The Virginia Tech Interdepartmental Microbiology Program offers training in all areas required for the development of successful scientists.
Research: During your first semester you will perform research rotations in three laboratories, chosen from a broad range of topic areas. Following those rotations, you will come to a mutual choice with a faculty member to enter their lab and complete your dissertation research. The average time for students to complete the Ph.D. program is 5 years.
Teaching and Presentation skills: All graduate students are required to spend at last one semester as a graduate teaching assistant, generally supervising an undergraduate teaching laboratory. All students have numerous opportunities to develop their presentation skills under non-stressful conditions. First year students give short 10-minute talks describing their research rotation projects. More advanced students present seminars describing their research projects or related topics. Students are expected to participate in lab group meetings and journal clubs to present and discuss the most recent research methods and discoveries. All this prepares the student to present their research at national and international research conferences.
Coursework: The plan of study for each student is based on their prior experience and their future interests. Students are required to complete 18 graded credit hours in advanced coursed (generally 6 courses). Students will take 2-3 courses each semester of their first year and 1-2 courses each semester in their second year. The remainder of their time is spent in the research labs. In addition to the courses listed below, each year there are several specialized courses offered that examine the most recent research advances within various fields of study.
BCHM 5124 Life Sciences Biochemistry
BCHM 5224 Protein Structure & Function
BCHM 5344 Molecular Biology for Life Sciences
BIOL/CSES/CEE 4164 Environmental Microbiology
BIOL (FST) 4604 Food Microbiology
BIOL 5624 Advanced Microbial Genetics
BIOL 4644 Microbial Molecular Genetics and Physiology Laboratory
BIOL 5664 Advanced Virology
BIOL 5674 Advanced Pathogenic Bacteriology
BIOL 4704 Immunology
BIOL 5734 Advanced Inflammation Biology
BIOL 4714 Immunology Laboratory
BIOL 5804 Advanced Prokaryotic Diversity
BIOL 5634 Advanced Microbial Physiology
BIOL 4075 Bioinformatics Methods
BIOL 6634 Topics in Microbial Ecology
BIOL 6644 Topics in Microbial Genetics
BIOL (PPWS) 6654 Topics in Virology
BIOL (VMS) 6704 Topics in Immunology
CEE 5194 Applied Biology of Environmental Systems
FST 5634 Epidemiology of Food and Waterborne Disease
PPWS 5054 Plant Pathogenic Agents
PPWS 5204 Principles of Plant Disease Management
PPWS 5214 Diseases of Crop Plants
VMS 5024 Selected Topics in Veterinary Pathogenic Bacteriology
VMS 5044 Veterinary Immunology
VMS 5054 Veterinary Virology
BMVS 5624 Molecular Virology