Undergraduate Program in Microbiology
The Microbiology Undergraduate Program offers Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degrees in the College of Biological Sciences. Both degrees are designed to provide students with quantitative skills and knowledge across the breadth of Biological Sciences, while maintaining a focus on the biology of microorganisms. The B.S. degree offers more training in mathematics, biochemistry and laboratory methodology; the B.A. degree incorporates more exposure to the liberal arts. The choice of a major program and its suitability for particular career options should be discussed with a major advisor.
- Requirements, Degree Checklist
The Microbiology Major
Microbiology is the branch of biology that deals with bacteria, archaea, fungi and yeasts, algae, protists, and viruses. These microorganisms are ubiquitous in nature and play a crucial roles in agriculture, biotechnology, ecology, medicine, and veterinary science. The field of microbiology contributes to areas of fundamental inquiry such as biochemistry, cell biology, evolution, genetics, molecular biology, pathogenesis, and physiology. The ease and power of simultaneous genetic and biochemical analysis of microbes led to the emergence of the new disciplines of molecular biology and molecular genetics, and spawned the new industry of biotechnology.
Learning Outcomes for MIC Majors
- Describe the molecular and structural unity of microbial life, explaining how this diversity is generated and perpetuated and how it allows microbes to thrive in so many different environmental niches.
- Demonstrate knowledge of how genetics and biochemistry are used to elucidate the organization and function of microorganisms.
- Use classical, molecular, and genomic methods to identify microorganisms isolated from natural environments.
- Explain and be able to use good microbiological practices in a laboratory setting.
- Evaluate how microorganisms interact with animals, plants, other microbes, and the environment in beneficial, neutral, or detrimental ways.
- Demonstrate scientific quantitative skills, such as the ability to evaluate experimental design, read graphs, and use information from scientific papers.
- Effectively communicate scientific data and ideas in standard formats.
A bachelor’s degree in Microbiology serves as the foundation for advanced study in Microbiology, entry into the professional schools of all health sciences, or immediate employment in the biotechnology, health care, and food science industries.