Faculty: With a student-to-faculty ratio of fewer than 6 to 1, microbiology majors at SIU get plenty of personal attention from their professors. From your introduction to microbiology to your final upper-division microbiology courses, you will be taught by professors who are actively engaged in research and who bring the excitement of their work directly into the classroom. Faculty members in microbiology consistently receive federal grants to fund research. These grants allow undergraduates to participate in a variety of research projects and also provide paid student work positions.
Graduate and Professional Opportunities: While your immediate goal may be a bachelor's degree and a job, at some point you may decide that you want or need advanced education. Increasingly, for advancement in microbiology careers, a graduate degree is necessary. SIU offers master's and doctoral degrees in microbiology, physiology, chemistry, plant biology and zoology; master's degrees in plant and soil science and animal science; and professional degrees from the SIU schools of law and medicine. These programs benefit undergraduates because they attract excellent faculty who teach the undergraduate curriculum.
Undergraduate Research: Juniors and seniors in microbiology can enroll in Undergraduate Research Participation (MICR 490), a course that offers hands-on experience in the research setting of a faculty member's laboratory. Undergraduate research can be a superb learning experience for a student interested in pursuing research problems, and an excellent addition to a résumé. Opportunities for specialized training in microbial biochemistry, genetics, ecology and diversity, as well as in immunology, molecular biology, and biotechnology are available. Paid student employment is also available in the department's research laboratories.
Undergraduate Assistantships: Undergraduate assistantships are available to students as well. The assistantships offer students the chance for real world experience.
Departmental Scholarships: In addition to the financial aid programs offered through the University, the college and the department offer academic scholarships. The College of Science has several competitive scholarships, and the Department of Microbiology offers four scholarships each year to outstanding students majoring in microbiology: the Maurice Ogur Memorial Prize, the Microbiology Alumni Achievement Award, the Student Leadership Award, and the Microbiology Faculty Scholarship.
Facilities: SIU has a central facility for electron microscopy, a modern vivarium for housing animals for scientific research, and a large computer network accessible to undergraduates for academic or research needs. Teaching laboratories are up-to-date, well equipped, and designed for active student participation. Microbiological safety is stressed in all of our laboratory courses.
University Career Services: SIU's University Career Services coordinates a placement program for all SIU students, offering assistance with résumé preparation and interview skills. Career services also plans and publicizes campus recruiting visits by employers and helps you maintain a lifelong placement file with the University.
Professional and Student Organizations: You will have an opportunity to explore more of the diverse areas of microbiology if you choose to join SIU's Microbiology Student Organization (MSO), which organizes scientific and social activities to bring about a better understanding of the field of microbiology.
SIU School of Medicine: The School of Medicine teaches its first-year courses in Carbondale, directly benefiting undergraduate students in microbiology. Our faculty are cross appointed in the School of Medicine and teach medical students, thereby increasing opportunities and resources for you to participate in research projects.
Morris Library: SIU's primary academic resource center is Morris Library, which provides a wide range of services, including reference assistance, instructional and technical support, distance learning, geographic information systems (GIS), and multimedia courseware development. Students, faculty, and other researchers have access to I-Share (the statewide automated library resource system) and are able to consult over 2.4 million volumes, over 3.1 million units of microform, and about 13,000 current periodicals and serials through a comprehensive array of databases and other electronic data files. The library is a repository for federal, state, and United Nations documents and houses the archives for Illinois' southernmost 22 counties as part of the Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD). Special Collections contain internationally known manuscript and book collections in American philosophy, First Amendment freedoms, and modern American, British, and Irish literature.