May 22, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Microbiology and Immunology PhD

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Graduate training in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, provides education and research opportunities in each of our four core disciplines: bacterial pathogenesis, eukaryotic pathogenesis (parasitology and mycology), virology, and immunology. Research in these disciplines utilizes the latest tools in biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology and biophysics, to probe the interactions of microbes with their human hosts with the ultimate goal of reducing the public health impact of infectious diseases. Our broad curriculum and focused research training prepares students to succeed in nearly any area of microbiology and immunology.

Curriculum and Requirements

In our 72-credit PhD Program in Microbiology and Immunology, you will build knowledge with our core curriculum and engage in significant laboratory research.

First Year Curriculum

You will spend your first year in our interdisciplinary PhD Program in Biomedical Sciences (PPBS). You will have the chance to explore a variety of disciplines before committing to your specific research area.

You will gain a broad base of experience and knowledge in our lab rotation system. You will collaborate with our renowned research scientists on cutting-edge research.

You will build expertise as you complete our structured, interdisciplinary curriculum. You also will receive strong support to pursue your individual interests.

If you are interested in microbiology and immunology, you should devote at least one of your first-year rotations to research within our department. This will prepare you to begin your dissertation research in your chosen field.

Second Year Curriculum

When you choose microbiology and immunology, you will officially enter our program in your second year. You will complete the following courses for our PhD degree.

1st Semester

2nd Semester

Complete the following, if not already taken:

Third Year Curriculum and Beyond

  • Electives or Advanced Topics, variable credit

Seminars and Advanced Topics (4-8 credits)

Select 4 seminar or advanced topics courses from the list below. You may take the same advanced topic course twice. However, we encourage you to study topics outside your primary area of interest to gain a broader understanding of the field.

Professional Development

We are committed to working with you to consistently develop your professional acumen. You will gain the knowledge and skills you need to succeed in our constantly evolving field. Through our department and the Witebsky Center for Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology, you will have opportunities to participate in significant research, presentation forums and seminars.

Our PhD candidates routinely generate high quality publications and move on to postdoctoral positions in top infectious disease laboratories.

Thesis Research

You conduct your thesis research under the supervision of your mentor and a PhD Thesis Advisory Committee. Your committee will include your mentor as chair and at least three other UB faculty members in the graduate school selected by you and your mentor.

Two members of your committee must have appointments in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and one may have a primary appointment in another UB department.

Your research culminates in a written thesis dissertation, which is an original contribution to the scientific literature. You also must orally defend your thesis before your advisory committee. In addition, you will formally present your research during a public seminar.

On average, our PhD students complete degree requirements in about five years.

Total Credit Hours: 72

3.0 Degree GPA required


Instruction Method

  • In Person (100 percent of courses offered in person)

Full/Part Time Options

  • Full Time

Credits Required

  • 72 Hours


  • 5 Years

Application Fee

  • $85

Program Contact

Jacobs School Office of Graduate Education
955 Main St., Room 6130
Buffalo, NY 14203
Phone: 716-829-3398

SED Statement

This program is officially registered with the New York State Education Department (SED).

Online programs/courses may require students to come to campus on occasion. Time-to-degree and number of credit hours may vary based on full/part time status, degree, track and/or certification option chosen. Time-to-degree is based on calendar year(s). Contact the department for details.

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