The following constitutes introductory information regarding the graduate degree program. For a complete outline of degree requirements, see Program Requirements for UCLA Graduate Degrees available in the program office and accessible from the Graduate Division homepage at http://www.gdnet.ucla.edu.
Applicants for the Master of Arts program in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics must obtain faculty sponsorship before submitting an application and, in addition to the other application materials (see Ph.D. application procedures), must submit a five-page research proposal describing the thesis problem. Information and the proposal format are available from the graduate adviser's office.
The department accepts relatively few students whose objective is a master's degree and does not encourage application.
A total of nine courses is required for the M.A. degree. A total of five courses must be at the graduate level. Required courses are specified on an individual basis by the initial advisory committee (three faculty members) which generally becomes the thesis committee.
There is no limit to the number of times Microbiology and Molecular Genetics 598 may be repeated. It is graded S/U only and can be taken for two to 12 units per quarter. A maximum of two courses (eight units) in the 500 series may apply to the nine-course (36 units) M.A. degree, with only one course (four units) applying toward the five-course (20 units) graduate course requirement.
The thesis committee is established shortly after admission to the program. A committee member outside the department is not required but highly recommended. The department offers only a thesis plan for the master's degree.
Admission to the Ph.D. program in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics is through UCLA ACCESS to Programs in Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences, 172 MBI, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90024-1570, (310) 206-6051.
Under special circumstances, new Ph.D. students may be admitted directly. The following criteria apply for new Ph.D. students admitted directly to the program
Applicants must have completed an undergraduate major in microbiology or a related field with superior scholastic achievement and should have preparation in calculus, physics, biology, genetics, physical, organic and biochemistry, and microbiology. In certain cases, on recommendation of the graduate adviser and the departmental admissions committee, background deficiencies may be remedied concurrently with graduate studies. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test is required for admission, and the Subject Test in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Chemistry, or Biology is recommended. Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can provide direct knowledge of both the applicant's academic record and potential for superior achievement in independent research are required. The GRE scores and letters should be submitted directly to the department. The department generally accepts students in Fall Quarter only. Under exceptional circumstances the Graduate Admissions Committee may agree to admit a student in Winter or Spring Quarter. Completion of a master's degree is not normally required.
The graduate program emphasizes the areas of molecular genetics, cell biology, immunology, cell and virus structure and morphogenesis, animal virology, general bacteriology and physiology, host/parasite relationships, medical microbiology, microbial genetics, and recombinant DNA research. Students are prepared for creative research in all of these fields. The objective of the department is to provide depth and training in independent study and research for graduate students.
Formal Lecture/Laboratory Courses. (1) Biochemistry: Chemistry and Biochemistry CM253 (six units; offered only in Fall Quarter; to be completed during the first year); (2) Cell Biology: Chemistry and Biochemistry M267 or Neurobiology M209A or Microbiology and Molecular Genetics M229.
A total of eight additional units of 200-level coursework to be selected from at least two of the following four subject areas is required. These courses may be selected to remedy background deficiencies or to deepen knowledge of a particular subject area. Acceptable courses include the following:
(1) General microbiology: Microbiology and Molecular Genetics C211, C212.
(2) Host/parasite interactions and virology: Microbiology and Molecular Genetics C204C, C206, Microbiology and Immunology 208, 210.
(3) Immunology: Microbiology and Molecular Genetics M185A or CM285B, or M261.
(4) Genetics and regulation: courses from current listings maintained in the department office.
Other courses may be accepted with written consent of the departmental graduate adviser and the student's advisory committee.
Students are expected to complete a course in physical chemistry (Chemistry and Biochemistry 156). This requirement can be waived on the basis of work done before entering UCLA.
Student-Participation Seminar Courses. Each quarter, seminar courses in which students read and report on current scientific research literature are organized. Students must enroll in five such courses (10 units) during their first five years of residence.
Laboratories. During the first 12 months of residence, students rotate for one quarter each through three laboratories. Students normally enroll in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics 596 for a minimum of four units of credit for each rotation.
First-Year Proposal: By August 15 of the first year of study students must submit an original research proposal of approximately six double-spaced pages. Students should choose a current paper in an area of interest in which the next experiment is fairly obvious, possibly even suggested in the discussion. The experiment should be designed with appropriate controls and succinctly presented along with the interpretation of possible results. The proposal should be well focussed on one or a very few specific questions. It is unacceptable to submit a duplicate or revised version of a previous class assignment (e.g., course M253). Suggestions and evaluations are returned to the student and used by the faculty to evaluate continuation into the second year.
The oral examination must be taken within 24 months of entry into graduate school and must be passed, if reexamination is required, no later than 27 months from the date of entry. These periods may be extended with the written consent of the departmental graduate adviser and the student's mentor.
The examination is administered by the doctoral committee which normally serves as the dissertation committee as well. As a major part of the examination, the student prepares and defends a written research proposal. Before presentation to the doctoral committee, the student is encouraged to present the proposal before a student seminar group.
The University Oral Qualifying Examination covers both the student's proposal and general scientific background. It is not restricted to the topics of the proposal. The committee may arrange alternate ways to assess the student's preparation and qualifications.