Committee on Microbiology Curriculum

  • Microbiology Curriculum

    Our Curriculum provides broad exposure to multiple disciplines in microbial science, and supports specialized training in several areas of interest.

Graduate students pursuing a PhD in Microbiology take a minimum of nine courses.  Students consult the Graduate Advisor of the Committee on Microbiology to develop a plan of study that fulfills the program course requirements and meets the student’s particular interests in microbiology.  The philosophy of graduate coursework is to develop a foundation of knowledge for the first-year graduate student.  Of course, the basis of graduate training in microbiology is the performance of original laboratory research, which begins in winter or spring of the first year. 

Microbiology coursework is complemented by a set of courses in other disciplines in the Biological Sciences Division including practical courses in Quantitative and Computational Approaches to Biological Research. Interdisciplinary study is a hallmark of our program and is encouraged.

Additional information regarding the curriculum for graduate students in the Committee on Microbiology can be found in the Committee on Microbiology Student Handbook.

I. Lecture Classes for Graduate Students of the Committee on Microbiology

Click here for all course descriptions

Fall Quarter Classes 

IMMU 31200 Host Pathogen Interactions
GEOS 36650 Environmental Microbiology
BCMB 30400 Protein Fundamentals
BCMB 30600 Nucleic Acid Structure and Function
BCMB/MGCB 31400 Genetic Anaylysis of Model Organisms
BCMB/MGCB 31600 Cell Biology l
MICR 30600 Fundamentals of Bacterial Physiology
ECEV 32500 Evolutionary Aspcts of Gene Regulation                          

Winter Quarter Classes

BCMB/MGCB 31200 Molecular Biology
BCMB 31700     Cell Biology ll
IMMU 31500 Advanced Immunology
MPMM 30600 Signal Transduction and Disease
ECEV 33365 Evolutionary and Genomic Medicine:  Dynamics at the
Host-Microbe Interface
GEOS 33800 Global Biogeochemical Cycles
BCMB 31100 Evolution of Biological Molecules
MICR 31600 Molecular Basis of Bacterial Disease

Spring Quarter Classes

MICR 31600           Introduction to Virology
BSDG 55000 Scientific Inquiry/Ethical Conduct 
MICR 33000 Bacteria/Bacteriophage Genetics and Cell Biology       
BCMB 30800 Single Molecule Biochemistry
BCMB 32200 Biophysics of Biomolecules
BCMB/MGCB 31300 Molecular Biology II
IMMU 32000 Advanced Immunology II
MPMM 30800 Molecular Defense Mechanisms
GEOS 36600 Geobiology
ECEV 35600 Population Genetics
IMMU 30266 Molecular Immunology

II. Training in Quantitative and Computation Approaches to Biological Research

Quantitative Approaches at Marine Biological Laboratory
Incoming students from all graduate programs in the UChicago Biological Sciences Division (BSD) attend the Quantitative Approaches Bootcamp at the Marine Biological Lab (MBL), an affiliate of the University of Chicago.  The goal of the Quantitative Approaches Bootcamp is for our students to develop computational, statistical, and professional skills, become familiar with the MBL, and get to know your fellow first-year students in the BSD through an intensive retreat atmosphere.

Software Carpentry Workshop
Software Carpentry's mission is to help scientists and engineers get more research done in less time and with less pain by teaching them basic lab skills for scientific computing. This hands-on workshop is aimed at intermediate programmers that know the basics of R and want to learn more. It is ideal for past attendees of our novice Software Carpentry workshops (e.g. 2013, 2014), incoming graduate students that attended the MBL Quantitative Approaches Bootcamp, and graduate students or postdocs that currently use R for their research.

III. Seminars of the Committee on Microbiology

During the Autumn, Winter and Spring Quarters, the Committee on Microbiology will host a seminar series comprised of seven to ten presentations by faculty invited from other institutions.  A reading and discussion session will accompany the seminar series, MICR 39000 Introduction to Experimental Microbiology.  In the session, which meets for one hour on a day preceding each week's seminar, first year graduate students will discuss with their peers and a Microbiology faculty member three original research papers of the invited speaker.  Following the seminar and the conventional question and answer period, first year graduate students of the Committee on Microbiology are invited to question the speaker on her or his research and to discuss their own research for a period of 1 hour.  In this manner, we will provide students with an intellectual environment that reveals the discovery process and research frontiers in various laboratories and fields.  First year graduate students are required to register for the course, MICR 39000 Introduction to Experimental Microbiology, and will receive one credit for attending the seminar series (and the reading/discussion section) in the Autumn, Winter and Spring Quarters of the first year of graduate school. 

IV. Research Forum of the Committee on Microbiology

All graduate students and honors undergraduate students of the Committee on Microbiology will present at a research forum once each year.  The research forum meets weekly (Fridays at noon in CLSC 119) during the autumn, winter and spring quarters. Students and postdoctoral fellows present their recent research data for critical evaluation by the faculty of the Committee on Microbiology.  This course provides a venue to ensure continued progress of graduate students in their thesis projects.  First year graduate students are required to register for the course, MICR 40000 Microbiology Research Forum, and will receive one credit for attending throughout the Autumn, Winter and Spring Quarters of the first year of graduate school.