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The M&I Graduate Program is a competitive program that it set up to provide you with the necessary skills to prepare you for a successful independent career in an academic or industrial setting.

M&I Graduate Program Tracks

There are three different ways to enter the M&I Graduate Program:

  1. Through application to the M&I graduate program (applications due
    December of each year)
  2. Through the interdepartmental Bioscience PhD Programs comprised of the
    Molecular Biology (MB) and Biological Chemistry (BC) programs
  3. Admission through the University of Utah MD/PhD Program

Each of these program has different application proceduresCurricula, and vary slightly in the choice of classes.

Which Program Track is right for me?

The main differences between direct admission and admission through the Bioscience Graduate Program are the course requirements and flexibility of the programs. Admission through the Bioscience Graduate Program provides a broad education with an emphasis on molecular science, requires three lab rotations and allows for exploration of labs other than those focused on immunology or microbiology for your thesis.

Direct Admission offers you more freedom when choosing your courses and optional rotations allowing you more time and flexibility to focus on your research project from the beginning.

Both tracks take about the same time to graduation.

If you are looking for a broad education and are not sure which area of research you want to focus on in the future the Bioscience track will be right for you. If you are committed to follow a research path in the area of immunology or microbiology the direct admission path can be tailored to specifically provide an in depth education in this area of research and your specific interests.


Bioscience Track

Direct Admission Track


First year focus on molecular science and lab rotations

Flexible, based on student’s interest and thesis advisor recommendation




Number of potential thesis advisors

180 participating faculty across 11 departments at the University of Utah including M&I

30 participating M&I graduate program faculty

Associated Departments

Biochemistry, Chemistry, Human Genetics, Medicinal Chemistry, Microbiology & Immunology (M&I), Neurobiology, Oncological Science, Pharmaceutics, Pharmacology & Toxicology, Biological Science Structural Biology/Biophysics

Microbiology & Immunology (M&I)

Graduate Degree Timeline

The typical time until graduation is about 4-5 years. The first year is primarily spent on essential and elective classes as well as 3 lab rotations (in the Bioscience track) or up to 3 lab rotations (in the M&I Direct Admission track) to help determine which lab will be the best fit for your PhD thesis work. Directly admitted students can directly join the lab of their choice without the need of rotations and can therefore focus on their research project from the beginning.

The second year is predominantly spent in the lab with a few required and elective courses. During the second year you will have to find your dissertation committee and take your preliminary exam to make sure that you are ready for your dissertation research and that you will be able to successfully complete the proposed project.

In the third and fourth year you will focus on your thesis research and preparation of your dissertation.