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Earn your Ph.D. by distance from the University of Florida's Microbiology and Cell Science Department

Our distance Ph.D. program with a Concentration in Microbial and Cellular Data Science offers a flexible higher education experience


Application Deadlines

Fall semester: April 1

Spring semester: September 1



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  • Program Requirements

    Successful completion of a minimum of 60 credits beyond the M.S. degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0

    • Students must register for a minimum of six credits per semester (fall, spring, and summer)
    • The estimated timeline to completion is 4-6 years for a full-time student, or 7-8 years for a part-time student


    Completion of all course requirements for the Ph.D. degree in Microbiology and Cell Science


    Successful completion of written and oral qualifying exams


    Completion of original research documented by publications in peer-reviewed journals and in a dissertation submitted and approved by the faculty and the graduate school


    Virtual attendance at the weekly departmental seminar synchronously or asynchronously


    Virtual attendance of a journal colloquy each semester to keep students informed of the latest progress in the subject areas of interest to their disciplines


    Assist their mentors in teaching for two semesters


    Ability and willingness to communicate through multiple means on a frequent basis with your Ph.D. mentor or other collaborators

    • Students must meet with their committees at least once per year
  • Faculty Mentors

    View our list of faculty at

    • Each professor will determine if they have a project available for a distance PhD student. Not all professors will have relevant research projects for this program.
  • Admission Requirements

    1) B.S. degree

    • Minimum 3.0 GPA
    • Preferably with an emphasis on microbiology and/or cell biology

    2) M.S. degree, of at least 30 credits, in the life sciences

    • Minimum 3.0 GPA
    • Preferably with an emphasis on microbiology and/or cell biology

    3) Strong preference given to applicants with significant quantitative skills in computational biology, programming, and/or statistics

    • Minimum 3.0 GPA
    • Preferably with an emphasis on microbiology and/or cell biology
    • Evidence of such training or skills should be included with the application

    4) Preference given to candidates with the following pre-requisite courses (or their equivalent in courses from other institutions) or demonstrated work experience:

    • Python Programming
    • R Programming
    • Bioinformatics
    • The Microbiome
    • Artificial Intelligence
  • Application Materials

    1) Application fee of $30

    2) Unofficial transcripts from each school you have attended

    3) CV or resume

    4) Three letters of recommendation (LOR)

    • We suggest that candidates request LOR from professional/academic mentors or colleagues that can comment on their academic/research experiences

    5) Personal statement: Answer the following three prompts in a word document and upload to the application

    • Describe your research experience, career goals, and area of research interest (limit 500 words)
    • How have you demonstrated success in a remote work or school environment? (limit 300 words)
    • Which research labs in our department interest you most and why? (limit 300 words)

    6) International Applicants must submit official evidence of English language proficiency

    7) Information Request Page

  • How to Apply

    Go to :

    Complete each section of the application (notes on how to choose the correct program can be found below)

    • Application Information
      • Location of Intended Program: Main Campus – Gainesville
    • Program of Study
      • Select College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
      • Microbiology and Cell Science, Degree Name – Doctor of Philosophy
      • Concentration: None
      • Program Specialization: Microbial and Data Science
      • Department Contact Name: leave this blank

  • Cost / Financial Aid

    Tuition and Fees

    • $530.69 per credit (in-state)
    • $1,255.41 per credit (out-of-state)



    • Stipends are not available from the department. A PI may choose to provide stipend support for extraordinary candidates


    Financial Aid

    • Employers often have a benefit that can pay higher education tuition
    • The department and PIs will be seeking sources of external support for these admitted students but there are no guarantees, particularly during the early phases of this program

Please contact if you have any questions regarding the application process or deadline.