Coursework Option

The coursework option serves students who want to acquire knowledge about current topics in microbiology primarily in a classroom setting. Examples of students who benefit from this option are those currently employed in research, clinical or biotechnology labs seeking an advanced degree; lawyers and law students who wish to specialize in biotechnology or environmental law; and students preparing for health professions.

Courses / Credits

minimum of 30 credits of graduate-level coursework is required, with courses selected by the student and M.S. program advisor with the following guidelines and in accordance with Graduate School Requirements.  A cumulative grade point average of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) must be maintained for continuation in the program. Coursework option certification form can be found here.

  • At least nine credits of formal coursework must be at the 600 level or above.
  • Research (990), special problems (699, 999), and coordinative internship (399) credits may constitute up to nine credits of the 30 required, but cannot be used to satisfy the requirement for nine credits of formal coursework at the 600 or above level.
  • General coursework requirements (see above), can be counted towards the 30 credits if taken after entering the program.
  • A list of pre-approved electives can be found here.
  • Seminar credits and one-credit courses graded solely on attendance / participation will NOT count toward the 30 credits.
  • Students may request to have up to eight graduate microbiology or biochemistry course credits taken prior to entering the MS program apply toward the 30-credit minimum. The student must provide verification that those credits were not used to satisfy any degree, major, or University requirements from any prior degree they have earned. Decisions are made by the M.S. program advisor.

Independent Study

Students in the coursework option are encouraged to participate in laboratory / field / special problems experiences as part of their graduate studies, through independent study on campus or an off campus internship.

Additional Requirements

Students in the coursework option must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Attend one Microbiology seminar of their choice and submit a written report that formulates new questions, ideas, and concepts based on the seminar (report format and rubric found here). Alternatively, students who have completed independent research credits may present a poster summarizing their research (poster format and rubric found here). Reports and posters will be reviewed by the MS program director.
  2. Attend an ethics workshop with the goal of fostering ethical and professional conduct. This workshop will be organized by the MS program director, and will occur every year in the fall semester.