Bachelor's Degrees in Parasitology

Parasitology programs will teach you all about the particular area of biology dealing with parasitic organisms. Read on to explore prerequisites for enrolling in a microbiology degree program, typical coursework for these programs, and opportunities to advance your background in parasitology. Career and future opportunities for those who earn a bachelor's degree in microbiology are also discussed. Schools offering Biology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Are Bachelor's Degrees in Parasitology Available?

Few, if any, programs award a bachelor's degree specifically in parasitology. However, parasitology classes are commonly offered at this level for several closely-related fields of study. For example, parasitology courses are included in most veterinary assistant and veterinary medicine programs, due to the major role that parasites can play in poor animal health. Likewise, public health degree programs often study parasites in order to help alleviate suffering in places where parasitic infestation is likely.

Although there are multiple options, students at the undergraduate level most commonly pursue coursework in parasitology through a major in microbiology. This degree also prepares students for master's or doctorate-level programs devoted solely to parasite-host interaction.

Bachelor's Degrees Undergraduate parasitology programs are very rare; microbiology is the usual concentration at this level
Required Background Students must be comfortable with mathematics, scientific theory and basic laboratory procedure
Common Coursework Immunology, microbial physiology, parasitology, toxicology
Continuing Education Specialized, graduate-level parasitology programs are available to those who earn an undergraduate degree in microbiology
Online Availability Lab-based coursework precludes fully online programs, but specific classes are sometimes offered digitally.
Median Salary (2018)$71,650 (for microbiologists)*
Job Outlook (2016-26)8% (for all microbiologists)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Kind of Background Should I Have for a Bachelor's Degree in Microbiology?

It helps to have taken a variety of laboratory-based science classes in high school (such as the lab periods associated biology, chemistry and physics.) In addition, you should have a solid background in high school mathematics.

What Courses Will I Take?

You'll take a variety of laboratory-based science courses in biology, chemistry and physics as well as applied mathematics classes. Intensive, laboratory-based microbiology coursework might include topics such as general microbiology, immunology, pathogenic bacteriology, molecular and microbial genetics and microbial physiology.

You'll find that some microbiology undergraduate programs offer different course concentrations within the major. For example, if you're interested in attending veterinary, medical or dental school, you might focus on biomedical microbiology, studying elective microbiology topics such as virology, parasitology, mycology and microbial pathogenesis. Or, if your area of concentration is working in industrial-related microbiology, you might study food, fermentation or industrial microbiology. An interest in environmental microbiology will lead you to elective coursework in ecology, environmental toxicology or limnology (the study of lakes and rivers.)

What Can I Do With this Degree?

A bachelor's degree in microbiology is an important first step towards working in parasitology as a professional researcher, healthcare professional, or academic expert. Once you have established a solid background in laboratory science and microbiological theory, you will be eligible for graduate-level programs which concentrate fully on the study of parasites and their hosts.

In addition to this, an undergraduate degree in microbiology will prepare you for medical, dental or veterinary school as well as for specialized graduate programs in microbiology (such as parasitology.) Or, you may find employment with a pharmaceutical company, biotechnology firm, hospital or public health laboratory. Food processing companies, research laboratories and environmental concerns are also common places for microbiologists to find work.

Can I Earn This Degree Online?

Microbiology is a laboratory-based science, and so finding a program that offers a bachelor's degree completely through online coursework is very unlikely. You may, however, be able to take some classes (such as prerequisite or theoretical ones) entirely through a digital source.

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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