Photo: Students

About the Program


The Microbial Biology Graduate Program at Rutgers University offers a diverse research and educational experience focused on microbial life processes and their applications. You have the opportunity to study the genetic, metabolic, physiologic, and evolutionary diversity of microbes and explore the complex roles that microorganisms play in life on Earth. Rutgers has a rich tradition of microbiology for over a century, starting with research on bovine tuberculosis and soil denitrification in the late 1800s and continuing with the founding of its microbiology department in 1901 and the award of the Nobel Prize to Selman Waksman in 1952. Today the microbiology faculty include 13 members of the prestigious American Academy of Microbiology, 3 members of the National Academy of Science, one past president of the American Society for Microbiology, and the current editor-in-chief of FEMS Microbial Ecology. The Microbial Biology Graduate Program offers the opportunity to work with over 50 professors in 15 different departments representing all facets of microbiology and allowing for a truly interdisciplinary research and educational experience.

The discipline of microbiology has been going through a revolution in the last decade, driven by new ideas and technologies. This development has expanded our understanding of the role of microbial life on Earth not only in sustaining our biosphere but also in influencing our health and well-being. The Rutgers Microbial Biology Graduate Program offers a strong focus in understanding how microbes occupy every possible environmental niche on Earth (including frozen arctic tundra, deep sea hydrothermal vents, hazardous waste sites, and the human body) and how the diversity of microbial activities can be exploited to discover novel bioactive compounds, to characterize metabolic traits for degradation of hazardous chemicals, to develop new biofuel production methods, and to promote human health.