Microbiology is the study of life forms too small to be seen without magnification. Microbes include the bacteria, fungi, protozoa, algae, and sub-cellular agents like the viruses, prions, and viroids. The science of Microbiology includes numerous sub-specialty sciences that reflect the diversity of microbial life forms (e.g. bacteriology, virology, and mycology, etc.) as well as other sub-specialties that reflect their significance in applied areas like medical microbiology/infectious diseases, immunology, microbial ecology and bioremediation, food microbiology, industrial microbiology, and biotechnology. Areas of basic sciences like biochemistry, molecular biology, and molecular genetics are also important sciences in Microbiology. Throughout its history, Microbiology has played key roles in the development of our understanding of basic biochemical and genetic processes, control of infectious diseases, production of increased food supplies, and production of numerous commercial products that continue to enrich the quality of our lives.
Because Microbiology is a diverse science, microbiologists find exciting career opportunities in many areas of basic and applied sciences. Individuals trained as microbiologists are typically employed in five major sectors, including: 1) private industries like pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, 2) hospital-based clinical laboratories, 3) state and federal government agencies, 4) universities, and 5) various other settings such as water treatment facilities, food production/inspection facilities, or other public health-related settings. Successful undergraduates completing the Bachelor of Science in Microbiology degree program at the University of Wyoming may look forward to exciting and rewarding careers in many areas of basic or applied areas involving the microbiological sciences. In addition undergraduates trained in the microbiological sciences at U.W. are well prepared for competitive application and future success in graduate school programs as well as profession programs in veterinary or human medicine, dentistry, optometry, or medical technology.
The Bachelor of Science degree program in Microbiology at the University of Wyoming is an inter-departmental major involving the collaborative teaching, advising, and research expertise of over 20 faculty microbiologists from the Colleges of Agriculture, Arts and Sciences, and Health Sciences. Students receive individualized academic advising from faculty mentors and may obtain their degree in either the College of Agriculture or the College of Arts and Sciences. The curriculum is organized to provide students maximum flexibility in meeting their University Studies Program requirements. It prepares our graduates for the future by combining a firm foundation in the basic sciences of biology, general and organic chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, physics, and mathematics with a central core of microbiology courses that include General Microbiology as well as a variety of specialty Microbiology courses emphasizing the diversity and applied significance of microbes. It also provides opportunities for students to choose elective microbiology courses that allow them to specialize in areas of microbiology unique to their interests and future career plans. Finally, the Program provides opportunities for all interested students to complete laboratory-based or field-based research experiences under the direction of a faculty mentor. Areas of faculty research expertise which students may choose from include:
In summary, the Microbiology Program at the University of Wyoming provides outstanding educational opportunities to prepare students for rewarding careers in the basic and applied microbiological sciences. Participating students benefit from instructional excellence, individualized attention in both academic and career advising, and opportunities to conduct independent undergraduate research in many different areas of Microbiology. If you would like more information or have questions concerning the Microbiology curriculum or careers opportunities in Microbiology, contact the Microbiology Program Director, Dr. Gerard Andrews.
Check out the American Society for Microbiology web site at http://www.asm.org/ - look at the Learn about Microbiology section.