The Department of Microbiology offers bachelor's degree programs with opportunities for undergraduate students to add a minor or double major, combine a bachelor's degree with a master's degree and finish within five years, and study premedical and pre-healthcare sciences in preparation for a health-care related professional school.
Academic advising, career, and internship support are available to all students from day one. Talk to an Academic Advisor.
Microbiology, B.S., B.A.
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 the virulence mechanisms of infectious bacteria and the threat of increasing antibiotic resistance to elucidating bacterial toxin structures to facilitate the 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.”
Medical Laboratory Science, B.S.
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.
Medical Laboratory Science Double Major
Students frequently earn a double major, i.e. a Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) along with a Bachelor of Arts in Microbiology, Biology (BIO), Zoology (ZOO), or Chemistry (CHM). The double major curricula are interconnected because a majority of the pre-internship chemistry, microbiology, zoology, mathematics, and foreign language courses also meet the requirements for the B.A. degree in these programs. The final year of the double major is the 12-month MLS clinical year (off-campus).
Public Health: Human Disease and Epidemiology, B.A.
Public Health is a field of study focused on preventing illness and promoting health in individuals, communities, and society as a whole. The degrees in Public Health at Miami build on the University’s strengths in four areas:
- Human Disease and Epidemiology (Microbiology - B.A.)
- Health Policy and Administration (Political Science - B.A.)
- Public Health Promotion (Kinesiology, Nutrition, and Health - B.S.)
- Behavioral Public Health (Kinesiology, Nutrition, and Health - B.S.)
Students pursuing the Human Disease and Epidemiology track in Public Health utilize basic concepts in biology and focus on the factors that cause illness and promote health in human populations. This track explores differences in health across time and population subgroups as well as the reasons for those differences. Students completing this track will complete:
- A common set of core courses in public health
- A track-specific set of courses that address human disease and epidemiology
- One or more elective courses that build upon the student's interests
- A capstone course in advanced epidemiology
The Molecular Biology Minor is offered cooperatively by the Departments of Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Microbiology, and enables students to pursue in depth a multidisciplinary study of biological phenomena at the molecular level. It provides a strong foundation for students planning careers in biotechnology industries or advanced work at the graduate level.
Global Health Studies (GHS) offers a transdisciplinary minor for students interested in better understanding the complexities of global health and developing the necessary collaboration and research skills to work towards ethically addressing global health problems, including:
- Pandemic infectious diseases
- Non-communicable diseases
- Food and water insecurity
- Community development
Additional Academic Opportunities
The Mallory-Wilson Center is a valuable resource for students considering healthcare professions. It provides detailed advice for premedical and pre-healthcare students, with the objective of helping MU students achieve their goal of entering a health profession.
Add a Co-Major
Consider a Co-Major in addition to your undergraduate major which complements your studies adding significant depth and breadth of an academic discipline. Co-majors can't be taken on their own and these options pair efficiently with the Microbiology major: