B.S. in Microbiology

Harnessing microbes to save the world

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Median Industry Pay (U.S. BLS 2023)

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Maximize the power of microbes to make life-saving innovations.

The B.S. in Microbiology prepares you to protect our planet from microbial threats and discover new ways to prevent and treat disease. By studying bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa, you’ll explore how small things can make a big impact!

Students in the Microbiology major will learn how to make a world-wide impact across five disciplines:

Food Safety and Consumer Health: ensure safe food and guard against crop contamination.

Plant Pathology and Microbiology: protect plants from disease-causing viruses, bacteria, fungi and nematodes.

Environmental Microbiology: solve real-world sustainability challenges at the microscopic level.

Microbial Genomics and Biotechnology: use the latest technology to optimize plant genetics.

Medical Microbiology: prevent disease by studying microbes in the human body.

The College of Agriculture, Life & Environmental Sciences offers $1 million in scholarships to our students! Combine these options with university scholarships and support from privately funded scholarships and you're well on your way to achieving your educational goals at a price you can afford.

Students in the Microbiology program have exclusive access to nearly $494,000 program-specific scholarships, awarded from 50 different scholarships -- in addition to $230,000 in scholarships that are available to all or most CALES students.

A degree in microbiology prepares you for careers in disease prevention and treatment. It also can serve as a springboard for graduate school. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for microbiologist careers was $85,470 per year with a faster-than-average job growth overall (2023).

There are a variety of career opportunities available to students who earn a degree in microbiology, including:

  • Microbiologist: Provide expert knowledge on pathogenic and beneficial microbes for government agencies, universities, agricultural companies, food safety organizations, research institutes and international agencies.
  • Plant pathologist: Explore the critical role that disease-causing microbes, including viruses, bacteria, fungi and nematodes, play in limiting crop production.
  • Industrial technician: Engineer organisms and communities to optimize and improve the production of food, pharmaceuticals, fuels and many other products on a commercial scale.
  • Food safety and consumer health specialist: Study the close relationship between microbes and agricultural crops and food products, and how those microbes inhabit and contaminate food.

Microbiology students have the unique opportunity to gain fundamental and practical experience in the classroom, lab and field with courses like the following:

Evolution Of Infectious Disease
Molecular Biology
Pathogenic Bacteriology
Microbial Genetics
One Health: A Microbial Perspective
Microbial Techniques