About the Program
The Department offers both the M.S. and Ph.D.; students have the option of selecting from a variety of graduate research programs. Requirements for the M.S. degree are 30 semester hours, with courses in microbial genetics, virology, immunology, biochemistry and other related subjects. The doctoral student must present a dissertation after having completed at least 24 semester hours of dissertation research. In addition, the student must complete course work in the various areas of microbiology, biochemistry, and statistics. Each new graduate student meets with an advisory committee chaired by the Director of Graduate Studies, to plan a program of study for the first one or two semesters until a research advisor is selected. All first-year students participate in a laboratory rotation program during the first semester of study. This program allows the student to adjust smoothly to the research programs of the department, to develop a background of research procedures and concepts, and to facilitate the selection of a research professor. Usually the student selects a research professor toward the end of the laboratory rotation period. The major professor assists in the selection of and carrying out of a suitable research program and in the naming of a thesis or dissertation committee.