Microbiology involves the study of small, usually single-cell organisms. The microscopic life forms (microbes) that the discipline investigates include archaebacteria, bacteria, fungi, algae, and viruses as well as various animal microscopic parasites. Some microbes cause disease; however, most are not harmful to people, and many are beneficial.
Microbiologists study microbes to: [i] improve our knowledge base; [ii] solve technical problems pertaining to food production and preservation; [iii] identify, prevent, and cure infectious diseases; [iv] produce alternative energy sources; and [v] manage wastes. Microbiologists work in a wide variety of professional environments. The American Society for Microbiology has identified career opportunities in academic, clinical, industrial, pharmaceutical, and government settings for microbiologists with bachelor-level degrees. Furthermore, the undergraduate microbiology degree provides the background necessary to pursue graduate or professional education.
The microbiology curriculum meets the guidelines of the American Society for Microbiology Core Curriculum and is structured, yet flexible enough, to provide students with additional exposure to the natural and physical sciences and humanities, plus independent study and directed research.