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Graduate Program (Ph.D.)

Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis

The major objective of graduate education in the Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis Graduate Program is research training. Students are grounded with a strong foundation in basic concepts of microbiology, microbial pathogenesis, and immunology and allowed flexibility in choosing advanced coursework in their specific areas of interest. Each student will complete an original, in-depth research investigation and document that investigation in the form of a written thesis or dissertation.

The overall educational objective of the program is to produce doctoral students capable of designing, performing, and directing independent research in Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis as well as teach at the highest academic levels.

Program Description

In general, four to five years are required to complete the Ph.D. program. Students have to complete core courses, take at least 30 hours of course work, pass candidacy exam (in written and oral), and defense dissertation research. Students will enter the program as second year students after successfully completing the common first year core curriculum, which is directed by the Office of Research and Graduate Education.

Application for the 2019/2020 academic year:

Applicants to the graduate program of Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis must have an earned bachelors or masters' degree from an accredited institution. Applicants should have a strong background in biological sciences, organic chemistry, physics, and mathematics.

The Office of Research and Graduate Education directs the Recruitment Committee and Admission Committee for the recruitment and selection of applicants into the first year core curriculum. All applicants are required to take the general aptitude sections of the Graduate Record Examination. 

  • Applications open on August 1, 2018
  • Completed applications are due December 15, 2018
  • Applications are only accepted for admission for the Fall semester

Applications are electronic and submitted via: Materials that cannot be submitted electronically should be mailed to: 
Office of Admissions
One Waterfront Place
PO Box 6009 | Morgantown, WV 26506-6009
Phone: 304-293-2121 | Fax: 304-293-8832


Admission is competitive and we receive many more applications than we have positions available. Upper level coursework in the sciences, math, and/or engineering is strongly recommended. Competitive applicants have STEM GPAs of 3.5 or higher, GRE scores greater than 300, and a strong record of research experiences. Applications are reviewed holistically; we consider the applicants ability to be successful in our curriculum and as a future scientist.

Application Materials:

The online application site allows to you monitor your application to see that it is complete. Please check to make sure that all materials are being received.

Personal Statement:

The personal statement should highlight your scientific interests, research experiences that informed these interests, your motivation for continuing your education and for choosing the Biomedical Sciences graduate programs at West Virginia University, and potential career goals. Applications without personal statements will not be reviewed. The personal statement is uploaded in the online application.

Letters of Recommendation:

Three letters of recommendation are required. These should come from professors or supervisors who can evaluate your performance in coursework and/or research, and your potential to be a successful graduate student. Please enter your referee's email address in the recommendation section and a notification will be sent to them requesting that they upload a letter on your behalf.


To expedite the review of your application and invitation to interview, we will accept unofficial or personal copies of your transcripts. Please upload them with your application in the Supplemental Materials section. Official transcripts should be sent from all institutions that you have attended.

Transcripts from institutions outside the United States must be original or certified copies in the original language of issue. Official English translations of academic records and certificates/diplomas are required.

Test Scores:

WVU institution code for GRE and TEOFL or IELTS scores is 5904

To be admitted into the Graduate Program in Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis students must have a 3.0 GPA in the first year core curriculum courses and a grade of B or better in any courses taken in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cell Biology.

For students affected by extreme weather this year, especially from Puerto Rico and USVI – GRE scores will be waived.

Application Review Process:

Review of applications begins in September and continues until all positions are filled. For maximum consideration, we recommend that you apply as early as possible.

Qualified applicants will be invited for an in person interview during the months of December, January, February and March. Travel costs and accommodations are paid by the Health Sciences Center, Office of Research and Graduate Education. We will work with you to schedule travel and make hotel reservations.

Special Notices for International Applicants

Contact Information:

For additional information about our programs or the status of your application once it has been forwarded for review, please email:

To apply.

Financial Aid

Students in the Program will be supported by fellowships, traineeships, teaching assistantships, faculty research grants, and individual fellowships from outside sources. Support will include full tuition, health services and hospitalization insurance to the student, and a monthly stipend. The Financial Aid Office can provide more information. 

Program Brochure