Vector and Vector-Borne Disease Biology Certificate


The Vector and Vector-Borne Disease Biology graduate certificate is designed to provide a concentration of subject-matter focusing on arthropod vectors of disease pathogens, focusing on vectors and· their diseases, including human diseases, plant diseases, and animal diseases. This program will be administered by the Department of Biology In the College of Science. This subject-matter concentration is designed to prepare students with competitive advantages for employment opportunities or further graduate education where understanding outbreaks of vector-borne diseases are advantageous. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recognized there are long-term shortages of specialists and practitioners with knowledge and skills to respond to the complexities of vector-borne diseases critical to the needs for community, county, state and national responses. Mosquito, tick, and other arthropod-borne diseases such as Zika, Dengue, Chikungunya, West Nile Virus, Chagas, and Lyme Disease are among many examples of vector-borne maladies with impacts on humans, companion animals, livestock and wildlife. Global trade, climate change, and travel continue to pose additional risks for introductions of exotic vectors and vector-borne pathogens. The concentration of course work offered through this graduate certificate is intended to prepare graduate students ·to identify, predict, and manage outbreaks of vector-borne diseases as future professionals. 

The Department of Labor Statistics estimates there will be continued growth of 5-11% employment through 2024 for discipline categories related to vector-borne diseases. Employment opportunities in the public health sector include environmental health service agencies at municipal, county, and state levels, mosquito control districts, the CDC, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the World Health Organization, and the Pan American Health Organization. Students completing this certificate will be able to identify the various interest groups and interact with the range of participants in solving issues associated with a vector-borne disease outbreak. 

Admission Requirements

Admission to this graduate certificate is restricted to candidates for the Biology, Master of Science (UTRGV) thesis track. 

Program Requirements

Required Courses - 9 Hours

BIOL 6320Vector Biology


BIOL 6390Biology Internship


BIOL 6398Advanced Topics in Biology I


These course would meet 9 of the 24 hours of elective needed to successfully complete the M.S.­ thesis in Biology. 

Total Credit Hours: 9