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Microbiology & Cell Science

Microbiology & Cell Science


Microbes are everywhere! They exist in us, on us, and around us in complex microscopic ecosystems called microbiomes. A collection of bacteria, viruses, archaea, and fungi that naturally live in community on and within larger living creatures, microbiomes play a fascinating role in health homeostasis, disease progression, and disease treatment. The University of Florida Microbiology and Cell Science Department offers a Master of Science Degree and a Graduate Certificate in the field of Microbiome and Health.

Designed to fit your schedule, this fully online graduate program will give you an in-depth understanding of the:

    • Role of the human microbiome in disease
    • Short and long-term effects of antibiotic use on the human gut microbiome
    • Regulatory aspects of microbiome-based therapies
    • Fundamental concepts and quantitative methodology to study the microbiome
    • Bioinformatics tools to evaluate microbiome composition


The microbiome has become one of the hottest areas in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. With the recent advancement of DNA sequencing technologies, microbiology research has revealed that imbalance in the human microbiome is linked not only to gastrointestinal conditions but systemic disease as well, including autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and Hashimoto’s disease, neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, and cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis. 

A keen understanding for the role of microbiomes in health and disease will help advance careers in:

    • Research and Development
    • Clinical Trials
    • Regulatory Affairs
    • Medical Affairs
    • Data Analysis and Bioinformatics
    • Pharmaceutical Sales and Biotechnology Sales
    • Science Communications
    • Academia

For more information about the career paths of our recent graduates, check out our careers page.


This program offers a unique opportunity to develop the foundational bioinformatics skills used in modern microbiology research. The courses available that predominantly focus on computational analysis are:



Master of Science Degree


Dr. Jennifer Drew, genomics lecturer and STEP program professor, in her office.

The Master of Science degree in microbiology and cell science with a concentration in microbiome in health and disease is a 30-credit program designed to be completed entirely online with no in-person laboratory requirements. 

Set Yourself Apart with Expertise in Bioinformatics and the Clinical Impact of Microbiome Apply before July 1 to start in Fall 2024.

Graduate Certificate

Microbiome and Health

Online student studying microbiome in health and disease.

The Microbiome and Health Graduate Certificate is a 12-credit online program focused on the increasingly important study of microbiomes. This program will give you a deeper understanding of the microscopic ecosystems that exist all around just beyond our sight. You will acquire skills in understanding probiotics, antimicrobial resistance, and virology through a comprehensive study of the human gut microbiome, a focus on emerging pathogens, an exploration of the virome, and more.

The Department of Microbiology and Cell Science Building.

Why Study Microbiology at the University of Florida?

As the largest microbiology program in the country, the University of Florida Department of Microbiology is able to offer a wide range of courses and attract leading experts in microbiology as faculty. Keep reading to see the advantages our program offers students.