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Public Health and Microbiology

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College of Sciences

Solve Medical Mysteries

Bachelor of Science in Biology with a concentration in Public Health and Microbiology

Do you love a good “who-done-it” mystery? Do you pride yourself in solving complex problems? If so, you could be destined to find the next big public health threat while working with a team of other scientists.

COVID-19 shone a bright light on the importance of infection prevention to keep us safe from pandemics. Since COVID, there’s been an increasing demand for those trained in microbiology and public health in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and even outside of healthcare; companies such as Netflix are hiring infection preventionists to advise them on COVID safety.  Public health agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also need such expertise.

Careers within clinical and public health microbiology are challenging, yet rewarding. They offer an opportunity to participate in clinical decision making by providing critical information to healthcare teams. Microbiologists also contribute to public health by providing information important for the detection and characterization of pathogens that are of public health concern.

This  Public Health and Microbiology concentration prepares students for technical work or graduate school in microbial disease systems. It includes studies in:

  • Microbial pathogenesis
  • Principles of public health
  • Epidemiology
  • Molecular genetics
  • Virology
  • Environmental and industrial microbial processes

In small classroom and lab settings, you’ll work closely with faculty members who combine scholarship, research prowess and real-world experience. You might get to work with one of them on a research project funded by the National Science Foundation or the U.S. Department of Energy. And, whether you are bound for grad school or going directly into the job market, our expert advisor will help you choose the right classes and keep you focused on a successful graduation.

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If your degree focus is in one of the S.T.E.M. fields—science, pre-engineering, computer science or mathematics—AUM provides an automatic scholarship to minor in Education and earn an Alabama teaching certificate. This unique program is called “AUMTeach.”

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The Know How

What you will know with a Public Health and Microbiology degree from AUM

We Provide You A Mentor

Know how to work with a mentor and get adjusted to being a biology student who’s always on the lookout for future employment opportunities.

We Offer You The Chance To Assist With Research

Know how to conduct and document research by working with a faculty member. Or build your network traveling to professional conferences.

We Offer You Scholarships

We know how life works: money seems to always be in short supply. You might qualify for one of our scholarships specifically for Biology majors.

We Encourage You To Be Hands On

Know how to be hands-on by conducting research funded by the National Science Foundation or the U.S. Department of Energy.

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Game Plan for Success

Your GPS is an academic tracker that provides a step-by-step guide to graduating on time.

Points of Pride

  • A new mentoring program helps students get adjusted to being a biology student and provides employment opportunities.
  • Many graduates find local employment in the lab at the Alabama Department of Public Health.
  • Faculty members currently have grants from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy, and the Alabama State Department of Education.
  • Nearly 20 percent of students do research with a faculty member and many go on to publish papers and travel to conferences.

Soaring Warhawks

  • Eva Maria Chambers works in the Alabama Department of Public Health lab.
  • Chris Swann is chief scribe at ScribeAmerica.
  • Holly Ann Swann (Gobbel) is the lab manager at TrackRx.
  • Shelby Nunnlee is an EMT in Montgomery.

Customize Your Degree

Clubs & Societies

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Audubon on Campus

The next generation of conservationists, making an impact today.

Biology Honors Club

Join other biology majors in discussions, activities and research.

Video Testimonials

"My Career Goal Is To Work For The World Health Organization"

Glory Kalu
We Have the Answers

Rewarding Occupations and Job Growth

Check out our Career Discovery Board on this page to begin exploring your options. Contact us for a personal conversation or send us an email, so we can get the answers you need.

It helps to have a solid background in high school science and math, but don’t worry. AUM has free tutoring and our professors are known to spend extra time on any student who needs it!

Students in the Public Health and Microbiology program work with an advisor who will help you choose the right undergraduate classes and help you prepare for grad school applications.

There are several factors, even for those who go on to earn a master’s or doctoral degree: work experience, the subspecialty you choose, and personal initiative. See sample salaries on this page, under Rewarding Occupations and Job Growth.

Students seeking to continue their education in Medical, Veterinary, or Dental school are given dedicated resources that provide class schedule advising focused on career choice, assistance with graduate school applications, and more.

Degree Options

Is a Degree in Public Health and Microbiology right for me?

With this bachelor’s degree as your educational foundation, you have many career possibilities.

Career/Job TitleEntry-level Education RequirementsJob Growth 2020-2030Annual Median Salary
EpidemiologistMaster's degree30% (Much faster than average)$74,560
MicrobiologistBachelor's degree5% (Slower than average)$84,400
Clinical Lab Technologist/TechnicianBachelor's degree11% (Faster than average)$54,180
BiochemistMaster’s degree (Ph.D. preferred)5% (Slower than average)$94,270
Biology TechnicianBachelor's degree7% (As fast as average)$46,340
Medical ScientistDoctoral or professional degree17% (Much faster than average)$91,510

Note: Salaries vary depending on several factors including your level of experience, education, training, demographics, and industry. Here is a sampling of the future job growth and salaries according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Quick Facts

College of Sciences

At AUM’s College of Sciences, you will have hands-on learning experiences, working side by side with scholars and researchers using state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment.

Our academic departments include Biology and Environmental Science, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, and Psychology. To help you pay for college, you might qualify for one of our scholarships.

Official Name of the Biology Public Health and Microbiology Degree

Bachelor of Science in Biology with a concentration in Public Health and Microbiology


This degree requires students to meet on campus. Students in these courses enroll in a program to connect in a campus setting and to collaborate using a variety of technological and educational tools. Professors play an inspirational role in building relationships among teams and individuals in this setting. The criteria for many programs can only be met with In-Class coursework. Be sure to check with your advisor to understand the best route to take.

Public Health and Microbiology

Required Courses

You will need to complete courses in the university core, biology, related science areas, and electives. Contact the Biology and Environmental Sciences Department for a current listing of courses required to complete the Biology Health Sciences concentration.

The course listings below are only a few of the classes this concentration requires. For a full review of this program in detail, please see our official online catalog AND consult with an academic advisor.

Course NumberCourse NameWhat you will know…
BIOL 3250EpidemiologyAn introduction to the techniques used in studying the transmission, incidence and frequency of disease occurrence in populations.
BIOL 4050Industrial MicrobiologyPrinciples and practices of industrial processes involving microorganisms with emphasis on microbial biotechnology.
BIOL 220BiostatisticsLearn the statistical techniques used in research including estimation and hypothesis testing.
BIOL4010Medical MicrobiologyThe etiology, epidemiology, vector controls, identification, and pathogenesis of microorganisms of medical importance to man.
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