The program leading to the Master of Science degree in Microbiology and Immunology prepares students for careers as professional microbiologists/immunologists in industry, government, education, and research organizations, or for further professional training.
Areas of specialization in the Microbiology and Immunology program include basic and clinical immunology (innate and adaptive immune responses), immunotoxicology, immune modulation, autoimmune disease, molecular virology, viral pathogenesis, virus-cell interactions, gene therapy, viral vector technology, human gut microbiota, signal transduction in blood cells, cytokine signaling pathways, apoptosis, biosafety, vaccine development, nanotechnology.
The M.S. degree in Microbiology and Immunology requires the submission and oral defense of either a research-based or literature-based thesis. Candidates are required to obtain a major advisor and an advisory committee. For the research-based thesis, the advisory committee will help the student to formulate a program of study to include a minimum of 17 semester credits of graduate work, including two seminars with an M&I prefix and 13 semester credits of research (which could include journal clubs, seminars, or special topics). For the literature-based thesis, the advisory committee will help the student to select additional courses required to fulfill the 30 semester credit limit. The advisory committee will also provide counseling and evaluate student progress. If a student is uncertain of a major area of concentration, the Program Director will serve as a temporary advisor until the student selects an area and is accepted by faculty advisor.
Applicants must fulfill the requirements for admission established by the Graduate School. Preference is given to students with a grade point average of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 grading scale. There is an emphasis on letters of recommendation and personal statements. GRE scores, if available, are considered but not required. For International students, an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 7 or a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 100 or completion of the LEAP program is required.
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