About the Department of Microbiology

Culture plates
 Psychrophilic algae
 Broth cultures
 A gloved hand reaches toward the incinerator, labeled 'Caution Hot'
Fluorescent bacteria
 Microbes infecting cells
 Fluorescent viruses
 Antarctic research
Goldwater scholar at work in the lab

The Department of Microbiology, established in 1956 in the College of Arts and Science, offers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Microbiology. The Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science is also administered within the department. The department is composed of 15 faculty members, 3 postdoctoral fellows, 25 graduate students, approximately 250 undergraduate majors, and a professional support staff. The group occupies modern research and teaching facilities in Pearson Hall . Our three areas of research emphasis are Molecular Microbiology, Microbial Pathogenesis, and Environmental Microbiology, which encompass the disciplines of immunology, molecular biology, microbial ecology, microbial genetics, microbial physiology, microbial pathogenesis, bacterial cell biology, bioinformatics, medical mycology, and virology.

Career Opportunities

Students receiving degrees in either Microbiology or Medical Laboratory Science are well prepared for careers in almost any field in medicine and biology, and in every sector of the economy. These degrees also serve as an excellent stepping stone to medical school and graduate school (the requirements for a major in Microbiology are virtually the same as those which will qualify students to apply to Medical, Dental and Veterinary School).

Program Quality

The Department of Microbiology (MBI) at Miami University enjoys an outstanding national reputation because of the: MBI students attending the HHMI Symposium Microbiology students Adam Darwiche and Sarah Geiger hanging out between sessions at the HHMI Research Symposium

  • breadth of our program (based on core courses in general microbiology, molecular biology, microbial physiology and/or microbial genetics);
  • the participation of over 50% of our majors in undergraduate research;
  • fact that most of our required courses include labs;
  • friendly, supportive faculty members and their dedication to excellence in teaching and research.

In contrast to MBI Programs at many other universities, MBI majors at Miami:

  • begin courses in the major in their first semester (others begin only as Juniors);
  • take more courses that include labs; and
  • have multiple undergraduate research opportunities, which can lead to presentation of their results at scientific conferences, and publication in peer-reviewed journals.

An active Microbiology Club, run by the students and advised by the faculty, has lectures on career opportunities, visits to local companies, opportunities for social interactions, and provides membership in the American Society for Microbiology.

Student Success

We have approximately 250 undergraduate majors, of which nearly 20% are in the Honors Program. In addition to the usual numbers of mid-westerners, in recent years MBI students have come from all over the nation – California, Alaska, New York, and Florida.

In the last several years MBI majors have received a variety of recognitions, scholarships, and awards, including the following:

Our success is measured by the numbers of our graduates who have gone on each year to:

  • Graduate School (Stanford, Vanderbilt, Johns Hopkins, Ohio State, Michigan, Virginia);
  • Professional School (all Ohio Medical Dental and Veterinary Schools, as well as schools in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Virginia); and
  • Rewarding research positions in industry (Battelle, Procter and Gamble, Eli Lilly, Meridian Diagnostics), and universities (Cincinnati, Ohio State, Children's Hospital Research Institute, Medical College of Ohio).