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Courses & Graduate Certificate

Courses & Graduate Certificate

Formal training through SRNML-hosted courses

Three formal courses are available for hands-on and theoretical training.

  • Advanced Light Microscopy.  BIOL/ MBIO/ PBIO 5394. Prerequisite: permission of instructor and graduate standing. Corequisite: Lab section. Focuses on theory and techniques in light microscopy covering principles including confocal laser scanning microscopy, multiple photon imaging, FLIM/FCS, FRET, fluorescence microscopy, phase contrast, DIC, 3D rendering, and other advanced optical technologies. Also includes a lab section where students will learn to use advanced epifluorescence and confocal microscopes. Instructor: Dr. Gu.
  • Principles and techniques of transmission electron microscopy. BIOL/MBIO/PBIO 5364 (Fall)  An in-depth, laboratory-oriented course in the operation of the TEM. 3 hr lect, 10 hr lab/week. Instructors:  Dr. Sabisch, Dr. Larson.  Note that the lab time shown is a placeholder - labs will be scheduled with small groups during the first course meeting.
  • Scanning electron microscopy. BIOL/MBIO/PBIO 5374 (Spring) An in-depth, laboratory-oriented course in specimen preparation and operation of the SEM. 2 hr lect, 8 hr lab/week. Instructor: Dr. Larson.

Each course is available to both undergraduate and graduate students. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Students in the in-depth training courses need to obtain a research sponsor. Contact instructor for additional information.

SRNML participation in your courses

SRNML frequently hosts tours and demos for other courses, and SRNML personnel frequently give guest lectures and seminars. Just ask!

Graduate Certificate in Microscopic Imaging & Technology

The Certificate Program in Microscopic Imaging and Technology is designed for graduate students with a strong interest in the investigation of using advanced imaging technology to characterize biological, materials and physical science specimens at a range of resolutions that can reach to a near atomic level. Students who may be interested with this certificate come from a wide range of interests (e.g., Biology, Microbiology, Plant Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Materials Sciences, Nanotechnology, Physics).

Complete twelve hours of core microscopy courses:

BIOL/MBIO/PBIO 5364 Transmission Electron Microscopy (4 credits)
BIOL/MBIO/PBIO 5374 Scanning Electron Microscopy (4 credits)
BIOL/MBIO/PBIO 5394 Advanced Light Microscopy (4 credits)

Complete three hours of independent research in which student demonstrates research skills in microscopy as part of their graduate research:  To fulfill this requirement, students will enroll in three hours of graduate research courses that utilize microscopy imaging and technology, M/PBIOL 5990 Special Studies. Students applying to work with SRNML Personnel for Special Studies should write a short description of their Special Studies plan that includes:

  • Descriptive project title
  • Which SRNML Scientist will oversee and work with them on the project
  • A 1-2-paragraph Special Studies plan description that includes a very brief summary of the following:
    • Description of the problem to be investigated
    • Key knowledge / research gap(s) to be addressed
    • Related work already completed
    • Proposed plan of work for the semester and benchmarks for success, including both microscopy and literature reviews

View the Graduate Certificate Program Report (PDF) for program requirements. We are happy to answer questions.  For questions on Microscopy coursework contact or  

Steps for enrolling in graduate certificate program

Students must submit a separate application to the certificate program on the Graduate College Website. Once admitted students will submit the Graduate Program Certificate Report with the signature of the signature of the Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology Graduate Liaison regardless of their home degree program.

  1. Go to the OU Graduate Application website.
  2. Scroll to the bottom and, if you do not have an account, create an account (If you already have an account, skip to step 8)
  3. Enter an email address, your first name, your last name, and your birthdate
  4. Click Continue
  5. In a new tab, go to your entered email and find your temporary pin
  6. Enter your pin and your birthday on the gograd site and click login
  7. Create a new password
  8. Scroll to the bottom and select start new application
  9. Select Add or Change Program and click Create Application
  10. Click Open Application
  11. Click Continue
  12. Fill out all of the information in each tab (On the Add or Change Program tab, select 3. I intend to pursue an additional graduate degree or certificate. If approved, you will be active in both programs. Examples: master while enrolled in a doctoral program or graduate certificate while enrolled in a graduate degree program.)