Microbiology and Cell Biology (Graduate)

Further your research acumen in microbiological and immunological subjects within world-class facilities and within the Yellowstone National Bark microbiome.

Microbiology and Cell Biology – Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Candidates in the Microbiology and Cell Biology program at Montana State engage in state-of-the-art research within one of the premier infectious disease research programs in the Northwest. Studying alongside leaders in the field, candidates are able to explore research within the environmental sciences or biomedical sciences and are encouraged to develop interdisciplinary ties in their research with additional departments and programs.

The Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology has three options for a degree: a Master’s of Science with a professional paper as an option, a Master’s of Science with a thesis as an option, and a Doctorate of Philosophy.




Research conducted in the Microbiology and Cell Biology department includes work such as postdoctoral researcher Kelly Shepardson’s project on developing flu vaccines that can target multiple strains of the flu at once, as well as creating new ways to deliver vaccines to patients.





World-Class Facilities
Montana State houses an NIH Center of Biomedical Research Excellence in Zoonotic and Emerging Infectious Diseases.


WICHE Partnered Program
This graduate program honors the WICHE partnership for students from 15 western states. If you’re a resident of a WICHE state, you qualify for tuition significantly less than standard non-resident tuition. Learn more.

An illustration of a beaker.

Learn from the Best
The MCB department offers weekly seminars and the Frank N. Nelson Distinguished Lecture Series brings accomplished scientists to Montana State University.




Fund Your Education

The Graduate School at Montana State is dedicated to helping students secure funding during their time at MSU. Some resources the College of Agriculture and Graduate School offer includes:

Additionally, many Montana State departments offer graduate teaching assistantships and other graduate appointments.

Learn By Doing

In addition to a wide range of coursework, students in the Department Microbiology and Cell Biology:

  • Work with some of the top researchers in their fields in one of MSU’s top departments for research expenditures.
  • Have the opportunity to present their work through annual graduate student research-in-progress seminars.
  • Can explore the University of the Yellowstone’s unique ecological and microbial environment with MSU’s Thermal Biology Institute.



Careers after Graduation

Graduate alumni in Microbiology & Cell Biology embark on a wide range of careers within 10-years of their graduation.

Nearly 57% are working in academia, 21% in for-profit, and about 17% for government. Top industry employers include Montana State University and Biociencia Foundation.

Across all career paths the estimated salary of alumni within 10 years of graduation ranges from $60,000 to $150,000+ with an average of $90,000 (source of data Academic Analytics).


Admissions Requirements

Note: no GRE Required.

Each program within the Graduate School at Montana State has its own particular requirements for admission, and the Microbiology and Cell Biology program is no different. To ensure that you start your application on the right foot, please review the admissions requirements for the Microbiology and Immunology program. This includes any additional deadlines that the Department of MIcrobiology and Cell Biology may have aside from the Graduate School, which does practice rolling admissions.