Bachelor of Arts Curriculum

Advising is mandatory; see a departmental advisor as soon as possible.

Program Overview

Student learning outcomes

Upon graduation, Microbiology majors should have a thorough knowledge and comprehension of the core concepts in the disciplines of molecular, cellular and organismal microbiology. In addition students will exhibit proficiency in selected laboratory skills and develop knowledge of contemporary microbiological research. This background of knowledge and experience will prepare the students for entry into professional/graduate school or for employment in government, academic or industrial positions.

Specific learning outcomes include knowledge and understanding of:

  • The physiology, biochemistry and genetics of bacteria including cell structure, function, diversity, metabolism and the genetics of metabolic regulation.
  • The immune response and disease-causing microorganisms including aspects of the humoral, cell-mediated and non-specific immune responses, as well as molecular bases for pathogenesis.
  • Taxonomic, ecological and genetic relationships among microorganisms including nutrient cycling, microbial diversity and the biotechnological application of microorganisms to solve environmental problems.
  • The scientific method of investigation and hypothesis testing including the development of theoretical and practical skills in the design and execution of experiments.

Download the form to declare a Microbiology major

To see a sample 4 year schedule for a Microbiology degree and important registration information, go to the College of Arts and Sciences Student Academic Services-Microbiology web page

Note: You should take BIOL 171-171L (3+1), Introductory Biology (prerequisite to BIOL 172-172L), as a Natural Science course counting towards your core requirements.

MAJOR REQUIREMENTS: A minimum of 18 credits in Microbiology and 9 credits in approved major electives (Total 27 credits).

REQUIRED RELATED COURSES (C grade minimum) (D for majors declared before July 2007)
Biology 172-172L (3+1), Introduction to Biology II 4
Biology 275-275L (3+1), Cell and Molecular Biology 4
Chemistry 161-161L (3+1) & 162-162L (3+1), Gen'l Chem or
Chemistry 181A-181L (4+1), Honors General Chemistry
8 or 5
Chemistry 272-272L (3+2) & 273 (3), Org. Chem 8
Math 215 (4), Applied Calculus I or Math 241 (4), Calculus I 4
Physics 151-151L (3+1) & 152-152L (3+1), Coll. Physics or
Physics 170-170L (4+1) & 272-272L (3+1), Gen. Physics
8 or 9
Total 33-37

Basic introductory microbiology course; Micr 351-351L (3+2),
Biology of Microorganisms
A total of 9 credits of lectures and 4 credits of labs from the following: 13
Micr 431 (3), 431L (2), Microbial Physiology
Micr 461 (3), 461L (2), Immunology
Micr 463 (3), 463L (2), Microbiology of Pathogens
Micr 475 (3), 475L (2), Bacterial Genetics
Micr 485 (3), 485L/W (2), Microbes & Their Environment
Micr 490/W-490L (3+2), Animal Virology (lab & lecture are co-requisites)
Total 18

A minimum of 9 credits from the following or approved equivalents. Some of these courses have related laboratories which may be counted towards the 9 credits.
Microbiology courses (Including Micr 499, Microbiology Problems-directed readings & research; limit: 3 credits towards the degree)
Biochem 441 (4), Basic Biochem, MBBE 402 (4), Principles of
                         Biochemistry, or CMB 405 (4) Biochemistry
Biology 375-375L (3+1), Concepts of Genetics
Biology 406 Cell Biology (see Biology 408)
Biology 407 (3), Molecular Cell Biology I (formerly Mol. Biol.)
Biology 408 (3), Molecular Cell Biology II (formerly Cell Biol.)
Botany 430 (2+2), Mycology
Botany 480 (4), Algal Diversity and Evolution
Chemistry 351 (3), Physical Chemistry I
Chemistry 352 (3), Physical Chemistry II
Economics  321 (3), Introduction to Statistics
Food Sciences & Human Nutrition 430 (3), Food Chemistry
Food Sciences & Human Nutrition 403 (3), Microbiology of
MBBE 401 (3), Molecular Biotechnology
MBBE 405 (3), Marine Functional Genomics and
Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences 405 (4), Plant
                           Pathogens and Diseases
Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences 486 (3), Insect-                           Microbe Interactions
Public Health 663 (3), Principles of Epidemiology I
Zoology 340 (2), Parasitology
Zoology 416 (3), Histology
Zoology 417 (3), Microtechnique
Zoology 631 (4), Biometry
Zoology 632 (4), Advanced Biometry


  • Major electives should be chosen with the aid and approval of the department advisor to provide a well integrated and coherent program.
  • Attention is called to the College of Arts and Sciences Basic requirements and to those in areas of language and culture, humanities and social sciences. It is the student's responsibility to meet these requirements.
  • Prerequisites, micro requirements, required related courses and major electives cannot be taken CR/NC; they must be taken for a letter grade.
  • Students can do a laboratory teaching internship and obtain a course credit for MICR 499. Students should have previously taken a laboratory class and obtain permission from the instructor.

Sample Schedule

  • Freshman Year: Start the chemistry and mathematics sequences as early as possible. Take Biology 171 and 172 if possible.
  • Sophomore Year: Take Chem 272/272L, 273/273L, Physics; Micr 351, 2nd semester as soon as Chem 272 is taken.
  • Junior Year: Take Micr 351 1st semester, if not yet complete. Biochemistry and other major electives may also be taken. Biochemistry is desirable for students who wish to take Micr 461, 431, 490.
  • Check early on Arts and Science requirements to avoid conflicts and problems in the senior year, e.g., language and/or required "core" courses.