Best Master’s Degree Programs in Microbiology

Master’s in Microbiology

Colleges and universities worldwide offer Master’s degree programs in Microbiology. In the US, they include Oregon State, while the programs at Georgetown University and Drexel University are technically called Microbiology and Immunology. Meanwhile, the program at George Washington University is in Clinical Microbiology. Similarly, UK schools such as the University of Birmingham and the University of Surrey call their programs something slightly different than just Microbiology; it is called Microbiology and Infection at Birmingham and Medical Microbiology at Surrey. Regardless of the exact program name, the schools tend to allow students to learn more about areas such as genetics, biochemistry and much more.

What Is a Master’s in Microbiology?

As touched on above, a Master’s in Microbiology may mean slightly different things at different schools. Regardless, class topics that are frequently available cover areas such as:

  • Parasitology
  • Microbial pathogenesis
  • Mycology
  • Animal health
  • Immunogenetics
  • Host-pathogen interactions

Students attend modules and lectures and perform extensive laboratory work. Many programs also require that students do a project. At the University of Birmingham, projects have focused on topics including biofilm, bacteria gene regulation, cloning and the lectinolysin gene, and antibiotic production in marine bacteria.

What Are the Benefits of Earning a Master’s in Microbiology?

Earning a Master’s in Microbiology can give students many benefits. For instance, they can choose a program title that best fits their interests. Someone also interested in immunology might pick a microbiology program with immunology also in the program title, while someone who wants to become board certified in Microbiology might prefer Clinical Microbiology. In any case, the numerous benefits include:

  • The wide range of schools and program choices worldwide.
  • The chance to pursue a research project of interest.
  • The opportunity to study under faculty members who hail from wide backgrounds.
  • The enhancement of job and salary prospects.
  • The development of skills such as laboratory technique, writing, research, communication and critical thinking.

In addition, many Master’s degree programs in Microbiology set the foundation for students who plan to pursue Doctorate degrees. Some programs have a very specific focus; for example, the one at the University of Surrey, Medical Microbiology, is geared toward international students who are pursuing a Doctorate at some point.

What Kind of Career Can You Expect with a Master’s in Microbiology?

A Master’s in Microbiology can lead to varied careers. They include:

  • Research microbiologist
  • Environmental microbiologist
  • Food microbiologist
  • Veterinary microbiologist
  • Sales representative
  • Teacher
  • Science journalist
  • Business consultant

The latter three tend to need study in other areas such as education or journalism. Many Master’s students may later apply to medical school and Doctorate programs, and/or seek employment with pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers and biotechnology companies. There is no doubt that employment opportunities range far and wide.

An environmental microbiologist may work for private companies, governments or medical facilities to assess the safety of water, medications, food, environmental products and more. On the other hand, a veterinary microbiologist works to identify the microorganisms that are causing diseases in animals and humans.

Microbiologists have many promising career opportunities, and numerous colleges and universities worldwide offer a Master’s degree program in Microbiology. Start today to look into your options.