How do I Choose the Best Microbiology Program?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 16 July 2019
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Microbiology is a very broad scientific field, which means that there are a lot of options to choose from when selecting a microbiology program, whether one is pursuing a graduate or undergraduate degree. The diversity of this field makes it important to select the right program, to avoid ending up in a program which will not meet a student's needs or address a student's area of interest. While selecting a program, students should also work hard to achieve good grades and to obtain extracurricular credit, as this will help them get into the program of choice.

The first thing to think about is which area of microbiology a student is interested in. High school students getting ready for college may not be sure about what they want to study, in which case they should pick a college or university with a broad program which provides a lot of options for study. For graduate students, the selection of the right microbiology program is sometimes easier, because their options may be limited. Students may also want to seek out people working in the field in whom they are interested, and find out if those people are teaching, and where, as this may influence their choice as well.


Narrowing the search to programs which will provide training in the student's area of interest should slim down the options considerably. Then, each microbiology program can be evaluated to determine whether or not it is right for the students. Students should always confirm that the school is accredited, and examine the reputation of the schools they are considering; a school with a good reputation may offer more educational options and better employment choices after graduation.

If possible, prospective students should visit a microbiology program so that they can see the program's facilities, meet the faculty, and interact with current students to get their impressions of the program. While visiting the program, visitors should take note of class sizes and find out about opportunities available to students. Students entering undergraduate programs may want to find out if and when they will be allowed to participate in research. Issues like campus safety, accessible public transit, and the general feel of the area where the program is located may be important as well.

Cost can also be a factor. Money is available to assist students who cannot afford tuition and fees on their own, and students in the sciences can often access research grants and other sources of funding, but students may want to think about issues like the cost of living in the surrounding area, and their ability to repay education loans after graduation. Scheduling at a microbiology program can also be a cause for concern. Students may want to find out how long it usually takes people to complete the program and whether or not flexible scheduling is available for students in special circumstances such as single parents, students caring for disabled family members, or students who need to work while in school.



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