PhD

Immunology, Microbiology and Virology

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 46.1k / Academic year(s) Foreign:$ 46.1k / Academic year(s) Deadline: Jan 1, 2022
StudyQA ranking:686 Duration:4 years

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The Immunology, Microbiology, and Virology (IMV) Program is designed for students interested in obtaining a Ph.D. in Microbiology & Immunology. As such, the program represents a group of faculty that may mentor a student pursuing thesis research toward the Microbiology & Immunology Ph.D. Students interested in a Ph.D. in Microbiology & Immunology should apply to the IMV Program for admission to graduate studies at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

We offer in-depth coursework and diverse research opportunities that focus on immunology, microbiology and virology.

The flexibility of our training program allows students to train in a number of exciting research areas including: cancer, autoimmune disease, respiratory pathogens and often allows students to develop highly effective interdisciplinary collaborations, resulting in cutting edge thesis projects.

More than 60 faculty members with varied research interests contribute to the activities of the program.

The program is “home” to first year students; at the end of the first year, students choose a Ph.D. program (usually Microbiology & Immunology) and permanent advisor.

Year 1

Fall Semester

Required:

  • IND 408 - Advanced Biochemistry (5 credits)
  • IND 501 - Ethics in Research (1 credit)            
  • MBI 501 - Student Seminar (1 credit)            
  • MBI 519 - Experimental Design and Analysis (1 credit)            
  • MBI 506 - Scientific Writing in Research (1 credit)            
  • MBI 507 - Laboratory Rotations (add # of credits needed to total 16 including one option below)

In addition students must choose one of the following course options, based on their Track (Immunology, Microbiology or Virology)

Immunology Track option:

  • MBI 473 - Immunology 3 credits and
  • MBI 573 - Immunology Seminar 2 credits

Microbiology Track option:

  • MBI 414 - Microbial Pathogenesis 3 credits and
  • MBI 514 - Pathogenesis Seminar 1 credits

Virology Track option:

  • IND 409 Cell Biology 4 credits

Total 16 credits

Spring Semester Year 1

Required:

  • MBI 501 - Student Seminar (1 credit)            
  • MBI 507 - Laboratory Rotations (1 credit)            
  • MBI 506 - Scientific Writing in Research (2 credits)

In addition students must choose 2 of the following 3 courses:

  • IND 410 - Molecular Biology and Genetics (4 credits)
  • IND 412 - Quantitative Biology (4 credits)
  • IND 447 - Signal Transduction (4 credits)

In addition students must choose one of the following course options, based on their Track (Immunology, Microbiology or Virology)

Immunology Track option:

  • MBI 515 - Advanced Immunology (4 credits)

Microbiology Track option:

  • MBI 521 - Microbial Gen/Phys Seminar 1 credits
  • MBI 421 - Microbial Genetics and Physiology 3 credits and

Virology Track option:

  • MBI 456 Virology (4 credits)

Total 16 credits

Years 2-4

After the first year of didactic course work, students immerse themselves in their research, seminar based classes and electives chosen in consultation with their advisor and thesis committee.

Immunology Track:

  • MBI 540 - Advanced Topics in Immunology (one semester)
  • MBI 580 - Immunology Research-in-Progress Seminar (at least six semesters)

Microbiology Track:

  • MBI 570 - Advanced Topics in Molecular Microbiology (at least six semesters)

Virology Track:

  • MBI 588 - Virology Research Seminar Series (at least six semesters)
  • MBI 589 - Advanced Topics in Virology (at least two semesters)
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Education / Graduate Education / PhD Programs / Immunology, Microbiology and Virology / Curriculum

 

Curriculum

 

The Curriculum is intended to develop the skills necessary for pursuing research in the chosen discipline. It includes the core courses that are required for all students, and electives chosen by the student and advisor to augment topics relevant to the individual's research. Core courses are usually completed in the first year of study.

Curriculum for all Students Entering the Program prior to the Fall of 2015

Core Course Curriculum For Ph.D. Students

(For students entering the program in the fall of 2015, or thereafter)

The Core Curriculum is designed to: (1) accelerate time-to-degree for doctoral students, (2) ensure that trainees can fully immerse themselves in independent research by the start of the second year, (3) accelerate the transition from a didactic undergraduate learning style to a self-directed, autonomous, adult learning style, and (4) to create the curricular “space” to allow trainees to explore a diversity of research career options.  The required core curriculum for the program, all of which is completed in the first year of graduate training, is:

Core Requirements Common To All Three Tracks

  • IND 501 - Ethics in Research
  • IND 408 - Advanced Biochemistry
  • MBI 501 - Microbiology & Immunology Student Seminar
  • MBI 507 - Laboratory Rotations
  • MBI 519 - Experimental Design and Analysis

Year 1

Fall Semester

Required:

  • IND 408 - Advanced Biochemistry (5 credits)
  • IND 501 - Ethics in Research (1 credit)            
  • MBI 501 - Student Seminar (1 credit)            
  • MBI 519 - Experimental Design and Analysis (1 credit)            
  • MBI 506 - Scientific Writing in Research (1 credit)            
  • MBI 507 - Laboratory Rotations (add # of credits needed to total 16 including one option below)

In addition students must choose one of the following course options, based on their Track (Immunology, Microbiology or Virology)

Immunology Track option:

  • MBI 473 - Immunology 3 credits and
  • MBI 573 - Immunology Seminar 2 credits

Microbiology Track option:

  • MBI 414 - Microbial Pathogenesis 3 credits and
  • MBI 514 - Pathogenesis Seminar 1 credits

