Chat with us, powered by LiveChat
Menu UF Health Home Menu
 

Online Master’s Degree in Microbiology

  • The University of Florida’s online Master of Science in Microbiology & Cell Science with a concentration in Medical Microbiology and Biochemistry

    This 30-credit master’s degree is offered entirely online with asynchronous elements and can be completed anywhere at your own pace. Take an in-depth look at microbiology and earn your master’s degree in as little as one year without required campus or laboratory visits. Courses include a mixture of intensive 1-credit modules and 3-credit classes.

    Why Choose UF

    • US News and World Report ranked UF as a top 50 national university (including public and private colleges) in 2020.
    • UF is home to the largest microbiology department in the United States, allowing us to recruit the best faculty.
    • The concentration in medical microbiology and biochemistry demonstrates a dedication to higher learning which will help you stand out on your professional school applications.

    Advanced Career Opportunities

    Our broad program allows you to diversify your career options and make yourself a more versatile and in-demand asset in the workforce. Potential job opportunities include biochemists and biophysicists, medical scientists, bioinformatics scientists, physicians and surgeons. Each of these occupations enjoys a higher median salary and occupation growth rate compared to all other professions in the United States.

    Course Topics

    You can expect to gain a comprehensive knowledge in several microbiology topics, including bioinformatics, molecular biology, virology and immunology. For more details, please visit the course schedule page.

    Introductory Track

    Students without a background in microbiology or biochemistry will be required to enter the introductory track and take fundamental courses before proceeding to the regular courses. This track, consisting of two courses (Fundamentals of Biochemistry and the Biology of Microorganisms) for 7 credits, will empower you to transition into microbiology without delaying completion expectancy. This track is offered year-round, so you can start the program when it is convenient for you.

    A master’s degree will broaden your career choices in marketing, sales, administrative, teaching and technical support positions. Opportunities include:

    • Supervisor or laboratory manager – supervises day-to-day activities in a variety of laboratories.
    • Research manager or associate - performs experiments and provides technical support to research teams.
    • Instructor - teaches courses at the community and junior college levels.
    Advanced topics include:
    • Microbiology of human pathogens
    • Bioinformatics
    • Molecular biology of gene expression
    • Bacterial physiology
    • Ethics in genetics
    • Virology
    • Immunology
    • DNA and RNA viruses
    View course list here!

    Benefits of UF’s online master’s degree in microbiology and cell science include:

    • Convenient online courses with asynchronous components so you can complete your degree on your own time
    • Access to expert faculty who also teach on-campus
    • No required campus visits or laboratory time
    • No GRE requirement
    • Enhanced career opportunities

    To successfully earn the master’s degree in microbiology and cell science, students must complete the following:

    30 credits in total are needed to graduate.

    15 of the 30 credits need to be completed in a Microbiology and Cell Science course with a MCB, PCB or BSC prefix.

    Download this Course Planning Document if you began courses prior to Spring 2020.

    Download this Course Planning Document if you will begin courses in Spring 2020 or after.


    Required Courses:

    These courses must be taken at some point in your education.

    MCB 6940 Careers Seminar

    MCB4934/MCB6940 is intended to benefit students making career decisions and organizing their academic credentials to support these decisions. The class will be taught as a lecture/presentation and discussion/activity/hands-on course with emphasis on exploring a wide variety of career opportunities in academia, industry, and alternative professions for (micro)biology majors and related fields.

    Credits: 1
    Semesters: Fall, Spring, Summer

    View Full Course Details

    BSC 6459 Fundamentals in Bioinformatics

    Introduction to the basic bioinformatic tools used in computational biology for life science research. The course will use web-based resources that analyze gene and protein sequences as pertinent data examples.

    Credits: 3
    Semester: Fall

    View Full Course Details

    BCH 5413 Mammalian Molecular Biology and Genetics

    This course is designed for graduate or advanced undergraduate students desiring a higher level survey course in molecular biology that is beyond an introductory course. Lectures and discussions will emphasize modern molecular, biochemical, and genetic approaches to solving problems of current interest in molecular biology.

    Credits: 3
    Semesters: Fall, Spring, Summer

    View Full Course Details

    MCB 5252 Microbiology, Immunology, and Basis for Immuno-therapeutics

    1. Study the microbial structure and function with regards to their role in pathogenesis and infection. 2. Mechanism of microbial pathogenesis: virulence factors, pathology, transmission, etc. 3. Selected diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoans are discussed 4. The role of immune system in defending the host against infectious diseases and what happens when it breaks down will be examined. Topics discussed include: innate and acquired immunity, the role of cytokines, hypersensitivity, Immunodeficiency, autoimmune diseases, vaccines and the role of immune-therapeutics 5. General therapeutic principles and mechanisms of bacterial resistance to anti-microbial drugs will be covered. The discussion regarding anti-microbial agents will include: class, mode of action of anti-microbial agents. The relationship between structure and function and its role in rise of antibiotic-resistant strains will be discussed.

