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Microbiology programs teach people about structure, growth, and behavior of microorganisms.

Microbiology programs include topics such as:


In microbiology programs, students may be able to specialize in:


A few community colleges and other two-year schools offer associate degree programs in microbiology. An associate degree usually takes two years to complete. Students may work as a laboratory assistant with an associate degree, or transfer to a college or university for further study.

Many colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in microbiology. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Many universities offer graduate degrees in microbiology. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree in microbiology, biology, or a related science, good grades, and good test scores.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This undergraduate program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

No matter where you go to school, you're likely to take a set of "core" courses similar to the list above. Once you've completed those courses, you can take advanced courses that focus on a specific area of microbiology.

Graduate Program Courses

Graduate students usually focus on one particular application. Typical courses vary by specialty. All require original research. A list of common graduate requirements is below:

Things to Know

Many jobs in this field require you to write technical reports and give presentations. Taking writing and speaking courses will develop your communication skills.

A bachelor's degree prepares you for graduate studies or for an entry-level position as a research assistant, quality assurance, or clinical technologist. It can be good preparation for medical, dental, and veterinary school.

A postdoctoral research assignment can help you gain experience before finding a permanent research position.


East Side Area

Central Washington University

Washington State University - Pullman

King-Snohomish Area

Bellevue College

University of Washington - Seattle

Spokane Area

Eastern Washington University

Tacoma Area

Tacoma Community College

West Side Area

South Puget Sound Community College