Courses & Laboratory Rotations


Because students have varied backgrounds and interests, they may choose from a variety of courses. Students must take a minimum of three courses in Microbiology and at least one elective course. In addition, students must complete at least three laboratory rotations and take a course on scientific ethics.

Students must receive a grade of “Honors” in two full-semester courses in order to advance to candidacy.

Laboratory Rotations

Each rotation lasts about 10 to 12 weeks, during which time students are expected to participate in a research project under the direction of a faculty member. Faculty sponsors provide a written evaluation of each student's performance, and rotations are graded satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

Research rotations give students a chance to identify a laboratory in which they might conduct dissertation research. Rotations also introduce students to different techniques and approaches. Thus, this requirement will not be waived because a student has made an early decision concerning a dissertation laboratory.

Students should choose and organize their rotations in advance through discussions with faculty members and the Director of Graduate Studies.

Current rotation schedule:

  • First rotation (10 weeks): 9/7/15-11/13/15. Talks: 11/13/15 1:00 Hope 103.
  • Second rotation (12 weeks): 11/16/15-2/5/16. Talks: 2/5/16 1:00 Hope 103.
  • Third rotation (10 weeks): 2/8/16-4/15/16. Talks: 4/18/16 1:00 Hope 103.

Students are required to choose their thesis laboratories by the end of their first year.