Study towards the Ph.D. begins in Autumn quarter. During their first and second years, students take a number of graduate courses in the Department of Microbiology as well as other basic science departments. While all students are required to take several core courses, the program leaves substantial flexibility for a number of elective courses best suited for individual interests. In addition to formal courses, students participate in a departmental journal club and attend the weekly microbiology seminar series. Students are also encouraged to attend seminars offered throughout the academic year by other basic science departments.
During the first year, students participate in 10-week research rotations in three laboratories. These rotations allow students to familiarize themselves with the research directions of individual laboratories, assure a broad research experience, and aid in selection of a research advisor and a dissertation project.
The teaching requirement for the Ph.D. degree is satisfied by assisting in the teaching of undergraduate laboratories during the first and second year, and by giving two or more formal lectures in undergraduate courses in the third or fourth years of training.
In addition to meeting formal requirements, students take part in various scholarly activities on a voluntary basis. This includes a student journal club and an annual graduate student weekend retreat combining science and recreation. Furthermore, students participate in various departmental activities through their representatives on search committees, the graduate admissions committee, and the seminar committee.
Financial Aid for Graduate Students:
Financial support is provided for all fulltime graduate students by teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and predoctoral trainee fellowships. The department attempts to ensure continuous support for all students through five years. The support covers resident tuition, student health insurance benefits, and a stipend.