Microbiology - Master of Science
The Microbiology Master of Science Program is a traditional master's program in which students focus on coursework and producing original research with a faculty mentor. For coursework, students, in consultation with a faculty committee, choose classes from a list of 28 courses. For the original research, students work with a faculty mentor in any aspect of microbiology, including environmental microbiology, microbial ecology, food and industrial, bacterial physiology, genetics, immunology, infectious disease microbiology and more.
Individuals accepted into the graduate Microbiology Program must have:
- A minimum course of one introductory microbiology course (MIC 230 Fundamentals of Microbiology or equivalent). Students lacking an introductory microbiology course may be conditionally admitted contingent on remediation of this prerequisite. Remediated prerequisite courses do not count toward the M.S. degree. Additional courses in microbiology and a strong chemistry background, including biochemistry, are highly recommended.
- An overall undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.85 on a 4.00 scale, an average of at least 3.00 in the last half of all undergraduate work, or an average of at least 3.00 for no less than 12 semester credits of graduate study at another accredited graduate school. Some programs have higher grade point average admission requirements.
- Completion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Average scores in the 40th percentile or higher are strongly recommended. A minimum score of 1000 for the total general test scores for verbal and qualitative sections is strongly recommended. A GRE subject test is not required. International students must also complete and submit the TOEFL exam. A score of 550 (or 79 for the IBT TOEFL) is required.
- Students must complete a University of Wisconsin System online admission application. More information about the application process can be found on UWL's graduate admissions page. Students interested in a graduate assistantship from the Department of Biology must also complete the "Application for Graduate Assistantship" form.
- Three current letters of recommendation should be sent under separate cover.
- An application letter which details:
- Academic and professional goals
- Previous relevant experiences
- Reasons for selecting program
- Intent to pursue thesis or non-thesis track or undecided
- Research interest(s) if there is a desire to pursue the thesis track
- Possible faculty mentor(s) for research if pursuing the thesis track and if known
Completed applications must be returned to the Admissions Office by January 20 for US students and January 10 for international students. 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. 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. Late applications will be considered if enrollment objectives have not been satisfied. Consideration for fellowships is extremely unlikely with late applications.
The graduate Microbiology Program has further application and contact information online.
The Master of Science in Microbiology requires:
- Completion of a research thesis (Plan A) or seminar paper (Plan B) in an area of microbiology (including an oral defense of the thesis),
- Passing a written comprehensive exam and an oral comprehensive exam, and
- Completion of 30 credits of graduate course work with at least 22 credits from the following list. The remaining credits are selected by the student and the advisory committee.
|Plan A - Thesis|
|MIC 751||Graduate Seminar 1||2|
|MIC 799||Research: Master's Thesis||6|
|Elective credits from the list below||14|
|Remaining electives 2||8|
|Plan B - Seminar Paper|
|MIC 751||Graduate Seminar 1||2|
|MIC 761||Research and Seminar in Microbiology||2|
|Electives credits from the list below||18|
|Remaining electives 2||8|
Graduate students are expected to attend a graduate seminar during their first four semesters. For the first semester, the student must enroll in BIO 725 (includes seminar) or audit MIC 751. The student must register for MIC 751 for two of their last three semesters, enrolling in the class during those semesters in which they present a seminar.
The remaining elective credits are selected by the student and the advisory committee.
|Electives for Plan A & B|
|MIC 507||Pathogenic Bacteriology||4|
|MIC 510||Immunology Laboratory||2|
|MIC 516||Prokaryotic Molecular Genetics||4|
|MIC 520||Introductory Virology||3|
|MIC 521||Virology Laboratory||2|
|MIC 525||Bacterial Physiology||4|
|MIC 527||Industrial and Fermentation Microbiology||3|
|MIC 528||Fermentation Microbiology Laboratory||2|
|MIC 534||Aquatic Microbial Ecology||3|
|MIC 542||Plant Microbe Interactions||3|
|MIC 554||Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenicity||2|
|MIC 560||Symposium in Microbiology||1-3|
|MIC 714||Advanced Genetics||3|
|MIC 721||Directed Studies||1-2|
|MIC 730||Biodegradation and Bioremediation of Environmental Contaminants||2|
|MIC 753||Epidemiology of Infectious Disease||2|
|MIC 755||Advanced Immunology||2|
|CLI 540||Clinical Parasitology||1|
|BIO 513||Medical Mycology||3|
|BIO 535||Molecular Biology||3|
|BIO 536||Molecular Biology Laboratory||1|
|BIO 549||Advanced Microscopy and Biological Imaging||3|
|BIO 701||Communication in the Biological Sciences||4|
|BIO 725||Forum in Biology||1-3|
|PH 755||Epidemiology and Public Health Issues||3|
Microbiology graduate student requirements:
All graduate students in microbiology must meet the following requirements:
- Students must complete and submit a plan of study prior to the midterm of the first semester of residence.
- Ideally, students should submit a written thesis or seminar paper proposal to the advisory committee prior to the midterm of the second semester of residence. Failure to submit a thesis proposal prior to the fourth semester will result in the student being shifted from thesis track to seminar paper track.
- Enroll in MIC 751 Graduate Seminar (1 cr.) 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.
- Students are encouraged to complete an appropriate graduate course (numbers 500 and above) from outside the department of 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.
- Pass a preliminary oral examination covering the student's area of specialty and advanced course work.
- Complete at least 15 credits of 700-level course work.
- Consult this catalog and the department's graduate student guidelines for additional policies pertaining to graduate students in a microbiology program.
Graduate degree requirements
After being admitted to the program of one's choice, candidates for a graduate degree must:
- Complete any preliminary course work and deficiencies.
- 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.
- Earn a minimum of 30 credits for a master's degree; 54 credits for a doctorate or post-master's degree. Earn at least one-half of the minimum number of credits required in the program in graduate-only level courses (700, 800, 900, and non-slash 600 level courses).
- Earn a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00.
- Satisfy dissertation, thesis, seminar paper, terminal/graduate projects and internships, or comprehensive examination, where applicable. A dissertation or 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 dissertation/thesis requiring approval from the Director of Graduate Studies. For further research/dissertation/thesis guidelines, see the Office of Graduate Studies.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)