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". Our course offerings allow students to gain an Introduction to the field of Microbiology and to explore many of the more specific areas described above. Students with an interest in Microbiology should contact Ian Hewson for more information about courses and about available research opportunities.
Microbiology is a concentration within the Biological Sciences program. The Microbiology concentration is small enough to ensure the size of our advanced classes allows for an active learning environment with significant interaction between students and faculty. The concentration is large enough though to make it easy to connect with other undergraduates who share an interest in a particular aspect of Microbiology. By working with engaged faculty, having hands on experiences in our classes and collaborating with other motivated students the undergraduates in the Microbiology concentration receive the training they need to excel in their post graduate careers. Many of the students in the Microbiology concentration go on to professional schools, advanced degree programs in Microbiology or to work in academic, biomedical and industrial research programs.