Microbiology is the study of small life forms such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Microbes are widely known for their pathogenicity, causing epidemics, crop failures, water contamination, and significant changes in ecosystems and habitable environment. However, microbiology allows us to understand the important roles microbes play in health and the environment, and to harness their potential for the benefit of society. Microbes are routinely used in food and beverage production, sewage treatment, insect control, manufacture of industrial chemicals, bioremediation, and the decomposition of dead organic matter to recycle nutrients back into the environment. Bacteria, fungi, and viruses are also common research organisms that are used in furthering our understanding of the fundamental molecular and cellular properties of life, and in discovering new medical treatments such as antibiotics, vaccines, and potentially gene therapy for inherited disorders. As a Microbiology major, you learn to identify, alter, or manage the microbes of the world to benefit the larger world around us.

About  the Major

The Microbiology major offers a solid foundation in biological principles with specialized courses in bacteria, viruses, fungi, immunology, and molecular genetics. With a degree in Microbiology, you will be well-prepared for advanced scientific studies in graduate programs, as well as medical and other health-professional programs. You will also be well-prepared to work in agricultural, environmental, industrial, medical, and pharmaceutical areas; biotechnology; and public health and epidemiology.

Other majors in the Biological Sciences:

Biology Genetics Botany
Zoology Pre-Professional Zoology Neuroscience
Environmental Studies Health & Human Kinetics Biochemistry (Dept. of Chemistry)



Graduate Outcomes

OWU biological science graduates are working around the globe in highly varied fields. Examples of employment include: Applied Biomolecular Technologies, Astrix Technology Group, Battelle Memorial Institute, Cardno ChemRisk, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Wil Research Laboratories, and Cincinnati Children’s, Marion General, and Nationwide Children’s hospitals.


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Department Contact Info


Schimmel/Conrades Science Center
Ohio Wesleyan University
Delaware, OH 43015
P 740-368-3500
F 740-368-3999

Department Contact

Chair: Laurel Anderson
Schimmel/Conrades Science Center Room 243