Learn how something seemingly so simple, a one-celled organism, is so instrumental in our daily lives.

And discover — through coursework, research and field experiences — how you can make a positive impact in the environment, industry or health fields through a microbiology education. 

The Microbiology program is designed to provide you with an extensive knowledge of the field. As a basic biological science, learn how microbiology provides some of the most accessible research tools for exploring the nature of life processes. As an applied biological science, see how microbiology deals with many important practical problems in medicine, agriculture, bioremediation and food industries. To get that applied experience, you will have opportunities to participate in laboratory learning, independent research projects with professors, summer internships and co-operative education programs.

Depending on your interest, careers include food, industrial or environmental quality assurance technologist, lab research assistant, and clinical or veterinary medical technologist.

What Will I Learn?

Students majoring in Microbiology will understand basic principles relating to molecular, cellular and organismal biology. In addition to these, students will exhibit proficiency in selected empirical laboratory skills, develop knowledge of contemporary research using the scientific method and demonstrate competence in oral and written communication.

  • Conceptual knowledge in microbial science: biology, genetics, physiology, diversity, ecology, human health impact and biotechnological applications
  • Critical and independent thinking skills in scientific method: designing experiments, assessing validity of data, and performing quantitative analyses
  • Communication skills: Ability to search literature for pertinent information, and discuss and present scientific information orally and in writing
  • Collaborative skills: Ability to work effectively in teams and manage time and tasks to be done simultaneously by individuals and within groups
  • Societal impact: Ability to describe the societal place of microbiology as a science and make informed judgments about microbiology in everyday life

Full list of Microbiology program goals can be found on the Hub for Teaching and Learning site.


Visit the University Catalog:

Learn about degree requirements and coursework for the Microbiology major and minor.

Learn which Dearborn Discovery Core requirements are fulfilled by taking Microbiology courses.


Making the Most of Your Major

There are opportunities to develop skills and connect with others interested in geological sciences beyond the classroom. Check out the Microbiology Major Map to get a more detailed, year-by-year view of how you can learn, engage, network and transform your community and prepare for life after graduation.

Get Involved

Join a professional Microbiology organization, such as the American Society of Microbiology. Present a research poster at the Michigan Branch of the American Society of MicrobiologyMeeting of Minds or the CASL Research Showcase. Explore UM-Dearborn student organizations on VictorsLink.

Get Real World Experience

Internshipsresearch, and study abroad opportunities are available for microbiology students. Talk with your professors to learn more.

Plan for Life After Graduation

Students who graduate with a degree in microbiology typically follow various pathways as they launch their post-baccalaureate careers. Our graduates have found jobs in several areas of microbiology. Many of our students choose to pursue additional study in graduate school or medical school. Several enter MS programs; however, it is not unusual for students to undertake Ph.D. studies.

Career Services offers assistance with job searching, resumes, interviews, or graduate school applications.

Career Paths for Microbiologists

Every microbiologist has a unique set of skills. Fortunately, the career opportunities in the microbiology field are as diverse as the people who work in the industry. Depending on your experience and education, positions in a laboratory can range from Laboratory Assistant to Director of Research.

Whether you’re a college student who enjoys microbiology but isn’t sure what path to take, or a microbiology veteran looking for a new challenge, our list of microbiology careers has something for everyone:

Undergraduate Research Experiences

2019 CASL Undergraduate Research Showcase: Eric Zielinski
2017 CASL Undergraduate Research Showcase: Adam Oest

General Program Information

Microbiology Faculty

Christopher Alteri

Associate Professor of Biology and Microbiology

Matthew Heinicke

Professor of Biology; Chair, Biological Sciences Discipline

Raji S. Janakiraman

Lecturer III in Biology; Biology Lab Coordinator

Terra Mauer

Lecturer I in Biology

Sonia M. Tiquia-Arashiro

Professor of Biology and Microbiology

Department of Natural Sciences

114 - Science Faculty Center
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128
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Phone: 313-593-5277
Fax: 313-593-4937