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What are the Branches of Microbiology?

What are the Branches of Microbiology?

Microbiology can be divided into two branches: pure and applied. The former is the most fundamental branch, in which organisms themselves are examined in-depth. In applied microbiology, the organisms themselves are not studied but are applied to a certain process. Additionally, microbiology can be separated by taxonomy, which classifies different microbes (bacteriology, protozoology, etc.). Below are examples of each branch and taxonomy:

Pure Microbiology:

  • Microbial Genetics – Studying the genetics within microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses and fungi, is the principal focus of microbial genetics. The examination of their growth rates and generation cycles helps scientists better understand a microorganism’s evolution.
  • Immunology – Concentrating on the study of an organism’s immune system is the specialty of immunology. Scientists conduct research on the immune system to treat disorders within it, including autoimmune diseases, transplant rejection and hypersensitivities.

Applied Microbiology:

  • Medical Microbiology – Focusing on the application of medicine, medical microbiologists diagnosis, treat and prevent infectious diseases. Additionally, these scientists study microbes to enhance overall health in humans.
  • Biotechnology – Investigating methods of using living organisms to invent or produce products is the specialty of a biotechnologist. By using genetic engineering, along with cell and tissue technologies, physicians can customize treatments for their patients.


  • Bacteriology – Researching methods related to producing medicine from bacteria is the study of bacteriology.

The UF master’s degree program offers courses that cover both pure and applied microbiology, providing a comprehensive understanding of this field. Additionally, our program incorporates courses from the College of Medicine that will provide a concentration in medical microbiology and biochemistry, offering you a unique educational experience unmatched by other programs. Other courses that will enhance your knowledge include:

  • BCH 5413 – Mammalian Molecular Biology and Genetics: Understand how genetic approaches can solve programs of current interest in molecular biology.
  • MCB 5252 – Microbiology, Immunology, and Basis for Immuno-therapeutics: Learn microbial structure and function with regards to their role in pathogenesis and infection.
  • PCB 5235 – Immunology: Grasp the fundamental aspects of immunology with real-world research and concerns.
  • MCB 6937 – Molecular Genetics: Study the concepts of DNA replication, repair and packaging of the genome into chromosomes.

Learn More About the Program

Click for details about the Microbiology & Cell Science online graduate programs.