Microbiology

About the Major

Microbiology is the branch of biology that deals with bacteria, yeasts and other fungi, algae, protozoa, and viruses. These microorganisms are ubiquitous in nature and play a crucial role in areas such as agriculture, biotechnology, ecology, medicine, and veterinary science. The field of microbiology contributes to areas of fundamental inquiry such as biochemistry, cell biology, evolution, genetics, molecular biology, pathogenesis, and physiology.

Download the CBS Majors Diagram to compare the microbiology degree requirements to all other degrees offered in our college. For detailed information about this major, visit the Undergraduate Admissions website, or click on the links to the right.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Describe the molecular and structural unity of microbial life, explaining how this diversity is generated and perpetuated and how it allows microbes to thrive in so many different environmental niches.

2. Demonstrate knowledge of how genetics and biochemistry are used to elucidate the organization and function of microorganisms.

3. Use classical, molecular, and genomic methods to identify microorganisms isolated from natural environments.

4. Explain and be able to use good microbiological practices in a laboratory setting.

5. Evaluate how microorganisms interact with animals, plants, other microbes, and the environment in beneficial, neutral, or detrimental ways.

6. Demonstrate scientific quantitative skills, such as the ability to evaluate experimental design, read graphs, and use information from scientific papers.

7. Effectively communicate scientific data and ideas in standard formats.

Careers

The microbiology major program is appropriate for students contemplating a career in medicine, various allied health professions including medical technology, or teaching. The B.S. program is especially well suited for students who want a professional career in microbiology, including employment in biotechnology, the pharmaceutical industry, and the food industry, or who wish to pursue graduate education in a biological science discipline. The A.B. program is best suited to those interested in a career in the health sciences who wish to have time to complete a second major in the humanities or social sciences. 

For more information about the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics within the College of Biological Sciences, visit the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics.

Visit the Internship and Career Center website to learn about the internships and jobs students in your major have pursued.