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Program Description

The Clinical Microbiology Masters of Science Program at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse offers unique and specialized training in the fight to control infectious disease. It is a collaborative program involving UW-La Crosse, Gundersen-Lutheran Medical Center, Marshfield Clinic and the Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene. Advanced microbiology course work and clinical laboratory rotations prepare students for careers in Clinical Microbiology. Students who complete the program are eligible to secure Specialist Microbiologist (SM-AAM) certification from the American Academy of Microbiology. Course work is at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse and the clinical laboratory rotations are conducted at:

  • Gundersen-Lutheran Medical Center - Clinical Microbiology-Practicum I - 8 weeks (La Crosse, WI)
  • Marshfield Laboratories/St. Joseph's Hospital - Clinical Microbiology-Practicum II - 6 weeks (Marshfield, WI)
  • Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene – Clinical Microbiology-Practicum III - 2 weeks (Madison, WI)

Students entering the program choose between two courses of study:

Thesis Track

Required Coursework

  Credits
Orientation to Clinical Microbiology 2
Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenicity 2
Graduate Seminar 2
Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases 2
Advanced Immunology 2
Clinical Microbiology-Practicum I 5
Clinical Microbiology-Practicum II 4
Clinical Microbiology-Practicum III 2
Research: Master’s Thesis 6
Elective Credits 5

Total Credits

32

In addition to required coursework, clinical laboratory rotations, and a comprhensive oral exam, students choosing this plan are required to do an original research project under the direction of a faculty member from one of the participating institutions.  Students propose a plan of research, and upon completion of the research, a research thesis must be written, defended and submitted to University Graduate Studies. Students are encouraged to work with their research mentor to publish their work in a refereed journal.

Non-thesis Track

Required Coursework

  Credits
Orientation to Clinical Microbiology 2
Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenicity 2
Graduate Seminar 2
Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases 2
Advanced Immunology 2
Clinical Microbiology-Practicum I 5
Clinical Microbiology-Practicum II 4
Clinical Microbiology-Practicum III 2
Research Paper 2
Elective Credits 9
Total Credits
32

Students choosing a Non-thesis Track also have the same required coursework, clinical laboratory rotations and a comprehensive oral exam like the Thesis Track students. However, the Non-thesis Track students are also required to take additional elective courses and, in lieu of writing a research-based thesis, are required to write a paper such as a review article or case study relevant to clinical microbiology and suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. A faculty member from one of the participating institutions oversees the written product. Upon completion of the paper students are required to defend their paper.

Elective Courses Credits
Microbial Genetics 5
Virology 3
Virology Lab 2
Bacterial Physiology 5
Food Microbiology 4
Bioinformatics 3
Methods in Vector-borne Disease Research 3
Parasitology 4
Clinical Parasitology 1
Mycology 3
Medical Mycology 3
Molecular Biology 3
Molecular Biology Lab 2
Communication in the Bio Sciences 4
Biochemistry I 3
Bichemistry II 3
Epidemiology and Public Health Issues 3

Student working in a Microbiology Laboratory Course at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
Student working in a Microbiology Laboratory Course at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse

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Marshfield Clinic Gundersen Lutheran University of Wisconsin - La Crosse WISCONSIN STATE LABORATORY OF HYGIENE