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Microbiology Ph.D. Graduate Program


The Microbiology Graduate Program at the University of Colorado is a Ph.D. program preparing students for careers in research and teaching in the molecular pathogenesis of infectious diseases in both microbiology and virology. Close individual attention is given by the faculty to the needs and training of each graduate student. Based primarily within the Department of Microbiology, the program faculty also includes members of the departments of Medicine, Neurology, Pediatrics, Immunology and Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics. Faculty research interests include the molecular mechanisms of bacterial and viral pathogenesis, the molecular biology of bacterial, viral and cellular gene expression and host-parasite interactions in infectious disease.

The Microbiology Graduate Program is located at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. The Microbiology Department has state-of-the-art laboratories and facilities and is expanding its research and teaching programs.

Microbiology Graduate Program Statistics:
• 35 faculty members
• 18 Ph.D. students currently enrolled
• ~ 200 students enrolled in various Ph.D. programs at the CU campus; students in these programs share many educational and scientific activities, as well as social and intramural sporting activities

Funding available to graduate students: 
• Microbiology graduate students are fully supported for tuition, health insurance and fees, in addition to the annual stipend 
• a prestigious training grant awarded by the National Institutes of Health in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases
• individual pre-doctoral fellowships 
• faculty funding sources such as the National Institutes of Health, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, American Cancer Society, March of Dimes Foundation and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

• The Microbiology Graduate Program is committed to diversity and equality in the recruitment and retention of students to the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.  We actively seek persons from populations underrepresented in the biomedical sciences, which include, but are not limited to, underrepresented ethnic minorities, disabled persons, and those students who are disadvantaged, from rural areas, and/or first-time-in-family college graduates.  Resources for these students are available through the UCD Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the CU Disability Resources and Services.
• For undergraduate students from underrepresented groups who are currently considering a research career in the biomedical sciences, the University of Colorado has a Summer Research Internship Program (GEMS, Graduate Experience for Multicultural Students). This summer program is primarily geared toward  college Sophomores and Juniors with majors in the sciences. The Program includes some coursework, seminars and social events in addition to laboratory research. For more information on the GEMS program, contact Sonia Flores, Director of GEMS (
• The University of Colorado School of Medicine has a long tradition of fostering diversity among its students, faculty, and staff.  The metropolitan Denver community also has a rich diversity of ethnic backgrounds and cultures, for information on diversity in the University and in the Denver area.

Learning Objectives of the Microbiology Graduate Program:

The Ph.D. program in Microbiology trains graduate students to become proficient and successful investigators who are able to:

1.      Demonstrate a basic knowledge of central concepts in the biomedical sciences.

2.      Understand current concepts in microbiology.

3.      Read and critically evaluate the scientific literature.

4.      Formulate hypotheses based on current concepts in the field and design, conduct, and interpret their own research projects.

5.      Present research results in peer-reviewed publications and in a dissertation.

6.      Communicate research results effectively through oral presentations at scientific seminars, conferences, and other venues.

7.      Write a competitive application for research funding.

8.      Develop ancillary skills, where necessary, to obtain positions outside of scientific research.