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Department of Microbiology

Department of Microbiology

The Department of Microbiology originated as a single course in Bacteriology in 1899 and has evolved into a world-class center for innovative and cutting-edge research on microbial communities in humans and animals. Microbiology faculty have research expertise across terrestrial and aquatic environments encompassing coral reefs and the deep ocean. Nearly 20 faculty pursue research and teaching in numerous aspects of microbial biology to address environmental, medical and molecular biological problems, and create new resources for a healthy environment. Microbiology at Oregon State has a longstanding tradition of teaching excellence and educating students across the breadth of modern microbiology.

The interdisciplinary nature of our research is reflected in our faculty, who have joint appointments in the Departments of Veterinary Medicine, Statistics, Fisheries and Wildlife, the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, and the Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing. They collaborate with faculty across the university on Microbiome and Marine Studies Initiatives and in BioResource Research and Bioenergy Programs.

We are home to nearly 900 undergraduate students engaged in both theoretical and experimental learning from outstanding teachers and researchers. We offer the only bachelor of science degree in microbiology in Oregon. In addition to the microbiology major, the department also offers a major in biohealth sciences.

Microbiology majors can choose to specialize in one of two options in Pre-Medicine and Aquatic Microbiology. BioHealth Sciences majors have a broad range of eight career-focused options to choose from, including Pre-Dental, Pre-Medicine, Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-Clinical and Pre-Optometry. Students receive a comprehensive education to tackle challenging questions related to infectious diseases and human health, prokaryotic and bacteriophage genomes and environmental microbiology. This extensive academic training prepares them for a multitude of research and industry jobs, in addition to professional and medical school and competitive graduate programs.

The department offers both master's and doctoral degrees. Our vibrant graduate program offers students a strong emphasis on microbial genetics, fish diseases and prokaryote biology, the study of the biological organization of bacteria and archaea.