Program Information

Program Information

MIC Graduate Program Information

The Department of MIC at the University of Virginia offers both pre-doctoral and postdoctoral training programs in a variety of subdisciplines. This educational program is based on a solid foundation of state-of-the-art research conducted in the laboratories of the departmental faculty. Modern Microbiology/Immunology/Signaling involve studying biological systems at the molecular level and is among the most rapidly developing areas in the sciences. MIC at the University of Virginia reflects this contemporary flavor. The research programs, which cover the areas of virology and human retroviruses, microbial pathogenesis, cancer and signal transduction, gene expression and cell cycle regulation, and immunology, all have strong molecular components.

Research labs within the Department are equipped with the most modern and sophisticated instrumentation used for molecular biology. Research programs are funded from both federal and private sources, providing student research activities with excellent financial and technological support.

The graduate program in MIC is oriented toward research training; the Ph.D. is a research degree, and the Department does not accept students who wish to terminate their studies at the Master's level.

Our graduate students come from diverse academic, social, and ethnic backgrounds, and from universities throughout the United States as well as from Europe, Latin America, Canada, and Asia. They usually have undergraduate degrees in physics, chemistry, biochemistry, or biology; and many have worked for a number of years after graduating from college.

The Program is designed to bring everyone in this diverse group up to the same academic level by concentrating core course work in the first year. The first semester courses include molecular biology, biochemistry, and cell biology. In subsequent semesters, a wide variety of courses are offered from which students, in consultation with their advisory committee, can choose. These include virology, microbial pathogenesis, advanced genetics, cancer biology, and immunology, to name a few. This gives students the opportunity to develop their own educational program that is driven by their personal interests and scientific curiosity.

Students also have the opportunity to develop oral presentation skills by participating in colloquia, journal clubs, research group meetings, and mini-courses. Laboratory rotations allow students to become familiar with specific laboratory and research areas while performing small research projects. Students typically choose to begin their rotations during the summer prior to the first year, so that they can become acquainted with research opportunities before classes begin. At the end of the first year in residence, students choose a research lab and thesis advisor.

All students in the Department of MIC receive a stipend that is competitive with that offered by other institutions. In addition, the Department pays tuition, fees, health insurance, and travel costs to scientific meetings when students present their work. The Department makes a commitment to support students for as long as they are making acceptable progress toward their degree.