    Credits: 4
    Semester: Spring

    View Full Course Details

    IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE – STUDENTS MUST CHOOSE ONE OF THESE COURSES

    (One can count as required and one can count as elective if you take both)

    MCB 5505 Virology

    This course is for beginning graduate and honor students in Microbiology and related disciplines. The course teaches basic information on families of viruses from humans, plants, insects, animals, and bacteria. Lectures cover the basic information of the medical, clinical, diagnostic, biotechnological, and molecular aspects of these viruses.

    Credits: 3
    Semester: Spring

    View Full Course Details

    GMS 7133 Advanced Molecular Virology

    This course follows GMS 6121 Infectious diseases and provides a more detailed molecular analysis of human pathogenic viruses. Replication mechanisms, molecular pathogenesis, host-pathogen interactions, immune evasion strategies, development of antivirals and vaccines, and the relationship between viral evolution and emerging viruses are taught using representative viruses from different viral families.

    Credits: 2
    Semesters: Spring

    View Full Course Details

    IN ADDITION TO ABOVE – STUDENTS MUST CHOOSE ONE OF THESE COURSES

    (One can count as required and one can count as elective if you take both)

    MCB 5205 Microbiology of Human Pathogens

    Survey of advanced topics and current scientific literature related to human host-pathogen interactions and microbial pathogenesis, focusing on emerging bacterial and viral pathogens as agents of human disease, biosecurity, molecular identification methods, spread of multi-drug resistance among bacterial pathogens, drug discovery, and alternative treatment research.

    Credits: 3
    Semester: Fall

    View Full Course Details

    GMS 6121 Infectious Diseases

    Basic biology and pathogenesis of viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. Select representative organisms of each pathogen group and their diseases will be covered in detail. This course is coordinated with GMS 7192 Journal Colloquy for the fall, followed by three credits of GMS 6108 Bacterial Physiology, Antibiotics and Genetics and three credits of GMS 6131 Advanced Virology in the spring.

    Credits: 3
    Semesters: Fall, Summer

    View Full Course Details

    ALL STUDENTS ARE REQUIRED TO COMPLETE ONE JOURNAL COURSE

    (One can count as required and one can count as elective if you take both)

    MCB 7922Journal Colloquy – Astrobiology (spring and fall)

    The principal goals of this blog-based Journal Club are to: (a) enhance graduate students’ understanding of the current state of knowledge regarding host-microbe interactions; and (b) provide experience in reviewing and critiquing research articles. Each week a different student will lead the discussion by writing a blog that critically evaluates peer-reviewed science articles for subsequent group discussion threads that reinforces the principles of various research approaches and analytical methods. This course will also help students to develop their scientific inquiry and written skill sets.

    Credits: 1
    Semesters: Fall, Spring

    View Full Course Details

    GMS 7192 - Journal Colloquy – Infectious Disease

    Primary research papers correlated with the material being covered in GMS 6121 Infectious Diseases will be assigned for reading, analysis, and discussion in a bulletin board-type format. This class may be repeated in the spring and the summer.

    *REPEATABLE COURSE

    Credits: 1
    Semesters: Fall, Spring, Summer

    View Full Course Details

    Introductory Courses (Intro Track students only)

    MCB 6937 Special Topics – Biology of Microorganisms

    Structure, nutrition and growth of microorganisms; characterization of representative microorganisms and viruses; metabolic properties and introduction to microbial genetics, immunology and pathogenesis of microorganisms.

    Credits: 3
    Office Hours Mondays and Wednesdays 9:30-12:00

    View Full Course Details

    GMS 5905 Fundamentals of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    GMS 5905 is a graduate-level course that surveys the structure, function, and metabolism of amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids. It introduces concepts in cell structure, replication and growth, and metabolic regulation.

    Credits: 4
    Prerequisites: Organic Chemistry (CHM 2210 and 2211, CHM 2215 and 2216, or their equivalents at other universities) or consent of course coordinator. In certain cases, with permission, CHM 2211 or CHM 2216 may be taken concurrently.

    View Full Course Details

    Elective Courses

    Download this Course Planning Document if you began courses prior to Spring 2020.

