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Microbiology–Immunology Master of Science (professional)

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Program Director
Dr. Brian Geiss
Phone: (970) 491-6330

Academic Support Coordinator

Collette Hageman
Phone: (970) 491-3464

 Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Pathology
1682 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO  80523-1682

Interested in or have qu​estions about our Microbiology-Immunology Master of Science (professional) program? ​Please contact Collette Hageman.

The professional, non-thesis Master of Science in Microbiology-Immunology (MS-B) is designed to strengthen the scientific academic portfolio of those seeking professional degrees and provide differentiating preparation for those seeking careers in industry. You will work side-by-side one of the leading microbiology and immunology departments in the nation as you develop your professional knowledge and skills.

With the growth of biotechnology and the increase in technology and specialization in applied microbiological sciences, there is a significant regional and national need for additional educational opportunities for individuals wishing to pursue a career in these industries. In addition, many students wish to pursue additional post-baccalaureate studies due to a variety of interests such as improved preparation for professional (medical, veterinary, DO, etc.​) schools or PhD programs. The MIP department's MS-B provides an excellent opportunity to meet these needs. As a recognized world leader in infectious disease basic and translational research with over $144 million in active extramurally funded research programs – including a good variety of translational efforts that interface with industrial partners, the MIP department is uniquely positioned in our region to effectively provide this training.​

Goals of the Microbiology-Immunology Non-Thesis Master's Program

The overall goal of the program is to give each student a competitive advantage for their future career in industry or their admission into professional school. To develop this advantage the program leverages your undergraduate education and training in life science and provides the advanced knowledge and skills required through:

  1. A rigorous curriculum designed to provide cutting-edge knowledge in both theoretical and applied aspects of microbiology, virology, immunology and molecular biology.

  2. A strong emphasis on aspects of the discipline that will be useful in real world employment scenarios.

  3. A well-rounded curriculum that includes the development of vital professional skills such as verbal and written communication, responsible conduct of research, and biosafety.

  4. Active communication with regional and national representatives from the pharmaceutical, biotech, government and public health sectors to ensure that the program's curriculum remains pertinent and effective.

  5. A high level of communication in the program to facilitate active mentoring, networking and career discussions, and access to take full advantage of the cutting-edge facilities and expertise available in the department.

Information Sessions

Interested or have questions? Check out one of our information sessions below.

All information sessions will be held in Microbiology B124. Please RSVP for information sessions to Collette Hageman at

  • ​11 11:30 a.m. Thursday, January 31, 2019.
  • 2 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 13, 2019.

  • - 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 26, 2019.

  • 10 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 7,2019.

MS-B Graduate Placement


Student Testimonials

Read more MS-B student testimonials​

Jess Brown   
(​​2017 Graduate, Researching Tuberculosis at the Harvard School of Public Health)

After earning my BS in Microbiology, I went to work in pharmaceutical quality control. A few years later I was ready for a change and a graduate degree. I knew I didn’t want to work in quality control forever, and a graduate degree would make me a more competitive candidate for research jobs. A friend from the 2014 graduating class spoke very highly of the MS-B program so applying was a no-brainer!

Was it hard to quit my full-time job and move across the country? Yes. Was it hard to finish a masters degree in two semesters? Yes, but it’s also the best thing I’ve ever done. The course work was relevant, engaging, and pushed me to think beyond the cookie cutter QC work I had grown accustomed to. Even now, I reference slides from some of the classes for quick information on setting up an immunoprecipitation experiment or BSL-3 regulations.  Each and every professor was always more than willing to meet with students, discuss ideas, and help us if we ever had any questions. Our program advisor, Jeff Wilusz, was hands on and willing to work with us to help achieve our goals. Before the year even began he helped place me in a research lab that in turn helped me find the amazing job I have today.

If someone told me five years ago that I would be researching Tuberculosis at the Harvard School of Public Health I wouldn’t have believed them, but because of the knowledge and experience gained through the MS-B program that’s exactly where I am. In one whirlwind year I moved to a new beautiful state, made friends I will have for a life time, earned my masters degree, found my dream job, and I’m proud to have done it all through CSU.

Meghin Kiernan 
(2016 Graduate,CSU Vet School Student)

I have wanted to be a veterinarian since I was a young girl. My experience at Colorado State University allowed me to achieve my life-long dream, as I will be attending Colorado State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine in the fall of 2016. I started CSU in 2011, as an undergraduate studying equine science. As I sat through immunology lectures in pre-vet club, learned of dangerous pathogens in microbiology, and encountered infectious diseases in my veterinary internships, I realized I had a passion for microbiology and disease control.

When the opportunity presented itself, I immediately jumped at the chance to be a part of the Microbiology-immunology M.S. (professional) program. I was drawn to the program because it presented the opportunity to increase my knowledge of current research methods in microbiology, biotechnology, infectious disease, bacteriology, virology, biosafety, ethics, and current issues. Furthermore, I was able to complete the program in only two semesters, which allowed me to apply to veterinary schools for the following year. The instructors in the program were passionate for their innovative research, and they were dedicated to providing students with the necessary skills and knowledge to help them succeed in the industry and beyond. Moreover, I loved interacting with a diverse group of students, all from different backgrounds and with varying future goals. Students were always eager to learn, collaborate, and discuss curriculum in a small yet inviting atmosphere.  I am now comfortable discusses scientific research and academia with other scientists. Furthermore, students strove to accomplish their goals, which ultimately included: professional school aspirations, research doctorate opportunities, and jobs in the industry. In the curriculum, I specifically enjoyed medical microbiology, where I learned to diagnose, detect, and treat various disease causing pathogens. Furthermore, I enjoyed writing the required scholarly paper on a topic I was interested and passionate about (the equine microbiome).

Although I will not be taking a job in the industry, I believe this program will allow me to be successful in veterinary school and my career, as I continue to study and eventually treat infectious diseases. Now, I am equipped with a strong background in microbiology, which will provide me with a unique perspective as I encounter challenging curriculum, problems, and patients. I am now able to combine both my passions for veterinary medicine and microbiology, and I ultimately hope to specialize in internal medicine where I could prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases and disorders. I look forward to continuing my education as a Ram and seeing where my journey leads!​​​
Carl Dernell
(2014 Graduate, CU Medical School Student)

My dream career has been the practice of medicine since I could play with a toy stethoscope as a kid. That being said, it's not exactly a walk in the park to get into medical school. So when I was applying to schools for the second consecutive year I was eagerly looking for ways to improve myself as a scientist and student, create an edge for myself in the competitive atmosphere of applying to medical school, and give myself a viable base for a science career outside of medicine, all at the same time. I was mostly convinced I was asking for something that didn’t exist. At least until about two weeks into the first semester of the MS-B program.

I had found myself in a unique situation: a small classroom with brilliant classmates all committed to learning, interacting closely with faculty all genuinely interested in developing not only their respective courses, but us as the students. I haven't heard of any other graduate program that has this level of access to quality teaching faculty.

Looking back at it a year later, I am very thankful for the opportunity to go through this program. Because of my work there I am far more comfortable speaking intelligently about the cutting edge techniques being used in research laboratories both academic and commercial. I feel empowered to take on an interview for a technician job in any lab in the country while at the same time feeling well prepared for any other science career or professional school. And, finally, the added boost of credentials helped me achieve my dream of getting into Medical school. I would recommend the program to any student as long as they were committed to two things: taking advantage of the unique access to great faculty the program offers as well as the opportunity to network with the brilliant classmates they are surrounded by.

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Contact Us:
1682 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, Colorado 80523-1682

(970) 491-6144

(970) 491-0603