Top Microbiology Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Explore three of the top schools in the country to offer microbiology programs. Learn about these schools' rankings, program offerings and courses to make a decision that's right for you.

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School Overviews

Two of the top schools to offer microbiology programs are located thousands of miles apart -- Michigan State University (MSU) and the University of California - Berkeley (UCB). Both schools are recognized as being among the top universities in the nation and in their respective regions. MSU offers master's and doctoral programs in the field, while UCB's graduate-level program is offered in four specializations.

1. Michigan State University in Lansing, MI

School Highlight: Michigan State offers nine graduate programs in microbiology.

The Princeton Review rated Michigan State University as one of the best Midwestern colleges in its 2015 edition ( The school was also ranked tied for 35th by U.S. News & World Report on its 2015 list of top public schools. Undergraduate degrees in microbiology are offered at the school's College of Natural Science and Lyman Briggs College. Master's degree programs are offered through the College of Human Medicine, the College of Osteopathic Medicine and the College of Veterinary Medicine. A Ph.D. in Microbiology is also available at the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Michigan State also offers master's and Ph.D. degree programs in the combined fields of microbiology and molecular genetics, and a doctoral degree program in microbiology and environmental toxicology. At the graduate level, students can expect to take classes such as microbial genetics, eukaryotic molecular genetics, cell structure, molecular virology and integrative microbial biology.

2. University of California-Berkeley

School Highlight: Cal was named the top public school in the country in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.

U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of California-Berkeley #20 on its list of top schools in the United States in 2015. In its 2015 edition, The Princeton Review described UC Berkeley as one of the best colleges in the West. The graduate program for microbiology at Berkeley has four specializations. These specializations include ecology and evolution, genetics and development, host-microbe interactions and physiology and biochemistry. Some of the classes that have to be completed to graduate from these programs include biology of fungi, biology of algae, plant virology, microbial diversity and plant molecular genetics.

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Top Microbiology Programs

School Name Distinction Location
Arizona State University In 2015, the Fiske Guide to Colleges named ASU a 'best buy' public college. Tempe, AZ
Michigan State University The Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics serves three medical colleges. East Lansing, MI
New York University NYU ranked #32 among all national universities according to U.S. News & World Report in 2015. New York, NY
Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus The school derives research funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Cancer Research Institute. University Park, PA
University of California-Berkeley UCB ranked #3 on U.S. News & World Report's 2014 listing of the best schools to offer graduate programs in microbiology. Berkeley, California
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Microbiology students have access to 21 research laboratories. Champaign, IL
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor In 2014, the university ranked #19 on U.S. News & World Report's list of best schools offering graduate programs in the biological sciences. Ann Arbor, Michigan
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Students can attend Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology Seminar Series as well as leadership series. Minneapolis, MN
University of Texas at Austin Core facilities cover microscopy & imaging, DNA sequencing, macromolecular crystallography, and more. Austin, TX
University of Wisconsin-Madison The university ranked #18 on U.S. News & World Report's 2014 list of top schools with graduate-level biological sciences programs. Madison, WI
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