Skip to Main Content

Microbiology Graduate Programs

Microbiology is a small but outstanding program that offers master's and doctorate degree programs, certificates to augment your training, and many opportunities for research and teaching experiences. Our graduates all go on to great positions or postdoctoral fellowships at the finest research institutions.

Graduate Degree Programs

M.S. and Ph.D. in Microbiology

Information about the Ph.D. and M.S. programs in Microbiology, including procedures for application, faculty research areas, and requirements for admission and graduation.

M.S. and Ph.D. in Cell, Molecular, and Structural Biology

The Microbiology, Biology, and Chemistry departments participate in the interdisciplinary Cell, Molecular, and Structural Biology (CMSB) Graduate Program. Students who are interested in a CMSB degree can perform their M.S.. thesis or Ph.D. dissertation research with MBI faculty who are affiliated with this program.

Ph.D in Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology

Information about the interdisciplinary graduate program in Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology (EEEB), including procedures for application, links to the participating departments, and requirements for admission and graduation.

Graduate Certificates

There are a variety of graduate certificate programs that can augment Microbiology graduate student training, helping graduates attain specific career objectives.

Applied Statistics Certificate

Applied statistics is a 12 credit-hour program meant to complement graduate work in another (non-statistics) program. Coursework includes topics in basic and more advanced statistical methods as well as programming. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the program, a student must take classes from multiple departments to count towards the certificate.

Ecology Certificate

This program brings together faculty and students, with interests in ecology, from various departments. Ecology is by nature an interdisciplinary subject that crosses departmental boundaries. The program provides students with educational experiences that reflect this interdepartmental nature, and facilitates interdepartmental collaborations and interactions among students and faculty.

Certificate in College Teaching

The certificate in College Teaching serves to provide graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with the opportunity to develop their pedagogical knowledge and skill in an interdisciplinary manner that facilitates the development of teacher-scholars. In addition, the Graduate Student Teaching Enhancement Program (GSTEP) is available to promote the effectiveness of graduate students as teachers at Miami University.

Admission Requirements

Application Deadline - January 15

Applications for admission in the Fall semester each year are due January 15th. The Microbiology graduate program generally does not consider application for entry in the Spring semester.

Preparing for Admission

Successful applicants with degrees from institutions in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or Western Europe will have completed a bachelor's degree in the biological sciences/biochemistry, including coursework in biochemistry and some experience in bacteriology, virology, and/or immunology. Additionally, experience in biological research, either as an undergraduate, as a graduate student seeking a master’s degree, or in an employment situation is beneficial to your application, though it is not required.

Successful applicants with degrees from institutions located elsewhere in the world will most likely have completed a master’s degree in the biological sciences/biochemistry, including coursework in biochemistry and some experience in bacteriology, virology, and/or immunology. Coursework and experience that are principally clinical in nature are not likely to constitute adequate preparation for the Graduate Program in Microbiology at Miami University.

Important Note

Academic requirements for entry into the Graduate Program in Microbiology may be more stringent than Miami University’s minimum requirements for admission.

Application Materials

In addition to your degree, please provide:

  • Formal application to Miami University Graduate School through the admissions portal.
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework.
  • Official GRE scores are optional but are strongly encouraged for applicants who do not have a degree from a U.S. institution.
  • Official TOEFL/IELTS scores, if applicable.
    • A TOEFL score below 100 or an IELTS score below 7.5 will reduce the chances of admission.
    • Please see English Language Proficiency for a list of countries for which English proficiency exam scores are not required of applicants.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation through the admissions portal.
    • At least two (2) should be from science-oriented individuals.
  • A brief description of the applicant's research interests and career objectives.

Application Process

Applicants to the graduate program in microbiology are required to:

  1. Apply online, and have official GRE scores (quantitative, verbal, and analytical writing) submitted to the Graduate School.
    1. International students whose degrees are earned outside the United States must also submit a recent TOEFL score to the Graduate School.
    2. The university code for submission of GRE and TOEFL scores is 1463.
  2. In addition, official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework completed should be submitted to the Graduate School at the following address:
    The Graduate School
    102 Roudebush Hall
    Miami University
    Oxford, OH 45056
  3. We also require three letters of recommendation from faculty who know the student well enough to comment on the academic and, if appropriate, the research credentials and potential of the student. You have the option of either having the letters of recommendation submitted online, or mailed directly to:
    Dr. Rachael Morgan-Kiss
    Graduate Admissions Committee Chair
    Department of Microbiology
    32 Pearson Hall
    Miami University
    Oxford, OH 45056
  4. Applicants must also submit a brief description of their research interests and career objectives directly to the address provided above.

