PHD Microbiology

Program Description

Degree Awarded: PHD Microbiology

The microbiology graduate program offers a dynamic research environment, encompassing a broad range of base, translational, and use-inspired research areas, as well as cutting-edge transdisciplinary training.

You will have many opportunities to work with world-class faculty and collaborative research partners committed to training scientific leaders with the necessary skills to address significant, global, microbiological research problems and challenges. 

This PhD program provides a unique environment in which to receive advanced training in the scientific study of microbes and their impact on humankind. We have a vibrant group of faculty, post-doctoral fellows and students interested in attaining 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. 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. The Microbiology faculty conduct research in immunology and disease pathology, microbiome and virome analyses, vaccines and virotherapy approaches to enhance immunity, metabolic regulation and generation of biofuels, bioremediation and microbial ecology, and antimicrobials for treatment of disease.

For this reason, we welcome graduate students with non-traditional backgrounds who may be able to transcend these diverse research areas. 

The program will prepare you for careers in research and teaching in universities and colleges, and specialized work in government agencies and industry.

Microbiology Faculty

Courses and electives

Elective courses (6 - 24 credit hours)
  • MIC 791 Seminar: Virology Journal Club
  • MIC 598  Special Topics: Immun: Molecular and Cell Foundations
  • MIC 598 Special Topics: Advanced Immunology
  • MCB 791  Seminar: Molecular Virology Journal Club 
  • BIO 611 Topics Resp Conduct Research: Emerging Technologies Life Science
  • MIC 598: Immunology: Molecular & Cellular Foundations
  • MIC 598: General Virology
  • MIC 598: Advanced Immunology
  • MIC 598: Bacterial Diversity and Systematics
  • MIC 598: Novel Models for Host-Microbe Interactions
  • MIC 598: Bioinformatic Analysis of High-throughput DNA Data
  • MIC 598: Bacterial Pathogenesis
  • MIC 598: Geomicrobiology
  • MIC 598: Microbial Ecology and Evolution
  • MIC 598: Viromics 

At a Glance: program details

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 84 credit hours, including 12 dissertation hours, are required to complete your PhD degree program. In your elective courses, you can deepen your understanding of topics such as virology, immunology, bioinformatics and bacterial pathogenesis. You'll round out your degree program with research and dissertation credit hours.

Required Core (4 credit hours)
  • BIO 610 Introduction to Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) in Life Sciences (1)
  • MIC 501 Foundation in Microbiology (3)
Electives or Research (69 credit hours)
  • Sample of elective courses provided below
Research (12 - 45 credit hours)
  • MIC 792
  • Seminars and journal clubs
Culminating Experience (12 credit hours)
  • MIC 799 Dissertation (12)

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.

Applicants must submit the following:

  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 (if applicable)

Application Deadline

  • Applications are accepted between the open date, September 1st and close date, December 1st for consideration for the following August
Additional Application Information
  • The Microbiology PhD program admits one group of students annually to start their program the following August
  • There is no guarantee that applications received after December 1st 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 15th
  • Review tips for applying
Desired Qualifications
  • Research experience
  • TOEFL score of 100 or IELTS score of 6.5 for international students

To apply, follow the Apply Now link.

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Program Contact Information

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