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Graduation Requirements for Ph.D.

To help students navigate the program, the department has created the Department of Microbiology, Molecular Genetics and Immunology Graduate Student Handbook that provides the policies of the department. The following individuals fulfill the named roles in the handbook.

Graduate Director: Indranil Biswas, Ph.D.
Associate Graduate Director: Jeffrey Bose, Ph.D.
Graduate Program Administrator: Kathy Mackay

Recommended Time Line* for a Ph.D. in Microbiology

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
Courses IGPBS Two Fall Fundamentals Courses ( MICR810, MICR811, MICR812)

Advanced Course from  MICR808, MICR809MICR820, MICR825, MICR826, MICR855
Advanced Course from MICR808, MICR809, MICR820, MICR825, MICR826, MICR855
Seminars & Presentations IGPBS Presentation of 2 SLS 1 (1 per semester; MICR830), Participation in MBS 1 and WIP 1 Series Presentation of 2 SLS (1 per semester, MICR830), Participation in MBS and WIP Series Participation in MBS and WIP Series  Participation in MBS and WIP Series
Lab Work Rotations in 3 laboratories (≥6 weeks or per IGPBS schedule)** Research in Microbiology (MICR835) Research for Ph.D. in Microbiology (MICR990), after Comprehensive Exam Research for Ph.D. in Microbiology (MICR990) Research for Ph.D. in Microbiology (MICR990), 
Dissertation for Ph.D. in Microbiology (MICR999)
Committee Meetings Research Committee Meeting Research Committee Meeting Dissertation
Committee Meeting
Exams Module Exams Course Exams Course Exams (if needed)
Comprehensive Exam (Preproposal deadline: July 31)

*Time lines for transfer students will be designed on a case-by-case basis.
**Students recruited by and admitted directly into a specific laboratory are not required to rotate.
1SLS: Student Literature Series, MBS: Microbiology Seminar Series, WIP: Work in Progress Series

Course Requirements for the Ph.D. degree in Microbiology

Students must demonstrate competence in the content of the IGPBS curriculum and two of the following three areas:

  • Immunology
  • Virology
  • Bacteriology

Students must also take two advanced courses, present literature seminars and participate in the Work in Progress series.

All students in doctoral programs must meet the research skills and responsible scholarship requirement of the university. Microbiology Ph.D. students meet these requirements during their IGPBS year of study by taking GSMC 857 Biographics, GSMC 852/ GSMC 855 Introduction to Biomedical Research I and II, and GSMC 856 Introduction to Research Ethics.

The student takes a comprehensive examination based in part on defense of an original written research proposal. This examination evaluates the student's ability to write and defend an original research proposal, design experiments, and interpret results in a sound and critical manner.

Doctoral candidates are expected to conduct original research, prepare a written dissertation detailing the results, and defend the dissertation in a final oral examination. It is expected that the research will be published in reputable scientific journals.

Dr. Joe Lutkenhaus lab meetingRequired courses:

MICR 830: Seminar in Microbiology

Two of the following courses:

MICR 810: Fundamentals of Immunology
MICR 811: Molecular Genetics of Bacteria & Phages
MICR 812: Molecular Virology & Pathogenesis

Two of the following advanced courses:

MICR 808: Immunology
MICR 809: Tumor Immunology
MICR 820: Bacterial Genetics & Pathogenesis
MICR 825: Virology
MICR 826: Oncogenesis Associated with Viral Infections
MICR 855: Host-Pathogen Interactions

Research courses:

MICR 835: Research in Microbiology
MICR 990: Research for PhD in Microbiology

Dissertation course:

MICR 999: Dissertation for PhD in Microbiology

Requirements for the M.D./Ph.D. degree in Microbiology

The department offers a combined degree program for students who wish to pursue the M.D. and Ph.D. degrees concurrently. Admission through the M.D.-Ph.D. Physician Scientist Training Program at the University of Kansas Medical Center is highly competitive, and selection is based on academic achievement and potential for a career in research. Requirements for completion of the Ph.D. portion of the combined degree are the same as for the traditional Ph.D. and include a comprehensive exam and defense of a written dissertation based on original research. Certain Ph.D. course requirements can be fulfilled by academic credit earned in the M.D. portion of the program. Completion of the combined degree program generally requires seven years.

KU School of Medicine

University of Kansas Medical Center
Department of Microbiology, Molecular Genetics and Immunology
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Mailstop 3029
Kansas City, KS 66160
PHONE: 913-588-7012
FAX: 913-588-7295