Virology Track option:

  • IND 409 Cell Biology 4 credits

Total 16 credits

Spring Semester Year 1

Required:

  • MBI 501 - Student Seminar (1 credit)            
  • MBI 507 - Laboratory Rotations (1 credit)            
  • MBI 506 - Scientific Writing in Research (2 credits)

In addition students must choose 2 of the following 3 courses:

  • IND 410 - Molecular Biology and Genetics (4 credits)
  • IND 412 - Quantitative Biology (4 credits)
  • IND 447 - Signal Transduction (4 credits)

In addition students must choose one of the following course options, based on their Track (Immunology, Microbiology or Virology)

Immunology Track option:

  • MBI 515 - Advanced Immunology (4 credits)

Microbiology Track option:

  • MBI 521 - Microbial Gen/Phys Seminar 1 credits
  • MBI 421 - Microbial Genetics and Physiology 3 credits and

Virology Track option:

  • MBI 456 Virology (4 credits)

Total 16 credits

Years 2-4

After the first year of didactic course work, students immerse themselves in their research, seminar based classes and electives chosen in consultation with their advisor and thesis committee.

Immunology Track:

  • MBI 540 - Advanced Topics in Immunology (one semester)
  • MBI 580 - Immunology Research-in-Progress Seminar (at least six semesters)

Microbiology Track:

  • MBI 570 - Advanced Topics in Molecular Microbiology (at least six semesters)

Virology Track:

  • MBI 588 - Virology Research Seminar Series (at least six semesters)
  • MBI 589 - Advanced Topics in Virology (at least two semesters)

Special Topics Courses

Alan Alda Workshop

The University of Rochester and the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stonybrook University are coming together to train the next generation of scientists to communicate more effectively with the public, with funders, with policymakers, and with fellow scientists. Young scientists and established faculty at the University of Rochester are invited to attend workshops focusing on "distilling the message,” “improvisation for scientists," and “advanced media training.” 

Participants will learn to speak clearly and vividly about their work and why it matters, in terms non-scientists can understand. Improvisation for Scientists is an innovative workshop pioneered by Alan Alda that uses improvisational theater games to help scientists speak more spontaneously, responsively and directly with their audience. This workshop is not about acting, but about getting scientists to connect with and engage their audience. Advanced media training will teach scientists how to simultaneously be responsive and be in control of an interview and how to tailor their preparation for specific types of media encounters.

To learn more about URBEST’s 2016 Affiliation with the Alan Alda Communication Center and the upcoming 2016 two-day summer Alan Alda Communication workshop at UR, contact Dr. Tracey Baas.

Science Communication for Diverse Audiences (MBI 492)

Science Communication for Diverse Audiences (MBI 492) offers a hands-on based approach to improve science communication skills. Students will have the opportunity to work in small groups to learn basic presentation skills, distill their scientific message for a multitude of audiences, and become more comfortable presenting in front of groups. We will focus on improving communication with both scientific and non-scientific audiences.  This course integrates some of the newest training techniques in the field including improv and story telling, which serve to help scientists better connect to audiences in the moment. The course will also offer brief sections on writing for non-scientific audiences. Participants should come ready to step outside of their comfort zone and dive into a variety of different training techniques from week to week. 

Rotations

Rotations in the first year of study in three different laboratories allow the students to gain experience with methodology and instrumentation, and to become familiar with prospective research advisors for their thesis project. At the end of the first year, students choose a permanent advisor and embark on a Ph.D. thesis research program. Students may choose any faculty member in the School of Medicine and Dentistry or a participating faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences as their research advisor.

Qualifying Examinations

A Qualifying Examination at the end of the second year of studies is a means of determining the potential of the student for independent thought, experimental acumen, comprehension of the general field, and potential for exploiting a relevant problem in a scientifically sound manner. The M.S. degree is awarded upon successful completion of this examination.

Teaching Assistantship

A one-semester Teaching Assistantship is required. Students usually complete this requirement in the second year of study.

Student Seminar Series

The Student Seminar Series (MBI 501) is designed to develop the organizational and speaking skills necessary for an independent career in research and to facilitate exchange of research information within the program.

Thesis

At the end of the first year, students choose a permanent advisor and embark on a Ph.D. thesis research program. Students may choose any faculty member in the School of Medicine and Dentistry or a participating faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences as their research advisor. The Ph.D. is awarded based on development of an Independent Thesis Research Project as well as a written dissertation describing the rationale, methodology, results, conclusions and significance of the project.

Requirements

  • Three letters of recommendation (uploaded to the application per instructions)
  • Official transcripts (minimum GPA is 3.0)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Official GRE and TOEFL (or IELTS) test scores should be uploaded to the application and official copies should be mailed to the University for verification
  • Other than the test scores, documents that are uploaded do not need to be mailed to the department
  • The GRE General Test is required and should be taken in time for the admissions committee to receive score results by the January 1 deadline. We look for applicants to score at least a 145 on the Verbal, a 158 on the Quantitative, and a 3.0 on the Analytical Writing. The institution code is 2928 and the department code is 1603.
  • All foreign applicants whose native language is not English must take the TOEFL and achieve a minimum score of 250 for the computer-based test (CBT), 600 for the paper-based test (PBT), or 100 for the Internet-based test (IBT), unless they are graduates of a US undergraduate program. IELTS scores can be accepted in place of the TOEFL with a minimum score of 7.0. 

Scholarships

All students admitted receive:

  • Full tuition scholarship
  • Paid health insurance
  • Annual stipend $27,316
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