Medical Microbiology and Immunology (Doctorate)

Program Availability

Take your research to the next level.

Advance your understanding of the smallest physiological systems, their defenses and mechanisms, and the scientific method through Creighton University’s Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology program.

Through extensive research, this Ph.D. program prepares students to be highly qualified experts in medical microbiology and immunology. Our graduates have gone on to use their Ph.D. in various positions such as microbiologists, medical scientists, postsecondary teachers, and research assistants.

Position yourself for opportunities only a Ph.D. can provide.

Demand for experts in the field of medical microbiology and immunology with a Ph.D. is expected to rise more than 12 percent in the next decade. A Ph.D. can help set you apart when it comes to career opportunities. More job postings exist for applicants who have their Ph.D. than for applicants who only have a master’s degree when it comes to careers as postsecondary teachers or medical scientists.

Source: Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) – October 2017

Make the program your own – research what interests you.

From genome replication to the study of disease-causing bacteria and viruses, this program involves extensive research of a topics within the field of medical microbiology and immunology. After completing the program’s core coursework and electives, you’ll work with faculty to identify a topic that interests you, put together a research project, and submit a proposal for a grant from the National Institute of Health.

Use our small class sizes to your advantage.

Creighton’s medical microbiology and immunology program provides students with the specialized equipment, broad expertise and resources of a larger university, but with smaller class sizes. You’ll be able to use this to your advantage by spending more time learning about and utilizing specialized laboratory equipment. You can also expect to have regular interaction with other students in your cohort and our faculty members. By focusing on a small group of students, our faculty can cover each topic in the program with more depth, which leads to a comprehensive, well-rounded education.


To earn the Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Microbiology and Immunology degree at Creighton University, you must complete 90 credits:

Core Courses

  • Foundations of Microbiology
  • Bacterial Physiology
  • Advanced Microbial Pathogenesis
  • Host Defense
  • Cellular and Molecular Immunology
  • Current Topics in Medical Microbiology and Immunology
  • Biostatistics
  • Department Seminar and Teaching (taken each semester)
  • Directed Independent Research for Doctoral Students
  • Doctoral Dissertation

Directed Electives – select two courses from this section

  • Advanced Immunology
  • Advanced Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
  • Diagnostic Microbiology
  • Molecular Virology
  • Directed Independent Readings: Selected Topics in Medical Microbiology and Immunology

Additional Electives – students must take approved electives to complete the 90-credit hour doctoral program.

Students who have already obtained their Master of Science in Medical Microbiology and Immunology may have a maximum of 30 credit hours transferred to the doctoral program.

Goals of the program along with a full course listing can be found in Creighton’s course catalog.

Admissions Requirements

Your academic record and performance will be a major factor in acceptance. Your undergraduate curriculum must include fundamental courses in both biological and chemical sciences. A strong foundation in undergraduate microbiology, immunology, molecular biology and biochemistry are desired. Additional requirements include:

  • Bachelor’s degree
    • Applicants must have at least a 3.0 GPA
    • Applicants must have satisfactorily completed fundamental courses in both biological and chemical sciences
  • Completed application (including non-refundable $50 application fee)
    • Three letters of recommendation from persons other than family members who are capable of assessing an applicant’s performance in an academic or work setting
    • Statement of purpose
    • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
    • Minimum combined scores of 300 required for verbal and quantitative reasoning sections
    • Minimum score of 4 required for analytical writing component
  • International Students: International applicants from countries in which English is not the primary language must demonstrate proficiency in English language by submitting a minimum TOEFL score of 90 iBT (557 PBT) or a minimum IELTS overall band score of 6.5 (no sub score lower than 6).

Tuition & Scholarships

Tuition is waived and health insurance is provided for students accepted into Creighton’s medical microbiology and immunology doctoral program. A stipend is also provided for students in the Ph.D. program.

Important Dates & Deadlines

Program Start Date

Application Deadline
February 1

Master's Degree

Master of Science in Medical Microbiology and Immunology (30 credits)

  • The courses required for the master’s degree serve as the foundation for the PhD program. Additional research and a doctoral dissertation are required to complete the doctoral program.
  • Students who have already completed the Master of Science in Medical Microbiology and Immunology program may have a maximum of 30 credit hours transferred to the doctoral program.
  • Available on campus only.

A full listing of courses offered for the Master of Science in Medical Microbiology and Immunology can be found in the course catalog.

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