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ETSU College of Public Health introduces Bachelor of Science in Microbiology

Contributed • Sep 13, 2019 at 4:46 PM

East Tennessee State University’s College of Public Health is offering a new degree option for students – a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology.

Microbiology was formerly a concentration under the health sciences major, but due to student demand, the College of Public Health expanded it into a major, beginning this fall.

Students in this major study microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, algae, fungi and some types of parasites, focusing on how these organisms live, grow and interact with their environments.

“A degree in microbiology is widely recognized both nationally and internationally,” said Dr. Ranjan Chakraborty, chairman of the Department of Health Sciences.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of microbiologists will grow 8% from 2016 to 2026 and that more microbiologists will be needed to contribute to basic research, solve problems encountered in industrial production processes and monitor environmental conditions to ensure public health and safety.

“The degree in microbiology prepares students well for multiple career opportunities including admissions to professional and graduate schools, thus opening up several career paths for them to choose from,” Chakraborty said.

Students who pursue microbiology often continue their studies in professional schools such as medical, dental, pharmacy, physician assistant, and all other professional degrees in allied health. The degree also prepares them well for graduate school and jobs in pharmaceutical industries and research laboratories.

Since 2016, more than 200 students have graduated with a microbiology concentration, and college officials say that the new major will provide additional opportunities for student growth.

“Microbiology has been a popular concentration within the College of Public Health because it opens so many doors for students who are interested in research, clinical care, and other professional and graduate opportunities,” said Dr. Randy Wykoff, dean. “Creating this new major was a natural next step for the college to grow and adapt to meet the needs of our students and their potential employers.”

For information about the B.S. in Microbiology, contact Dara Young, program advisor, at [email protected] or visit www.etsu.edu/cph/faculty/youngdc.php.

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