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Graduate Program FAQs

Q: Do you provide financial support?

A: Yes, we guarantee full support for all Ph.D. students in our program in the form of teaching associateships, research associateships, and fellowships (provided they remain in good academic standing). For the 2023-2024 academic year the monthly stipend is $2,615/month.

Q: Do you offer conditional admission?

A: No, the department does not offer conditional admission to students. All TOEFL scores must be submitted prior to being admitted to our program.

Q: Do you offer a fee waiver?

A: At this time, we do not offer fee waivers for applicants to either of our programs (Ph.D. or MS)

Q: Do you require the GRE?

A: As long as your cumulative undergraduate GPA is above a 3.0 (or equivalent should your institution use a different scale), you are not required to submit your GRE scores with your application to the Microbiology Ph.D. program.

Q: Do I need a Bachelor's degree in Microbiology to apply?

A: No, you do not need a bachelor's degree specific to Microbiology to apply. However, we do prefer students with a strong scientific background and research experience.

Q: Can I apply to the Ph.D. program if I only have a Bachelor's and no Master's degree?

A: Yes. We do not require applicants to have a Master's degree in order to apply to our program.

Q: Do you have a Master's program?

A: Yes.  The department has both a coursework-only MS degree (non-thesis) as well as a thesis MS degree which combines coursework and the opportunity to perform thesis research can in the lab of one of the Microbiology faculty.

Q: How many years does it take to graduate with a Ph.D.?

A: An average student takes between 5 and 6 years to obtain the Ph.D.

Q: How many years does it take to graduate with a MS degree?

A: The MS degree typically requires 2 years.  For students already with a strong foundation in Microbiology allowing them to simultaneously take elective courses in addition to the core curriculum, the non-thesis MS degree can be obtained in about 1.5 years.

Q: How many papers do people publish during their graduate training?

A: While you are required to have at least one first-author paper published prior to graduating, on average, students publish three papers in peer-reviewed journals during their progression toward the Ph.D.  There is no publication requirement for the MS degree.

Q: What type of positions do students move to after graduation?

About two thirds of our graduates initially take post-doctoral research positions in academia, with the remainder opting for research jobs in industry or the public sector. Recent Microbiology graduates have moved on to:

Academic placements (postdoctoral fellows and assistant professorships)

  • Yale
  • California Institute of Technology
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Case Western
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • University of Georgia
  • Ohio State University
  • Duke University
  • OSU Wexner Medical Center
  • University of Chicago
  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital
  • Rhodes College

Government agencies and National Labs

  • National Science Foundation
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
  • Centers for Disease Control

Commercial companies and institutes

  • Exxon Mobil
  • Merck & Co
  • Gillead Bio Science
  • Creative Biolabs
  • 3 Bar Biologics
  • ThermoFisher
  • Sharklet Technologies
  • JMI Laboratories