Microbiology (bacteriology) is an exciting and important area of study in the biological sciences. It is the study of microorganisms, their ecology, diversity, global distribution, their relationship to disease and food safety, and their beneficial uses in biotechnology and the production of foods, drugs and fuels.
Is Microbiology for You?
Do you enjoy science and the challenge of discovery? Are you interested in a career that will let you explore emerging questions in biology and health? Would you like to help develop new drugs and vaccines, find new ways to keep food and water safe, and to restore and preserve the environment? If so, Bacteriology could be the right field for you.
Putting Your Degree to Work
The Microbiology major provides a solid foundation in microbiology and excellent training for a professional career. The bachelor’s degree provides a strong background in the biological sciences for graduate studies or professional studies such as medicine or veterinary medicine.
Graduating seniors in Microbiology have a wide range of employment opportunities, including positions as research associates and technicians in drug and biotechnology firms, universities, government and other private agencies; specialists in industrial quality testing and control activities, or regulatory workers in governmental agencies or public health laboratories. Other Microbiology graduates enter fields such as business, sales or technical writing that require training in microbiology.
All undergraduate majors take foundation courses in biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics. Students take a minimum of 22 credits in bacteriology, including three laboratory courses taught with state-of-the art scientific equipment. The curriculum is grounded in a thorough understanding of microbiology at the molecular level including metabolic, regulatory and genetic processes. Our broad range of bacteriology courses gives students the opportunity for specialized training in areas such as microbial genetics, microbial physiology, immunology, virology, biotechnology, food microbiology and host-parasite interactions.
Experience Outside of Class
One of the greatest strengths of the program is the opportunity for undergraduates to work with faculty, graduate and postdoctoral students in campus research laboratories. These unique opportunities permit students to experience firsthand the exciting challenge of independent research in nationally recognized laboratories. These experiences have proven invaluable for students planning on graduate or professional studies, as well as for those who enter the employment market with a bachelor’s degree. An undergraduate Microbiology Club provides opportunities for student leadership and social networking, as well as the chance to learn about new research and careers in Microbiology.
Where You’ll be Learning
The Department of Bacteriology has more than 100 undergraduate majors with more than 100 students in the Microbiology graduate program. Both programs are highly rated nationwide. Microbiology is housed in the Microbial Sciences Building, 1550 Linden Drive. This $120 million research and instructional facility opened in Fall 2007. The 330,000-square-foot MSB includes state-of-the-art classrooms and specialized instructional laboratories.
The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences offers many scholarships that are granted based on academic performance, need or extracurricular activities. In addition the Department of Bacteriology offers several undergraduate research scholarships.
For more information contact the Department of Bacteriology:
Prospective Student Services: College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Office of Academic Affairs
The University of Wisconsin-Madison is an AA/EEO institution. University policies create additional protection that prohibits harassment on the basis of cultural background and ethnicity. Inquires concerning these policies may be directed to the appropriate campus admitting or employing unit or to the Equity and Diversity Resource Center, 179-A, Bascom Hall, (608) 263-2378, TTY (608) 263-2473.