Interdisciplinary Programs

Microbiology student

Microbiology - Ph.D., M.S.

Earth is microbial: Bacteria, archaea, viruses, protists, and fungi are the largest store of biomass on the planet, and represent nearly all of its biodiversity. They store massive genetic resources that can be used to solve challenges faced by our rapidly growing human population. Microbes will be key to developing more sustainable energy generation and material synthesis, improving human health and wellness, and satisfying increased food demands of larger human populations in the face of limited environmental resources. 

The faculty of the University of Delaware (UD) Microbiology Graduate Program are already addressing these challenges in five separate colleges and thirteen departments. By bringing these faculty and resources together to train the next generation of microbiologists, with stakeholder guidance to develop an innovative educational program, the Microbiology Graduate Program will serve as a model for interdisciplinary enterprises at UD.

Our faculty already make significant contributions to the Grand Challenges in Delaware Will Shine, the blueprint for UD’s continued development as a premier learner-centered university. The program faculty and students are engaged in the Grand Challenges in Improving Health and Wellness, Innovating Energy and Environmental Solutions, and Ensuring Safety and Security.

The goals of this graduate program are to:

  • Recruit and retain a diverse pool of high-quality graduate students in Microbiology

  • Recruit and retain diverse, high-quality Microbiology faculty invested in cutting- edge student training

  • Rigorously deliver foundational concepts in genome-enabled Microbiology via a core curriculum

  • Provide rigorous electives to support broad exploration beyond the core curriculum

  • Foster professional skills in trainees, enabling them to succeed in multiple career paths

  • Facilitate cross-departmental and cross-college research collaborations

  • Identify and develop new tracks/concentrations as suggested by student/stakeholder interest

  • Proactively engage the advisory committee (see below) to assess program goals, curriculum, and to generate external support.

Opportunities for students to present at the annual MicroSymposium.
Opportunities for students to present at the annual MicroSymposium.
Niskin bottles are deployed to sample water at different depths at the Bermuda Atlantic Time Series station. Photo by Barbra Ferrell
Niskin bottles are deployed to sample water at different depths at the Bermuda Atlantic Time Series station. Photo by Barbra Ferrell
Spore trappings collected by graduate student, Madeline Henrickson.
Spore trappings collected by graduate student, Madeline Henrickson.
Samples are collected from lakes in western Nebraska with collaborators from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Photo by Barbra Ferrell
Samples are collected from lakes in western Nebraska with collaborators from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Photo by Barbra Ferrell
Malique Bowen, grad student, working in a lab on our Lewes Campus.
Malique Bowen, grad student, working in a lab on our Lewes Campus.
Lab equipment aboard the RV Atlantic Explorer at the Bermuda Atlantic Time Series station.
Lab equipment aboard the RV Atlantic Explorer at the Bermuda Atlantic Time Series station.
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