Education

The Graduate Program in Microbiology is part of the Yale Combined Program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences.  This is a multi-departmental, interdisciplinary Ph.D. program to train students in the study of pathogenic microorganisms and their effects on their hosts.

The Microbiology faculty believes that understanding the biology of microorganisms requires a multidisciplinary approach, therefore the Microbiology Graduate program emphasizes multidisciplinary training. The program provides individualized education in modern microbiology and prepares students for careers in research and teaching.

Students can specialize in various areas, including bacteriology, virology, microbe-host interactions, microbial pathogenesis, cell biology and immunobiology of microbial infections, microbial genetics and physiology, parasitology, microbial ecology and evolution.

Course work generally occupies the first two years of study. Students, working with a faculty committee, outline a course of study tailored to their background and career goals.  A program of course work may include general microbiology, virology, parasitology, microbial genetics, as well as complementary courses in areas such as epidemiology, cell biology, immunology, biochemistry, genetics, ecology and statistics. The program also sponsors journal clubs and seminars in microbiology and related areas.

All students participate in three laboratory rotations with different faculty members in their area of interest. Laboratory rotations familiarize students with the research opportunities available in the program.

An individualized qualifying exam on topics selected by the student, in consultation with the faculty, is given before the end of the second year. Students then undertake an original research project under the supervision of a faculty member. The remaining degree requirements include:

  • Submission of a research project
  • Writing a dissertation
  • Oral defense of the dissertation.

We encourage students to peruse our Graduate Program in Microbiology by using the links to the left.  Prospective students should apply to our program through the Yale Combined Program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences.