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 2019-2020 academic year the monthly stipend is $2,488/month.

Q: Do you offer conditional admission?

A: No, the department does not offer conditional admission to students. All TOEFL scores (and GRE Scores ONLY if your combined GPA is under 3.0) must be submitted prior to being admitted to our program.

Q: Do you require the GRE?

A: As long as your cumulative undergraduate GPA is above a 3.0, 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 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: MS degree typically require 1 to 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 year.

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

A: On average, students publish three papers in peer-reviewed journals during their progression toward the Ph.D. You are required to have at least one first-author paper published prior to graduating.  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 moved on to:

Academic placements (postdoctoral fellows and assistant professorships)

  • Yale
  • 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
  • Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
  • Rhodes College

Government agencies and National Labs

  • 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