Programs of study leading to a Ph.D. degree are offered in different fields of microbiology including genetics, ecology, pathogenesis, cell biology, physiology, anaerobic microbiology, biotechnology and bioinformatics.

Degree Type: Doctoral

Degree Program Code: PHD_MIBO

Degree Program Summary:

Students with a B.S. degree may apply directly to the Ph.D. program. Programs of study leading to a Ph.D. degree are offered in different fields of microbiology including genetics, molecular biology, cell biology, ecology, microbial pathogenesis, vaccine development, physiology, anaerobic microbiology, biotechnology and bioinformatics. Faculty interests are diverse, including marine science, prokaryotic biology, fungal biology, parasitology, and biochemistry, here.

Our PhD students are admitted through the Integrated Life Sciences Department (ILS) and choose their research/thesis advisors after completing three research rotations in different laboratories. Please check the following website for more information about admission through ILS, here.

Graduate students pursuing PhD in the Department of Microbiology are guaranteed support by assistantships or fellowships while enrolled in the program. In addition, a tuition waiver is granted for graduate students on any kind of fellowship or assistantship. Prospective students will be considered automatically for any Graduate School, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, or departmental assistantships for which they are eligible. Ph.D. candidates are also qualified to apply for the departmental or the university fellowships.

There is a connecting thread to all the research in the Microbiology Graduate Program: the study of diverse microorganisms from the molecular level to the organismal and community levels in order to develop a complete picture of the role of microbial life in our biosphere. Since its formation in 1953, the Department of Microbiology has enjoyed sustained growth and developed an international reputation in prokaryotic biology and fungal biology. Our faculty participate in several interdepartmental and multi-institutional research programs, including the Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute, the Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases, the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, the UGA Interdisciplinary Fungal Biology Group, and the Institute of Bioinformatics. Research in the department is well supported by external funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and a number of private foundations and corporations.

Degree requirements include the successful completion of course work and comprehensive exams, and submission of a thesis or dissertation consisting of original, scholarly research in the field of microbiology. Teaching experience is vital to careers in science, so we require all graduate students in our program to teach a minimum of at least one course while in our program. We also require an additional in-depth professional development activity, such as a second semester of teaching, a professional internship, or participation in an outside summer course or intensive workshop.  We take great pride in our graduate instructors and provide the necessary mentoring in instructional skills. The University and the department also honor outstanding teaching assistants with various awards. The Ph.D. program is generally completed in five to six years. The program of study is designed by the student and their advisory committee to provide a broad foundation in microbiology, preparing the student for a career in research and/or teaching in academia, industry, or the government.

Office Location:
Biological Sciences Building
Athens, GA 30602-2605

Locations Offered:

Athens (Main Campus)

College / School:

Franklin College of Arts & Sciences

346 Brooks Hall
Athens, GA 30602




Graduate Coordinator(s):

Phone Number:


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