Microbiology begins with the study of bacteria, yeasts, molds, viruses, and parasites - the microbes; how they are isolated, cultivated, and identified. The next level of study considers them as individual living systems, their physiology and genetics. The third level of study, the working level of a modern microbiologist, is concerned with how microbes interact with living and non-living elements and how these interactions may be controlled, modified, or expanded to benefit the environment and humanity. Microbiology is a field whose challenges range from understanding virulence mechanisms of infectious bacteria and the threat of increasing antibiotic resistance to elucidating bacterial toxin structures to facilitate development of new treatments; from utilizing microorganisms to clean up environmentally devastating oil spills and toxic waste to developing microorganisms as alternative biofuels; from applying biotechnology to produce human insulin and other therapeutic proteins in yeast to constructing the next generation of vaccine-producing cells; from exploiting virus replication mechanisms to advance cancer biology research to developing computational tools to support the genomics “revolution”.
Microbiology majors identifiying "unknown pathogens" in Medical Bacteriology labOur Bachelor of Arts degree is designed to be flexible, and yet provide disciplinary breadth for pre-professional students and students interested in an entry-level career in microbiology, the life or health sciences, or environmental sciences. It consists of:
Our Bachelor of Science degree is designed to provide more in-depth study, particularly in preparation for pursuit of a graduate degree in microbiology and related fields, and careers in research. As part of this preparation, students are required to conduct independent research leading to public presentation of their results. It consists of:
Medical Laboratory Science is a major comprised of five specialties: Clinical Chemistry, Hematology, Microbiology, Immunohematology, and Immunology. Medical laboratory scientists apply scientific background and skills to the supervision and performance of an ever-broadening range of complex laboratory diagnostic and research activities. The lives and health of patients often depend on specialized tests performed by medical laboratory scientists. Examples of these procedures include biochemical tests for cardiac enzymes, detection of abnormal blood cells in a stained blood smear, and microscopic identification of parasitic protozoa, which may provide the earliest clues to respective diagnoses of heart attack (myocardial infarction), leukemia, and giardiasis.
Medical laboratory scientists play a major role as team members to provide the best health care. These individuals contribute their expertise in public health laboratories, research laboratories, and forensic laboratories. In addition to laboratory work, medical laboratory scientists frequently perform administrative duties, supervise laboratory departments and become instructors in educational programs.
The multidisciplinary Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) major provides the needed breadth as it combines a set of core courses in Biology, Chemistry, and Math with additional elective courses from Microbiology, Chemistry, Biology and/or Physics. The major culminates in a year-long medical laboratory internship at a Miami University-affiliated hospital.
Students frequently earn a double major, i.e. the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) along with a Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) degree in microbiology (MBI), biology (BIO), zoology (ZOO) or chemistry (CHM). The double major curricula are inherently interconnected, because a majority of the pre-internship chemistry, microbiology, zoology, mathematics and foreign language courses needed for the B.S. degree in MLS also meet requirements for the B.A. degree in MBI, BIO, ZOO and CHM. The final year of the double major is the 12-month MLS clinical year (off-campus). Eligible departments include: