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Microbial Pathogenesis
  Cellular & Molecular Immunology
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Graduate Program

Philosophy and Objectives

The goal of the Graduate Program of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology is to prepare students for a challenging research and/or teaching career in immunology, microbial pathogenesis or microbial genetics. We aim to develop students into productive scientists who will be able to participate in and contribute to the dramatic advances in biomedical sciences that are shaping our lives in the 21st century. While the members of the faculty are pursuing research in the areas of pathogenic microbiology, and immunobiology, we feel that it is absolutely essential that students entering our program receive a solid background in cell biology and molecular biology. It has become very apparent that the borders between the traditional disciplines of microbiology, immunology, physiology, cell biology, biochemistry, and pathology have become blurred. One can no longer focus in one area to the exclusion of the others. The productive scientist of today and tomorrow will be the individual who can transcend the traditional boundaries and bring to the research problems a strong knowledge of multiple disciplines. The Department has designed its graduate program with this concept in mind so that all students entering the program take the same curriculum which emphasizes cell and molecular biology. This curriculum is intended to prepare students to undertake current research in microbiology and immunology, and to subsequently allow them to broaden their field of study as they continue in their chosen career paths.

Programs of Study

The Department of Microbiology and Immunology offers a comprehensive program which leads to a  Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree. Students may choose to concentrate in one of two major areas of study, Microbial Pathogenesis and Cellular and Molecular Immunology , although an amalgam of these two areas is also possible. All programs are designed to cater to each student's individual interests while providing a solid base of scientific knowledge coupled with laboratory and research skills. The specific curriculum for each area of study is described in another part of this website.

Students complete a curriculum which begins in the first semester with the study of eukaryotic cell biology ( NBDS 5093 ), biochemistry ( BIOC 5103 ), and the regulation of gene expression in eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells ( PHYO 5143 ) and then move on in the second semester to the study of microbiology ( MBIM 5023 ) and immunology ( MBIM 5003 ).  Advanced courses in bacteriology, virology, and immunology are available in following years. 

In the first year of study, in addition to the course work, each student rotates through selected laboratories as an opportunity to observe and participate first-hand in the research being conducted in the Department. Students also participate regularly in seminars and journal clubs, thus providing further opportunity to broaden their base of scientific knowledge and develop their abilities to present their research to the scientific community.

After completing the first year of study, students choose a member of the faculty to serve as their major advisor with whom they will develop their dissertation project.  For Ph.D. candidates, the course work and research will normally take a total of 4-5 years and will conclude when the student defends his/her dissertation.

Application Requirements 

The application and supporting materials should be submitted to the Graduate School at the address listed above. The Department of Microbiology and Immunology selects students for its graduate studies program based on each applicant's history of academic work and the potential ability to conduct superior independent research. The following requirements apply:

1.  A statement addressing the applicant's interest in pursuing an advanced degree, and anticipated research focus is required.  Applicants should specifically mention any previous research or graduate educational experience.

2. The Department requires Graduate Record Examination scores of all applicants.

3. The Department requires TOEFL examination scores of all foreign applicants.

4. Three letters of recommendation, preferably from former professors, are required of all applicants.

5. Transcripts of all undergraduate course work and any graduate course work are required.  The Department requires a minimum overall grade point average of 2.85.

6. Applicants must have successfully completed courses in both general and organic chemistry.  Courses in biochemistry, genetics, and cell biology are highly recommended.

7. Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or University with a major in biological science or chemistry or related field with a strong background in biology.

8. Applicants with a Research Masters (M.S. or M.A.) degree or equivalent in microbiology or a closely related area are required to provide (a) a detailed synopsis of the thesis (b) a final transcript indicating completion of the Masters degree requirements or a letter from the Major Advisor stating that the degree will be completed prior to matriculation into the PhD program at UAMS.

9. If you are an international applicant, please make certain you have reviewed the " Information for International Applicants " page, noting the requirements.

Graduate School Application

Application materials and a UAMS Graduate School catalog are available on line at the Graduate School Home Page or follow the link listed below for the application.

Please send application materials to the following address:

UAMS Graduate School Office
4301 West Markham St., #601
Little Rock, AR 72205
501-686-5364 phone 501-686-5359 fax


Graduate School Application 

For questions concerning applications to the Department of Microbiology and Immunology please contact:

Marie Chow, PhD
Graduate Program Director

Cindy L. Martin
Education Program Coordinator


 (501) 686-5364


The Department of Microbiology and Immunology reviews all application materials starting in December of each year.  Students may apply to the program using the online application form links listed below. 

Domestic applicants

International applicants

The Department requests that all transcripts, letters of recommendation, Graduate Record Examination scores, and TOEFL scores, be received by the Graduate School Office as soon as possible after submission of the application and no later than February 15 of each calendar year. The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences supports, both in practice and in spirit, the full intent of Titles VI and VII of the Equal Opportunity Act. 

Financial Assistance

Students in the Ph.D. program are eligible to receive an annual stipend. Tuition is paid either by the graduate school or the department. Students are required to maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average to retain the stipend.


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