    Download this Course Planning Document if you will begin courses in Spring 2020 or after.


    MCB 4320C/ MCB 6670C The Microbiome

    Increase knowledge, appreciation and use of genomics pertaining to the breadth of microbial diversity across a wide variety of organisms and habitats using methods that do not require culturing of the myriad of inhabitants. Students will use tools, practice analysis and interpretation of genomic data sets to analyze different microbiomes.

    Credits: 3
    Semester: Spring

    View Full Course Details

    MCB 5705 Astrobiology

    Astrobiology examines the origin, evolution, and future of life in our solar system. Topics will include: planet and star formation, biosphere formation, evolutionary processes biogeochemistry, microbial adaptation to extreme environments, planetary habitability, and microbiology on the International Space Station.

    Credits: 3
    Semester: Spring

    View Full Course Details

    MCB 6424 Probiotics

    MCB 6424 Probiotics is an upper division course on probiotics. This course will cover the use of microorganisms to promote a health status in the animal and human host. This course will provide a conceptual background in microbiology and immunology for the use of microorganisms for the prevention or treatment of animal and human diseases.

    Credits: 3
    Semester: Spring

    View Full Course Details

    MCB 6937 Molecular Bioinformatics in UNIX

    Introduction to major command-line bioinformatics tools used to study protein sequences, structures and molecular functions. We will focus on which tools are available to ask specific scientific questions, how these tools work and how tools can be combined into a comprehensive analysis of protein family sequence, structure and function.

    Credits: 3
    Semester: Summer C

    View Full Course Details

    MCB 6937 Human Genomics

    Increasingly, researchers and healthcare providers are mining the genome to uncover the basis of disease susceptibility and treatment. Genome-based strategies are used for the detection, treatment, and prevention of many diseases. This course will discuss the field of genomics, how genome sequence data is obtained and analyzed, and most importantly, what can be learned from an individual’s genome. The course will address cutting-edge research in epigenetics, pharmacogenomics, molecular diagnostics, and the microbiome. The course will also include timely topics such as GMO’s, stem cells, genetic testing and genome editing. This course will reinforce fundamental concepts in molecular biology and genetics.

    Credits: 3
    Semester: Fall

    View Full Course Details

    MCB 6781 Archaea and Biotechnology

    Students will learn about the evolution, physiology, and molecular biology of Archaea including extremophiles. Principles of energy production and biosynthesis will be examined in aerobic and anaerobic habitats. Research that incorporates cutting-edge techniques and biotechnology applications for using archaea to solve real world problems will also be explored.

    Credits: 3
    Semester: Fall

    View Full Course Details

    MCB 6937 Microbial Applications of Synthetic Biology

    This course will introduce the concept of synthetic biology, which is loosely defined as the construction and reconstruction of biological systems, and its practical applications in research and industry. Advanced molecular biology tools for DNA assembly, the construction of biological pathways and circuits, genome editing and strategies for transcriptional control will be examined in the course.

    Credits: 3
    Semester: Fall

    View Full Course Details

    MCB 6151 Prokaryotic Diversity

    This course is an introduction to the diversity of Bacteria and Archaea. Discussions will provide a conceptual and historical framework for understanding their 1) origin and evolution 2) morphological, metabolic, and molecular characteristics 3) genetic and physiological diversity 4) importance in human/animal/plant health and 5) roles in elemental cycling.

    Credits: 3
    Semester: Summer C

    View Full Course Details

    MCB 6937 Molecular Biology

    This course covers molecular genetics; transcription, translation, replication, gene regulation, RNA structure and function, chromosome structure and function, prokaryotic/eukaryotic (and human) molecular genetics, and evolution.

    Credits: 3
    Semester: Fall

    View Full Course Details

    MCB 6937 Bacterial Physiology

    This course explores the structure and physiology of bacterial cells. The principles of energy and biosynthetic metabolism will be examined in aerobic and anaerobic micro-organisms. Several current research topics in microbiology will also be covered including quorum sensing, proteases, chaperones, and microbes in extreme environments. Topics in microbial biotechnology will be discussed, such as improvements in the production of renewable fuels and chemicals and bioremediation.

    Credits: 3
    Semester: Fall

    View Full Course Details

    MCB 6937 Molecular Genetics

    This course will discuss the synthesis and manipulation of DNA and the principles of gene expression at the molecular level in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. The topics covered will include an introduction to the concepts of DNA replication, repair and packaging of the genome into chromosomes. In preparation for this course, you should understand basic college-level introductory biology and it is recommended to have at least one other more specialized biology course, such as Microbiology, Botany, Zoology, Genetics or Biochemistry.

