Microbiology and Immunology Master of Science Program


photo of a student in a lab

Microbiology and immunology are recognized specialties in consistent demand by corporations, government, education and research organizations. The Microbiology and Immunology Master of Science Program is indispensible for students focusing on careers in these areas and ideal for those who wish to study medicine, dentistry or veterinary science.

Areas of specialization include:

  • Molecular genetics
  • Microbial physiology
  • Immunology
  • Human neutrophils
  • Host immunology/parasite relationships
  • Microbial ecology
  • Immunotoxicology
  • Immunoparasitology
  • DNA and conventional vaccine development
  • Retrovirology (HIV)
  • Environmental microbiology
  • Indoor allergens
  • Inflammation
  • Virology

Participating faculty are from various departments in the College of Science and Mathematics. Admission and registration information are available through the Graduate School. For more information regarding pre-professional programs, contact the Pre-Health Advising Program office.

Didactic Semester Courses offered by the Program of Microbiology and Immunology

  • M&I 7260 Immunology
  • M&I 7270 Pathogenic Microbiology
  • M&I 7310 Basic Virology
  • M&I 7450 Immunobiology M&I 7700 Intercellular Communication
  • M&I 7720 Mechanisms of Cell Death
  • M&I 7750 Pathogenic Mechanisms     
  • M&I 7770 Gene Therapy

Additional graduate level courses may be selected from the Departments of Biological Sciences, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Neuroscience, Cell Biology and Physiology, Pharmacology/Toxicology, Mathematics and Computer Science.


Admission and registration forms and procedures are available through the Graduate School.

  1. The applicant should have taken a distribution of undergraduate courses in biological sciences, chemistry, physics and mathematics that would support his or her anticipated graduate study.
  2. Students are required to submit three letters of recommendation from individuals who can evaluate the applicant's ability handle graduate-level course work and research. Recommendations should reflect professors' knowledge of the applicant's undergraduate performance in the sciences and/or from the student's work. The recommendations should describe the applicant's competence in understanding and performing work in a science-related area and reflect the ability of the candidate to accomplish the graduate level work in microbiology/and immunology.
  3. A personal statement summarizing the applicants interests in the fields of Microbiology and Immunology is required.
  4. Students are strongly encouraged to enter into the program only in the Fall Semester, although admission is permitted at other times in exceptional circumstances.
  5. A part-time graduate student can take course work in the program at any time, but will not be accepted into the program as a degree candidate until a faculty member has agreed to supervise his/her research.
  6. International students with a GPA of less than 3.0 are required to submit GRE scores. While not required, other applicants are encouraged to provide GRE scores. These scores may be used to make Admission decisions when the GPA is below 3.0.
  7. Non-English-Speaking international students must pass the oral proficiency test before starting the research or teaching portion of their program.
  8. International Students should contact the University Center for International Education when applying to Wright State University.

Degree Requirements

Students may choose between a research-based thesis option and a non-research based thesis option. All students will be advised by the Program Director until a thesis advisor has been selected.

Option A. Research-Based Thesis Option

The M.S. Program should be completed in two to two and a half years.  The Program of Microbiology & Immunology requires the completion of specified courses and a research thesis for recommendation for graduation.

A minimum of 30 semester hours is required to complete the program. All students are required to take BMB 7500 and 7520, for a total of six semester hours. All students must take M&I 7260 (4 credits) and two seminars with an M&I prefix, for a total of eight semester hours. One of the seminars can be replaced with a course from another department with the approval of the director. An additional didactic course for three semester hours must be taken in M&I or other life sciences department. The additional 13 semester hours may be taken in a mixture of M&I 6990, M&I 8990, and other didactic courses in the life sciences. BIO 6080, Writing in the Biological Sciences, is strongly recommended for all students in the program.


All graduate students are required to successfully complete an original research thesis.  The performance of research will be under the guidance of a thesis advisor and an advisory committee.

