Microbiology, MS

At a Glance: program details

When you become an expert in microbes, you will be able to contribute to the greater good. Join us to learn how microbes impact human health and the environment, and receive theoretical and practical training in your chosen area of interest.

Program Description

Degree Awarded: MS Microbiology

The MS in microbiology is designed to prepare students for careers in bacteriology, virology, mycology, immunology and oncology in academic institutions, government agencies or commercial entities.

Students train broadly in microbiology, including microbial ecology and evolution, geomicrobiology, bacterial physiology and genetics, bacterial pathogenesis, metabolic engineering, immunology and vaccine development, and cancer biology. They receive advanced training in the study of microbes and their impact on humankind, disease and the environment. The tools they use range from nanotechnologies and genomics to mathematical models and satellite-based imaging.

Students receive training in teaching as well as in basic, translational and use-inspired research with world-class faculty and collaborative research partners. Faculty members are associated with the School of Life Sciences, The Biodesign Institute, The Translational Genomics Institute, Barrow Neurological Institute, and other area hospitals and research centers.

Degree Requirements

30 credit hours and a thesis

Required Core (3 credit hours)
MIC 501 Foundations in Microbiology (3)

Electives and Research (21 credit hours)

Culminating Experience (6 credit hours)
MIC 599 Thesis (6)

Additional Curriculum Information
Students should see the academic unit for a complete list of approved electives.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in the biological sciences, biochemistry or a closely related field from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. academic record form
  4. personal statement
  5. curriculum vitae or resume
  6. three letters of recommendation
  7. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency.

Prior research experience is a desired qualification for admission.

Flexible Degree Options

Accelerated program options

This program allows students to obtain both a bachelor's and master's degree in as little as five years.
It is offered as an accelerated bachelor's and master's degree with:

BS - Microbiology

Are you fascinated by the incredible way the tiniest organisms can impact our lives? Are you eager to make a difference in science, health and medicine? Explore the wonders of microbiology, and set yourself up for success in your future career.

Website | Locations: TEMPE

BS - Neuroscience

Whether your career goal is in bioengineering, medicine or allied health professions, pharmaceuticals, clinical science, or pure neuroscience or neuroimaging research, this degree provides the foundations and the flexibility you need to help take your first steps. The program encompasses training across four foundational areas in neuroscience.

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BS - Biological Sciences

Your involvement in innovative research with award-winning faculty enables you to gain critical thinking skills and develop key lab techniques. You'll be prepared to jump-start your career in science or to continue on to graduate or professional education.

Website | Locations: TEMPE,ONLNE

BS - Biological Sciences (Genetics, Cell and Developmental Biology)

Experience the excitement of scientific discovery. Learn how genetic information is organized and transmitted across generations and study how genes can affect change at the cellular level and in organisms.

Website | Locations: TEMPE,ONLNE

BS - Biological Sciences (Conservation Biology and Ecology)

Are you concerned about environmental challenges such as climate change and habitat destruction? You can combine a biological approach to ecology with a human perspective rooted in the social sciences, to develop an understanding of the complex problems threatening our world. You'll also acquire the strong background necessary for advanced study.

Website | Locations: TEMPE,ONLNE

BS - Biological Sciences (Biology and Society)

How does science shape the way we understand our world? Explore the social context of science while developing the skills needed to navigate the ethical complexities of scientific discovery. Discover how policy decisions are shaped by biological research and investigate the significance of the sciences in understanding our complex world.

Website | Locations: TEMPE,ONLNE

BS - Molecular Biosciences and Biotechnology

Do you want to make a difference in the world? In molecular biosciences, you can help produce ground-breaking research in biology, biochemistry, biophysics, genetics, genomics and immunology.

Website | Locations: TEMPE

BS - Biological Sciences (Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior)

Are you interested in animals and animal behavior? Do you plan to enter the neuroscience field, apply to medical or veterinary school, or conduct biomedical research? This concentration helps you build strong foundations in biology, chemistry, physics and math --- your first step toward your goals.

Website | Locations: TEMPE

BS - Microbiology (Medical Microbiology)

Is your goal to have a health-related career? When you possess the important critical thinking skills and competencies pertinent to the biomedical sciences and the curricular background that's applicable to the changing world of medicine, you'll be prepared for advanced education in the health area of your choice.

Website | Locations: TEMPE

BS - Biological Sciences (Biomedical Sciences)

Are you passionate about attending medical school or doing biomedical research? Gain a strong foundation and experience in ground-breaking research for a valuable edge when you take the next steps toward your future.

Website | Locations: TEMPE,ONLNE

Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. During their junior year, eligible students will be advised by their academic departments to apply.

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Career Opportunities

Professionals with tailored research training in specific directions, including microbial physiology, environmental microbiology, evolution and ecology, immunology, virology, and various aspects of modern molecular genetics are in demand in diverse sectors.

Career examples include:

  • environmental scientists and specialists (including health)
  • lab managers in academic and industrial labs
  • medical and clinical laboratory technologists
  • microbiologists in diverse sectors including food service and health care industry
  • natural sciences managers
  • research technicians in academic and industrial labs

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.