Department of Immunology and Microbiology

Graduate Program

The Department of Immunology and Microbiology offers diversified programs leading to Masters of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees. The department focuses on research in the fields of Immunology, Microbiology and Virology; our students develop competencies in each of these disciplines. Areas of research specialization include mucosal immunity, autoimmunity, immunopathology, bacterial physiology, bacterial genetics, molecular mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis, molecular virology, viral pathogenesis, and cancer biology. The department's full-time faculty are augmented by joint and associate faculty from other medical school departments and adjunct faculty affiliated with the Karmanos Cancer Institute and the hospitals of the Detroit Medical Center and the Henry Ford Health System.

Ph.D. Program

The primary goal of the Ph.D. program is to educate and train students for research careers in immunology, microbiology or virology. During the first year of the program, students take courses in cellular and molecular biology as part of the interdisciplinary biomedical sciences curriculum, as well as courses in immunology, microbiology, and virology. Participation in journal clubs, seminars and research rotations in faculty laboratories provide opportunities to become familiar with the faculty and other students. An oral preliminary examination is administered during the summer of the first year. Selection of a dissertation advisor typically occurs after the preliminary examination. Dissertation research begins at this time and continues through the remainder of the program. A dissertation advisory committee is formed by the end of the second year and thereafter meets regularly (at least once every 6 months) with the student to review research progress and course work related to the student's doctoral program. Students typically defend their dissertation near the end of their fifth year. The program also requires submission of a first author publication to a peer-reviewed journal.

Students admitted to the program are awarded Graduate Research Assistantships that provide a stipend (currently $26,715), plus tuition, and medical and dental insurance.


M.S. Program

The goal of the M.S. program is to provide education, training and research experience for students interested in research careers in academia, medicine and industry.  The program requires completion of a research project and thesis. The program is not designed for students interested in a career in medical technology or clinical laboratory science.

The M.S. in Immunology and Microbiology program is designed to be a full-time educational experience requiring the completion of 33 credits over a two-year period. The first year is comprised of a mixture of coursework and research. The second year is focused primarily on research.


Graduate Student Handbook

For detailed information about our programs, please consult the Immunology and Microbiology Graduate Student Handbook.

Application Information

Applicants to both the Ph.D. program and the M.S. program must meet the following minimum requirements. Admission requires completion of a Bachelor of Science degree in biology or a related scientific discipline. An undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 is required together with strong grades in science courses. Applicants must also submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. When requesting official GRE test scores from ETS, the Department Code 0608 for Immunology or 0212 for Microbiology should be included. Applicants must also submit three letters of recommendation, preferably from academic sources, as well as a Statement of Purpose. International applicants, as defined by the WSU Graduate School, must submit TOEFL scores. A minimum TOEFL score of 100 is required. The Department Code for requesting official TOEFL test scores is 07View the additional application requirements.


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