Microbiology and Immunology (MS)

Master of Science in Microbiology and Immunology (MBIOMS)
Unit: School of Medicine (GM)
Department/Program Webpage: Microbiology and Immunology

Program Information

The Department of Microbiology and Immunology, in the School of Medicine, offers a program of study leading to the degree of Master of Science. The MS program includes training in a broad range of research areas using state-of-the-art immunological, microbiological, and molecular technologies.

Admission Requirements

For admission to the MS program, the applicant must have attained a BS or BA degree with a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 point scale). All applicants accepted into the Master's Program must be self-supporting, as financial assistance is not available. In addition, the following should be submitted online directly to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies, Graduate Admissions: louisville.edu/graduate/apply/

  • A completed application form and application fee
  • Official scores of the General Test Section of the Graduate Record Examination and the TOEFL (when applicable)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A brief statement of purpose describing interests and career goals
  • A current resume or curriculum vitae
  • A letter of scientific support from a Department of Microbiology and Immunology faculty member(faculty agreement to mentor student in lab)
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work (mailed to School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies)

The applicant must meet the other general requirements of the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies as outlined in the General Information section of this catalog. The application deadline is March 1st each year. Submission prior to March 1 is strongly encouraged in order to ensure that all required materials (especially letters of reference) are received by the deadline. The applicant is expected to have completed the following undergraduate courses prior to admission to the graduate program: Introductory biology, Organic chemistry, Physics, introductory calculus, and Biochemistry.

Prospective students may be invited for a personal interview with members of the admissions committee and departmental faculty as part of the application process.

Program Requirements 

Thesis Option

Coursework Requirements
MBIO 601Molecular Microbiology 12-3
or MBIO 602 Immunology
MBIO 606Seminar1
MBIO 610Methods and Analysis in the Biomedical Sciences2
BIOC 645Advanced Biochemistry I4
BIOC 667Cell Biology3
BIOC 603Special Topics in Biochemistry (BMG Statistics)2
BIOC 630Responsible Conduct of Research: Survival Skills and Research Ethics1
MBIO 619Research1-12
MBIO 620Thesis1
Electives 21-2
Molecular Microbiology 1
Immunology 1
Special Topics in Biochemistry
General Virology
Advanced Immunology: Innate and Adaptive Immunity
Advanced Immunology of Disease
Microbiota in Health and Disease
Microbial Pathogenesis
Minimum Total Hours30


Research Advisor and Project

Students in the MS thesis option program are required to obtain a Research Advisor before being admitted to the program. Students should form a Thesis Committee and decide upon a research project early in the second semester of graduate study. The student, in consultation with her/his Advisor, should form a Thesis Committee of at least three (3) faculty members. The Thesis Committee will consist of two graduate faculty members with primary appointments in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and a third graduate faculty member with primary status in another department. One of the two faculty members with primary appointments in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology will serve as Co-Advisor, if the Research Advisor does not have a primary appointment in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. The Thesis Committee may consist of more than three faculty members, however a majority of the faculty on the Thesis Committee must have primary appointments in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Selection of the Research Advisor and formation of the Thesis Committee must be approved by the Associate Dean for Graduate Education in the School of Medicine.

Evaluation of Student's Progress

The Thesis Committee will meet at least annually to evaluate the student's progress. Students are expected to maintain satisfactory progress in his/her research project each semester. Students may proceed to degree candidacy provided they have successfully maintained an overall and program GPA of 3.0 or higher (with a grade no lower than a B-minus in any MBIO course), Pass grades in all required courses with Pass/Fail (P/F) grading, and successful completion of all required coursework. It is anticipated the student will complete the degree program at the end of the second year of study.

Master's Thesis Examination

Students are required to write and defend a master's degree thesis. The thesis must be a work of sufficient quality to demonstrate the student's ability to participate effectively on a research project. Following preliminary review and approval by the Research Advisor, the thesis should be distributed to the Thesis Committee members, and a written request submitted to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies, at least two weeks prior to the scheduled date of the final oral exam. The final oral defense/exam will be preceded by a research seminar open to all graduate faculty members, students and other interested persons. The oral exam will be administered by the Thesis Committee. A signed unbound copy of the thesis must be delivered to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies by the published deadline date. To satisfactorily pass the thesis defense, a majority of the committee members must approve it.

Guidelines and requirements concerning the thesis and final oral examination are set forth on the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies website.


Non-Thesis Option

Coursework Requirements
MBIO 601Molecular Microbiology 12-3
or MBIO 602 Immunology
MBIO 606Seminar (Fall and Spring - 1 Credit Hour each semester)1
BIOC 645Advanced Biochemistry I4
BIOC 667Cell Biology3
Electives 218-19
Select Courses to Total 18-19 Hrs:
Molecular Microbiology 1
Immunology 1
General Virology
Methods and Analysis in the Biomedical Sciences
Research
Advanced Immunology: Innate and Adaptive Immunity
Advanced Immunology of Disease
Microbiota in Health and Disease
Microbial Pathogenesis
Special Topics in Biochemistry (BMG Statistics)
Responsible Conduct of Research: Survival Skills and Research Ethics
Minimum Total Hours30

If the student has satisfactorily completed the required courses and total credit hour requirements with an overall and program GPA of 3.0, then the student may register as an MS candidate.

Evaluation of Student's Progress

Students will meet with the associate director of graduate studies at the conclusion of the Year 1 Fall and Year 1 Spring semesters. Students are required to identify a faculty advisor by completion of Year 1. The faculty advisor will provide mentorship through completion of the Program, in particular, completion of the master’s final oral examination. Students are expected to maintain satisfactory progress in her/his coursework. Students may proceed to degree candidacy provided they have successfully maintained an overall and program GPA of 3.0 or higher (with a grade no lower than a B-minus in any MBIO course), Pass grades in all required courses with Pass/Fail grading, and successful completion of all required coursework.

Master's Final Oral Examination

Students are required to write either a literature-based research proposal or a literature review and orally defend it to their master’s final examination committee. The decision to write a research proposal or literature review will be made between the student and their faculty advisor. The Department of Microbiology and Immunology curriculum committee chair will name the master’s final examination committee, which will be comprised of at least three graduate faculty members with at least two members with primary appointments in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. To satisfactorily pass the master’s final exam, a majority of the committee members must approve.