Graduate Outline

The purpose of training in the Graduate Program of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology is to learn how to ask scientific questions and what to do to answer them.  For that reason, the program heavily emphasizes laboratory research. 

To provide a foundation of knowledge, formal coursework is concentrated in the first year, including General Microbiology, Cell and Molecular Biology, Immunology, Virology, Bacteriology, Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases, Genetics, Molecular Methods, and Biochemistry. During the first year of graduate study, the student becomes acquainted with the research activities of each faculty member by attending faculty seminars and by rotating through research laboratories selected by the student. Students may select research areas from a variety of disciplines in Molecular Biology, Virology, Immunology, and Bacteriology. Topics currently being investigated are listed here.

An individualized program of study is developed for each graduate student through regular consultation with a faculty Advisory Committee. This program consists of lecture and laboratory courses, seminars, journal clubs, preparation of research proposals, and independent research.

By giving seminars, journal clubs, and other presentations, students learn the art of teaching and oral scientific communication.  Through preliminary and qualifying examinations, they gain experience in written communication, with an emphasis on NIH-style research proposals.  Throughout the program, students learn the skills and habits needed to become effective professional research scientists.

Graduate Courses

Formal Program Learning Objectives


Initiate Laboratory Rotations with Three Faculty Members Selected by the Student

IDSP #111: Basic Biochemistry: Molecular and Cellular Biology I (2 cr.)

IDSP #112: Basic Biochemistry: Molecular and Cellular Biology II (2 cr.)

IDSP #116: Methods in Biomedical Sciences: Biochemical and Molecular Methods (1 cr.)

IDSP #117: Methods in Biomedical Sciences: Recombinant DNA and Cell Biology (1 cr.)

Micro #291: Bacteriology and Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases (3 cr.)

Micro #297: Immunology (3 cr.)

Micro #298: Weekly Department Seminar



IDSP #113: Genetics (1 cr.)

IDSP #114: Cell Biology (2 cr.)

IDSP #115: Molecular Signaling (1 cr.)

IDSP #119: Gene Expression (1 cr.)

Micro #276: General and Molecular Virology (3 cr.)

Micro #289: Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases II (3 cr.)

Micro #298: Seminar, Present First Seminar on a Library Topic (1 cr.)


IDSP #240: Philosophical and Ethical Issues in Science (1 cr.)



Micro #298:Seminar, Present Second Seminar on a Library Topic (1 cr.)


Micro #298: Seminar, Present First Research Seminar (1 cr.)


Qualifying Examination: an NIH-style research proposal on a topic not related to the student's research. Deadline is September of Year #3



Personal Research Proposal: An NIH-style proposal on the student's doctoral project. 



Outside Reviewer Visits to Review Research Proposal