Microbiology and Immunology

Major:  Microbiology and Immunology
Degree Awarded: Master of Science (MS) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Calendar Type: Semester
Total Credit Hours: 45.0 (MS, non-thesis); 54.0 (MS, thesis); 132.0 (PhD)
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 26.0599
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code:
19-1022

About the Program

The Department of Microbiology and Immunology offers students MS and PhD degrees. The programs are designed to promote understanding of the molecular mechanisms of infectious diseases. The department has research programs in the areas of parasitic, viral, and opportunistic infections; bacterial pathogenesis and genomics; inflammation and immunology; and drug development driven by investigators with national and international reputations and with extended histories of extramural funding from the NIH, as well as other sources of funding. Students are provided with a curriculum of integrated courses that include the essentials for biomedical research as well as courses that emphasis host-pathogen interactions through a molecular pathogenesis series of courses on viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites, as well as immunology. Upon completing these programs, students pursue careers in academic, governmental, or industrial settings.

MS in Microbiology and Immunology

The MS program provides students a broad background in microbiology and immunology and the techniques used in microbiology and immunology research. There are both a thesis and non-thesis option for an MS degree. The thesis option combines course-work with a novel research project. The non-thesis degree program allows students to earn the degree without a research project by taking additional classes and writing a literature review paper. Students who wish to continue their graduate training after the MS degree may apply to the PhD program, and their credits may be applied to the doctoral program. The average amount of time to completion is two years.

PhD in Microbiology and Immunology

The PhD program trains individuals to conduct independent hypothesis-driven research and to teach in the fields of microbiology and immunology. The program includes two years of coursework as well as original research leading to published thesis work. Laboratory rotations begin in the fall of the first year.  The average amount of time to completion is five years.

Additional Information

For more information, including scheduling a plan of study, visit the College of Medicine's Microbiology and Immunology program website.

Admission Requirements

Students interested in all types of pathogens (viral, bacterial, fungal, parasitic) and the host response to these interactions are encouraged to apply. There are no minimal requirements, but applicants should be competitive with regard to grades, research experience, and letters of recommendation. Applicants are encouraged to use email to contact the program director or any of the faculty of the program with whom they may share scientific interests to discuss their suitability to the program and/or potential projects in relevant laboratories.

The Drexel University College of Medicine: School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies has a rolling admissions policy, which means that complete applications are reviewed as they are received. Applicants are therefore advised to apply early, as decisions to accept or deny admission may be made before the official deadlines.

Additional Information

To learn more about applying to the Microbiology and Immunology program please visit the Microbiology and Immunology program specific website.

To learn more about applying to Drexel College of Medicine programs, please visit the College of Medicine’s Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies website.

Degree Requirements (MS)

Non-Thesis Option

Required Courses
IDPT 500SResponsible Conduct of Research2.0
IDPT 501SBiostatistics I2.0
IDPT 502SLearn Early As Professionals I (LEAP I) 1.0
IDPT 504SLearn Early and Practice (LEAP II) 1.0
IDPT 521SMolecular Structure and Metabolism5.0
IDPT 526SCells to Systems5.0
IDPT 850SLiterature Review Non-Thesis MS4.0
MIIM 502SMicrobiology and Immunology Journal Club *4.0
MIIM 508SImmunology I3.0
MIIM 512SMolecular Pathogenesis I (Viral Pathogenesis)2.0
MIIM 513SMolecular Pathogenesis II3.0
MIIM 606SMicrobiology and Immunology Seminar *4.0
Advanced Electives9.0
Select a minimum of nine credits of Advanced Electives.
Microbiology and Immunology 1st Rotation
Grant Building
Vaccines and Vaccine Development
Structural Bioinformatics
Molecular Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenesis
Immunology II
Emerging Infectious Diseases
Experimental Therapeutics
Advanced Molecular Virology
Advanced Molecular Biology
General Electives
Teaching Practicum I
Teaching Practicum II
Teaching Practicum III
Microbiology and Immunology 2nd Rotation
Microbiology and Immunology 3rd Rotation
Microbiology and Immunology Thesis Research
Total Credits45.0

Thesis Option

Required Courses
IDPT 500SResponsible Conduct of Research2.0
IDPT 501SBiostatistics I2.0
IDPT 502SLearn Early As Professionals I (LEAP I) 1.0
IDPT 504SLearn Early and Practice (LEAP II) 1.0
IDPT 521SMolecular Structure and Metabolism5.0
IDPT 526SCells to Systems5.0
MIIM 502SMicrobiology and Immunology Journal Club *4.0
MIIM 504SMicrobiology and Immunology 1st Rotation4.0
MIIM 508SImmunology I3.0
MIIM 512SMolecular Pathogenesis I (Viral Pathogenesis)2.0
MIIM 513SMolecular Pathogenesis II3.0
MIIM 600SMicrobiology and Immunology Thesis Research **18.0
MIIM 606SMicrobiology and Immunology Seminar *4.0
General Electives
Teaching Practicum I
Teaching Practicum II
Teaching Practicum III
Thesis Defense
Microbiology and Immunology 2nd Rotation
Microbiology and Immunology 3rd Rotation
Grant Building
Vaccines and Vaccine Development
Structural Bioinformatics
Molecular Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenesis
Immunology II
Emerging Infectious Diseases
Experimental Therapeutics
Advanced Molecular Virology
Advanced Molecular Biology
Total Credits54.0

Students may opt to take additional approved advanced or general electives in consultation with their advisor, but these are not required.

