Page Title

Microbiology PhD

Description

Degree Options

PhD (Doctorate)

A doctorate degree is a terminal degree that requires a dedicated commitment of 3-6 years. PhD students work under the supervision of a graduate faculty mentor to develop novel research and progress to become independent scientists capable of teaching and communicating science to experts and the greater community. The PhD culminates in a dissertation and dissertation defense. Primary research publications are expected as part of this degree. Students who complete a PhD will be competitive for academic or industrial careers or may choose to apply their understanding of science and science communication to other career paths such as public health, laboratory safety, science communication, or science policy.

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Program Learning Outcomes 

Program learning outcomes were developed to include outcomes required by the NDSU Graduate School 
  1. Demonstrate professional and ethical behavior consistent with the expectations of the discipline (Graduate School outcome 6) 

  1. Conduct scholarly inquiry relevant to societal challenges and the field of study (Graduate School outcomes 1, 2, 4, and 5) 

  1. Utilize and apply discipline appropriate knowledge, concepts and theoretical frameworks. (Graduate School outcomes 1, 2, 4, and 5) 

  1. Demonstrate proficiency with a variety of classical and modern techniques (Graduate School outcomes 4 and 7) 

  1. Communicate scientific research results to diverse audiences. (Graduate School outcomes 3, 5, and 7) 

  1. Develop professional skills such as collaboration and personal effectiveness to be competitive in the job market (Graduate School outcome 7) 

  1. Demonstrate civic responsibility, citizenship and inclusiveness. 

Course and Credit Requirements 

This program is intended to provide flexibility for students beyond the minimum formal academic training required to pursue a microbiology career. 90 Credits are needed to complete the degree made up of the following:  

Introduction to Graduate Research (MICR 701; 1-3 credits) 

This course is designed to help students acclimate to graduate research and create a foundation to be successful in their graduate career. Course topics range from the process of scientific research to mental health during graduate school.  

 

Scientific Integrity (UNIV 720; 1 credit) or equivalent graduate ethics course  

A survey of contemporary issues relating to responsible conduct in research including academic integrity, mentoring, scientific record keeping, and genetic technology. Class sessions will involve student discussion of case studies that emphasizes a particular scientific ethical dilemma. 

Didactic Courses:  

It is up to the student and their faculty mentor/committee to decide if courses or what course are necessary to prepare the student for a) the preliminary foundational knowledge exam, b) their research and c) their career. There is no formal credit requirement for our program, however individual faculty may have course requirements for students pursuing a PhD in their research program.  

Microbiology Seminar (MICR 790; 1 credit; once per year) 

A seminar in microbiology.  Students will periodically present their own work and they will take responsibility for evaluating the presentations of their peers.  Regionally, nationally and internationally renowned speakers also present. When no presentation is schedule students will take turns leading discussion of research articles.  

Student Portfolio (MICR 893; 1 credit; once per year) 

This will be a one-credit course reserved for students in the Microbiology Graduate program.  Students will enroll in this course once per year and the course will coincide with the annual self-report and assessment.  The course will be graded on an S/U basis, and the student’s supervisory committee is responsible for informing the Graduate Program Coordinator of the score. 

Doctoral Dissertation Research (MICR 899; variable credits, minimum 30 credits to graduate) 

A minimum of 30 credits are required to obtain a Ph.D. This is time for doctoral research over and above any research or teaching assistant work.  Mentors and students may develop a research agreement that stipulates the requirements to receive a satisfactory grade (Letter Grade or S/U) or can refer to a research assistantship contract to define the requirements. 

Example Plan of Study 

*Note no didactic courses are listed in this plan as they vary greatly by student.  

First Year

 

Credits

MICR 701 Intro to Graduate Research with/without Rotations - Fall

1-3

UNIV 720 Scientific Integrity or equivalent ethics course - Fall

1

MICR 893 Doctoral Student Portfolio - Spring

1

MICR 790 Microbiology seminar - Fall or Spring

1

MICR 793 General Microbiology Inquiry - Fall (if needed)

4

Participation in Microbiology Journal Club and seminar series - Fall and Spring

 

Begin Research Work  

 

Complete Plan of Study and Form Committee  

 

First Committee Meeting  

 

Option to complete Preliminary Exam (with committee approval)

 

Second Year

 

Credits

MICR 790 Microbiology Seminar - Fall or Spring

1

MICR 893 Doctoral Student Portfolio - Spring

1

Participation in Microbiology Journal Club and seminar series - Fall and Spring 

 

Continue Research  

 

Individual Seminar  

 

Committee Meeting  

 

Preliminary Exam (should be completed prior to 3rd year)

Option to complete Comprehensive Exam  

 

Third Year

 

Credits

MICR 790 Microbiology Seminar - Fall or Spring

1

MICR 893 Doctoral Student Portfolio - Spring

1

Participation in Microbiology Journal Club and seminar series - Fall and Spring 

 

Continue Research  

 

Individual Seminar  

 

Committee Meeting  

 

Comprehensive Exam (should be completed prior to 4th year)  

 

Fourth Year

 

Credits

MICR 790 Microbiology Seminar - Fall or Spring

1

MICR 893 Doctoral Student Portfolio - Spring

1

Participation in Microbiology Journal Club and seminar series - Fall and Spring  

 

Continue Research  

 

Individual Seminar  

 

Committee Meeting 

 

Fifth Year

 

Credits

MICR 790 Microbiology Seminar - Fall or Spring

1

MICR 893 Doctoral Student Portfolio - Spring

1

Participation in Microbiology Journal Club and seminar series - Fall and Spring 

 

Individual Seminar  

 

Committee Meeting  

 

Finish Research  

 

Dissertation Defense  

 

See Graduate Checklist for forms for this semester.