Academic Programs

Ph.D. Program in Microbiology, Immunology and Tropical Medicine

The doctoral program in Microbiology, Immunology and Tropical Medicine provides students the opportunity to pursue doctoral dissertation research in the areas of molecular virology, molecular parasitology, and/or immunology. The MITM program is a component of the George Washington University Institute for Biomedical Sciences, which coordinates the doctoral biomedical programs of the university. Applicants must fulfill the school's admission requirements and be admitted into GW's Institute for Biomedical Sciences.

The program is a flexible, research-intensive program and is tailored to the individual interests of the student. During the first year, students take the core curriculum required of all students in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences, including Macromolecular Interactions: Proteins/ Nucleic Acids and Information Processing, and Cell Biology, a series of courses to develop skills for careers in science, as well as an introduction to Infection and Immunity. Students also rotate through three laboratories to gain expertise in experimental research and to familiarize themselves with the research interests of the faculty.

Upon completion of core courses and laboratory rotations, the student selects a degree program as well as a research mentor. Research opportunities are available with faculty at the downtown GW SMHS campus, as well as the Children's National Health System. Students admitted to the GW-NIH partnership program choose mentors and laboratories at the NIH campus. A research advisory committee, consisting of the research advisor and three additional faculty members, guides the student through the completion of the dissertation. After the first year, students are encouraged to focus on laboratory research. Course work in the second year is tailored to the students' field of study and is chosen in conjunction with the program director. Advanced courses offered include Molecular and Cellular Immunology, Virology, and Parasitology, as well as Proteomics and Genomics, Oncology, Systems Biology, Neuroscience and Cell or Developmental biology.

Financial Assistance

Typically the Institute of Biomedical Sciences offers fellowships to qualified applicants. These fellowships currently provide a stipend of $27,000 per year and 24 credit hours of tuition remission for a two-year period, subject to satisfactory academic performance. Subsequently, students are expected to be supported by extramural fellowships, scholarships, or research grants awarded to the laboratory in which they are doing their dissertation research project.

Additional information on the MITM program may be obtained from the program director:

Dr. David Leitenberg

Director, Microbiology and Immunology Program


Phone: (202) 994-9475

For more information, visit the Institute for Biomedical Sciences website.