Jun 21, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Microbiology Major, MS

The program leading to the MS is designed to provide the student with broad basic knowledge, to permit the acquisition of technical competence in the fundamentals of research, and to encourage creative and independent thinking. Two to three years are usually needed for the course of study.

Option Available


Campus Code

Knoxville Campus

Admissions Standards/Procedures

  • Students are expected to have completed an undergraduate program with a 3.00 or better GPA on a 4.00 system.
  • Included in the undergraduate course credits should be
    • a full year of general biological science; one year of calculus;
    • two years of chemistry, including one year of organic;
    • one year of physics; and
    • an introductory course in microbiology.
    • In many cases, deficiencies in requirements may be removed by taking appropriate courses during the first year of graduate study.
  • The department also requires the general portion of the Graduate Record Examination.
  • Three letters of recommendation should be submitted by current or former faculty members.

Credit Hours Required

Minimum 30 graduate credit hours

Required Courses

  • Complete graduate course requirements as determined by the department and the student’s faculty thesis research committee
    • MICR 500  (6 credit hours)
    • One course in biochemistry, molecular biology or bioinformatics as approved by the student’s advisory committee
    • One course in statistics (STAT or other identified course) as approved by the students advisory committee

Non-Course Requirements

  • Satisfactorily present and orally defend a research thesis.
  • Each new graduate student meets with an advisory committee chaired by the departmental Director of Graduate Studies to plan a program of study for the first one or two semesters until a faculty research advisor is selected.
    • All first-year students participate in a laboratory rotation program during the first semester of study. This program allows the student
      • to adjust smoothly to the research programs of the department,
      • to develop a background of research procedures and concepts, and
      • to facilitate the selection of a faculty research professor advisor.
    • Usually the student selects an advisor research professor toward the end of the laboratory rotation period. The faculty research advisor oversees the student’s research program and in the naming of a thesis or dissertation committee.
  • One semester as a graduate teaching assistant