What degrees can I earn in microbiology?
You can get a traditional or online biology degree specialized in microbiology at many levels, including bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees. Microbiology graduate programs offer the top microbiology degrees that make you desirable for some of the best research positions available.
Microbiology bachelors degree
Usually you can get a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology, but some schools offer a Bachelor of Arts as well with slightly different course requirements. To start a bachelors program, you will need at least a high school diploma or GED. A bachelors degree in biology usually consists of about 120 credits hours over the course of 4 to 5 years.
Microbiology masters degree
Most schools offer a Master of Science in Microbiology, but if you are pursuing a graduate program in order to become K-12 teacher, you may receive a Master of Arts. Microbiology masters programs usually require a bachelors degree with some background in biology. Both a traditional and an online masters in biology take about 2 years to complete and require around 30 credits hours.
You can earn a Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology through most traditional and online PhD in biology programs. To begin, you will need at least a bachelors degree in a biological science or a related field. These programs take between 4 and 5 years, though you may have to complete the 30 to 50 credits hours in the first 2 or 3 years.
Are there any microbiology degree programs online?
If you are looking for a web-based program, there are a few accredited microbiology online colleges. Microbiology schools online, however, are usually offered in a hybrid format that combines web learning and on-campus courses in order to complete on-site lab experiments. The best microbiology online programs are often found at traditional schools with a physical campus and are more recognized and respected by employers.
Online degrees in microbiology
If you are getting a microbiology bachelors degree online, ask how labs are performed. Hybrid programs usually have you do lab work on campus or offsite at an affiliated institution, but if your program is completely online, see if they have at virtual labs available. Also ask how the virtual labs work and how they serve as an adequate replacement for labs that require your physical presence.
You will want to ask the same questions if you are getting a microbiology online masters degree or a doctorate. Additionally, find out how you will be able to conduct individual research for your graduate thesis and inquire about the availability of research labs and mentoring from faculty members. There are many subpar online degree programs out there, so do your research to make sure that you are getting a quality education.
What kinds of microbiology classes will I take in my program?
As a specific subset of biology, during a bachelors program you would take introductory courses in microbiology after completing traditional and online biology courses. For example, you would take courses such as principles of microbiology, experimental microbiology and genetics of microorganisms, serving as a foundation for your graduate studies.
At more advanced levels, such as a microbiology online masters degree or doctorate, you would go into more detail in specific topics of microbiology. Such courses include immunology, virology and ethics in life sciences. Because of the emphasis on research in graduate programs, you will also take directed courses that help you develop your individual research for your thesis.
What microbiology careers can I choose from?
Once you graduate, unless you pursue further education in medical school or a public health program, most of the microbiology jobs available will be in research as a microbiologist. Microbiologists study microscopic organisms like bacteria, algae and fungi. They use this research for a variety of reasons such as to develop new drugs, understand illnesses in human and other organisms and create new foods.
Entry level positions require at least a 4-year bachelors degree, but if you spend a few more years to get a masters or a PhD, you will be qualified for some of the best careers in microbiology, leading and planning your own research. This position pays well, as the average microbiology salary is around $65,000 and can get as high as $115,000.