Welcome to Microbiology Home!
Microbiology is the study of bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa and their many relationships to humans, animals and plants. Microbiologists apply their knowledge to public health and sanitation; food production preservation and industrial fermentations which produce chemicals, drugs, antibiotics, alcoholic beverages and various food products; prevention and cure of diseases in plants, animals and humans; biodegradation of toxic chemicals and other materials present in the environment; insect pathology; and other activities which seek to control microbes, to enhance their useful activities and prevent those which are harmful.
Microbiology is the basis for the exciting and expanding field of biotechnology, which endeavors to utilize living organisms to solve important problems in medicine, agriculture, and environmental science. Microbes live in a great variety of environments and carrying out many of the biochemical processes found in higher organisms. They are thus interesting in their own right and as model systems for the study of reactions that occur in higher organisms. As subjects for research in biochemical and molecular genetics, microbes have contributed most to the current knowledge of genetics at the molecular level (microbial systems are at the forefront of genetic engineering).
Opportunities for employment in the field of microbiology exist at all scholarly levels, in many local, state and national government agencies, in industry and in academics. The record for employment of microbiologists has been excellent for many years and with expanding interest in biotechnology and bioinformatics, job prospects look bright for the future.
Students interested in careers in microbiology should have broad interests in the biological sciences and an aptitude for biology and chemistry. For some areas of specialization, an aptitude for mathematics and physics is also essential.
Courses in the Department of microbiology and molecular genetics are designed to provide comprehensive training in microbiology and the skills required for working with microorganisms that span the spectrum of microbial life. Microbiology positions require study at the graduate level. In addition to the B.S. degree, the Department offers graduate studies leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in various areas of concentration including microbial genetics, microbial ecology and physiology, biofuel production, immunology, bacterial pathogenesis and virology.