Are you eligible for an application fee waiver?

The recruitment, retention, and support of students from underrepresented backgrounds is central to the Graduate School's mission. We strive to develop and promote efforts to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion campus-wide.  Application fee waivers are offered to eligible applicants.

Learn More

Admissions Philosophy

The Graduate Program in Microbiology seeks students with the intellectual aptitude, independence, and motivation to pursue scientific research. Students are considered and selected on the basis of past academic performance, previous laboratory research experience, recommendations, and individual interviews. While previous experience in Microbiology coursework and research is helpful, the Graduate Program in Microbiology welcomes applicants with varied backgrounds. Students most likely to succeed have traditionally been those with intellectual achievement and creativity, first-hand understanding of laboratory research, and a strong personal desire and motivation to progress in their scientific training.

We are committed to providing equitable access to learning opportunities for all students, including those with disabilities (e.g., mental health, attentional, learning, chronic health, sensory, or physical) who meet the technical standards of the program, with or without reasonable accommodations.

If you are an applicant with a disability who would like to engage in a confidential consultation about disability access at CU Anschutz, or who requires accommodations to complete the application or interview process, please contact The Office of Disability, Access & Inclusion. 

There are 3 ways to enter the Microbiology Program:

  • Apply directly to the Microbiology Graduate Program.
  • Apply to the Biomedical Sciences Umbrella Program and join the Microbiology Graduate Program after your 1st year.
  • Those interested in pursuing an MD/PhD with research interests in Microbiology may apply to the Medical Scientist Training Program and complete their PhD portion through Microbiology. Note: the MSTP follows a separate application process with different deadlines. Please visit the MSTP website for more information.

The Graduate Program in Microbiology also works closely with the Immunology Program and the Molecular Biology graduate programs, and several labs have joint appointments which can allow for a student to rotate and/or complete thesis work in a Microbiology lab.

Entrance Requirements

Undergraduate Studies | The Graduate Program in Microbiology requires a baccalaureate degree (BS or BA) with a 3.0 (out of 4.0) Grade Point Average (GPA), although exceptions can be considered. Admissions Committee reviews completed coursework to determine if each applicant has sufficient background to pursue our doctoral degree. Specific courses are not required, but coursework in the following subjects is recommended and can enhance an application: Microbiology, Immunology, Virology, Organic Chemistry, Biology, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Molecular Genetics, and Physiology.

Research Experience | Research experience, particularly experimental, hypothesis-driven research experience, is highly recommended. This type of experience is extremely valuable in providing insight to both the Admissions Committee and the candidate as to their commitment to the rigors and rewards of scientific endeavor.

Letters of Recommendation | Three (3) letters of recommendation are required for an application to be considered complete, and thus be reviewed by the Microbiology Admissions Committee. These letters are important and are a critical element for the Admissions Committee’s evaluation of applications. Thus, when possible, applicants should select faculty research mentors that can discuss academic performance, research experience, and the likelihood of the applicant’s future success as a scientist.


How to Apply


Applications will open September 1, and all application and supplemental materials are due no later than December 1. Applications received after December 1 may not be considered.

To apply for admission applicants must submit the following:

  • Online Graduate School application
  • A $50.00 domestic and $75.00 international non-refundable application fee.
  • One (1) official transcript of all academic work completed to date. To be considered "official", the transcripts must come from the issuing institution directly to the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Graduate School. Note: Unofficial transcripts are acceptable for initial application submissions; official transcripts will be required upon offer of acceptance into the program.

Electronic Transcripts should be sent to:

If sending a physical transcript, please mail to:

Graduate School
Mail Stop C296
Fitzsimons Building, W5107
13001 E. 17th Place
Aurora, CO 80045

  • Three (3) letters of recommendation. Letters should be from individuals such as college professors or faculty mentors who are familiar with your academic and/or laboratory achievements. Such letters should be submitted electronically through the on-line application.
  • GRE scores are no longer required for admission.
  • International Applicants only: Students whose native language is not English or who have completed their studies at an institution where English was not the language of instruction, must demonstrate English language proficiency by submitting scores of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or its equivalent. Visit International Admissions for more information.

Questions should be directed to:

International Applicants


Since additional processing is required for international applications, the application may not be complete even if submitted on December 1. Submission by November 1 will ensure time to complete administrative processing before December 1.

Applications submitted between November 1 and December 1 will only be considered if all application components have been received and processed.

International students must meet ALL of the requirements above and those required by International Admissions. 

Visit International Admissions for more information.

Recruitment Weekend

If your application is accepted and you are invited for an interview, the Microbiology Program Administrator will contact you about your travel and help make arrangements convenient for you. The Microbiology Program covers all expenses during your visit, including transportation, lodging, and meals.

CMS Login