2016-17 Catalog

Publication date June 2016

Biology: Clinical Microbiology Concentration - Master of Science

This concentration is offered by the Department of Biology, the Department of Microbiology, Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, Marshfield Laboratories/St. Joseph’s Hospital/Marshfield Clinic, and the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene. This program involves on-campus coursework and clinical rotations at Gundersen-Lutheran Medical Center, Marshfield Laboratories/St. Joseph’s Hospital/Marshfield Clinic, and the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene. Students who complete the clinical microbiology concentration are eligible to secure Specialist Microbiologist (SM-AAM) certification of the American Academy of Microbiology. The combination of classroom education, clinical rotations, and research experience will prepare students for a variety of employment opportunities including:

  1. Supervisory positions in medical centers and public health and private reference laboratories
  2. Research and development positions in academia, government agencies, or industry
  3. Infection control positions in clinical settings
  4. Public health and epidemiology
  5. Marketing and sales in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industries, and
  6. Teaching at community or technical colleges.

This concentration requires:

  1. Completion of a research thesis (Plan A) or seminar paper (Plan B) in an area of clinical microbiology (including an oral defense of the thesis or seminar paper),
  2. Passing an oral comprehensive exam, and
  3. Completion of the core curriculum of a minimum of 32 credits.

Admission requirements

  1. Individuals accepted into the Clinical Microbiology Program must hold a Bachelor of Science degree or equivalent in microbiology, biology, or a related field with competency in microbiology. Graduates with a clinical laboratory science degree from a program accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) are also eligible. Minimum prerequisites for admission to the program are MIC 230 Fundamentals of Microbiology, MIC 310 ImmunologyMIC 410 Immunology Laboratory, MIC 407/MIC 507 Pathogenic Bacteriology, or equivalent courses. A strong chemistry background including biochemistry is strongly recommended. Students lacking prerequisites may be conditionally admitted to the concentration contingent on remediation of prerequisites. Remediated prerequisite courses do not count toward the M.S. degree.
  2. Cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.85.
  3. Completion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). A minimum score of 1000 for the total general test scores for verbal and qualitative sections is strongly recommended.
  4. Students must complete an "Application for Admission to Graduate Study" form. Students requesting financial aid must also complete the "Application for Graduate Assistantship" form.
  5. Three current letters of recommendation.
  6. An application letter which details:
    1. Academic and professional goals
    2. Previous relevant experiences
    3. Reasons for selecting program
    4. Intent to pursue thesis or non-thesis track or undecided
    5. Research interest(s) if pursuing the thesis track
    6. Possible faculty mentor(s) for research if pursuing the thesis track
  7. Completed application forms, letters of recommendation, and applicant letter must be returned to the Admissions Office by January 20. Early applications can be considered prior to the deadline. A review committee will assess all submitted materials and a letter of decision will be sent to the applicant by February 15. An interview may be required in some instances. Acceptance or non-acceptance is based upon a comprehensive review of all elements of the completed application. Late applications will be considered if enrollment objectives have not been satisfied.

The graduate Clinical Microbiology Program has further application and contact information online.

Curriculum

Plan A -- Thesis

MIC 500Orientation to Clinical Microbiology2
MIC 554Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenicity2
MIC 751Graduate Seminar (2 credits required)2
MIC 753Epidemiology of Infectious Disease2
MIC 755Advanced Immunology2
MIC 770Clinical Microbiology Practicum I5
MIC 780Clinical Microbiology Practicum II4
MIC 790Clinical Microbiology Practicum III2
MIC 799Research: Master's Thesis6
Minimum electives5
Total Credits32

Plan B -- Non-thesis

MIC 500Orientation to Clinical Microbiology2
MIC 554Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenicity2
MIC 751Graduate Seminar (2 credits required)2
MIC 753Epidemiology of Infectious Disease2
MIC 755Advanced Immunology2
MIC 761Research and Seminar in Microbiology2
MIC 770Clinical Microbiology Practicum I5
MIC 780Clinical Microbiology Practicum II4
MIC 790Clinical Microbiology Practicum III2
Minimum electives9
Total Credits32

Electives

Elective courses to complement the career goals of the student or to make up academic deficiencies will be agreed upon by the student and the student's advisory committee. Students may be required to take additional elective courses based on recommendations of their committee.

MIC 516Microbial Genetics5
MIC 520Introductory Virology3
MIC 521Virology Laboratory2
MIC 525Bacterial Physiology5
MIC 540Bioinformatics2
MIC 555Field and Laboratory Methods in Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Disease Research3
MIC 560Symposium in Microbiology1-3
MIC 721Directed Studies1-2
BIO 506Parasitology4
BIO 512Mycology4
BIO 513Medical Mycology3
BIO 535Molecular Biology3
BIO 536Molecular Biology Laboratory1
BIO 701Communication in the Biological Sciences4
CHM 517Biochemistry I: Macromolecules4
CHM 518Biochemistry II: Metabolism and Genetic Information3
CLI 540Clinical Parasitology1
PH 755Epidemiology and Public Health Issues3

Biology graduate student requirements

All graduate students in biology must meet the following requirements:

  1. Prior to registration each semester, the student must consult with the major advisor.
  2. Submit a written thesis or seminar paper proposal to the advisory committee prior to the midterm of the second semester of residence. CRNA students are exempt from this requirement and are not required to complete a thesis or seminar paper as part of the degree program.
  3. Enroll in BIO 751 Graduate Seminar (1 cr.) or MIC 751 Graduate Seminar (1 cr.), Graduate Seminar, during the first four semesters of residence. Two of the semesters must be taken for one credit each; the other two semesters will be taken on an audit (no credit) basis. CRNA students are exempt from this requirement.
  4. Students who are on campus, utilizing university staff and/or facilities must enroll for a minimum of two credit hours per term, including fall or spring semester and summer sessions.
  5. Students are encouraged to complete an appropriate graduate course (numbers 500 and above) from outside the departments of biology and microbiology. Upon approval of a student's advisory committee, a student may be permitted to take a maximum of 10 graduate credits in other departments.
  6. Pass a preliminary oral examination covering the student's area of specialty and advanced course work.
  7. Complete at least 15 credits of 700-level course work.
  8. Consult this catalog and the department's graduate student guidelines for additional policies pertaining to graduate students in a biology program.

Graduate degree requirements

After being admitted to the program of one's choice, candidates for a graduate degree must:

  1. Complete any preliminary course work and deficiencies.
  2. Complete all courses and other program requirements, including residence requirements prescribed for the degree desired in the respective school or college within a seven-year period from the date of initial enrollment.
  3. Earn at least one-half of the minimum number of credits required in the program in graduate-only level courses (non-slash courses).
  4. Earn a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00.
  5. Satisfy thesis, seminar paper, terminal/graduate projects, or comprehensive examination, where applicable. A thesis approved by the committee must be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies for approval at least two weeks before commencement. Ordinarily, a seminar paper or project report does not have to be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. However, if the seminar paper or project report is to be archived in Murphy Library, the student must follow the same rules as they apply to the thesis requiring approval from the Director of Graduate Studies. For further research/thesis guidelines, see the Office of Graduate Studies.
  6. File a completed "Intent to Graduate" form online via the WINGS Student Center immediately following registration for the final semester or summer term in residence. December graduates and winter intersession should file by May 1. May and summer graduates should file by December 1.
  7. Pay the graduation fee and remove all other indebtedness to the university. Payment of graduation fees does not imply readiness for graduation and does not take the place of applying for graduation.
  8. Complete all requirements within 30 days after the official ending date of a term in order for a degree to be awarded for that term. (See #5 above for separate deadline for written capstone experience.)
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