Microbiology Schools and Courses

There are a wide range of career fields in microbiology, from food and water safety regulation to biotechnology. Read this article to learn more about available degree programs and the schools that offer them, what you'll study and what your career options are after completion of your microbiology program. Schools offering Biology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Your career in microbiology will typically focus on research and development processes regarding microorganisms like bacteria and fungi. You can find schools offering broad-based programs in microbiology and some that offer coursework in sub-specialties, such as environmental microbiology and bacteriology. With a degree in microbiology, you can work in clinical and food labs as well as government and academic research facilities.

Degree Options Bachelor of Science in Microbiology, Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology, Master of Science in Microbiology and Immunology, Ph.D. In Microbiology
Certificates Undergraduate Certificate in Microbiology, Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Microbiology for Medical Laboratory Science
Courses Biochemistry, biomedical engineering, biostatistics, cell biology, immunology, organic chemistry

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Can I Choose a School?

You can begin by looking for microbiology programs broad enough to give you a good foundation in the field, but with specialized courses that match your interests and career goals. There are many subfields, including environmental, medical, pharmaceutical and veterinary microbiology as well as and food safety. You can also look for professors who share your research interests, as many schools allow undergraduate and graduate students to take part in research.

What Education Do I Need to Work in Microbiology?

You'll need at least a bachelor's degree for most careers in microbiology. Schools offer both Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Microbiol. B.A. programs tend to focus on lectures and classroom work, while B.S. programs focus more intensively on laboratory experience. Some graduate schools prefer to admit students who earn an undergraduate degree in microbiology, although they'll accept degrees, such as agricultural science, biology, botany, chemistry, physics or zoology.

You'll need at least a master's degree if you want to teach microbiology. A master's degree also prepares you for careers in research and industry. You will most likely need a Ph.D. if you wish to conduct independent research or work in industrial, public health or academic leadership roles.

What Courses Will I Take?

You'll take core courses in biology, physiology, chemistry, mathematics and physics. You can also take specialized microbiology courses available as electives or as part of a concentration. These may include classes in bacterial genetics, fungal biology, parasitology, soil microbiology and virology.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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