Jun 14, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Microbiology Major, PhD

The program leading to the PhD is designed to develop the student’s ability to pursue independent and original research in microbiology and allied fields, to teach both oral and written communication of the results of research to the scientific community, and to train effective teachers. Students may enter the program after receiving either a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Students who enter with a bachelor’s degree usually receive the PhD after four or five years; those with a master’s degree usually take three or four years to complete the degree.

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.
  • Three letters of recommendation should be submitted by current or former faculty members.
  • Optional (not required) the general portion of the Graduate Record Examination.

Credit Hours Required

  • Minimum of 72 graduate credit hours after the bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum of 48 graduate credit hours after the master’s degree

Required Courses

  • Complete graduate course requirements as determined by the department and the student’s faculty thesis research committee.  Course requirements include the following:
    • MICR 600 , minimum of 24 credit hours
    • Two courses in biochemistry, molecular biology or bioinformatics as approved by the student’s advisory committee
    • Once course in statistics (STAT or other appropriate course) as approved by the students advisory committee.
    • Satisfactorily present and orally defend a research dissertation.

Non-Course Requirements

  • 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.
  • Students must complete 2 semesters as a teaching assistant
  • Satisfactorily present and orally defend a research dissertation.