    Credits: 3
    Semester: Spring/Summer C

    View Full Course Details

    GMS 6132 Introductory Gene and Immunotherapy

    An overview of gene and immunotherapy with emphasis on translational applications, including fundamental understanding of the principles and mechanisms of gene and immunotherapy, specifically molecular biology of gene therapy and basic immunology and immunotherapy. Preclinical and clinical applications of both will be discussed.

    Credits: 2
    Semester: Spring

    View Full Course Details

    PCB 5235 Immunology

    Comprehensive course in basic immunology designed for graduate students. Emphasis will be placed on fundamental aspects of immunology and its application to real-world immunological research and concerns. Upon successful completion of this course, students will have a solid immunological information foundation suitable for future educational endeavors in the areas of biomedical research or human/veterinary clinical applications. In addition, students will have a fundamental understanding of basic immunological experimental design.

    Credits: 3
    Semester: Spring

    View Full Course Details

    GMS 6108 Bacterial Physiology, Antibiotics and Genetics (compendium of GMS 6038 Bacterial Genetics and Physiology, GMS 6169 Antimicrobial Strategies, and GMS 6153 Advanced Bacterial Genetics)

    Ideally, students will take GMS 6121 before they take GMS 6108, especially if they have a limited background in Microbiology. However, students who wish to take GMS 6108 BEFORE they complete GMS 6121 can watch four introductory bacteriology lectures in order to get caught up. Students can complete both courses regardless of the order in which they register.

    Credits: 3
    Semester: Spring

    View Full Course Details

    MCB 6937 Post Translational Modifications in Microbiology

    The overall goal of this class is to enhance student learning in the field of microbiology and to network students with professionals within the scientific community. To this end, the course will take an innovative approach to student learning through interactive group projects. The students will prepare projects that will undergo a scientific review by their class peers and faculty instructors.

    Credits: 2
    Semester: Summer C

    View Full Course Details

    MCB 6937 Antimicrobial Resistance

    This course covers content related to antimicrobial resistance: the origins of antimicrobial resistance, dissemination, mechanisms, therapeutics, and impact on healthcare, agriculture, and the environment. This course mainly concentrates on resistance in bacteria, but will also discuss other organisms, including viruses, parasites, fungi, and cancer.

    Credits: 3
    Semester: Spring

    View Full Course Details

    Department Module Courses

    These additional modules, which cover a more advanced curriculum, can be completed for elective credit.

    Download this Course Planning Document if you began courses prior to Spring 2020.

    Download this Course Planning Document if you will begin courses in Spring 2020 or after.

    Module Schedule for Fall 2018 and Spring 2019


    Fall Modules

    MCB 6417 Microbial Metabolism and Energetics

    Principles of energy and biosynthetic metabolism will be examined in aerobic and anaerobic micro-organisms. Current biotechnology which incorporates these principles will also be discussed.

    This is a 4 week module course – starting date TBD

    Credits: 1

    View Full Course Details

    MCB 6317 Molecular Biology of Gene Expression

    This course covers synthesis, processing, transport, and translation of RNA in micro-organisms and eukaryotes. Epigenetic regulation of gene expression will be the main topic; however, a review of the feneral mechanisms of eukaryotic gene activation and respression will also be covered.

    This is a 4 week module course – starting date TBD

    Credits: 1

    View Full Course Details

    Spring Modules

    Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays; 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM

    • (If there is a break after the first period, the class extends to 10:15 AM)

    Room 1054, MCS Building

    MCB 6318 Comparative Microbial Genetics

    This is a 4 week module course – starting date TBD

    Credits: 2

    Prerequisite: BSC 6459

    View Full Course Details

    MCB 6457 Metabolic Regulation (taught live, synchronously)

    This module will focus on two important themes in bacterial physiology and metabolism, transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. It will allow students to gain knowledge in these areas and experience in preparing and delivering a formal scientific presentation.

    Instructors: Wayne Nicholson and Tony Romeo

    LIVE WEB BROADCAST – ATTENDANCE REQUIRED

    January 7, 2016 to February 2, 2016 (8 meetings)

    Credits: 1

    View Full Course Details

    MCB 6772 Advanced Topics in Cell Biology

    Specific topics about cell structure and function published in recent journal articles and reviews with microbiological interest will be considered in a comparative discussion of animal and plant systems.

    Course objectives:

    • To develop an understanding of current advances and approaches in the study of the cell biology of eukaryotes.
    • To gain insight on differences between plants and animals pertaining particularly to their susceptibility or capacity to resist microbial pathogens.

