The program enables students to learn about perspectives, techniques, and methodological approaches in the field of Microbiome Science, while maintaining a close association with major program areas of study.

The Microbiome Sciences Dual-Title Graduate Program (established in 2022) was a transformational outcome of the Penn State Microbiome Center's curricular goals. This program will provide students with the intellectual foundation for integrated and mechanistic understanding of relationships within and beyond microbiomes.

Interdisciplinary training across Microbiome Sciences will prepare students for this rapidly growing research area in academia and government. It will also prepare students for a wide array of research careers in the private sector, including medical, agricultural, and environmental sciences, and integrated study of the sustainable approaches for managing ecosystems.

To pursue a Dual-title Ph.D. in Microbiome Sciences at Penn State, a student must first be admitted to one of the major programs offering the dual title. Students may only apply to the dual-title program once they have been accepted into a major program under the supervision of a major adviser wishing to support dissertation research related to microbiome sciences.

Microbiome Science students complete all requirements for their major graduate program as well as requirements for the Microbiome Science Dual Title Ph.D. These include:

  • having a Microbiome Sciences co-adviser;
  • taking courses counting for 15 credits from the approved list of courses in the Microbiome Sciences curriculum table;
  • passing a comprehensive exam that includes a Microbiome Sciences component; and,
  • completing a dissertation that addresses one or more topics within the field of microbiome sciences.

The Microbiome Sciences Dual-Title Degree Program is administered by the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology for the participating graduate programs. The dual-title degree program is offered through participating programs in the College of Agricultural Sciences (Plant Pathology) with additional programs joining soon.