Microbiology is the study of organisms that are too small to be seen with the unaided eye: prokaryotes (eubacteria and archaebacteria), viruses, and unicellular eukaryotes. Microorganisms thrive in every corner of the world, from Antarctic ice (< 0 degrees C) to deep-sea thermal vents (> 100 degrees C); from the gastrointestinal tracts and skin of animals to the root nodules of leguminous plants; from sewage treatment plants to pristine lakes and streams. To study microbiology is to pursue the breadth of biology, as microorganisms provide experimental material for understanding physiology; cell structure and function; biochemistry; molecular biology; photosynthesis; ecology; evolution; genetics; development; and even simple behavioral responses and "memory." Studies with microorganisms continue to lay the foundation for molecular genetics, recombinant DNA research, biotechnology, environmental sciences, and many areas of biochemistry.
- Undergraduate Courses in Microbiology
- Office of Undergraduate Biology
- Complete listing of BioMI courses
The Graduate Field of Microbiology at Cornell is one of the few graduate programs in the country in which there is a strong emphasis on prokaryote biology, the study of the fundamental properties of Bacteria and Archaea. This includes the study of prokaryotic physiology, genetics, and ecology. Understanding the diversity and unique aspects of prokaryotes and other microorganisms is crucial for future progress in agriculture, biotechnology, medicine, and environmental sciences. In addition, microorganisms make excellent model systems for approaching fundamental questions in biology, such as the nature of regulation of the gene expression. The Graduate School encompasses the whole of Cornell University, and is organized to provide integrated programs of advanced study which transcend traditional departments and college boundaries. Areas of study are organized into Graduate Fields, of which there are about ninety. Faculty membership in a particular Field is based on research interest, rather than college or departmental affiliation, allowing a wide representation of disciplines and approaches in a given field of study. For example, the graduate faculty in the Field of Microbiology consists of 41 members, representing 14 departments distributed among three Colleges. For earliest consideration, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their applications and supporting materials by early December.The director of Graduate Studies is Dr. Joseph Peters. The Graduate Field of Immunology and Infectious Disease (IID) covers areas of microbiology involving a more
dedicated focus on animal and human microbial pathogens. For more information
go to http://www.vet.cornell.edu/oge/community/gFields/Immunology.cfm .
Applications received after December 1 will be reviewed at the discretion of the Admissions Committee (Online Application). Any supporting material not sent electronically (transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc.) should be sent to the Graduate Field of Microbiology, 107 Wing Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca NY 14853, USA.