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Why a PhD in Microbiology & Immunology?

Microbiology and Immunology are two broad, exciting and rapidly evolving scientific fields that are at the forefront of life science, biological and medical research. The areas of Microbiology and Immunology are strongly interconnected and are fundamental for many scientific concepts and healthcare and life science discoveries. 

Immunology is the study of the immune system across all organisms in health and disease. Immunology helps us understand how and why people get sick. Discoveries in Immunology have been essential in the development of life-changing therapies for patients and vaccinations.

Microbiology is the study of microorganisms, also called pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa. Microorganisms continuously modify their genes and can therefore become resistant to the hosts' immune system or antimicrobial therapies. Understanding how microorganisms thrive, survive and attack the immune system is highly relevant for health sciences and the development of antimicrobial treatment options.

In Graduate school you will learn in depth about the innate and adaptive immune system in health and disease, immune signaling pathways, cell development and trafficking, autoimmunity, different pathogens and host defense against pathogens, and cancer immunology. Furthermore you will acquire skills in diverse areas, such as critical thinking, practical laboratory skills, resilience, public engagement and communication skills as well as networking.

Microbiology & Immunology graduates pursue careers in diverse areas. About half of the graduates follow careers in academia, while others follow careers in healthcare, the industry, federal agencies, education, scientific communication and editing, or patent law. Microbiology & Immunology research is an international subject and many students decide to go abroad for their postdoctoral training. As such, you will meet and communicate with people from many different countries in the lab and beyond.

Taken together, if you are curious and innovative and are looking for a young and dynamic field of study that opens the possibilities for a broad range of meaningful careers, a PhD in Microbiology & Immunology will be right for you!

Job Prospects

As our knowledge of the molecular and immunological mechanisms of diseases rapidly increases, so does the need for trained scientists who can apply and further advance new innovations. The immunology job market is expected to grow by 11.4% between 2016 and 2026, far more than the average occupation.

What is the salary for a Microbiology & Immunology PhD?

Since there are so many different career options for Microbiology & Immunology Graduates it is difficult to determine an average salary. Typical salaries can range from $60,000 to $250,000 per year.