Microbiology Academics

Students wearing protective gear work in lab. One student holds up a specimen
Students presenting a poster
Exterior of Pearson Hall
Students listen as a professor lectures in the classroom
Microscope stage
A gloved hand is seen performing streaking tasks
A gloved hand is seen performing gram stain tasks
Gloved hands identify unknowns
Students bend over microscopes to view specimens

The Department of Microbiology offers a wide range of academic opportunities. Our Microbiology majors (A.B. and B.S.) prepare students for careers in almost any field in medicine and biology. The curriculum provides opportunities to specialize in a variety of areas, including Biomedical Science, Microbial Ecology, Genetics & Bioinformatics, and Cellular & Molecular Biology. These degree options provide an excellent foundation for careers in microbiology, yet allow students to select courses that complement their interests.

Presenting at the Undergraduate Research Forum

Microbiology students Sarah Geiger, Lauren Misel and Andrew Wakefield present their research at the Undergraduate Research Forum

In addition, the department offers the Medical Laboratory Science major, which leads to a B.S. degree. It includes a one-year (senior-level) clinical lab practicum in which students apply scientific background and skills to the performance and supervision of an expanding range of complex lab diagnostic and research activities. A variety of program options for degrees and clinical internships are available within the Medical Laboratory Science Major.

Beyond our undergraduate programs, we offer a variety of graduate degree programs. Students can earn M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Microbiology, or advanced degrees in the interdisciplinary Cell, Molecular, and Structural Biology (CMSB) and Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology (EEEB) programs.

The department also participates in two interdisciplinary minors, Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology, each of which are available to Microbiology majors, as well as co-majors in Premedical Studies and Environmental Science.  The co-majors provide extended study in specialized areas, and must accompany a major. Both Premedical Studies and Environmental Science fit well with majors in Microbiology, and yet provide their own perspective.

To help keep track of one's academic options, we have made available some online academic advising resources, as well as access to departmental advisors.

New Course for First-Year Majors

students working in lab

MBI 147: Microbiology Introductory Seminar is our new course designed for first-year MBI (Microbiology) majors and students considering majoring in Microbiology.

The course is designed to introduce students to our department and the degrees we offer, the departmental and university resources that are available to help them achieve their educational objectives, and the opportunities for undergraduate research in Microbiology. It also provides students with professional orientation and networking opportunities by providing access to faculty, graduate students, alumnae, and guest microbiologists from industry, government and academia with a shared interest in the profession of Microbiology.

Join us this fall
in MBI 147

Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology

Drs. Rachael Morgan-Kiss and Annette Bollmann, associate professors of microbiology, discuss the unique research opportunities provided to undergraduate and graduate students in Microbial Ecology (MBI 475/575).

Hands-on Inquiry-based Learning for First-Year Students

Microbiology faculty and students talk about their participation in a national experiment (MBI 223/224) to determine and understand the genetic content of viruses infecting bacteria.