Microbiology, MS



Program Description

Degree Awarded: MS Microbiology

The MS program 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 receive advanced training in the study of microbes and their impact on humankind, disease and the environment. They use tools ranging from nanotechnologies and genomics to mathematical models and satellite-based imagine. Students receive training in both teaching and 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.

Microbiology Faculty



Courses and electives



At a Glance: program details

  • Location: Tempe campus
  • Additional Program Fee: No
  • Second Language Requirement: No


One of our strongest attributes is our dynamic research environment. We partner extensively with 10 other departments, institutes, hospitals and research centers — something you won’t find as compelling at other universities. See Curriculum below for a list of partners. 

You’ll have many opportunities to work with world-class faculty members and collaborative partners to conduct research in critical areas of global, microbiological challenges. Our faculty members are committed to training our graduate students to become scientific leaders with the necessary skills to address critical health and research issues facing our world today.

This graduate program encompasses a broad range of base, translational, and use-inspired research areas, as well as cutting-edge transdisciplinary training.  You’ll gain a broad understanding of the biology of microbes and their influence on disease and the environment.

We integrate many aspects of microbiology ranging from the molecular to global and planetary. In addition, we work with scientific tools ranging from nanotechnologies to genomics, and mathematic models to satellite-based imaging.

We also draw on the expertise of microbiologists from diverse research areas — an asset only possible in a large research institution such as ASU.

We especially welcome master’s students with non-traditional backgrounds who may be able to transcend these diverse research areas. Our graduates may find jobs as microbiologists, environmental scientists, natural science managers, medical or clinical lab technologists, biochemists or in science communications.



Degree Requirements

Required Core (3 credit hours)
  • MIC 501 Foundations in Microbiology (3)
Electives and Research (21 credit hours)
  • MIC 598: Advanced Immunology
  • MIC 598: Bacterial Diversity and Systematics
  • MIC 598: Bacterial Pathogenesis
  • MIC 598: Bioinformatic Analysis of High-throughput DNA Data
  • MIC 598: General Virology
  • MIC 598: Geomicrobiology
  • MIC 598: Immunology: Molecular & Cellular Foundations
  • MIC 598: Microbial Ecology and Evolution
  • MIC 598: Novel Models for Host-Microbe Interactions
  • MIC 598: Viromics
  • MIC 791 Seminar: Virology Journal Club 
Research (6-12 credit hours)
  • MIC 592
Culminating Experience - Thesis (6 credit hours)
  • MIC 599 Thesis (6)




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
Desired qualifications
  • research experience 
  • undergraduate GPA minimum 3.0 (on 4.0 scale)
  • international students: TOEFL score of 100, or IELTS score of 6.5
Additional Application Information
  • Applications are accepted Oct. 1 - Dec. 15, with a preference date of Dec. 1. There is no guarantee that applications received after Dec. 15 will be reviewed.
  • In January, the top applicants will be invited to a recruitment event scheduled in mid- to late-February. We will notify you of your admissions status by April 15. 
  • Review tips for applying



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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:


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



Global Opportunities

Global Experience

With over 250 programs in more than 65 countries (ranging from one week to one year), study abroad is possible for all ASU students wishing to gain global skills and knowledge in preparation for a 21st-century career. Students earn ASU credit for completed courses, while staying on track for graduation, and may apply financial aid and scholarships toward program costs. https://mystudyabroad.asu.edu





Program Contact Information

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