Undergraduate research is a major focus of OSU and the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. Students involved in research within the department will reap various benefits from working in the laboratory (professionally, educationally, and personally). The Microbiology faculty also actively collaborate with members of the Departments of Integrative Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Chemistry, and Nutritional Sciences. Complete microbiology faculty and research interests can be found at the Faculty/Staff page.
Undergraduates in Research
A student that is interested in research typically requires an educational collaboration between them and a member of the department faculty. This is experience can be initiated by a student seeking a faculty mentor whose research sparks the student’s interests. Once a student is in a lab, the experience typically concludes with a written, oral, or visual presentation as a means of making their work accessible to other investigators in the field, as well as the general public.
To assist the students, the Microbiology Club holds a symposium for the undergraduates to have the ability to share their work with other faculty and students in the department and university. Students have many career paths to choose, in addition to medical and veterinary school, from if they decide that a life in research is a path that they want to pursue. Optional career paths include graduate school entering academia or industry.
Students wishing to enter academia will need to go onto graduate school to obtain a Ph.D. of their choice after obtaining their degree in Microbiology. There are many benefits to pursuing a career in academia. Students that enter the academia route typically have the innate scientific curiosity about the world. They get to share their passion with other students, either in the teaching or mentoring component of academia.
The best way that the microbiology department prepares students for a career with academia is assisting the development of a student’s good scientific skills and instincts while having a goal for a publication for the student. All of these traits go far in the realm of academia.
Students can enter the industrial world either straight from the university or with a Master’s degree of their choice. There can be numerous benefits from a student entering a career in industry. Students can enter that career choice because they want more of a structure to their work environment and a scientific problem focus that can have direct and tangible impacts on the general public.
The microbiology department prepares students for a career with industry by providing multiple foundations that they can use in an industrial center of their choice, from course work to outside companies visiting the Microbiology Club. From this, students can enter a vast amounts of fields of interests looking into industry, from pharmaceutical development to brewing microbiology and be well-prepared for the job.