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Online Bachelor's Degree in Microbiology: Program Overviews

Due to the hands-on nature of the field, bachelor's degree programs in microbiology are typically campus-based. Some introductory courses may be available online. Read on to learn more about hybrid bachelor's degrees in microbiology.

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Essential Information

Online bachelor's degree programs in microbiology are rare to nonexistent due to the nature of microbiology study. Bachelor's programs in biology can be found completely online. Some online courses for microbiology may be available within the program. Basic audio and video technology will be needed. While all core courses and required labs are available on-campus, students can complete some general education courses online, including biochemistry and genetics. A bachelor's degree is the minimum educational requirement for entry-level careers in microbiology, such as laboratory assistant. A doctoral degree is required for independent research.

Bachelor's Degree in Microbiology

Microbiology bachelor's degree programs are designed for individuals interested in the study and scientific application of microscopic organisms. Students learn how to classify these organisms, identify their molecular structures and determine their helpful or harmful attributes. Because extensive laboratory work is required, microbiology programs are primarily campus-based. However, some individual courses may be offered online. Related fields of study include biotechnology, chemistry and immunology.

Requirements and Information

Although students must complete the majority of their microbiology coursework on campus, they can take some basic courses through online learning. Students may also fulfill their general education requirements online, with courses in areas like English and math. A typical bachelor's program can be completed in four years.

Online classes often use streaming audio and video technology for lectures and tests, so a computer with Internet access is necessary. Some classes also require students to have local access to laboratory equipment.

List of Common Online Microbiology Courses

Online classes related to microbiology are usually introductory; however, it's important to note that the online versions of these classes may have prerequisites for enrollment, such as previous college-level study in basic sciences like chemistry and biology. Students interested in applying online credits to a campus-based program should contact a school's admissions department to confirm transfer details.

Introduction to Microbiology

The various functions of microbes are discussed, including their effects on the human body. Students examine the principles of microbial growth, micro-organic classifications and the role of microbes in disease.

Basic Genetics

Topics like chromosome replication, inheritance and gene expressiveness are explored. Students also learn about the application of genetic studies to professional fields like agriculture and forensics.

Biochemistry Course

Students discuss interactions between biomolecules and the human metabolism. Specific topics include the functions of cellular membranes, enzymes and proteins.


Career Information

Graduates of a microbiology bachelor's program can pursue careers as microbiologists, research assistants and environmental scientists. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), microbiologists earned a median annual salary of $67,550, while biological technicians earned a median salary of $41,650 as of May 2015. Environmental scientists and specialists (including health) made a median annual salary of $67,460 during the same period.

Employment of microbiologists was expected to grow by 4% (slower than average for all occupations) from 2014-2024, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Environmental scientists and specialists were expected to experience employment growth of 11% during the same time frame.

Continuing Education Information

Many microbiology bachelor's degree recipients pursue master's and doctoral degrees in the field. These programs are usually campus-based, with limited distance-learning options. A master's degree program takes between 2-3 years to complete, while a doctoral degree can be earned in 5-6 years.

Online bachelor's degree programs in microbiology are rare because they require hands-on laboratory sessions; general education courses in subjects like biochemistry and genetics may be taken online. Core courses discuss genetics and organisms.

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