Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the Undergraduate Microbiology Program in the veterinary college?

The MU Department of Veterinary Pathobiology (VPB) is home to the largest collection of microbiologists on the MU campus. VPB faculty have the expertise to teach a comprehensive and challenging microbiology curriculum. Therefore, this program was designed by the VPB faculty and is aptly housed in the VPB department, which is in the veterinary college.

Is this undergraduate program designed only for individuals who are aspiring to become veterinarians in the future?

NO, our curriculum is broad and suitable for all students, irrespective of their career aspirations. In fact, our program has a diverse population of students who are aspiring to be physicians, dentists, physician assistants, pathologists, educators, technicians, scientists, veterinarians, etc.

Is microbiology a new major at MU? How many students are in this program?

Yes, microbiology is a relatively new major at MU. It was launched in Fall 2019 (just before the COVID-19 pandemic began) with an initial enrollment of just five students. Since then, the program has been growing rapidly. As of Fall 2023 (within just four years), our total enrollment is approximately 100 students including majors and minors.

I want to go to medical school after my undergraduate degree, would microbiology be a good undergraduate major for me?

YES, absolutely! Our degree program provides excellent preparation for medical school. You can complete all the prerequisite courses that are required for medical schools while pursuing our microbiology degree. Additionally, our curriculum provides an excellent foundation for several medical school courses and can prepare you well for the MCAT exam.

I plan to go to graduate school after my undergraduate degree, would Microbiology be a good undergraduate major for me?

YES, definitely! Our broad, cross-disciplinary curriculum provides excellent exposure and preparation for pursuing graduate degree (MS or PhD) programs in numerous areas of study including, microbiology, biology, molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry, molecular genetics, genomics, pathology, immunology, etc. Also, microbiology majors can explore undergraduate research, which can expose them to critical research thinking that is essential for success in graduate school.

I would like to get a job directly after my undergraduate degree, would microbiology be a good undergraduate major for me?

YES, certainly! Our comprehensive curriculum covers fundamental as well as applied knowledge, and it provides opportunities to acquire hands-on skills and training that can prepare you well for diverse entry-level employment positions.

What is microbiology? What will I study in the microbiology program?

Microbiology is the branch of science that studies microscopic forms of life, including bacteria, viruses, algae, fungi, protozoa, and parasites. Our microbiology courses cover topics such as microbial structure and physiology, cell and molecular biology, genetics and genomics, beneficial microbes, microbial applications, pathogenic mechanisms, immune response, epidemiology, public health, and food microbiology. You will learn about various microbes that cause diseases in humans, animals, and plants as well as about numerous environmental and beneficial microbes that have many uses in the pharmaceutical, biotech, food, and agricultural industries. Our curriculum is flexible and can accommodate a wide range of interests.

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