Clemson Graduate School

Clemson Graduate School


General Information

Degrees Offered


The graduate program in microbiology, offered through the Department of Biological Sciences, includes the MS and PhD degrees. The program offers specializations in cellular and physiological microbiology, microbial genetics and molecular microbiology, and environmental microbiology. The program encompasses a wide variety of disciplines, including bacterial physiology and metabolism, pathogenic microbiology, carcinogenesis and cancer cell biology, immunology, microbial genetics, microbial ecology and applied and environmental microbiology. The overall goals of the program are to develop scientists with strong interdisciplinary skills in research design, critical thinking and communication in microbiology, as well as expertise in a specific research area.

About the Program

For additional information, please contact the program coordinator (Jeremy Tzeng)

Application Requirements


Admission is based on academic performance, standardized scores and reference letters. If you are interested in joining this program, you should contact faculty prior to applying in order to identify a faculty mentor with space available for new students. Additional information about microbiology faculty can be found on the departmental web Your statement of purpose will provide insight into your goals and mutual interest. Relevant work experience should be highlighted on your application.

You may apply on the web at Applications, along with the application fee, must be received no later than January 15 to be given full consideration for departmental funding opportunities.

Required Documents

For additional information, please contact the program coordinator (Jeremy Tzeng)

Financial Aid

To see the proposed Graduate Tuition Rates for this academic year, click here.

The School or Program offers a number of graduate assistantships to students each year based on merit. These are offered in the form of stipends and the additional benefit of tuition remission. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 credit hours per semester to qualify for a graduate assistantship and must work a minimum of 10 hours a week as a teaching or research assistant or perform other tasks assigned by the School or Program.

Graduate teaching assistantships are available through the department to support teaching in undergraduate laboratories. These assistantships may be renewed annually as long as you are making satisfactory progress toward the degree and they are limited to three years for MS candidates. The twelve-month stipend is currently $13,000 for MS students and $17,000 for PhD students. Graduate research assistantships are also available through extramurally funded research programs with individual faculty members within the department. A limited number of graduate teaching assistantships are currently available for the upcoming academic year.

Course of Study

Program of Study

MS: The MS degree is usually completed within two years and requires course work and thesis research. If you are accepted into the program, you will be required to complete a curriculum that includes course work in cellular and physiological microbiology, microbial genetics and environmental microbiology. The first year of the program emphasizes general course work and research topic and proposal development. The second year focuses on research and thesis preparation and defense. The MS degree in microbiology will prepare you for careers in industry, hospital and public health laboratories, and state and federal agencies.

PhD: The PhD degree is usually completed within four years. There is no minimum credit hour requirement; instead, a program will be established by you in consultation with your advisory committee. The program requires an approved plan of study (second year), successful completion of the qualifying exam for candidate status (third year) and research and dissertation preparation and defense (second through fourth years). The PhD in microbiology will prepare you for a career as a research scientist in academic institutions, in research laboratories and with state, federal and private agencies.

Current Program


The Department of Biological Sciences houses research instrumentation and maintains affiliations with several campus-wide facilities. Imaging laboratories contain confocal, scanning and transmission electron microscopes. Additional electron microscopes are available through the University&apost;s off-campus microscopy facility. The Clemson University DNA sequencing facility provides ABI and LiCor instrumentation for DNA sequencing and fragment analysis. A CT scanning facility is available through the Greenville Hospital System. Specific instruments include a real-time PCR machine, a fluorimeter plate reader and spectrophotometers. Walk-in incubators, cold rooms, special laboratories equipped for tissue culture, analytical ultracentrifug-ation, isotope analysis facilities and various chromatography facilities are also available. The Biotechnology Greenhouse has a number of environmental chambers for research use. You will have the opportunity to work with physicians and biomedical research faculty members at nearby facilities, including the research laboratory of the Greenville Hospital System in Greenville, SC and the Greenwood Genetics Center in Greenwood, SC. The Robert Muldrow Cooper Library, Clemson&apost;s main library, has more than 2 million volumes and 6,000 serial and online journals.

Our Students

Recent graduates are employed in basic research; in industrial, hospital, public health and pollution control laboratories; with state and federal agencies; and in teaching positions in colleges and universities. Others are pursuing continuing graduate or postdoctoral studies in various institutions throughout the country.

Program Coordinator

  • Jeremy Tzeng
  • 149 Life sciences Facility
  • Phone: (864) 656.0239
  • Email: tzuenrt

Additional Contact

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