Top 5 Graduate Programs: Microbiology

Microbiology is the study of microscopic organisms; microbiology includes the fields of virology, mycology, bacteriology, and immunology among other branches. Microbiology plays an important role in many professions, including but not limited to disease research and prevention, general health care, environmental studies, and sanitation. The demand for microbiologists is expected to increase about 13% through 2020, and the median salary for Ph.D.-level microbiologists is $93,800.

Well-known institutions like Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Yale, etc. consistently rank at the top of almost every graduate program they offer, and this is no different for Microbiology Ph. D programs as well. However, the fact of the matter is you do not have to attend one of these schools in order to get a great education out of a Masters or Ph.D. program. At “It’s Not GREek!” we want our readers to be aware of not only the important generalities of the field they are considering, but the multitude of options they have when it comes to picking a graduate school. These are some schools, along with the usual suspects, you may not be aware of, but that experts in your field of study certainly are:

1) Harvard

2) Stanford

3) University of Wisconsin – Madison

Madison’s top priority is research training. Their campus encompasses over 80 faculty trainer labs covering a considerable range of scientific questions and approaches. Nearly all careers that Ph.D. microbiologist students may pursue involve teaching, either as a formal component in academia or in industry, government service, and even private foundations. For this reason, UWD focuses on enmeshing teaching and learning.

4) Johns Hopkins University

4) University of California – San Francisco

In addition to having a 21 full-time faculty members, including a former Nobel-Prize winner, on staff, research at UCSF concentrates mostly on areas related to infectious diseases, immunology, and cancer. PIBS has allowed the creation of interdisciplinary graduate curricula rather than limiting students to studies in conventional departments. While the five Ph.D. programs differ in their emphasis and degree requirements, students admitted to any PIBS program can enroll in course work, attend retreats and carry out their thesis studies in any of the 150 labs affiliated with PIBS.

4) Washington University in St. Louis

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis recently made headlines when they received a $5.3 million dollar grant to explore the way gender and age influence in susceptibility in one of the most common types of bacterial infection, the UTI. This fact might not immediately strike you as a reason to attend WUSL School of Medicine, however there are a more similar stories coming out every year about this program. Check it out here!

7) Massachusetts Institute of Technology

7) University of California – Berkeley

7) Yale University

Honorable Mention:

Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University has two different Ph.D. programs in this field of study; the first is in Molecular Biology Microbiology and the second is in Molecular Virology. In the academic school year of 2009-2010, graduate students in the program received full tuition as well as a stipend of $25,000. From 2003-2005, Case Western’s average quantitative GRE score was a 656. There are many appealing aspects to Case Western’s Ph.D. program, like a collaborative and enthusiastic scientific community, an outstanding and promulgate faculty that regularly contributes to national scientific publications, as well a strong commitment to growth and research. Perhaps, though, we should let the Ph.D. Department Chair, Johnathan Karn, speak for himself.

Tufts University

The Sackler School claims collaborative and interdisciplinary research are hallmarks of its program. Their graduate programs emphasize research, teaching, interdisciplinary studies, and an integration with the university’s entire scientific community. Some outstanding facts about the Sackler School include a student/faculty ratio of 2:1, an student age range of 22-55, and that 98% of students receive a stipend. An additional university perk is its location in the heart of Boston, “thee largest city in New England, and one of America’s most stimulating places to live, offering a rich history and an abundance of culture.”

University of Pittsburgh

The Graduate School of Public Health focuses on developing methods for disease prevention and treatment, and places a special emphasis on population-based education and prevention for control of infectious diseases. Among the various degree programs offered by the U. of Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health is a Master’s International Program with the Peace Corps. Though the University does not guarantee full funding to its students, last year the Graduate School of Public Health received over 5 million dollars in financial aid.

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