The primary objective of the Medical Microbiology and Immunology (MMI) track, one of five sub-plans of the PSM Applied Biosciences GIDP, is to instruct and prepare students for an occupation in the diverse field of biomedical sciences. The focus in the MMI track is training students to attain a graduate level biomedical education with an emphasis on medical microbiology, immunology, and virology.
The disciplines of microbiology and immunology started centuries ago with the development of the simple microscope (the 1600's). Using this new scientific tool and the seminal work by major microbiologist’s in the 1800’s, led to the vanquishing of the theory of spontaneous generation as the source of disease. The ultimate cause of the disease was shown, using hypothesis-based scientific investigations, to be microorganisms or bacteria, and became known as “The Germ Theory” of disease. These foundations in Medical Microbiology led to queries into how one could prevent disease by vaccination and by the use of antisera (antibody). These studies used antibodies raised against the bacterial toxins in animals. The antitoxin serum led to the use of passive immunization to protect and cure infectious diseases and vaccines against these deadly agents. This work was seminal in the development and futures discoveries in the field of immunology. Major research and discoveries in the areas of medical microbiology and immunology have played a major part in the rapid advances in genomics, bioinformatics, and biotechnology. These technologies have also had a major impact on recent advancements in MMI.
This program is unique in incorporating the MMI-biomedical science training along with the linking and integration of important knowledge from the disciplines of management, business, and law. All students in the PSM program are required to complete an internship, in our case, in the area of MMI. Students do internships with biotechnology companies based in the Tucson-Phoenix corridor, or in academic research laboratories, and obtain invaluable on-the-job training, experience, and knowledge. This real world expertise obtained in the internship is unique and different from classroom learning or taking on-line courses.
This innovative curriculum will give students the ability to take various career paths upon graduation. This could include doing research at “the bench”, to manage a laboratory at a university or in industry. With knowledge gained in business and legal fields, our trained scholars can also become involved in the business side of biomedical science. Graduates from this track will be ready for such diverse professional vocations in the areas of: biotechnology, biomedical research, pharmaceuticals, local or national government, academic institutions, plus positions in immunologic and microbiologic biotechnology companies.
The MMI subplan is working in alliance with the Certificate Program in Microbiology and Immunity (MIGCP) which is housed within the Department of Immunology. Upon admission to the PSM-ABS MMI track, the 15 units completed by the student for the MIGCP certificate may be transferred as fulfillment of the Core Science and Science Electives Modules of the MMI subplan.
The Graduate College sponsors several Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs (GIDPs) in addition to the many interdisciplinary possibilities available through regular graduate degree programs. GIDPs transcend departmental boundaries by facilitating cutting edge teaching and research at the nexus of traditional disciplines. The high value placed on interdisciplinary research and education is indicative of The University of Arizona's enthusiasm and commitment to fostering innovation and creativity among its faculty and students.
Students who wish to apply to the PSM degree in Applied Biosciences must have the minimum qualifications:
A Bachelors (or equivalent) degree with a major in an area of biosciences from an accredited institution.
A minimum 3.0 GPA
A desire to pursue a professional career in the applied biosciences.
Students should apply directly to the specific track in the program they wish to pursue. The application should be submitted online (only) via the Graduate College website (http://grad.arizona.edu). Be prepared to submit the following materials:
Scans of all transcripts (official versions will be requested if you are selected for admission)
GRE scores (recommended but not required; general test only)
TOEFL scores (required if you are not a native speaker of English)
GPAs for all undergraduate work
A one to two page statement of interests, which outlines your background (including any professional experience) and your professional goals.
You should separately arrange with two references (typically former or current professors or work supervisors) who can comment on your skills, training and potential for the PSM in Applied Biosciences. You will need to include their names and email addresses in your online application
Required GRE Subject tests: general test only
Minimum GRE Verbal: 130-170, in 1 point increments
Minimum GRE Quantitative: 130-170, in 1 point increments
Minumum GRE Written: 0-6, in half point increments
Minimum TOEFL: 79 internet based (IBT) 550 paper based (PB) required for international students or
Minimum IELTS: 7 (no subject area below a 6) for international students
Minimum Pearson PTE Academic
Minimum Minimum CEPT: 110 on Full Academic test for international students
For more information on the English Proficiency requirement, please click here
There is no funding support directly available from this program.
The ABS PSM program is designed specifically to prepare students to competitively enter the scientific workforce. During the two-year course of study, students will gain a strong understanding of the applications of the biological sciences to real world problems, including those faced by public institutions and private industry. A minimum of 36 unit hours is needed for this degree; 6-9 of these units are for the research internship and report. Students have a maximum of 6 years to complete the degree. Students may apply for, and be admitted to, any of the 4 tracks (“sub-plans”). Each track has its own specific core requirements and electives
All Tracks have the following general structure.
Science Module...................................................15 Units
Professional Preparation Module.............................12 Units
Internship Module (including the Final Report)..........9 Units
For new students, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) of your track for advice in the selection of your first semester courses.
For more detailed information on all other official academic requirements, policies and procedures of the program are outlined in the PSM-ABS Current Student Handbook.
Administrative policies are outlined in the program bylaws here.