Additional courses from the Biograduate Medical programs may be taken as electives. Students should check with the College of Medicine's Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies programs.

Degree Requirements (PhD)

Required Courses
IDPT 500SResponsible Conduct of Research2.0
IDPT 501SBiostatistics I2.0
IDPT 502SLearn Early As Professionals I (LEAP I) 1.0
IDPT 504SLearn Early and Practice (LEAP II) 1.0
IDPT 521SMolecular Structure and Metabolism5.0
IDPT 526SCells to Systems5.0
IDPT 600SThesis Defense9.0
MIIM 502SMicrobiology and Immunology Journal Club *9.0
MIIM 504SMicrobiology and Immunology 1st Rotation4.0
MIIM 505SMicrobiology and Immunology 2nd Rotation4.0
MIIM 506SMicrobiology and Immunology 3rd Rotation4.0
MIIM 508SImmunology I3.0
MIIM 512SMolecular Pathogenesis I (Viral Pathogenesis)2.0
MIIM 513SMolecular Pathogenesis II3.0
MIIM 514SGrant Building2.0
MIIM 600SMicrobiology and Immunology Thesis Research **63.0
MIIM 606SMicrobiology and Immunology Seminar *9.0
Advanced Electives
Choose at least two Advanced Electives for a minimum of four credits4.0-6.0
Structural Bioinformatics
Molecular Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenesis
Immunology II
Emerging Infectious Diseases
Experimental Therapeutics
Advanced Molecular Virology
Advanced Molecular Biology
General Electives
Teaching Practicum I
Teaching Practicum II
Teaching Practicum III
Total Credits132.0-134.0

Sample Plan of Study (MS)

Non-Thesis Option

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
IDPT 502S1.0IDPT 504S1.0
IDPT 521S5.0IDPT 526S5.0
MIIM 502S1.0MIIM 502S1.0
MIIM 508S3.0MIIM 513S3.0
MIIM 512S2.0MIIM 606S1.0
MIIM 606S1.0 
 13 11
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
IDPT 500S2.0IDPT 501S2.0
MIIM 502S1.0IDPT 850S4.0
MIIM 606S1.0MIIM 502S1.0
Advanced Elective6.0MIIM 606S1.0
 Advanced Elective3.0
 10 11
Total Credits 45

Thesis Option 

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
IDPT 502S1.0IDPT 501S2.0
IDPT 521S5.0IDPT 504S1.0
MIIM 502S1.0IDPT 526S5.0
MIIM 504S4.0MIIM 502S1.0
MIIM 508S3.0MIIM 513S3.0
MIIM 512S2.0MIIM 606S1.0
MIIM 606S1.0 
 17 13
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
IDPT 500S2.0MIIM 502S1.0
MIIM 502S1.0MIIM 600S9.0
MIIM 600S9.0MIIM 606S1.0
MIIM 606S1.0 
 13 11
Total Credits 54

Sample Plan of Study (PhD)

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
IDPT 502S1.0IDPT 504S1.0
IDPT 521S5.0IDPT 526S5.0
MIIM 502S1.0MIIM 502S1.0
MIIM 504S4.0MIIM 505S4.0
MIIM 508S3.0MIIM 506S4.0
MIIM 512S2.0MIIM 513S3.0
MIIM 606S1.0MIIM 606S1.0
 17 19
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
IDPT 501S2.0IDPT 500S2.0
MIIM 502S1.0MIIM 502S1.0
MIIM 600S9.0MIIM 514S2.0
MIIM 606S1.0MIIM 600S9.0
Advanced Elective(s)2.0-3.0MIIM 606S1.0
 Advanced Elective(s)2.0-3.0
 15-16 17-18
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
MIIM 502S1.0MIIM 502S1.0
MIIM 600S9.0MIIM 600S9.0
MIIM 606S1.0MIIM 606S1.0
 11 11
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
MIIM 502S1.0MIIM 502S1.0
MIIM 600S9.0MIIM 600S9.0
MIIM 606S1.0MIIM 606S1.0
 11 11
Fifth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
MIIM 502S1.0IDPT 600S9.0
MIIM 600S9.0 
MIIM 606S1.0 
 11 9
Total Credits 132-134
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