- Plan of Study (pdf)
- Why Choose the Microbiology Option?
- Microbiology Option at Purdue University Calumet
- Careers in Microbiology
- Graduation Requirement for Microbiology Option
- Useful Links
- Contact Advisor
Would you like to help prevent or cure infectious diseases, generate renewable energy from biomass, clean up toxic wastes in the environment, or control agricultural pests without using chemicals? How about solving practical problems related to food production and preservation? In the exciting field of microbiology, you will find endless applications and opportunities to enhance the quality of life.
Microbiology is the study of living organisms, such as bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses, which are too small to be observed with the naked eye. Although microorganisms are not visible, they are everywhere and impact every aspect of our lives. Some are pathogens, which can cause infectious diseases in humans, animals and plants. Some can degrade foods and other natural materials in our households. However, many are beneficial and contribute to our health, produce useful products, and maintain the quality of the environment. More importantly, microorganisms play a key role in maintaining a balanced ecosystem. Without them, other forms of life would not be able to survive. Microbiology is a dynamic field that has grown rapidly with regard to the expansion of fundamental knowledge and the birth of new techniques. New developments in molecular genetics, cell biology, bioinformatics, and biotechnology have created a “Golden Age” in Microbiology. Its applications to medicine, agriculture, industry, and the environment are limitless.
Purdue University Calumet’s biology program offers microbiology as one of its focused options. A wide variety of microbiology and related courses (see course list below), are available for students to choose from. Most of these courses have a lab component that allows students to learn laboratory skills and gain hands-on experience using standard testing methods as well as cutting edge techniques. The microbiology option not only prepares students for careers in the various fields of microbiology, but also provides a solid foundation for graduate studies in biological sciences, medicine, dentistry, optometry, and veterinary medicine.
What does a microbiologist do?
Microbiologists study the interaction of microorganisms with people, how microorganisms may impact human lives, as well as the roles of microorganisms in the environment. Microbiologists may work in hospitals, government agencies, university, and private laboratories, as well as in many industries such as pharmaceutical, food, and biotech.
What career opportunities exist for microbiologists?
The career options depend on an individual’s education, training, and work experience. A Bachelor of Science degree in the Microbiology option will qualify an individual for many technical, research, and clinical positions. Our baccalaureate graduates have successfully secured the following types of positions:
- Research assistant / Lab technician
- Food, industrial or environmental microbiologist
- Sales or technical representatives
- Medical, clinical, and veterinary microbiologists.
In addition to these technical or laboratory positions, combining microbiology with another discipline such as education, business, and communication will offer wider career choices, which may include high school teaching, scientific sales, and scientific writing.
A masters degree will allow an individual to pursue similar positions but with more responsibilities such as a lab supervisor, or an instructor at a community or junior college. With a doctorate degree, an individual will be qualified to conduct independent research, teach in a university with undergraduate and/or graduate programs and pursue administrative positions in government and industry.
How much does a microbiologist earn?
Data from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed that the “median annual wage of microbiologists was $65,920 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $39,180, and the top 10 percent earned more than $115,720.”
“Employment of microbiologists is projected to increase by 13 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations”
More information about careers in microbiology can be found at the following web sites:
- American Society for Microbiology
- Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook
- Careers in industrial microbiology & biotechnology
A. Required Biology Courses (26 credits, C average or higher)
Basic Core Courses
BIOL 10700 Freshman Experience in Biological Sciences
BIOL 24300 Cell Biology
BIOL 31600 Basic Microbiology
(Should be taken during sophomore year if possible)
BIOL 42600 Senior Capstone
Elective Core (Choose one)
BIOL 33300 Ecology
BIOL 35700 Animal Physiolgy
BIOL 53300 Medical Microbiology
BIOL 53400 Medical Microbiology Lab
BIOL 59500 Environmental Microbiology
BIOL 59500 Food Microbiology
BIOL 59500 Virology
BIOL 48900/59500 Microbiology Research
BIOL 56100 Immunology
BIOL 59500 Advanced Immunology
BIOL 48900/59500 Immunology Research
BIOL 50800 Recombinant DNA Technique
BIOL 59500 Bioinformatics
BIOL 59500 Cell/Tissue Culture
C. Other Requirement – same as General Biology Option. Please see bingo sheet for detail.
- National Registry of Microbiologists
- American Society for Microbiology
- Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology
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