Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology


METX first-year students participate in three seven-week laboratory rotations, while undertaking rigorous coursework that emphasizes critical evaluation of scientific models and experimental results. The program provides the flexibility to craft an individual curriculum that specifically suits the needs of the student's research interests. At the end of the three rotations, students select a thesis lab for an independent research project that ultimately leads to their dissertation. First year students craft a literature review to form a sound basis for their thesis research. In the second year, students take oral qualifying exams. Advanced graduate students work under the direct supervision of one of fifteen affiliated faculty members in a highly interactive, collaborative research environment. All students speak every year in the Dept. of Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology seminar series, participate in a variety of seminars, advanced special topics courses, and research group meetings designed to provide continuing learning opportunities. Please refer to the METX Graduate Student Handbook for detailed information on graduate studies in the department of Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology.

General Requirements

  • Coursework: Students take 6 courses - 5 core courses and 1 elective (courses listed below).
  • Research Rotations: Students complete 3 rotations in different laboratories during the 1st year
  • Rotation Seminar: Students present a rotation talk at the end of each rotation in the 1st year
  • Teaching: Graduate students must TA at least one quarter
  • Oral Qualifying Exam: The qualifying exam is taken at the end of their 2nd year
  • Research Seminar: Students formally present their research in the 3rd year
  • Thesis Advisory Committee: Students must meet with a thesis advisory committee once a year
  • Doctoral Dissertation: Students must submit a doctoral thesis to the advisory committee.
  • Oral Dissertation Defense: Students must present a formal seminar to defend the thesis

Required Course Work

  • METX 200 (Interdisciplinary Approaches to Problems at the Interface of Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology)
  • METX 206A (Advanced Microbiology) or METX 202 (Cell and Molecular Toxicology)
  • METX 245A (Scientific Communication) or METX 205 (Grant Writing) 
  • METX 200B (Developing and presenting scientific projects)
  • You must also take one of the following:
    METX 201 (Sources and Fates of Pollutants)
    METX 210 (Bacterial Pathogenesis)
    METX 238 (Pathogenesis)
    METX 250 (Environmental Microbiology)
  • Students must also take BIOL 289 (Practice of Science: Scientific Ethics) (does not count toward course work minimum)

Elective Courses (students must take at least 1 elective and BIOL 200B is strongly encouraged)

  • BIOL 200A: Critical Analysis of Scientific Literature
  • BIOL 200B: Advanced Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 200C: Advanced Cell Biology
  • BIOL 200D: Advanced Developmental Biology
  • CHEM 200A: Advanced Biochemistry: Biophysical Methods
  • CHEM 200B: Advanced Biochemistry: Protein Structure and Function
  • BIOL 201: RNA Processing
  • BIOL 203: Ribosomes and Translation
  • BIOL 204: Chromatin and Transcription
  • BIOL 205: Epigenetics
  • BIOL 206: Introduction to Stem Cell Biology
  • BIOL 206L: Current Protocols in Stem Cell Biology
  • BIOL 208: Cellular Signaling Mechanisms
  • BIOL 226: Advanced Neuroscience
  • AMS 156*: Linear Regression
  • AMS 202*: Linear Models
  • BME 110: Computational Biology Tools
  • BME 230: Computational Genomics
Program in Biomedical Sciences and Engineering is supported by training grants from the National Institute of General Medical Science and the National Human Genome Research Institute.
nih UCSC's graduate  Program in Biomedical Sciences and Engineering is supported by training grants from the National Institute of General Medical Science and the National Human Genome Research Institute.