Program Objective 1.

Dual-title graduates will have an understanding of microbiome diversity, dynamics, and measurement methods which will qualify them for positions in academia, government agencies, or industry.

Learning Outcomes (Know)

  1. Students will demonstrate mastery of fundamental microbiome concepts from the literature to describe characteristics, roles, and interactions of bacteria, archaea, micro-eukaryotes, and viruses within microbiomes.
  2. Students will articulate factors affecting microbiome establishment and stability and describe potential consequences of microbiome perturbation.
  3. Students will explain principles behind the molecular and bioinformatics procedures used to describe microbiomes and their relationships to hosts and ecosystems.

Program Objective 2.

Dual-title graduates will have laboratory and computer skills for characterizing the composition and function of microbiomes and be able to relate microbiome characteristics to relevant information from associated hosts and ecosystems (metadata).

Learning Outcomes (Apply)

  1. Students will design and execute sound study designs and rigorous analytical methodologies commonly used in the microbiome sciences.
  2. Students will adhere to established protocols, including the application of appropriate controls, standards, and safety precautions when performing experiments.
  3. Students will perform relevant data analyses and recognize sources of error in experimental protocols.
  4. Students will document and track analytical procedures and store data in a proper way that enables data accessibility and retrieval.

Program Objective 3.

Dual-title graduates will generate meaningful hypotheses and interpret data in ways that lead to solution of novel problems in microbiome sciences.

Learning Outcomes (Think, Interpret, Create)

  1. Students will articulate strengths and weaknesses of microbiome studies and the quality and soundness of conclusions drawn from studies
  2. Students will comprehend diverse experimental approaches to novel problems, justify the use of selected approaches, and demonstrate adaptive skills with emerging technologies
  3. Students will interpret and summarize their experimental findings in manuscripts for publication in appropriate journals.

Program Objective 4.

Dual-title graduates will recognize the means for pursuing diverse career opportunities and articulate professional and ethical issues in the field of microbiome sciences.

Learning Outcomes (Professional Practice and Ethics)

  1. Students will communicate effectively about the importance of microbiomes in host and ecosystem health and potential impacts on society.
  2. Students will advance efforts to increase diversity, equitability, and inclusion in the sciences.
  3. Students will acknowledge cases of ethical conduct in scientific research with particular attention to microbiome sciences.
  4. Students will become members of relevant professional organizations in the microbiome sciences.

For more information, contact Faculty in Charge Dr. Mary Ann Bruns ( or Graduate Program Head Carolee T. Bull ( or Graduate Program Administrator (