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 5 courses - 4 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 quarter 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 and QE II fall quarter of their 3rd 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
  • METX 205: Grant Writing
  • You must also take one of the following:
    METX 201: Sources and Fates of Pollutants
    METX 202: Cell and Molecular Toxicology
    METX 210: Bacterial Pathogenesis
    METX 238: Pathogenesis
    METX 250: Environmental Microbiology
    METX 270: Drug Action and Development

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

  • METX 202: Cellular and Molecular Toxicology
  • Bio 200A: Critical Analysis of Scientific Literature
  • BIO 200B: Advanced Molecular Biology
  • Bio 200C: Advanced Cell Biology
  • Bio 200D: Advanced Developmental Biology
  • Chem 200A: Advanced Biochemistry: Biophysical Methods
  • Chem 200B: Advanced Biochemistry: Protein Structure and Function
  • Bio 201: RNA Processing
  • Bio 203: Ribosomes and Translation
  • Bio 204: Chromatin and Transcription
  • Bio 205: Epigenetics
  • Bio 206: Introduction to Stem Cell Biology
  • Bio 206L: Current Protocols in Stem Cell Biology
  • Bio 208: Cellular Signaling Mechanisms
  • Bio 226: Advanced Neuroscience
  • AMS 156*: Linear Regression
  • AMS 202*: Linear Models
  • BME 110: Computational Biology Tools
  • BME 230: Computational Genomics
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.