Microbiology is the science that deals with the study of microorganisms and the effects of diseases that microorganisms produce. Microbiology students study the shape, structure (morphology), genetic and metabolic processes that occur in microscopic and sub-microscopic organisms. Two main branches of microbiology are bacteriology and virology, which deals with the study of viruses and diseases. Other sub-disciplines of microbiology include: immunology, biotechnology, industrial microbiology, public health microbiology, environment microbiology and genetic engineering.

The science of microbiology is relatively young and offers practical applications for different areas of human activity including medicine, agriculture, nutrition, biotechnology and more. Studying microbiology touches upon the elements of chemistry, biomedicine, public health, environmental impacts and human health.

Mikayla Wright
Mikayla Wright 2017 Keystone Innovation Award Winner


Students have the opportunity for self-directed and faculty-directed research at Keystone. Past students have presented their research findings at state and local conferences, and two microbial-based research projects were awarded the Keystone Innovation Award at the Spring Undergraduate Research and Creativity Celebration.

  • Mikayla Wright – The Inhibitory Effects of Medihoney on S. aureus, P. aeruginosa and K. pneumoniae (2017)
  • Taylor Viviano – Antibacterial Effects of Turmeric (2016)

Working in the field of Microbiology

Many microbiologists work in research and development conducting basic research or applied research. The aim of basic research is to increase scientific knowledge. An example is growing strains of bacteria in various conditions to learn how they react to those conditions. Other microbiologists conduct applied research and develop new products to solve particular problems.

The median annual wage for microbiologists was $66,850 in May 2016. More microbiologists will be needed to contribute to basic research, solve problems encountered in industrial production processes, and monitor environmental conditions to ensure the public’s health and safety.

Students in the Microbiology major will be prepared find employment in a variety of industries, or continue on to graduate school.


students complete science experiment for a bachelor's degree in microbiology

Curriculum Guide for Bachelor’s Degree in Microbiology

Curriculum Guide for the Microbiology B.S. Degree

First Year

First Semester

  • General Biology I
  • General Chemistry I
  • College Writing I
  • First Year Seminar
  • Technology Elective
  • Critical Reading

Second Semester

  • General Biology II
  • General Chemistry II
  • College Writing II
  • Speech Communications
  • Quantitative Math

Second Year

First Semester

  • Genetics
  • Organic Chemistry I
  • Ethics Elective
  • Statistics

Second Semester

  • Biotechnology
  • Microbiology
  • Organic Chemistry II
  • Social & Cultural Elective
  • Field Biology

Third Year

First Semester

  • Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry I
  • Microbial Ecology
  • Field Biology

Second Semester

  • Biochemistry II
  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiological Elective
  • Arts & Humanities Elective

Fourth Year

First Semester

  • Microbiological Elective
  • General Physics I
  • Biology Seminar & Research
  • Microbial Physiology
  • Social & Cultural Elective

Second Semester

  • Arts & Humanities Elective
  • General Physics II
  • Capstone Project
  • Microbiology Elective

Updated: 12/2017

Disclaimer: The courses listed above are a sampling for marketing purposes only. Students should consult the College catalog and their academic advisor for course selection and degree progress. Students will work closely with an academic advisor to select courses and/or academic minors that fit their interests, as well as with Career Services for career goals. While the academic advisor assists the student in planning his/her curriculum, the student is ultimately responsible for meeting the requirements of the curriculum selected

College Catalog

See the official college catalog for all course descriptions and degree requirements.

Hands on Microbiology Experience

Study Abroad

You can explore your academic goals in an international setting and global environment. The experience of living in a new country will build your self-confidence, add valuable skills to your tool box, and will alter how you view yourself, the world, and your own country.

Internships and Field Experiences

Not all education happens in the classroom. Internships and other field experiences give students the opportunity to learn through direct hands-on experiences outside of the classroom with a real world experience in the field.

Undergraduate Research

The process of research and discovery while working with a faculty mentor enriches the learning process and creates positive attributes which will last a lifetime. Undergraduate research encompasses both traditional research and creative endeavors.

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