Discover Microbiology at The Ohio State University. 
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Ian Glomski wanted to brew beer in his college apartment. He had the equipment, the ingredients and the recipe. The one thing he didn't have was a clue as to why his beer always tasted so awful. That's when he signed up for a class on Microbiology. Flash forward and Ian now has a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley and his own distillery, Vitae Spirits.

In West Africa, the current Ebola outbreak has infected thousands of people with often fatal outcomes. Enter Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg. Dr. Frank Plummer and his team may have just saved thousands of lives with their development of ZMapp, an antibody based compound treatment for the deadly virus ravaging communities half a world a way.

In Finland, recycled cooking oil from fried fish, fries and chicken is now being used by Finnair—the nation's largest airline—to fuel Airbus engines on flights from Helsinki to New York. And while this might be the longest flight to take advantage of recycled cooking oil, it is not the first. Finnair has been using biofuels since 2011, an innovation only possible thanks to Microbiology.

Microbiology is the study of microorganisms such as bacteria, protozoal parasites, viruses and fungi. It is the key to the perfect beer, defeating deadly viruses, designing the fuels vital for powering tomorrow and is at the forefront of the bio-science revolution. As a Microbiology major, that's where you will be too. 



As a Microbiology major, you will learn how microbial genes, proteins, and processes are being exploited in the exciting field of biotechnology to help cure diseases, generate alternative fuels, produce new antibiotics, and recover valuable metals from ores.
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The Microbiology minor consists of a minimum of 14 credit hours of microbiology courses. The minor must include Microbiology 4100. (A maximum of 10 credit hours overlap with the GE is permissible).
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Microbiology is an experimental science, and the best way to understand microbiological principles and concepts is to become actively involved in research. Undergraduate research experience will benefit you whether you are interested in graduate school, professional school or getting a microbiology-related job directly after graduation. The Department of Microbiology encourages students to become actively involved in an undergraduate research project with a faculty member as early as possible.



Current undergraduate research includes studying the role of HIV-1 regulatory gene sequences in mother-to-child transmission of the virus, investigating riboswitches—the RNA elements that directly sense regulatory signals that impact gene expression—exploring the mechanisms behind the cell wall synthesis regulation in Mycobacterium tuberculosis and more.


Students enrolled in the major have the option of completing a written thesis. Honors students need to contact the Undergraduate Honors Advisor. Non-honors students will need to find a faculty sponsor.



  • The American Society for Microbiology Student Chapter at The Ohio State University promotes a closer scientific relationship among persons interested in microbiology, cultivates social relationships and cooperation among such individuals and promotes cooperation with other Ohio Branch ASM student chapters, the Ohio Branch ASM and the National ASM.

  • Students for the Advancement of Microbiology is a student organization whose primary purpose is to promote the advancement of its members, in and out of the classroom, by providing opportunities for personal and professional development. The executive committee speaks on behalf of its members, organizes academic, career and social events and strives to improve the overall graduate experience within the Department of Microbiology. The organization serves as an opportunity for students to network and form collaborations, both personal and professional.



Andrew Braun, Senior
Microbiology & International Studies major

I chose to study Microbiology because I was intrigued by the ubiquity of the microbial world, and the clinical significance of microbes. Since microorganisms are everywhere from our skin, to the air, to the surfaces we touch, I majored in Microbiology to get a better understanding of the relationships between humans and microbes.

My favorite part of the program has been getting to serve as a TA for Microbiology 4000. The Department of Microbiology advising, lab coordinators and graduate TAs readily welcome the help of an undergraduate TA to aid in the laboratory component of Micro 4000 which translated into a rewarding opportunity to help fellow students, and develop skills as a teacher; this is important to me as I hope to split my time as a physician between clinic, teaching and research.

I came to OSU as a biochemistry major, but as I took more classes, I really enjoyed studying how cells operated at the molecular level. The Department of Microbiology had many opportunities for me to learn about the current scientific landscapeincluding current researchand delve into what molecular biology really was.

My favorite aspect of the program is the wide variety of things you learn through the major classes and electives. I have taken classes on genetics, immunology, physiology and even parasitology and really discovered which areas of science I am passionate about. The program helped me realize what I wanted to study in graduate school and it would have been much more difficult to figure that out without the diversity of classes I took in the Department of Microbiology.

Mark Lampert, Senior
Microbiology major

Kelly Capuder, Alumna
Research Assistant Children’s Hospital, Boston

When I arrived at OSU, I knew I wanted to be on the pre-med track, and I found that Microbiology was the best major for that. In Microbiology, the program includes many of the required pre-med courses plus other courses and electives exploring how different microbes can invade the human body.

My favorite part of the program was the lab courses. The labs were all very well organized and they were designed in a way that made what you were learning fun! They also prepare you for working in a research lab because you learn how to master many basic techniques.

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