What Can I Do with a Major in Microbiology?

Microbiology is the study of microscopic organisms: bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. It is a field whose challenges range from understanding mechanisms of infectious disease and antimicrobial resistance to utilizing microorganisms to clean up an environmentally devastating oil spill; from applying biotechnology to produce human insulin in bacterial cells to manipulating bacterial genes for improving agricultural crops and livestock; from stimulating our immune rejection of tumor cells to replacing hazardous chemicals with insecticidal viruses.

Microbiology majors have*:

  • operating knowledge of scientific equipment
  • diagnostic skills
  • project design skills
  • perception of patterns and structures

The Microbiology major prepares one for a career in almost any field in medicine and biology, and in every sector of the economy: universities, colleges, schools, hospitals, government agencies (CDC, EPA, NASA), congress, industry (biotechnology, food safety, and pharmaceutical), business (patent law), and communications (medical writers).

Many of Miami's microbiology graduates go on to graduate or professional school each year. Microbiology, immunology, ecology, molecular biology, medical microbiology, and medical, dental, and veterinary school are the usual choices. Other students go to business school, law school, or into education.

Career options for the Microbiology graduate include**:
  • staff microbiologist
  • lab technician
  • research assistant
  • technical sales representative

Additional Resources

*This is a sample of specific skills (competencies) that Microbiology majors acquire; it is not a comprehensive list. Also note that these are in addition to the general skills that are common to all CAS majors.

**This is a sample of career options available to Microbiology majors; it is not a comprehensive list. Also note that some of the listed career options may require additional education and/or training beyond the bachelor's degree.