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Microbiology Graduate Program

The Department of Microbiology at Illinois offers unique opportunities for graduate students to become skilled and creative microbiologists. We have outstanding resources in our internationally recognized faculty, graduate students, and research facilities. Our graduate program not only allows our research students to learn the latest techniques, but also fosters their development as independent scientists.


The Department of Microbiology is a part of the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB), which includes the Departments of Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology, and Molecular and Integrative Physiology. The department is part of an umbrella program in MCB that encompasses 80 different research laboratories. Students admitted into any of these departmental graduate programs can select faculty thesis advisors from over 60 active research laboratories in the school. Close ties are also maintained with the School of Integrative Biology, the School of Chemical Sciences, the College of Medicine, and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Graduates from the Department of Microbiology are employed in colleges and universities, industry, and government. Following graduation, most of our Ph.D. students accept postdoctoral positions at major research institutions, after which they take positions doing research in academia or industry.

Developments in genetic engineering and biotechnology provide many opportunities in pharmaceutical, chemical, and genetic engineering companies.