Microbiology BS

We empower our students to discover, develop, and communicate microbiological and immunological solutions to local and global challenges

Microbiology is a fundamental biological science concerned with bacteria, viruses and other microbes. Microbiologists have made some of the most important scientific discoveries of the last 150 years, and they have won about a third of the Nobel Prizes in Medicine and Physiology. The discipline covers a broad spectrum of specialized interest areas that show how microbes affect human and animal health, agriculture, our environment, food technology and safety, and the biotechnology industry. The Microbiology BS prepares students for a wide range of important career opportunities.

The curriculum

During the first year, students in microbiology take basic college courses in English chemistry, biology and mathematics. The curriculum over the next three years includes advanced courses in microbiology and the life sciences. These courses include pathogenic microbiology, virology, immunology, parasitology, microbial genetics, genomics, food microbiology, microbial ecology and bacterial physiology.

Our faculty and facilities

Our faculty have expertise and experience in several areas of microbiology. In addition to teaching, they are active researchers and devoted research mentors. Our undergraduates frequently have opportunities to perform cutting edge research in nationally-funded laboratories.

The Department of Microbiological Sciences, located in Van Es Hall, has well-equipped teaching and research laboratories. Several courses are taught in the dedicated STEM education building, A. Glenn Hill Center.

Post-graduate opportunities


The microbiology major is an excellent preparation for professional school, including medical, veterinary, dental, optometry, and physician assistant.

Graduate school

The microbiology major emphasizes experiential learning in coursework and research laboratories that provides the foundation to be successful in graduate school.

Career opportunities

Graduates may seek employment in the health sciences, biomedical industries, biotechnology, agricultural biosystems, food industries, pharmaceutical industries and government agencies. In these careers, graduates may identify new emerging diseases; develop diagnostic tests, new medicines and vaccines; work in departments of public health or hospital laboratories to ensure a safe food supply; or work in academic or private research laboratories. Microbiologists work in government agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency. Many microbiologists are teachers and professors.

Top of page