Department of Microbiology Franklin College of Arts and Sciences University of Georgia

Department of Microbiology Franklin College of Arts and Sciences University of Georgia

Athens, GA
student ratio
total students
Not Reported
average amount to complete degree
July 1
fall application deadline
acceptance rate
2 Degrees Offered
degrees offered


Elite, Award-Winning Faculty Makes UGA Microbiology Program World-Class, Preparing Students for Leadership and Discovery

The University of Georgia was the nation's first state-supported university, chartered in 1785. It has 13 schools and a total enrollment of over 32,000 students on a campus of some 3,500 acres. Established more than 50 years ago as part of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Microbiology now ranks among the top five non-medical-school microbiology departments in the nation.

The award-winning faculty has leading-edge expertise that is not only current but often ahead of the curve. Renowned for its mastery of a wide array of microbial systems, the program has among its 15 faculty members three recipients of prestigious NSF Presidential Young Investigator Awards, a Guggenheim Fellow, and three winners of NIH Research Career Development Awards.

Research in the department generates over $2 million per year from such sources as the NIH, NSF, EPA, USDA, Department of Energy, Office of Naval Research, and various foundations and corporate sponsors. Department faculty members generate over 70 publications annually in scientific journals.

The UGA Graduate Program in Microbiology Prepares Students for Careers in Research, Teaching, Industry, or Government

The Department of Microbiology offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, and students holding a B.S. degree are invited to apply directly for either program. Degree requirements include successfully completing coursework, passing comprehensive exams, fulfilling the Graduate School residency requirement, and submitting a thesis or dissertation consisting of original, scholarly research.

Students are able to pursue a wide range of disciplines, including cell biology, microbial pathogenesis, ecology, evolution, microbial physiology and genetics, population biology, biotechnology, and bioinformatics. All students take a core curriculum covering microbial physiology and metabolism, molecular biology, and microbial diversity. Advanced courses in specialized areas are also available through the Department of Microbiology and the Division of Biological Sciences.

While the M.S. program is typically completed in two to three years, the Ph.D. requires five to six years. All programs of study are designed by students and their advisory committees to provide a broad foundation in microbiology, which will prepare them for careers in research and teaching positions in academia, industry, or the government.

State-of-the-Art Facilities Occupy Over 34,000 Square Feet and Keep UGA Graduate Students on Leading Edge of Research

The Department of Microbiology occupies more than 34,000 square feet of renovated space in the Biological Sciences Building. Facilities are also available for environmental studies at the University of Georgia Marine Institute on Sapelo Island and the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory.

Departmental laboratories are equipped for state-of-the-art research in microbiology. Students may also use professionally staffed university research facilities for computational analysis, electron and laser-scanning confocal microscopy, flow cytometry, proteomics, mass spectrometry, DNA and protein sequencing and synthesis, large-scale fermentations, monoclonal antibody production, and research animal care. Most of these facilities are in the same building, while others are just a few blocks away.

Career Choices for Graduates Abound in Private and Public Enterprises, and the Opportunities Are Expanding All the Time

In academia, microbiology is a core science in professional training and a key discipline of biological studies. There are numerous types of positions available for individuals with microbiology training in academic institutions, including research and teaching.

The legal field has work alongside leaders of the "biotech" revolution as it has made many discoveries in academic, government, and industry settings that next require industrial and product development. There are legal firms that work in patent law and technology transfer that need help from scientists of all kinds.

There are many employment opportunities for microbiologists in various branches of government. Threats of bioterrorism have led to the use of microbiologists in law enforcement and military settings. Career opportunities in private industry include management, quality control, research, and product development. Besides "big pharma" and biotechnology there are numerous other career tracks in cosmetics, breweries, and oil industries.

A microbiology degree plus instruction in education can lead to a career in teaching. Microbiology is an interdisciplinary science that can provide excellent background for teaching science at all educational levels.

The healthcare industry provides many opportunities for microbiologists in management, diagnostics, and quality control. The publishing industry also provides career opportunities for microbiologists. The growing popularity of science in recent years has led to many new journals where microbiologists can find employment opportunities in editorial staff activities.

Assistantships, Stipends, Fellowships, and Other Awards Add Up to Defray Tuition Expense for Graduate Students

Graduate students in the Department of Microbiology are supported by assistantships or fellowships, with awards starting at $24,000 per year for Ph.D. candidates and $22,000 per year for M.S. candidates. In addition to these awards, full annual tuition is waived for every graduate student on any kind of fellowship or assistantship; this amounts to an additional value of $30,856. Thus, the total financial package (assistantship/fellowship plus tuition waiver) ranges from $52,856 to $54,856, depending on the type of assistantship/fellowship.

Athens, GA is Among America's "Great College Towns," with Good Climate and Rich Cultural, Artistic, Recreational Options

The University of Georgia is located in Athens, one of America's great college towns. Athens has a community of 98,000 and is situated in a rolling, wooded area in the Piedmont of northeastern Georgia. The climate is moderate, with mean temperatures ranging from 33°F to 53°F (1°C to 12°C) in January and 68°F to 89°F (20°C to 32°C) in July. The Appalachian Trail begins only 70 miles to the north, and Atlanta lies about the same distance to the southwest. Within a modest drive are the barrier islands of the Georgia coast, the Okefenokee Swamp and the Chattahoochee National Forest. Numerous recreational and cultural activities are available in the Athens area and nearby.

Location & Contact

Department of Microbiology

Franklin College of Arts and Sciences
University of Georgia

527 BioSciences Building 2605
Athens, GA 30602
United States

Dr. William Whitman


Phone: 706-542-4219

Dr. Eric Stabb

Graduate Coordinator

Phone: 706-542-2414
Fax: 706-542-2674

Request More Info

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Microbiology Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Master of Science (MS)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 1
    • Doctoral Degrees 7
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Not reported
    • Evening/weekend programs available? No
    • Distance learning programs available? Not reported
    • Terminal master's degree available? Not reported
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees
    • Doctoral Degrees
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


22% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 85
    • Accepted 19
    • Acceptance Rate 22
    • Enrolled 10
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $50
    • Application Fee - International $50
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Not Reported
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline July 1st Not Reported Yes
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline November 15th Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesGRE General Test
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE General Test
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required, 550 paper based

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees *
    • Tuition & FeesNot Reported
    • *Average dollar amount (tuition & fees) required to complete the degree
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitNot Reported
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsDecember 15
    • Types of financial support availableFellowships, Research Assitantships, Teaching Assistantships, Graduate Assistantships

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students51
    • Female Percentage49%
    • Male Percentage51%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students51
    • Part-time Percentage0%
    • Full-time Percentage100%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino11%
    • Black / African American9%
    • White / Caucasian76%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
    • Asian2%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races2%
    • Unknown0%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty17
    • Full-time Percentage100%
    • Part-time Percentage0%
    • Female Percentage24%
    • Male Percentage76%