Microbiology for Premedical and Pre-Healthcare Students

Students wearing protective gear work in lab. One student holds up a specimen
Students presenting a poster
Exterior of Pearson Hall
Students listen as a professor lectures in the classroom
Microscope stage
A gloved hand is seen performing streaking tasks
A gloved hand is seen performing gram stain tasks
Gloved hands identify unknowns
Students bend over microscopes to view specimens

If you are interested in medical issues such as:

  • epidemics, emerging diseases, and disease transmission,
  • mechanisms by which microorganisms (bacteria, viruses and fungi) cause disease,
  • understanding how the immune system combats infection,
  • the role of vaccines in disease prevention, and/or
  • antibiotics and the development and spread of antibiotic resistance in pathogens,

then a degree in Microbiology can be an efficient and effective gateway to medical or other healthcare-related professional 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. In addition, the Department of Microbiology has two faculty members serving on the Pre-Medical Advisory Committee, participating in the Premedical Studies Co-Major, and helping our majors navigate their way towards medical school admission.

Students interested in attending a particular type of healthcare professional school after college are sometimes frustrated to discover that designations such as pre-med, pre-dent, pre-healthcare, etc. are not majors. Rather, they are indications of intent to pursue post-baccalaureate professional education. Professional schools do not give preference for admission based on any specific major. Placement of students in professional schools is based on performance in required science courses as well as overall academic performance. Both breadth of education and the pursuit of some discipline in depth is expected. A successful applicant will be able to effectively acquire, synthesize, apply, and communicate information. These are skills that can be developed through the study of a wide variety of disciplines, including Microbiology. You are urged to pursue a major that interests you, as you are more likely to excel academically in those subjects.

Combined Microbiology major and Premedical Studies co-major

See how courses in the Premedical Studies Co-Major, which address subjects required by Medical Schools and/or are covered on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), dovetail with requirements for Microbiology majors.

Professional School Requirements

Check out the overlap between the requirements for a major in Microbiology and those which will qualify students to apply to Medical, Dental and Veterinary School.

The Mallory-Wilson Center for Healthcare Education

The Mallory-Wilson Center is a valuable resource for students considering healthcare professions. It provides detailed advice for premedical and pre-healthcare students, with the objective of helping MU students achieve their goal of entering a health profession.

Efficient & Effective

Our majors in Microbiology and in Medical Laboratory Science cover most medical school and MCAT requirements, and integrate well with the Premedical Studies co-major

Exploring µBiology

Medical Advice from a Microbiology Alumnus

Dr. Kyle Hogarth (Miami Microbiology, '94), an expert in pulmonary diseases at the University of Chicago Medicine, talks about the process of deciding on a specialty while in medical school. Dr. Hogarth was a team physician with the 2010 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks and is a member of the Mallory-Wilson Center's Board of Directors.