University of Minnesota
MICaB Graduate Program
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MICaB Ph.D. Program

What are doctoral programs looking for in applicants? 

  • The short answer includes passion, intelligence, curiosity, a strong work ethic, preserverance, sound communication skills, and the potential to become an independent and critical thinker. Some of these traits are innate and some can be developed in the right environment.

  • Graduate programs exist for two reasons. The first and foremost is to develop the next generation of scientists. The second is to provide individuals to perform and drive research in an academic setting. Faculty choose to work in academia because we have an inherent interest in both education and research. If we were solely interested in research, product development, or making tons of money, we would be elsewhere. So we want students in our labs to educate them and for them to educate us. Together we advance science.

  • Because it is a significant investment in time and money to train graduate students, programs carefully review applicants and extend offers only to those who have qualities thought to predict success (see above). In addition, you need to convince a program you have a genuine and strong desire to become a scientist. The best evidence of this desire is prior research experience. Bona fide research experience includes summer internships, honors research and working in a laboratory after obtaining an undergraduate degree. It does not include laboratory courses that complement didactic courses (e.g. a biology lab course). If you convince a graduate program you have the requisite skills and a genuine desire to earn a doctorate, then the program will be more willing to commit the resources necessary to train you.



Our Address

Microbiology, Immunology & Cancer Biology Ph.D. Graduate Program

University of Minnesota
Mayo Mail Code 196
Room 1460 Mayo Building, 420 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455