Admission is competitive and based on the evaluation of each candidate's credentials by the Graduate Admissions Committee and the Faculty of the Department of Microbiology. Screening of applications will begin on January 15 and continue until all available positions are filled. To receive full consideration for the available positions in the Microbiology graduate program, all application materials should be received by that date. However, applications will be accepted after that date and will be considered if there are any assistantships available.

A personal interview is encouraged for M.S. and Ph.D. applicants. Additional information about the Microbiology graduate degree programs is available upon request.

If you are accepted into the program, the Graduate School is notified and they give the final approval for acceptance into the Microbiology graduate program.

Note: Our department does not require an applicant to be matched with a specific faculty researcher prior to admission. Instead, each of our applicants will rotate through 3 labs in which they have an interest in joining. Assignment to a mutually-agreeable faculty researcher's lab will occur following the rotation and before the end of the first semester.

Conditional Admission

International applicants with a TOEFL score between 65 and 79 or an IELTS score of 5.5 or 6.0 may apply for conditional admission. To be considered for conditional admission to the Microbiology Graduate Program, you must meet three criteria:

  1. You have identified a faculty sponsor in the Department of Microbiology who agrees that he or she will take you into their lab for your research upon full admission. You must contact a faculty member by email and get them to agree, and you must indicate this in your personal statement on your application.
  2. You must enroll in and pass the ACE-G program at Miami University successfully. Please see the American Culture and English Language Program for details about the ACE-G program. There is no waiver of tuition for the ACE-G program.
  3. You have agreed to any other requirements stipulated by the Admissions Committee in your specific case. For example, you might have to pass an interview upon passing the ACE-G program, or you might have to demonstrate knowledge in some area of microbiology.

If you pass the ACE-G program and meet other agreed requirements, you may enter the Microbiology Graduate Program.

Assistantships and Associateships Available

There are various levels of financial support available for graduate students in the microbiology department. A limited number of research assistantships are funded by the research grant support of individual faculty members. Most students receive University support in the form of teaching assistantships. All students with financial support enjoy a waiver of tuition, both in-state and out-of-state, but are required to pay the technology fee, half the general fee, and half the metro fee.

The annual stipends for 2019-2020 include a Graduate Assistantship/Teaching Associateship ($21,169) + a Summer Fellowship ($2,100) for an annual total of $23,269. Under special circumstances, it may be possible to earn up to an additional $4,956 from research grants and/or departmental funds.

The Teaching Fellowships and Graduate Assistantships require no more than 20 hours per week in assisting and teaching microbiology course laboratory sections. The Summer Fellowship carries no teaching obligation. It is intended to give graduate students financial support while they are pursuing their thesis or dissertation research projects during the summer terms. All students appointed to teaching assistantships are eligible for the Summer Fellowships.

Assistantships and associateships are offered to all students admitted into our Master's or doctoral programs. As such, both admission to the program and financial support are awarded on a competitive basis. All applicants will be considered for financial support unless they express their desire not to receive financial assistance.

Note: Miami University requires all students to carry some form of major medical insurance. For those not covered under an existing family plan, there is a student health insurance plan available to all students. Unless you provide documentation of coverage, you will be enrolled in a group plan and your bursar account will be charged. The amount varies from year to year, but is usually in the neighborhood of $800 annually.

Additional Resources

Research areas of particular emphasis among our faculty are Molecular Microbiology, Microbial Pathogenesis, and Environmental Microbiology, which encompass the disciplines of immunology, molecular biology, microbial ecology, microbial genetics, microbial physiology, microbial pathogenesis, bacterial cell biology, bioinformatics, medical mycology, and virology.

Research Funding and Support

Learn about funding and financial support opportunities available for graduate students in the Department of Microbiology.

Microbiology Research Facilities

Learn more about the state-of-the-art facilities available to Microbiology researchers ranging from newly renovated laboratory spaces to the 175-acre Ecology Research Center.

Additional Handbooks and Worksheets

The following are available in the department office (212 Pearson Hall) and by email upon request.

  • Microbiology Graduate Studies Handbook
    (includes the M.S. and Ph.D. requirements, responsibilities, and forms; PDF 0.9MB)
  • Plan of Study Checklist for M.S. in Microbiology (PDF 59KB)
  • Plan of Study Checklist for Ph.D. in Microbiology (PDF 60KB)
  • Faculty Research Interests
    (descriptions of faculty research programs; PDF 2.9MB)

Visit the Miami Bulletin to view course requirements for all Miami programs.

Contact Us

For more information about the Department of Microbiology graduate programs contact the Director of Graduate Studies.

Department of Microbiology

212 Pearson Hall
700 E. High St.
Oxford, OH 45056