Schools with Microbiology Programs: How to Choose

Microbiologists are biological scientists who study single-celled microbes and their interactions with other organisms. It's a broad field that includes bacteriology, mycology, parasitology, virology and other unicellular sciences. Keep reading for more program and school details for studying microbiology.

Programs in microbiology are typically found at 4-year colleges and universities. Both undergraduate and graduate microbiology programs are available.

10 Microbiology Schools

The following public and private universities offer degree programs in the field:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*
Brigham Young University Provo, UT 4-year, private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate $5,150
Clemson University Clemson, SC 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate $14,272 (In-state) $33,190 (Out-of-state)
Duquesne University Pittsburgh, PA 4-year, private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Doctorate $33,778
Howard University Washington, D.C. 4-year, private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Doctorate $23,970
Oregon State University Corvallis, OR 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate $10,107 (In-state) $28,767 (Out-of-state)
Rutgers University Newark, NJ 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate $13,597 (In-state) $28,987 (Out-of-state)
Texas A&M University College Station, TX 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate $10,176 (In-state) $28,768 (Out-of-state)
University of California-Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA 4-year, public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate $12,763 (In-state) $37,471 (Out-of-state)
Michigan State University East Lansing, MI 4-year, public Bachelor's, Doctorate $13,560 (In-state) $36,360 (Out-of-state)
Ohio State University Columbus, OH 4-year, public Bachelor's, Doctorate $10,037 (In-state) $27,365 (Out-of-state)

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

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School Selection Criteria

When choosing a school, students should consider the following:

  • Prospective microbiology students can choose from undergraduate and graduate degree options. Those with a bachelor's degree in microbiology may qualify as a research assistant or laboratory technician, as well as for related jobs in the pharmaceutical or health care field. Those interested in teaching microbiology must usually earn a master's degree. Independent research in the field of microbiology often requires a doctoral degree.
  • Prospective microbiologists may wish to investigate potential schools that offer a desired concentration in the field, such as microbial genetics research, immunology, laboratory pathology and biotechnology.
  • Students can use experiences in internships and extracurricular research to narrow their focus on a career path and improve their potential for job placement.
  • Students may want to consider programs with on-campus facilities and state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment to be properly trained in lab methods.

Bachelor's Degrees in Microbiology

Bachelor's degree programs in microbiology start with a general education base, which includes laboratory sciences in general biology, chemistry and physics, as well as classes advanced mathematics. Students may be able to choose from different concentrations, such as environmental science, biomedicine or business.

Master of Science in Microbiology

Microbiology master's degree programs generally provide seminars in microbiology topics, case study projects and directed research activities. While a bachelor's degree in microbiology is not required in most cases, significant coursework in chemistry and biology are often necessary for admission. An academic concentration may not be required, though students may choose among options in aquatic biology, molecular biology, health care sciences or organic biology. Depending on how interested they are in performing research, students can choose from thesis and non-thesis programs. Students may have opportunities to participate in internships.

Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology

Doctoral programs in microbiology offer multidisciplinary studies in areas such as pathology, immunology and biotechnology. Students often participate in case studies, research projects and teaching assistantships that aid them in completing a formal dissertation or thesis. Prospective microbiology researchers are generally required to have significant experience in lab and field research methods. Doctoral students perform research, teaching and instructional rotations in several disciplines through affiliated medical and scientific laboratories, research organizations and hospitals.

Microbiology degree programs can be found at the bachelor's, master's and doctorate levels at multiple 4-year institutions. When selecting a program to attend students should keep in mind concentration options, as well as internship opportunities the program may offer.

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