Graduate Programs

Working at the confocalGraduate training in the Department of Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology prepares students to solve important problems in the field of environmental health by providing stimulating coursework, extensive scientific presentation training, and for the research-oriented Ph.D. and M.S. degrees, in-depth research that culminates in a thesis. There is no other program in the world that educates students to appreciate the interplay between microbes, chemical toxins and health, providing the training students require to work effectively in a complex world. Graduate training prepares students to become leaders in the field, following career paths in academia, teaching, industry and government. METX offers Master's degrees and Ph.D. degrees.

Key components of our graduate training include:

  • Interdisciplinary core course that teaches critical thinking and how to approach complex problems in environmental health: METX 200, Interdisciplinary Approaches to Problems at the Interface of Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology.
  • Core course devoted to grant-writing and scientific-writing skills: METX 205, Scientific Skills, Ethics, and Writing.
  • Personalized class plan for the remaining three courses to fit the student’s background and research goals. Possible courses include METX 201, Sources and Fates of Pollutants; METX 202, Cell and Molecular Toxicology; METX 206A, Advanced Microbiology; METX 210, Molecular and Cellular Basis of Bacterial Pathogenesis; METX 238, Pathogenesis: Molecular Mechanisms of Disease; METX 250, Environmental Microbiology; and METX 270, Frontiers in Drug Action and Discovery. Courses in other departments include Ocean Sciences 220, Chemical Oceanography; and Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology 200B, Advanced Molecular Genetics.
  • Speaking presentation skills training through coursework and yearly departmental presentations. Scientific writing and literature mastery through the writing of a literature review in the first year. Weekly seminars expose students to the breadth of our fields and provide students with opportunities to interact closely with speakers and form connections and collaborations.
  • Qualifying examinations designed to perfect the student’s ability to craft and defend research plans.
  • For Ph.D. and Plan I (research thesis) M.S. students, extensive laboratory research training that starts immediately upon entering the program and culminates in the student’s Ph.D. dissertation or Master's thesis.

The Department of Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology also participates in a rotation-based Ph.D. umbrealla program in Biomedical Sciences & Engineering with the PBSE Micro Track. Students interested in the broad areas of chemical biology or molecular biology should consider this interdisciplinary graduate program that brings together the expertise from the departments of Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, and Biomolecular Engineering. Highlights of PBSE include research laboratory rotations, journal clubs, and targeted seminar series--all in a collaborative environment.

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