    Instructors: Peter Kima and Zhonglin Mou

    February 9, 2016 to March 10, 2016 (8 meetings) off on Mar 1st and 3rd for Spring Break

    Credits: 1

    View Full Course Details

    MCB 6355 Microbial/Host Defense

    Principles of host defense to microbial invasion in a context of cellular biology involving both plants and animals.

    Credits: 1

    View Full Course Details

    Please read all the requirements below that you must follow in order to graduate. If you have questions about registration, admission, or anything else, contact dess@ahc.ufl.edu.

    Required Courses

    17-18 credits of required courses must be completed before you can graduate.

    Download this Course Planning Document if you began courses prior to Spring 2020.

    Download this Course Planning Document if you will begin courses in Spring 2020 or after.


    Course # Course Credits Semester
    MCB 6940 Career Seminar 1 Fall/Spring/Summer
    BSC 6459 Fundamentals in Bioinformatics 3 Fall
    BCH 5413 Mammalian Molecular Biology and Genetics 3 Fall/Spring/Summer
    MCB 5252 Microbiology, Immunology & Basis for Immunotherapeutics 4 Spring/Summer A

    Students are required to complete at least one of the following:

    Course # Course Credits Semester
    MCB 5505 Virology 3 Spring
    -OR-
    GMS 7133 Advanced Molecular Virology 2 Spring

    Students are required to complete at least one of the following:

    Course # Course Credits Semester
    MCB 5205 Microbiology of Human Pathogens 3 Fall
    -OR-
    GMS 6121 Infectious Disease 3 Fall/Spring/Summer C

    Students are required to complete at least one of the following:

    Course # Course Credits Semester
    MCB 7922 Journal Colloquy – Astrobiology (spring and fall) 1 Fall/Spring
    -OR-
    GMS 7192 Journal Colloquy – Infectious Disease (take with GMS 6121) 1 Fall/Spring/Summer C
    GMS 7192 Journal Colloquy – Bacteriology (take with GMS 6108) 1 Fall/Spring/Summer C

    Elective Courses

    Students must complete 10 elective credits in order to graduate.

    Download this Course Planning Document if you began courses prior to Spring 2020.

    Download this Course Planning Document if you will begin courses in Spring 2020 or after.


    Course # Course Credits Semester
    MCB 6937 Molecular Biology 3 Fall
    MCB 4320C/ MCB 6670C The Microbiome 3 Spring
    MCB 5705 Astrobiology 3 Spring
    MCB 6937 Probiotics 3 Spring
    MCB 6937 Molecular Bioinformatics in UNIX 3 Summer C
    MCB 6937 Human Genomics 3 Fall
    MCB 6781 Archaea and Biotechnology 3 Fall
    MCB 6937 Microbial Applications of Synthetic Biology 3 Fall
    MCB 6151 Prokaryotic Diversity 3 Summer C
    MCB 6937 Molecular Genetics 3 Spring/Summer C
    MCB 6937 Bacterial Physiology 3 Fall
    PCB 5235 Immunology 3 Spring
    GMS 6108 Bacterial Physiology, Antibiotics and Genetics (GMS 6121 or MCB 5205 pre-req) 3 Fall/Spring/Summer
    GMS 6132 Introductory Gene and Immunotherapy 2 Spring
    MCB 6937 Post Translational Modifications in Microbiology 2 Summer C
    MCB 6937 Antimicrobial Resistance (New Spring 2019) 3 Spring
    MCB 6772 Advanced Topics in Cell Biology 1 Spring
    MCB 6355 Microbial/Host Defense 1 Spring
    MCB 6457 Metabolic Regulation (synchronous live web broadcast) 1 Spring
    MCB 6417 Microbial Metabolism and Energetics 1 Fall
    MCB 6317 Molecular Biology of Gene Expression 1 Fall
    MCB 6318 Comparative Microbial Genomics – Prerequisite BSC 6459 2 Spring

    Introductory Course Track

    These two courses for 7 credits are required for students in the introductory online MS track only (track available Fall 2016). Students with prior experience in microbiology and biochemistry do not need to take these courses. Both courses are available as electives, if desired (requires department permission to register).

    Download this Course Planning Document if you began courses prior to Spring 2020.

    Download this Course Planning Document if you will begin courses in Spring 2020 or after.


    Course # Course Credits Semester
    MCB 6937 Biology of Microorganisms 3 Fall/Spring/Summer A
    GMS 5905 Fundamentals in Biochemistry 4 Fall/Spring/Summer C

    At a Glance