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Microbiology | Courses | Faculty

203 Morrill IV North

Degrees: Bachelor of Science , Bachelor of Arts

Contact: Shelley C. McKemmie

Office: 222 Morrill IV North

Phone: 545-0019


Web site:

Head of Department:ÝProfessor Derek Lovley; Undergraduate Program Director and Chief Undergraduate Adviser: Shelley C. McKemmie. Professors DasSarma, Goodwin, Lanza, Lessie, Martz, Manning, Mount, Norkin, Reiner, Schumann, Tattar; Associate Professors Cooley, Leschine, Wick; Assistant Professors N¸sslein, Pomposiello, Sandler; Lecturers McKemmie, Stuart.

The Field

Microbiology is an attractive area of study because of its central position in the study of basic life sciences, its close connection to medical fields, and its direct role in biotechnology. The program of study for Microbiology majors offers broad training both for students who plan to enroll in Graduate or Medical/Dental/Veterinary School, and for those who will seek positions in biotechnology research or with hospital, university or government laboratories upon graduation.

Because it focuses on the study of viruses, bacteria, and the immune system, microbiology has a long history of close contact with medicine and other health professions. The recent explosive growth of biotechnology depends heavily on using microorganisms to produce biomedical and industrial products, and so has created a large demand for correspondingly trained personnel at both the B.S. and more advanced levels. The revolutionary advances in understanding the molecular mechanisms of basic biological phenomena have been largely accomplished using microorganisms such as viruses and bacteria. This has drawn microbiology to the center of such basic life science fields as molecular genetics and cell biology, as the principles and approaches developed using microorganisms prove applicable to all levels of biology.

The Major

Microbiology majors are required to complete a minimum of 28 credits within the Microbiology Department with at least a 2.0 grade point average. In addition, CHEM 111, CHEM 112, and MICBIO 310 each must be completed with a grade of C or better.

The following MICBIO courses are required:

310 General Microbiology

312 Microbiology Laboratory

320 Infectious Disease and Defense

330 Microbial Genetics

360 Writing in Microbiology

480 Microbial Physiology

Two laboratory courses in Microbiology, in addition to 312.

Elective courses in Microbiology to complete 28-credit minimum. Courses offered under BIOTCH will apply towards required MICBIO credits.

Undergraduates may apply 2 credits of non-course credits, e.g., Independent Study and Practicum, toward the 28-credit requirement.

Note: Credits earned towards the required 28 credits of Microbiology courses must be numbered 300 or above.

Required Courses in Other Departments:

One semester each of Cell and Molecular Biology, Calculus and Statistics; two semesters each of General Chemistry, Introductory Biology, Introductory Physics, and Organic Chemistry.

Career Opportunities

Microbiology is one of the most rapidly developing sciences. With progress in both basic and applied aspects of the field employment opportunities at the B.S. level have increased in number and the outlook for the future appears bright. Although it is difficult to make accurate predictions, it is likely that major future developments in microbiology will be in the areas of basic research, health, environment, and in the application of biotechnology to agriculture and to the pharmaceutical and food industries. The need for microbiologists at various levels of the educational and governmental systems will parallel developments in these areas.

Successful completion of the major is an excellent preparatory route for admission into an M.S. or Ph.D. program, as well as the professional schools of medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine.

The Minor in Microbiology

The Department of Microbiology also offers a course of study which leads to a minor in microbiology. Students electing this option are required to take MICBIO 310, MICBIO 312, plus other microbiology courses numbered 300 or above and completed with a grade of C or better. These courses should total a minimum of 15 credits.

The Minor in Plant Pathology


1) 530 General Plant Pathology

2) A minimum of 12 credits chosen from the following courses:

515 Management and Ecology of Plant Diseases

520 Mycology

535 Diagnostic Plant Pathology

572 Nematology

ENT 581 Integrated Pest Management or

ENVSCI 390S Principles and Applications of Integrated Pest Management

ENVSCI 590S Case Studies in IPM

Up to 4 credits Special Topics courses

Up to 2 credits Independent Stud

Microbiology | Courses | Faculty