Graduate Program

Student at computer in lab

The course of graduate studies is designed so that after receiving their PhD, students will have expertise in research in a specific area of microbiology and/or immunology. The Microbiology Graduate program features faculty members with strengths in bacteriology, parasitology, immunology, and virology. Areas of research include cellular microbiology, molecular virology and immunology, bacterial biochemistry and physiology, bacterial and viral pathogenesis, and molecular parasitology. Working in the laboratory of their PhD advisor, students learn to define and experimentally investigate scientific questions and to conduct original research in preparation for positions in academia, government, and industry.

The first year of studies typically is devoted to course work and to rotations in two to three laboratories. These research experiences are designed to familiarize students with the range of research interests of the department faculty and to facilitate the selection of a PhD advisor. The second year is spent primarily on research in the advisor's laboratory and completion of any necessary additional coursework. With guidance from their advisor, students also define their thesis research problem during this year. In the second semester of the second year, students write and orally defend before their thesis committee a research proposal that may be related to their own research. Successful completion of this comprehensive examination results in advancement to candidacy for the PhD and the successful defense of a dissertation completes the requirements for the PhD in Microbiology.

For all recruitment and admission inquiries to the Microbiology Graduate program, please contact, Professor Mary Weber

PDF icon Microbiology Graduate Program Handbook

Director of Graduate Studies -  Craig Ellermeier, PhD
Graduate Program Coordinator - Cynthia Hernandez

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Shea LoweryShea Lowery, graduate student

"I came to the University of Iowa because it has a welcoming atmosphere and there is a large amount of research in virology/immunology. I also noticed that multiple PI's in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology publish papers together and I wanted an environment where internal collaboration is common."