Requirements for the M.S. Degree

The Microbial Biology graduate program consists of core requirements that establish a sound basis in microbiology. Students normally earn a Research M.S. (Plan A or thesis option) by conducting original research with one of the many faculty participating in the program. Students also have the option of a Course Work M.S. (Plan B).

The M.S. degree requires a minimum of 30 credits. Thesis option M.S. students must take a minimum of 24 course credits and a minimum of 6 research credits. Plan B M.S. students are encouraged to take up to 6 credits of independent research as part of the 30 credits required for the degree.

Thesis M.S. students must successfully defend their research dissertation to receive their degree. Plan B M.S. students must write a scientific review on a microbiology topic of their choice and pass an oral exam based on their review.


Required Courses (15 credits):

  1. 16:682:501 (F) Microbial Life (3)
  2. 16:682:502 (F) Microbial Biochemistry (3)
  3. 16:682:530 (F) Scientific Conduct and Ethics (1)
  4. 16:682:521 (F) Seminar in Microbiology (1)
  5. 16:682:503 (S) Microbial Physiology (3)
  6. 16:682:504 (S) Microbial Genetics and Molecular Biology (3)
  7. 16:682:522 (S) Seminar in Microbiology (1)

Elective Courses:

Any graduate level Life Science course may be taken as an elective. Non-Life Science graduate courses and upper level undergraduate courses taken as an elective require written permission of the Program Director. A partial list of elective courses can be found under the "Course Descriptions" link. Elective courses are typically chosen in consultation with the academic advisor and are governed by the interests and needs of the student.


Research Courses:

  1. 16:682:641, 642 (F/S) Advanced Special Problems in Microbial Biology (1 to 3 cr)
  2. 16:682:691, 692 (F/S) Nonthesis Study Microbial Biology (1 to 3 cr)
  3. 16:682:701, 702 (F/S/Su) Research in Microbial Biology (1 to 9 cr)

Learning Goals:

  1. M.S. Learning Goals