Curriculum: What does it entail?

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 Three Tracks


Course ID Course Title
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
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Microbiology Track


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

Course ID Course Title
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:

Course ID Course Title
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
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Immunology Track


Track requirements:

Course ID Course Title
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)
* Track requirements are satisfied by three semesters of MBI 540 (Topics in Immunology) AND three years (six semesters) of MBI 580 (RIPS), OR two semesters of MBI 540 (Topics in Immunology) PLUS MBI 515 (Advanced Immunology) AND three years (six semesters) of MBI 580 (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:

Course ID Course Title
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

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Virology Track


Track requirements:

Course ID Course Title
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:

Course ID Course Title
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
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Host-Pathogen Interactions Track


Track requirements:

Course ID Course Title
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:

Course ID Course Title
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

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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.

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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.

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Teaching Assistanceship:

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

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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.

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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.

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Apply Now!

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

Lab Rotations: Information for
first year students.

First year students will find more information on applying and sucessfuly completing his or her lab rotations by clicking on the link above.