Microbiology Undergraduate Program


Interested in the study of small things? Then Microbiology may be the place for you.  Iowa State University offers

  • Coursework in basic sciences essential to microbiology
  • Application of science to issues in the modern world
  • Excellent preparation for further study in human medicine and veterinary medicine
  • Preparation for employment in a variety of professional settings
  • Involvement of professors from across Iowa State University in the Interdepartmental Microbiology Programs
  • Degrees in microbiology at both the undergraduate (B.S.) level and graduate (M.S., PhD.) level.

Our mission in the Undergraduate Microbiology Program is to instill a comprehensive understanding of microbiology and its relevance to human society and global health, and to cultivate the concepts and skills necessary to succeed in microbiology-related careers.

Career opportunities:

Opportunities after graduation might include some of the following:  

Hospitals and public health agencies    International agricultural research centers
Biotechnology firms  Government labs (CDC, NADC, USDA)
Pharmaceutical and vaccine development companies  Tissue culture and Diagnostic laboratories
Agricultural microbiology  Infectious Diseases


Students majoring in microbiology at Iowa State University will take a core of courses recommended by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM).  These courses and labs include general microbiology, medical microbiology, microbial genetics, physiology and diversity.  Students choose specialized upper level courses in either immunology, virology, parasitology, food microbiology, environmental microbiology or a combination of advanced courses to complete their degree.

Further study:

Interested in Human medicine or Veterinary Medicine? A microbiology degree prepares students for further degrees in Dental, Pharmacy, Optometry, Physician Assistant, Medical Lab Scientist, Medical Doctor or Veterinarian.  Go to the following links to learn how a Microbiology degree helps prepare you for further education at U of I Medical School or ISU Veterinary School.


The Microbiology Program offers multiple scholarships each year.  Micro students at 2017 ASM meeting in New Orleans.

Explore more:

The Iowa State University Microbiology Club offers a one day High School Workshop in the fall that incorporates various lab activities and incorporates a Forensics Murder Mystery using microbiology.  In the summer, there is a 2 week AgDiscovery residential program for junior high and high school students sponsored by APHIS.  


Food safety and Emerging Global Diseases are just a couple minors which fit well with a major in Microbiology.  And if a Microbiology major isn't in your plans, we do offer a Microbiology minor.