Microbiology (PhD)

Degree: Doctoral Degrees

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Our graduate program has earned a strong national reputation for broad-based training and research in Microbiology, with diverse graduate training faculty in several disciplines centered on a core Microbiology department and curriculum. In 2006, U.S. News and World Report ranked the University of Georgia tied for 8th nationally and 4th among public institutions for graduate programs in Microbiology. Both Microbiology and Adjunct faculty can serve as advisors, and their research collectively spans such areas as Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Microbial Ecology, Microbe-Host Interactions, Bioinformatics and –omics, Microbial Physiology, and Molecular Microbiology. Incoming students are given the opportunity to rotate through at least three labs before choosing an advisor.

Both Ph.D. and M.S. programs are offered. Students with a bachelor’s degree may matriculate directly into the Ph.D. program, which most do. To ensure full consideration for admission and graduate assistantships, applications should be completed by December 1st for the following fall semester, although later applications may be considered up until the graduate school’s deadline. Students must apply through the graduate school but also submit information directly to the department.

Graduate students in the Department of Microbiology are supported by assistantships or fellowships with awards starting at $25,000 or $23,000 per year for the Ph.D. and M.S. programs, respectively. In addition, full annual tuition is waived for graduate students on any kind of fellowship or assistantship.

General Information for prospective students: http://mib.uga.edu/graduate-program
Information on admissions: http://mib.uga.edu/admissions-and-application
Departmental application form: http://mib.uga.edu/graduate-application
Department Homepage with links to faculty and research: http://mib.uga.edu/


Franklin College of Arts and Sciences
Old College
Athens, GA 30602-1732
Phone: 706/542-3400

Academic Department

Biological Sciences Building
Athens, GA 30602-2605
Phone: 706/542-2045


Graduate Coordinator

Diana Downs


There is a connecting thread to all the research in the Microbiology Graduate Program: the study of diverse microorganisms from the molecular level to the organismal and community levels in order to develop a complete picture of the role of microbial life in our biosphere. Since its formation, in 1953, the Department of Microbiology has enjoyed sustained growth and developed an international reputation in prokaryotic biology. Our faculty participate in several interdepartmental and multi-institutional research programs, including the Academy of the Environment, the Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute, the Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases, the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, and the Institute of Bioinformatics. Research in the department is well supported by external funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and a number of private foundations and corporations.

Students with a B.S. degree may apply directly for either the M.S. or Ph.D. program. Degree requirements include the successful completion of course work and comprehensive exams, and submission of a thesis or dissertation consisting of original, scholarly research in the field of microbiology. In the first three semesters, students take a core curriculum in microbial physiology and metabolism, molecular biology, and microbial diversity. Advanced courses in specialized areas are also available through the Department of Microbiology and the Division of Biological Sciences. Teaching experience is vital to careers in science, so we require all graduate students in our program to teach a minimum of two courses at some suitable point while in our program. We take great pride in our graduate instructors and provide the necessary mentoring in instructional skills. The University also honors outstanding teaching assistants with various awards. The M.S. program is generally completed in two to three years, while the Ph.D. usually requires five to six years. The program of study is designed by the student and his or her advisory committee to provide a broad foundation in microbiology, preparing the student for a career in research and/or teaching in academia, industry, or the government.

Recent successful applicants have had a baccalaureate in the biological sciences with previous research experience either as an undergraduate or in employment. Applicants are expected to have a high GPA and strong GRE scores. Graduate students are only admitted at the beginning of fall semester. Consideration of candidates for financial assistance begins as early as the preceding January 1 and is generally concluded by mid-April. Financial assistance begins with the fall semester. International students whose native language is not English must have a TSE score of at least 50 or a TOEFL Academic Speaking Test (TAST) score of 26 for acceptance. A TOEFL test without this speaking test component may not be substituted. Additional information is on the following webpage: http://www.uga.edu/mib/programs/grad_prospect.htm



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