UW-Madison Dept of Bacteriology

Master of Science In Bacteriology

Program Overview

The primary goal of the Master of Science (M.S.) degree program is to give students a solid understanding of the scientific process and to provide the opportunity to obtain advanced training in microbiology. The Master's degree is the terminal degree in this program, and completion of this degree does not allow automatic admission to a Ph.D. program.

This program provides the opportunity to tailor a curriculum of advanced coursework and research to fit the needs of each student. Students may acquire a general overview of microbiology or may focus on a specialized subject area in microbiology such as food or environmental microbiology, biotechnology, bacterial physiology, medical microbiology or molecular/cell biology. The self-tailored program must meet the requirements of the Graduate School and of the Department of Bacteriology for the M.S. degree.

The M.S. degree program exists in two forms, one involves primarily formal coursework and has no research requirement; the other requires significant laboratory research, including formal written documentation (thesis or manuscript). Students are admitted to the M.S. program under the coursework option. A student desiring a research M.S. must identify a faculty member who agrees to serve as the student's research advisor.

The coursework option serves students who want to acquire knowledge about current topics in microbiology primarily in a classwork setting. Examples of students who benefit from this option are those currently employed in research, clinical or biotechnology labs seeking an advanced degree; lawyers and law students who wish to specialize in biotechnology or environmental law; and students preparing for health professions.

The research option serves students who seek to develop scientific research skills. This option is chosen by laboratory technicians who want advanced technical training; students seeking laboratory skills for employment; and students who desire laboratory experience and advanced course work before applying to Ph.D. programs.

Entrance Requirements

In addition to the minimum requirements for admission to the University of Wisconsin Graduate School, applicants should have completed three semesters of Biology, including some genetics; four semesters of Chemistry, including organic; two semesters of Physics; one Math course beyond algebra and trigonometry (i.e. calculus, statistics, or computer sciences). Applications from students lacking the general requirements may be considered, but deficiencies must be absolved before completion of the program. Students must also fulfill the general requirements of a one semester course in each of the following: general microbiology, biochemistry, microbial genetics, and microbial physiology. The general requirements can be completed before entry or as part of the program.

Graduate School Requirements

Prospective students must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School.

Coursework Option

A minimum of 30 credits of graduate-level coursework is required, with courses selected by the student and program advisor. At least 9 credits of formal coursework must be at the 600 level or above. Students in the coursework option are encouraged to participate in laboratory/field/special problems experiences as part of their graduate studies, through independent study on campus or an off campus internship. Up to 9 of the required 30 credits may be completed through independent study, research or internship credits. With permission of the program advisor, up to 8 graduate course credits from another university may be applied toward the course requirements

Research Option

A minimum of 10 credits of graduate-level coursework is required, with courses selected by student and research advisor. Students also register for research credits during the semesters they are conducting research.

The student in the research option is advised by a committee composed of the research mentor and at least two other faculty members. The research committee meets with the student to determine progress and satisfaction of deadlines andvrequirements.

The student submits a written research proposal to the committee, generally within twelve months of beginning graduate studies, which serves as a basis for the Master's research project. The student must complete either a formal thesis or contribute substantively to a manuscript appropriate for submission to a professional journal. The research committee gives the student an oral examination on the thesis or manuscript. The recommendation for award of the M.S. degree will be based on the strength of the thesis or manuscript, the oral examination, and completion of coursework and all other Graduate School requirements.

Financial Assistance

The M.S. in Bacteriology program does not provide funding for any student in the program and financial support for Master's students is limited. Because the program is flexible, students are able to work part or full-time at jobs on or off campus while enrolled. Students in the research option may be paid as research assistants by their research mentor if funds are available.

Information on financial resources available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents is available from the Office of Student Financial Services

To apply

Graduate School application instructions and the on-line application are available at http://info.gradsch.wisc.edu/admin/admissions/appinstr.html

Only online applications are accepted.

Application Deadlines

Semester International Students Domestic Students
Fall June 1 June 1
Spring October 15 October 15
Summer March 15 March 15

Although students may apply to begin the program in any semester, summer application is not encouraged. Students who plan to pursue the coursework option will be considered for summer admission only if they need to take a prerequisite or general requirement course that is offered in the summer. Students pursuing the research option who have already found a lab may also apply for summer admission. All other applicants will be considered for admission only in the fall or spring semesters.

In addition to a Graduate Application, including a statement of purpose for graduate school, applicants must supply official transcripts, sent directly to the Department of Bacteriology and three letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation are submitted electronically. List your references in the online application for admission. A recommendation request will be sent, by email, to each of your references. The email will include your name with a link to each department's electronic recommendation form. The request can be sent at any time providing you meet department deadlines. You can change references or send a reminder through your application. Contact your references ahead of time, so that they can expect your request for recommendation.

GRE scores are not required but will be considered if submitted. International students must also supply TOEFL or MELAB scores and, if accepted, a financial statement.

For More Information

About the University of Wisconsin of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School and the application process.

Questions about the program may directed to: bactms@bact.wisc.edu (608) 262-2975

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Department of Bacteriology
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Microbial Sciences Building
1550 Linden Dr. Madison, WI 53706

Phone (608) 262-2914
Department Chair: Richard Gourse
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