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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

This program has two tracks: Standard track and FastTrack. Keep reading to identify which track best fits your needs. In general, four to five years are required to complete the Ph.D. program, regardless of the track. A description of the coursework for each track can be found here.

Standard track

This track applies to most students interested in pursuing a PhD in Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis. Students have to complete core courses, advanced courses in the program, 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

FastTrack

This program is addressed to the students enrolled in the Immunology and Medical Microbiology (IMMB) undergraduate program at WVU interested in pursuing a PhD. The FastTrack program takes advantage of the strong undergraduate teaching in IMMB and the research experience acquired by the students during their tenure in the IMMB program. The objective of this track is to reduce redundant didactic instruction between IMMB and the PhD program, accelerate time to degree, and attract and retain highly trained IMMB candidates. Students have to complete a reduced set of core courses (no rotations, reduced non field-specific classwork), advanced courses in the program, 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 first year students after successfully completing a modified version of the common first year core curriculum, which is directed by the Office of Research and Graduate Education

Application

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.

Regardless of the track selected, 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. The most up-to-date information on application dates and requirements can be found here: https://medicine.hsc.wvu.edu/micro/students/graduate-program-phd/

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.

Students interested in applying for the FastTrack should do the following:

  • Notify the Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis Graduate Program Director (Dr. Mariette Barbier), and the Office of Research and Graduate Education Assistant Director of Admissions and Academic Affairs (Joe Andria) of your intention to apply to the IMP FastTrack program. Email notification can be made in parallel to submission of the graduate application to WVU Graduate Admissions. 
  • Include an additional section of the Personal Statement which specifies you interest in the IMP Fast Track program and describes how you qualify.

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: researchgrad@hsc.wvu.edu

For additional information about the Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis Program, please email the Program Director: Mariette Barbier, PhD, mabarbier@hsc.wvu.edu

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.