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Molecular Virology and Microbiology

Houston, Texas

BCM has 25 departments and more than 90 research and patient-care centers.
Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology
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Graduate Program - Elements of the Program

The Graduate Program in Molecular Virology and Microbiology contains many integrated components.

Research: The program is highly research oriented. Research opportunities begin in term 1, and continue throughout the first year in the form of laboratory rotations. The rotations are designed to expose the student to a wide variety of laboratory research and to help them select a laboratory for thesis research. Near the end of the first year, each student selects a Thesis Mentor and enters that laboratory for thesis research. Thesis research is conducted under the direction of the thesis mentor with advice from the thesis advisory committee. The student is required to meet with the thesis advisory committee twice a year until the thesis research is complete.

Course-work: The student is required to take a number of courses in a “Program Core Curriculum” and additional elective courses. The courses in the “program core curriculum” give the student a broad base of basic biomedical science that will be useful in any area of research. Elective courses are designed to allow the student to specialize in the areas of molecular virology or microbiology, by presenting “cutting-edge” information in highly specialized areas.

Presentation/Communication Skills: Although there are no formal courses designed to teach these skills, they are taken seriously by the program. Students learn about presentation by listening to seminars and making presentations in Literature Reports and specialized laboratory meetings. In addition, students gain presentation experience by participation in Departmental Research Retreats and the Graduate Student Symposium. Written communication skills are learned during preparation of laboratory reports, papers for courses, and other avenues. The Graduate School presents informal courses dealing with these skills as well.

Advising: During the first year, students receive advice and counseling from the First Year Advisory Committee and the Program Director of Graduate Studies. After selecting a laboratory for thesis research, a student is advised primarily by the Mentor, the Thesis Advisory Committee, and the Program Director of Graduate Studies.

Candidacy for the Ph.D. Degree: Prior to the end of the second year the student must take the qualifying examination. Passing this examination and completing 30 hours of didactic coursework, qualifies the student as a formal candidate for the degree.

The following links illustrate the typical program of study and outline a typical schedule for the first two years of graduate study in the MVM Program.