Application Deadlines

The Ph.D. application deadlines are December 15th for Fall Semester and September 15th for Spring Semester.

MS candidates may apply at any time, up to one month prior, to be considered for the next academic semester. Master’s candidates must obtain written support from their future mentor to successfully apply to the program.

Required Tests

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for the Microbiology Program. The GRE is a requirement for application to the program. The institution code for MSU is 4488. For strong consideration, applicants should score a minimum GRE score of 152 Verbal (Prior to 2011: 480). The overall GRE score should fall at or above 305 (Prior to 2011: 1150).

International Applicants

English proficiency scores with the following minimums: TOEFL (80), IELTS (level 6.5), or PTE (54), are required for applicants who are not U.S. citizens and are not from countries where English is the official language. This requirement is waived if the applicant has earned an undergraduate or graduate degree from an institution in the U.S. or if the student is from a country where the English proficiency score is waived.

Please see our International application process page for a list of countries where the english proficiency score is waived as well as more information on applying as an International student.

Additional Admission Requirements

For additional required admission documents please see program website or view list of requirements in the graduate application portal. Incomplete applications cannot be considered.


The Department of Microbiology and Immunology (MBI) conducts one of the premier infectious disease research programs in the Northwest, as demonstrated by the success of our faculty in competing nationally for extramural grant funding and publishing high-impact papers. Research funding comes from a range of sources such as the National Institutes of Health, US Department of Agriculture, National Science Foundation and the Montana Agricultural Experimental Station among others. Over the past five years, MBI averaged over $6 million for annual research expenditures. MBI is also home to an NIH Center of Biomedical Research Excellence in Zoonotic and Emerging Infectious Diseases, which provides substantial core facilities and training opportunities for junior investigators. MBI is housed in a state-of-the-art facility with core laboratories for flow cytometry, cell biology, and molecular sciences, as well as pathogen containment facilities for small (BSL-3) and large animal research (ABSL-2). Instrumentation suites house equipment for DNA sequencing, genomic analysis, flow cytometry and cell sorting, and confocal microscopy.

We are truly unique in our close proximity to Yellowstone National Park.  On our doorstep is one of the most exciting microbial ecosystems in North America, ripe with opportunities to discover new microbial life forms and contribute to major biotechnological advances.  Many of our undergraduate and graduated students conduct research in the Park under the mentoring of our distinguished faculty.

Weekly seminars are offered by the department and the Frank N. Nelson Distinguished Lecture Series brings many accomplished scientists to Montana State University.