Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology Designated Emphasis


Master's degree (M.A/M.S) and doctoral students from departments at UC Santa Cruz may complete a Designated Emphasis (DE) in Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology (METX) by completing two graduate courses in METX (from an approved list) and one quarter of METX 292, the weekly departmental seminar. In addition, students may have a Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology faculty member on their qualifying examination committee, and must have a Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology faculty member on their thesis reading committee, complete a significant scholarly written component on a microbiology and/or environmental health/toxicology related topic, and complete the requirements for a master's degree or Ph.D. in their own department.


Doctoral and master’s students completing the following requirements, in addition to the degree requirements of their home department, will receive the Designated Emphasis in Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology:

Committee Composition and Departmental Approvals

The student must have a designated graduate adviser from the faculty of the Department of Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology, who may also serve on the Ph.D./M.A. qualifying exam committee and must serve on the Ph.D. dissertation/master’s thesis reading committee.

Course Requirements

At least two METX courses from the following list for a minimum of 10 credits:

METX 200Interdisciplinary Approaches in Environmental Toxicology


METX 201Sources and Fates of Pollutants


METX 202Cell and Molecular Toxicology


METX 206AAdvanced Microbiology


METX 210Molecular and Cellular Basis of Bacterial Pathogenesis


METX 238Pathogenesis: Molecular Mechanisms of Disease


METX 250Environmental Microbiology


Students will enroll in at least one quarter of:

METX 292Introductory Graduate Seminar


Additional Requirements and Application Information

In addition, students must:

1. Attend METX department seminars (enroll in METX 292, 0 credits) for at least one quarter. Optionally, the student can schedule a presentation on their research for the departmental seminar series.

2. Include a significant scholarly written component (e.g., a dissertation chapter or a paper to be submitted for publication) on an appropriate topic in microbiology, environmental toxicology, and/or environmental health. The content, length, and topic requires approval by the METX faculty committee member.

Application Process:

Students who wish to pursue the DE in METX will submit an application form to the METX Department; email your request to metx-gradadvising@ucsc.edu . The application will include:

  • Identification of a METX faculty adviser and their signature of approval, along with signature from your primary faculty advisor
  • List of the courses that will be taken and when
  • Copies of unofficial transcripts

Students should submit their application to the METX Department at: metxadmn@ucsc.edu.

Completion of the DE in METX:

Upon completion of the DE in METX, students will submit a completion form. The form is to be submitted to the METX graduate program coordinator.