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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

  • ​12 12:30 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​

​Julia Shuff  
(​​2018 Graduate, ORISE fellow with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

In 2011, I graduated from Indiana University. I was finally out of academia! The world was my oyster! Except for one small problem. No one wanted to hire a social sciences major during the recession. 

After a few years of working va​rious odd jobs (mostly in social work and in health care) I started toying with the idea of going back to school. Maybe for nursing? No, the hours are terrible. What about veterinary medicine? That’s a lot of school… I started taking some courses at my local community college to explore my options, and that’s when I realized: I want to be a microbiologist when I grow up! It only took me 27 years to decide on that. 

The “Professional Track Master of Science in Microbiology” was a perfect fit for me. It consisted of one year of intensive coursework, with classes scheduled for the mornings so I had the afternoons to work in a lab. The professors were all incredibly helpful and informative, often willing to give as much help as you needed as long as you asked. The professors and coordinator would keep us in the loop for important networking opportunities and relevant job postings. It was a very busy year, but it all paid off in the end! 

Now I am an ORISE fellow with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ORISE is a truly amazing program that employs recent graduates in some really wonderful positions. Through this program, I am able to accomplish incredibly fulfilling work with the CDC. And all of this is possible because of the MSB program! ​ 

​Michelle Kahle  
(​​2018 Graduate, PA program, Rocky Vista University)

Applying for the MIP MS-B program was one of the best decisions I have made. I headed into this program with the focus of becoming a stronger applicant for physician assistant school, but also came out of it as a better scientist. Though the program is only two short semesters, there is a much greater depth of learning in each topic discussed, as compared to my previous experience as an undergraduate microbiology student. Classes are built around developing strategies to better understand scientific research and help teach you how to hold stronger scientific conversations with colleagues. 

No matter what your interests are, whether it be going on to professional school or heading into industry, this program caters to all. Speakers from all over the front range are brought in to help spark your interest and presents you with the opportunity to hone in on your networking skills. Additionally, the small class size allows you to build stronger relationships with your professors, which makes classroom discussions much more engaging. Each and every faculty member takes an interest in their students to help promote advanced academic growth. The MS-B program has given me a solid foundation of scientific knowledge to springboard off of, which I know I will continue to reference for years to come. ​ 

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

(970) 491-6144

(970) 491-0603