A written thesis proposal and projected program of study MUST be approved by the advisory committee and submitted to the Program Director by the beginning of the second year.  The student should meet with the Committee for a formal review of the research progress before permission is granted to submit a written thesis.  A final draft of the thesis MUST be submitted to the Advisory Committee at least two weeks before the scheduled defense.  The student MUST obtain permission from the advisor to schedule the defense.  The defense will be evaluated on a pass/fail basis determined by the quality of the written thesis, the quality of the student’s presentation, and the ability of the student to clearly and accurately answer the Advisory Committee’s questions concerning the research.  The completed thesis and its successful defense before the committee should be completed by the end of second year. 

The defense will consist of two parts.  For the first part, the student will present a seminar that is open to the public.  Following this, the Advisory Committee will examine the student in a closed session.  The seminar will cover the completed research project.  The program requirements for successful completion of the graduate program will not be met until this defense is completed and approved by the Advisory Committee.

Depending on research progress, full-time students should complete the M.S. two to two and a half years. A program of study should be filed with the Graduate School by the beginning of the second year; if there have been any changes, an updated program of study must be filed with the Graduate School during the final semester.

Option B. Non-Research Thesis Option under the Quarter System

The non-research based Master’s student is required to do an extensive literature search in a specific area and write a literature-based thesis.  As an alternative, the student could prepare and defend a proposal in a specific research area.

Specifics of the program are as follows:
  1. Students are required to take all courses required of the thesis-based M.S. candidates, including 2 seminars.  At least 6 additional hours must be taken in didactic courses in M&I and other life science departments. The remaining 10 semester hours may include M&I 6990 and 8990. BIO 6080, Writing in the Biological Sciences, is strongly recommended for all students in the program.
  2. Extensive literature searches are essential to prepare a literature-based thesis or research proposal.  The area to be researched would be at the advisor’s discretion, but should be reviewed by the advisory committee.
  3. The procedures for selection of the Advisor and formation of the Advisory Committee is the same as it is for the research based option.
  4. The final examination will be based on a written literature-based thesis or a written research proposal.  The thesis or research proposal will also be presented orally to the Advisory Committee.  It will be open to the public.  In the proposal, the logic behind the experiments, justification and rationale should be emphasized.  Also, possible results and alternative ways to do the experiments should be discussed.

A program of study should be filed with the Graduate School by the beginning of the second year; if there have been any changes, an updated program of study must be filed with the Graduate School during the final semester.

Financial Assistance

Two graduate teaching assistantships are available on a competitive basis. These carry a waiver of most tuition and instructional fees. Appointments are made for one year and may be renewed for a second year.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Barbara Hull, Director
Microbiology and Immunology M.S. Program
209 Biological Sciences Hall
Wright State University
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton, OH 45435-0001

(937) 775-2532
FAX: (937) 775-3320

Program Faculty


Faculty members for the Departments of Biological Sciences (BIO), Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB), Neurosciences, Cell Biology and Physiology (NCBP), and Pharmacology and Toxicology (P&T) with interests in microbiology and immunology comprise the program faculty.  They may be contacted as listed below.

James P. Amon, Ph.D.

(937) 775-2632

Larry Arlian, Ph.D.

(937) 775-2568

Nancy Jane Bigley, Ph.D.

063B Medical Sciences Building

(937) 775-2824

Thomas L. Brown, Ph.D.

011F Medical Sciences Building

(937) 775-3809

Julian G. Cambronero, Ph.D.

(937) 775-3601

Katherine Excoffon, Ph.D.

(937) 775-2301

Barb Hull, Ph.D.

(937) 775-2532

Shulin Ju, Ph.D.

Oleg Paliy, Ph.D.

260 Diggs Lab

(937) 775-3714

Courtney Sulentic, Ph.D.

206 Health Sciences Building

(937) 775-3583

Dawn P. Wooley, Ph.D.

016 Math and Microbiology Bldg.

(937) 775-4993


i-biology-about_0.jpgThe Microbiology and Immunology program has excellent ancillary facilities on campus which include

  • Specialized cell and tissue culture facilities
  • Constant temperature rooms and coldrooms
  • Animal care facilities
  • Darkroom capabilities

Equipment includes

  • Fluorescent microscope
  • Flow cytometry
  • Electrophoresis
  • PCR thermocoupler
  • Laminar flow safety cabinets
  • Transmission and electron microscopes
  • Mass spectrometer