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Doctoral Programs

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Offered By: Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology

Onsite | Full-Time | 5 years

About the PhD in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology Program

Through a departmental core curriculum as well as research area-specific courses, laboratory rotations, qualifying examinations, mentored research, and professional development, all MMI PhD students are prepared to engage in cutting edge research and scholarship that advances knowledge.

MMI PhD students hone their scholarship, research and professional skills. Course and laboratory work can address problems in microbial pathogenesis, immunology, disease transmission, and diseases related to malaria, mosquito and arboviral biology.

Students can choose to complete the traditional MMI PhD program or the MMI PhD program concentration in Rigorous, Reproducible, and Responsible Research Investigation in Immunology & Microbiology (R3IM).

The concentration in Rigorous, Reproducible, and Responsible Research Investigation in Immunology & Microbiology (R3IM) conveys a broad background in immunology and infectious diseases research, with a special emphasis on critical thinking, logic, ethics, and written and oral skills to help graduates become communicators of complex scientific concepts and agents of change in their workplaces and communities.

What Can You Do With a Graduate Degree In Molecular Microbiology And Immunology?

Visit the Graduate Employment Outcomes Dashboard to learn about Bloomberg School graduates' employment status, sector, and salaries.

Sample Careers

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Research Associate
  • Science Communicator or Writer
  • Scientist (academia, industry)
  • Specialist in Science Regulatory Affairs
  • Faculty, Professor
  • Science Advocate (nonprofit agencies)
  • Public Health Service (NIH, CDC, FDA)
  • Science Policy Fellow

Curriculum for the PhD in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology

Browse an overview of the requirements for this PhD program in the JHU Academic Catalogue and explore all course offerings in the Bloomberg School Course Directory.

Current students can view the MMI student handbook on the MMI portal site.

Topic Areas

MMI faculty are recognized experts in a wide variety of infectious diseases research areas, allowing our PhD students to study the biology of disease based on their research interests and career goals. Our PhD students gain a comprehensive understanding of infectious diseases that provides a foundation to launch careers that directly tackle critical public health challenges.  

Topic Areas include: 

  • Bacterial pathogenesis
  • Cell biology 
  • Fungal pathogenesis 
  • Immunology
  • Malaria 
  • Medical entomology/Disease ecology
  • Parasite pathogenesis 
  • Rigor, Reproducibility, and Responsibility in Scientific Practice
  • Tick-borne diseases
  • Vaccine development 
  • Vector biology
  • Viral pathogenesis

Admissions Requirements

For general admissions requirements, please visit the How to Apply page.

Standardized Test Scores

Standardized test scores (GRE) are optional for this program. The admissions committee will make no assumptions if a standardized test score is omitted from an application, but will require evidence of quantitative/analytical ability through other application components such as academic transcripts and/or supplemental questions. Applications will be reviewed holistically based on all application components.

Vivien Thomas PhD Scholars

The Vivien Thomas Scholars Initiative (VTSI) is an endowed fellowship program at Johns Hopkins for PhD students in STEM fields. It provides full tuition, stipend, and benefits while also providing targeted mentoring, networking, community, and professional development opportunities. Students who have attended a historically Black college and university (HBCU) or other minority serving institution (MSI) for undergraduate study are eligible to apply. To be considered for the VTSI, you will need to submit a SOPHAS application, VTSI supplementary materials, and all supporting documents (letters, transcripts, and test scores) by December 1, 2023. VTSI applicants are eligible for an application fee waiver, but the fee waiver must be requested by November 15, 2023 and prior to submission of the SOPHAS application.


Tuition and Funding

Per the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the JHU PhD Union, the minimum guaranteed 2025-2026 academic year stipend is $50,000 for all PhD students with a 4% increase the following year. Tuition, fees, and medical benefits are provided, including health insurance premiums for PhD student’s children and spouses of international students, depending on visa type. The minimum stipend and tuition coverage is guaranteed for at least the first four years of a BSPH PhD program; specific amounts and the number of years supported, as well as work expectations related to that stipend will vary across departments and funding source. Please refer to the CBA to review specific benefits, compensation, and other terms

Need-Based Relocation Grants
Students who are admitted to PhD programs at JHU starting in Fall 2023 or beyond can apply to receive a need-based grant to offset the costs of relocating to be able to attend JHU. These grants provide funding to a portion of incoming students who, without this money, may otherwise not be able to afford to relocate to JHU for their PhD program. This is not a merit-based grant. Applications will be evaluated solely based on financial need. View more information about the need-based relocation grants for PhD students.

Contact Us

Questions about the program? We're happy to help.

Ashley Choi 
Senior Academic Coordinator

Alex Kim 
Senior Academic Program Coordinator