The Microbiology Program provides graduate training leading towards M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. The major supports a broad interest in microbiology, including environmental and pathogenic microbiology, with studies that encompass a spectrum of approaches from the ecological and organismal to the molecular, genetic, and biochemical. Faculty from several colleges and departments participate as major advisors. Prior research experience is highly recommended.
OSU Graduate Admissions Requirements
Prior to contacting Microbiology, please confirm (link below) that you meet all Oregon State University requirements.
Graduate Admissions Requirements for all Applicants to Oregon State University
If you meet Oregon State University requirements, you are encouraged to contact Microbiology Program Faculty whose research coincides with your interests. Individual faculty members will provide information on their programs and opportunities on possible positions in their laboratories for graduate students.
Grade Point Average (GPA)
A minimum GPA of 3.00 is required; recent successful applicants had an average GPA of 3.5.
Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
Taking the GRE is required; the GRE subject exam is optional. Recent successful applicants averaged 60% (verbal), 60% (quantitative), and 50% (analytical writing). For information about the GRE, go to the ETS GRE site.
Prior research experience is an important criterion: most successful graduate students come to our Program with previous research experience. This is obtained through various opportunities, such as REU programs, work-study or volunteering in university research laboratories, a prior M.S. degree, or work in private industry laboratories.
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
Foreign applicants must achieve a TOEFL score of at least 600 (paper test) or 250 (computer test) or 100 (internet test). For information about the TOEFL exam, go to ETS TOEFL site. Proficiency in spoken English is important because of the requirement to serve as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) for one term of a MS or PhD program and to ensure ability to discuss detailed concepts when planning and interpreting your research.
Graduate Teaching and Research Assistantships (GTAs and GRAs)
Value and Cost of Graduate Education
The standard Microbiology Program stipend for the 2019/2020 academic year is $24,000. GTA and GRA appointments include 100% of the tuition, 88% of health insurance, and most student fees (total value of $46,593). Students get a 2% raise each year. Students are responsible for the following costs: $350 (one time matriculation fee due in the first term of enrollment); $62 miscellaneous fees per term (the remaining $561 is paid through the GTA/GRA appointment); and $50.91 per month for health insurance (12% of health insurance is covered by students). Note: Costs may change annually.
Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs)
We offer GTA positions each year on a competitive basis. The GTA appointment involves teaching in laboratory classes, helping with lab prep, and grading tests.
Graduate Research Assistantships (GRAs)
Students may receive GRA support directly from the grant of their major professor. Students may enter the program with a GRA, and are typically supported by a GRA after their first year.
The Microbiology Program is flexible with regard to rotations among different laboratories before choosing a thesis project and home laboratory. Students can enter the Program with a GTA or GRA. A GTA offers the option of rotating for up to three terms (fall, winter, spring of the first year). Note that there is an academic requirement for all Microbiology students to serve one term of a GTA before graduation.
Health insurance is mandatory for all graduate students. GTA and GRA employment includes a contribution of 85% of the cost. More information is available at Student Health Services.
Student Loans, Scholarships and Fellowships
Graduate students are often eligible for financial assistance in the form of student loans or limited university-wide scholarships. For more information contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. Limited scholarship opportunities for partial support in certain specialized fields exist within the Program, e.g., for thesis topics related to fish and animal health or to the dairy industry. Nationally competitive fellowships can be obtained from sources such as the National Science Foundation; these typically must be submitted with deadlines in November of the first year of graduate studies, and therefore require preparation before graduate studies actually commence (in late September). Such sources can augment or replace research grant support.
How to Apply
Deadline: January 1 for all applicants. Interviews are by invitation only and are normally held in February or March.
Online Application: Review the information below before beginning the application process. The Graduate School's application fee is paid online. For further questions about the Microbiology Graduate Program please contact Mary Fulton (541-737-1833).
Required Materials: These are to be entered as prompted in the online application process:
Statement of Objectives: Include specific information about your research experience, what inspired you to pursue graduate studies, why you are interested in our program, and your research goals. Mention specific professors, if any, you would be interested in doing research with. Applicants with varied cultural experiences or who may be educationally, or economically disadvantaged, are encouraged to include mention of these factors in their application.
Letters of Recommendation and Evaluation: Limit of 3 letters. When you list your references, they are automatically sent instructions on how to submit a letter of recommendation, and an evaluation. Be sure that the email addresses are correct.
Documents: To be uploaded after you have completed the first part of the Online Application and have received an acknowledgement email containing instructions.
Transcripts: Unofficial transcript(s) are to be uploaded into the provided space. Do not send hard copy transcripts. Official transcripts will be required if you are admitted to Oregon State University.
Resume/Curriculum Vitae: Include your educational background, course work in progress, work experience, honors, internships, awards and prizes, and papers that you have authored or co-authored, if any.
The review is done online; PLEASE DO NOT MAIL APPLICATION MATERIALS.
APPLY ONLINE HERE