The Graduate Program in Microbiology is an interdisciplinary program with participating faculty from the departments of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology, Chemistry, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Entomology, Environmental Sciences, Microbiology and Plant Pathology, and the Division of Biomedical Sciences. Faculty research interests are concentrated in several disciplines in the areas of basic and applied microbiology. These include the following:
- Microbial Pathogenesis
- Environmental Microbiology and Ecology
- Microbial Evolution, Genomics and Metagenomics
- Cellular and Molecular Microbiology
The program is designed to prepare students for teaching and research careers in colleges and universities, as well as basic and applied research in private, industrial and government laboratories. To attain this goal, a three-tiered curriculum has been designed whereby students are expected to complete the following:
- A core sequence of classes in microbiology: BIOL 221/MCBL 221 (Microbial Genetics), MCBL 201 (Functional Diversity of Prokaryotes) or MCBL 202 (Microbial Pathogenesis), and MCBL 211/SWSC 211 (Microbial Ecology). Typically taken in this order, in the first 3 quarters of the 1st year.
- A selection of elective courses in microbiology and other relevant fields chosen in consultation with the student's major professor and the guidance committee in order to develop depth in particular areas of specialization
- Research training in specific areas of microbiology
The program stresses the importance of innovative and independent laboratory research as the major component of the student's education.