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Medical Microbiology and Immunology (Doctorate)

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 PhD program prepares students to be highly qualified experts in medical microbiology and immunology.

Creighton provides the specialized equipment, resources and broad expertise of a large university, but with smaller class sizes. This advantage allows you to have regular interaction with faculty members and other students in your cohort, as well as additional hands-on training with research equipment and tools in the lab. You’ll be inspired to think critically about pressing topics, engage in conversations about research ethics and spark your creative inquiry. Research at Creighton is mission-driven, making your work part of a larger effort to serve others and create a more just world.

Your research interests drive the program

From genome replication to the study of disease-causing bacteria and viruses, this program involves extensive research of topics within the different fields of 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 Institutes of Health.

A supportive—and leading edge—environment for research

As a student in this clinical medical microbiology and immunology program, you will have access to a wide variety of resources. Your professors will work closely with you—guiding your studies and acting as teachers, advisors and mentors throughout your degree and career. Many of our faculty members collaborate and work with students long after they earn their degree.

Creighton's state-of-the-art facilities, such as the BSL-3 biocontainment facility provide hands-on experiences that will help you develop skills to differentiate you after graduation.

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12% projected growth in medical microbiology and immunology jobs in the next decade
Scientists with samples in a lab
Quote from Robert Dunlay, MD, the dean of Creighton University School of Medicine

Program Details

Program Goals and Curriculum

Creighton’s PhD in Medical Microbiology and Immunology prepares students for a broad range of possible careers in research or as an educator in medical microbiology and immunology and related health science fields.

To earn this doctoral degree, you must complete 90 credit hours:

  • 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
  • Electives

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.


Creighton’s Medical Microbiology and Immunology faculty are experts in research and instruction that relates to the intersection of microbial pathogenesis and host defense. Faculty works closely with staff, post-doctorates and students in an environment where individual and collective achievement through publications and presentations is encouraged.

Dual Degree and Master's Options

Master's Program

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.

Dual Degree Programs

Students can complete a dual degree program to earn two degrees at once, saving both time and money. The following dual degree option is available in medical microbiology and immunology:

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the PhD in Medical Microbiology and Immunology program, applicants must:

  • Complete an application & submit a $50 application fee
  • Possess a bachelor’s degree in a related field with 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Include coursework in biological and chemical sciences, and have a strong foundation in microbiology, immunology, molecular biology and biochemistry
  • Provide official transcripts from all educational institutions attended. Read more about sending transcripts here
  • Include a resume or curriculum vitae
  • Submit a personal statement (see application for specific requirements)
  • Submit three letters of recommendation from persons other than friends or family members

 A personal interview may be requested in addition to the above requirements. The interview may be conducted in-person or virtually.

International students are welcomed into this program and F-1 visas will be supported upon admission.

International applicants must:

Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition is waived and health insurance is provided for students accepted into Creighton’s Doctorate in Medical Microbiology and Immunology program. A stipend is also provided for students in the PhD program.

Have questions? Email or call a friendly financial specialist at 402.280.2731 for any additional questions you may have.

Dates and Deadlines

The table below details the enrollment deadline and starting date of courses for the current academic year. If you have any questions about dates, deadlines, or application materials, please contact an admissions advisor for personalized assistance.





February 1

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