Graduate M.S. Program2019-03-25T19:34:03+00:00

M.S. in Microbiology

With the growth of the biotechnology industry, and the increase in technology and specialization in applied microbiological sciences, there is a significant regional and national need for highly trained microbiologists. The Master of Science degree in Microbiology provides an excellent opportunity to meet these needs. The M.S. in Microbiology gives students the opportunity to carry out research in the laboratories of world-renowned microbiologists and opportunities to interface with industrial and governmental partners through internships.

Application deadline for admission for Fall 2019: June 1, 2019.

DEGREES

We offer two Master of Science degrees in Microbiology that are tailored to the student’s individual career goals.

The first is a one-year non-thesis M.S. degree that entails formal coursework, with no research requirement. This one-year professional degree is designed to prepare students for careers in biomedical sciences in universities, industry, and government, and to provide an in-depth educational experience to improve the probability of admission into a postgraduate professional school, such as medical, dental, or veterinary schools.

The second is a thesis M.S. degree that requires significant laboratory research, and a written thesis. The research option helps students develop scientific research skills for improved preparation for entry into PhD programs, or for direct employment in research laboratories in academia, government, and industry.

Summer internship opportunities are available for either degree to help students explore career options, and to support job placement.

REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION

Applicants should have completed an undergraduate degree in one of the life sciences, with at least 3 semesters of Biology, including Microbiology, 4 semesters of Chemistry, including Organic Chemistry, 1 semester of Biochemistry, 2 semesters of Physics, and one advanced Mathematics course beyond algebra and trigonometry. Applications from students lacking any of the general requirements will be considered, but any deficiencies must be resolved before completion of the program. Qualified students are admitted to the Microbiology M.S. program under the non-thesis option.

A student desiring a thesis M.S. must identify a faculty member, or industrial/government partner, who agrees to serve as the student’s research advisor. The faculty member must write a letter that states the student will work in his or her lab, and the letter should be uploaded with the application packet in AIS.

For consideration, applications should be received by June 1.

Submit the on-line ApplyTexas application.

Once you have submitted your online application, you will receive a 9-digit Universal Identification Number (UIN). The UIN will allow you to log into the Application Information System (AIS). It is in AIS where you upload documents and submit your references’ information. Once you put in your references’ information, a digital form will be sent to them to fill out. You can access AIS at https://applicant.tamu.edu/.

In addition to the online application, you will need to submit the following:

  • A Statement of Purpose should be submitted through AIS. The statement of purpose should then explain why you want to pursue graduate studies, why you are applying to our department, your research interests, and a description of your previous research experience. In addition, applicants should visit Faculty Research Interests to identify labs of interest for rotations, and include this information in the Statement of Purpose.
  • Transcripts can be sent directly to the Texas A&M Office of Admissions (address below). While official transcripts are being sent to the university, you can upload unofficial transcripts to AIS.
  • Two letters of recommendation along with the Graduate Letter of Recommendation Form should be submitted via AIS.
  • Have GRE and TOEFL scores (for international applicants) sent to the Texas A&M Office of Admissions. The Institute Code for Texas A&M University is 6003 (there is no department code needed).
    • We will also accept MCAT, PCAT, and DAT scores in place of the GRE scores
  • Upload your resume or CV to AIS.
  • For student’s applying to the thesis-option program, please upload a letter from the faculty member with whom you will work that states she/he will be your primary advisor.
    • Applicants should visit the Faculty Research Interests page to identify the most suitable labs and contact the faculty directly.

Please do not send any materials directly to the Department of Biology. Everything should go to the Office of Admissions or uploaded through AIS.

Further information about Texas A&M and the application process can be found through the Office of Admissions.

Admissions Address:
Graduate Admissions Processing
Texas A&M University
General Services Complex, Suite 1601
750 Agronomy Road
0200 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-0200

E-mail: gradadvising@bio.tamu.edu
Phone: (979) 845-7755
Fax: (979) 845-2891

FUNDING

Microbiology Master’s students are required to find their own funding source for the duration of their studies. More information on funding options can be found on the Financial Aid page.

DEGREE PLAN

One Year Non-Thesis Masters: Requires 36 credit hours of course work. Six hours of internship can substitute for 6 hours of course work in the summer. The final exam is a library research paper.

Thesis Masters: Requires 32 credit hours, including at least 8 hours of research (or 6 h of research and 6 h of internship) and 20 hours of coursework.  It is possible to complete the degree in one year, but most likely will take 2 years.

Fall 2019 Semester Courses

Full Time Students should be enrolled in 13 hours, and Part-Time Students enrolled in 6 hours of any combination of the following courses:

Course Title Credit Hours Description
BIOL 609 Molecular Tools 3 Interactive lecture course in molecular biology for beginning graduate students; introduction to tools and methodologies used in prokaryotic and eukaryotic molecular labs; choosing the appropriate experimental technique for a given scientific question; virtual experiments will reinforce the applications and introduce useful bioinformatics tools.
BIOL 613 Cell Biology 3 Consideration of the eukaryotic cell as a functional, integrated unit in living organisms including structure, composition, function and biogenesis of subcellular components; dynamic processes and interactions of cells, including division, communication, and death; experimental approaches in modern cell biology and selected applications of experimental cell biology to problems in medicine
BIOL 622 Microbial Physiology 3 An area of microbial physiology will be explored at the molecular, cellular, and genetic levels through reading and discussion of classic and current research literature. The area of focus may change from semester to semester.
BIOL 651 Bioinformatics 3 Introduction to applications related to information processing in biological research with practical training exercises; includes internet databases, sequence alignment, motif prediction, gene and prometer prediction, phylogenetic analysis, protein structure classification, analysis and prediction, genome annotation, assembly and comparative analysis, and proteomics analysis
BIOL 681 Journal Club: Micro Genetic 1
BIOL 681 Journal Club: Eukaryotic Microbiology 1
STAT 651 Statistics in Research I 3 For graduate students in other disciplines; non-calculus exposition of the concepts, methods and usage of statistical data analysis; T-tests, analysis of variance and linear regression
VTMI 614 Ferment and Gastro Micro 3 Fermentation and gastrointestinal ecosystems in terms of microorganisms present, their activities and requirements and their interactions in a dynamic system
VTMI 647 Virology 3 Virus infections of animals and humans; introductory material includes virus replication cycle, taxonomy and methods to study viruses
VTMI 649 Immunology 3 Cellular basis of the immune response; relationships between inflammation and acquired immunity, MHC and cell activation; the role of cytokines in immunoregulation and hypersensitivity, vaccines, and the mechanism of immunity to viruses, bacteria and parasites

Spring 2020 Semester Courses

Full Time Students should be enrolled in 14 hours, and Part-Time Students enrolled in 6 hours of any combination of the following courses:

Course Title Credit Hours Description
BIOL 606 Microbial Genetics 3 Basic understanding of microbial genetic systems and how genetic analyses can be used to investigate fundamental biological processes in bacteria.
BIOL 608 Light Microscopy 3 Provides biologists, material scientists and students from other disciplines with the theoretical background and practical techniques of sample preparation, operation of light microscopes as well as image acquisition and processing; individual instruction which facilitates the completion of their research projects involving light microscopic techniques
BIOL 661 Antimicrobial Agents 3 Understanding of microbial agents, limitations of use, biosynthesis and regulation, and challenges in development as new therapeutics
BIOL 683 Experimental Design 3 Design of scientific research projects in the field of biology; a wide range of biological experiments designed with the appropriate statistical technique for analysis; design biological studies that are statistically tractable and perform basic statistical analyses using the statistical programming language R
BIOL 685 Directed Studies Non-Thesis: 8 credit hour max/ Thesis: 4credit hour max on degree plan
BIOL 691 Lab Research Thesis: 8 credit hour max on degree plan
BIOL 696 Ethics & Responsible Research 1 Instruction on what constitutes fraud in science, how to recognize it and avoid committing fraud; includes basis of ethics and plagiarism; negotiation techniques and conflict management; regulations and ethics covering animal and human experiments; record-keeping; data management; peer review
PHEB 600 Fundamentals of Epidemiology 3 This is the core epidemiology course for non-major students. It is an overview course intended to familiarize students with the basic principles and applications of epidemiological concepts and methods in the study of public health problems in populations. The focus of the course is on the interpretation and assessment of epidemiologic research, both descriptive and analytic, and its application to public health practice and relevance to the key disciplines of public health
VTMI 649 Immunology 3 Cellular basis of the immune response; relationships between inflammation and acquired immunity, MHC and cell activation; the role of cytokines in immunoregulation and hypersensitivity, vaccines, and the mechanism of immunity to viruses, bacteria and parasites. Prerequisite: VTPB 409 or equivalent

Summer 2020 Semester Courses

Full Time Students should be enrolled in 9 hours.

Course Title Credit Hours Description
BIOL 647 Digital Biology 4 Obtain, organize, process, and analyze genome and genome-related data; learning to ask and answer biologically relevant questions by designing and performing experiments using computers
BIOL 684 Internship Non-Thesis: 4 credit hour max on degree plan
BIOL 685 Directed Studies Non-Thesis: 8 credit hour max on degree plan; Thesis: 4 credit hour max on degree plan
BIOL 691 Lab Research Thesis: 8 credit hour max on degree plan
Elective Course Offerings Credit Hours
Fall Semester
BIOL 651 Bioinformatics 3 credit hours
BIOL 609 Molecular Tools 3 credit hours
BIOL 650 Genomics 3 credit hours
BIOL 613 Cell Biology 3 credit hours
VTMI 647 Virology 3 credit hours
FSTC 619 Molecular Methods For Microbial Detection 3 credit hours
SCSC 637 Environmental Microbiology 3 credit hours
Spring Semester
BIOL 651 Bioinformatics 3 credit hours
BIOL 608 Light Microscopy 3 credit hours
BIOL 683 Experimental Design in Biology 3 credit hours
BIOL 437 Molecular & Human Medical Mycology 3 credit hours
BIOL 487 Biomedical Parasitology 4 credit hours
Fall or Spring Semester
BIOL 651 Bioinformatics 3 credit hours
BIOL 689 Thesis Research Variable
BIOL 681 Departmental Colloquium 1 credit hour
Summer Semester
BIOL 689 Digital Biology 4 credit hours
BIOL 684 Professional Internship Variable
BIOL 685 Directed Studies Variable