

  • MBI - 403 Drug Discovery
  • MBI 515 - Advanced Immunology
  • IND 447 - Signal Transduction: Cellular & Molecular Mechanism
  • MBI 414 - Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenesis + Co-Seminar (MBI 514) (Given every other year)
  • MBI 456 - General Virology (Given every other year)
  • BST 463 - Introduction to Biostatistics
  • MBI 518 - Critical Thinking in Research

Virology Track

Track requirements

  • IND - 409 Cell Biology
  • IND - 410 Molecular Biology & Genetics
  • MBI - 456 General Virology (Given every other year)
  • *MBI - 588 Virology Research Seminar Series
  • *MBI - 589 Advanced Topics in Virology

*Track requirements are satisfied by 3 years of MBI 588 (Virology Research Seminar) AND 2 years of MBI 589 (Advanced Topics in Virology)

Electives

At least two for a total of at least 6 credits, chosen after consultation with the research advisor and Ph.D. committee, to best serve the needs of the student's program, background, and interests.  Electives taken by students have included:

  • MBI 403 - Drug Discovery
  • IND 447 - Signal Transduction: Cellular & Molecular Mechanisms
  • MBI 473 - Immunology + Co-Seminar (MBI 573; optional for Virology track)
  • MBI 421 - Microbial Genetics + Co-Seminar (MBI 521) (Given every other year)
  • MBI 414 - Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenesis + Co-Seminar (MBI 514) (Given every other year)
  • MBI 518 - Critical Thinking in Research

Host-Pathogen Interactions Track

Track requirements

  • MBI 519 - Experimental Design and Analysis
  • MBI 473 - Immunology + Co-Seminar (MBI 573)
  • MBI 456 - General Virology (Given every other year) OR
  • MBI 414 - Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenesis (Given every other year)
  • BST 463 - Introduction to Biostatistics
  • MBI 540 - Advanced Topics in Host Pathogen Interactions
    * Offered in the spring, at least three must be taken by members of this track by the end of the 4th year
  • MBI 518 - Critical Thinking in Research Science
  • MBI 514 - Advanced Immunology

Electives

At least two for a total of at least 6 credits, chosen after consultation with the research advisor and Ph. D. committee, to best serve the needs of the student's program, background, and interests.  Electives taken can include:

  • GEN 508 - Systems Biology
  • GEN 507 - Advanced Genetics and Genomics
  • MBI 515 - Advanced Immunology
  • MBI 414 - Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenesis
  • IND 443 - Eukaryotic Gene Regulation
  • IND 410 - Molecular Biology and Genetics
  • IND 447 - Signal Transduction
  • PTH 571 - Molecular Basis of Disease
  • BST 465 - Design of Clinical Trials
  • PM 415 - Introduction to Epidemiology
  • MBI 518 - Critical Thinking in Research

Rotations

Rotations in the first year of study in three different laboratories allow the students to gain experience with methodology and instrumentation, and to become familiar with prospective research advisors for their thesis project. At the end of the first year, students choose a permanent advisor and embark on a Ph.D. thesis research program. Students may choose any faculty member in the School of Medicine and Dentistry or a participating faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences as their research advisor.

Qualifying Examinations

A Qualifying Examination at the end of the second year of studies is a means of determining the potential of the student for independent thought, experimental acumen, comprehension of the general field, and potential for exploiting a relevant problem in a scientifically sound manner. The M.S. degree is awarded upon successful completion of this examination.

Teaching Assistanceship

A one-semester Teaching Assistantship is required. Students usually complete this requirement in the second year of study.

Student Seminar Series

The Student Seminar Series (MBI 501) is designed to develop the organizational and speaking skills necessary for an independent career in research and to facilitate exchange of research information within the program.

Thesis

At the end of the first year, students choose a permanent advisor and embark on a Ph.D. thesis research program. Students may choose any faculty member in the School of Medicine and Dentistry or a participating faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences as their research advisor. The Ph.D. is awarded based on development of an Independent Thesis Research Project as well as a written dissertation describing the rationale, methodology, results, conclusions and significance of the project.

Apply Now

For more information and details on how to apply please visit the Office for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs.