About the Program

Microorganisms are the smallest living things, the oldest form of life on earth, ubiquitous in the biosphere and central to many of the essential life processes on earth. The microbiology curriculum emphasizes the uniqueness of microbial biology, its enormous diversity, and the biochemical basis of microbial life.

The curriculum examines the diverse roles of microorganisms and covers the fundamentals of microbial diversity, physiology and genetics. The focus is on microorganisms, microbial processes in natural and managed environments and their effects on human, animal, plant and environmental health. The curriculum provides students with a fundamental understanding of the various applications of microbes in biotechnology, the food industry, agriculture, and medicine. The curriculum examines the nature and activity of microbial populations in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, the interactions within microbial communities, and biogeochemical cycles and energy flows. Recent advances in microbial molecular biology and biotechnology have led to an in-depth understanding of the physiology, genetics and taxonomy of microbes. The field of microbiology is a major contributor toward industrial development, human, animal and plant health, environmental integrity and agricultural productivity. Microbes are central to the food, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries and are broadly utilized from food fermentations and biosynthesis to biodegradation of toxic chemicals.

The primary objectives of the curriculum are to broadly educate students on the biology of microorganisms. The curriculum prepares students for positions in industry, government and graduate/professional study in life sciences through extensive course work combined with laboratory and research experience.

 


Major Requirements:

To enter upper-level microbiology (11:680) courses, students must have completed 01:119:101-102 General Biology and 01:160:161-162 General Chemistry with grades of C or better.

I. College Mission: Interdisciplinary Critical Analysis (3 credits)

11:015:400 Junior/Senior Colloquium (3)

II. Introductory Life and Physical Sciences

A. Life Sciences (8 credits)
01:119:101-102 General Biology (4,4)

B. Physical Science (9 credits)
01:160:161-162 General Chemistry (4,4)
01:160:171 Introduction to Experimentation (1)

III. Humanities and Arts (6 credits)

See suggested courses in the Degree Requirements chapter.

IV. Multicultural and International Studies (6 credits)

See suggested courses in the Degree Requirements chapter.

V. Human Behavior, Economic Systems, and Political Processes (9 credits)

See suggested courses in the Degree Requirements chapter.

VI. Oral and Written Communication (6 credits)

See suggested courses in the Degree Requirements chapter.

01:355:302 Scientific and Technical Writing (3) is strongly recommended.

VII. Experience-Based Education (0-3 credits) 11:680:497,498 Research in Microbiology (BA, BA) or equivalent independent research project or appropriate cooperative education placement of at least 3 credits or appropriate non-credit bearing internship approved by the curriculum coordinator.

Proficiency in Microbiology (72-73 credits)
REQUIRED COURSES (52-53)

Quantitative skills (8) 01:640:1__1__ CALC1; CALC2(4,4) OR 01:960:401 Basic Stats for Research (3) [01:640:151-152 Calculus for Mathematics and Physical Sciences (4,4) is preferred]

Professional Ethics (1) 11:680:401 Ethics and Issues in Microbiology (1) or other bioethics course approved by the curriculum coordinator.

Additional requirements (43-44)

11:115:403 - 11:115:404 General Biochemistry (4,3) or 01:694:407-408 Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (3,3)
11:115:413 Experimental Biochemistry (3)
01:160:307-308 Organic Chemistry (4,4) OR 01:160:315-316 Principles of Organic Chemistry (4,4) *
01:447:380 Genetics (4)
11:680:390 General Microbiology (4) or 01:447:390 General Microbiology (4)
11:680:480 Microbial Genetics and Genomics (3) or 11:126:481 Molecular Genetics (3) (Fall semester)
11:680:481 Microbial Physiology (3)
11:680:491 Microbial Ecology and Diversity (3)
11:680:494 Applied Microbiology (4)
11:680:495 Seminar in Microbiology (1)
01:750:193-194 Physics for the Sciences (4,4) or equivalent *

*Students intending to apply to medical school should be aware that many schools require laboratories in organic chemistry and physics.

ELECTIVES (15) A minimum of 15 credits of elective courses

11:115:428 Homology Modeling of Proteins (3)
11:126:407 Comparative Virology (3)
11:126:405 Microbial Technology (3)
11:126:427 Methods in Recombinant DNA Technology (4)
11:126:482 Molecular Genetics Laboratory (3)
11:126:483 Nucleotide Sequence Analysis (3)
11:126:485 Bioinformatics (3)
11:126:486 Analytical Methods in Microbiology (3)
11:117:414 Unit Processes in Bioenvironmental Engineering II (3)
01:146:328 Human Parasitology (3)
01:146:474 Immunology (3)
01:146:475 Laboratory in Immunology (1)
11:375:411 Environmental Microbiology (3)
11:375:453 Soil Ecology (3)
11:375:312 Environmental Microbiology Laboratory (2)

11:400:423 Food Microbiology (3)
11:400:424 Food Microbiology Laboratory (1)
01:447:392 Pathogenic Microbiology (3)
01:447:398 Electron Microscopy (3)
01:447:480 Topics in Molecular Genetics (3)

11:680:492 Microbial Ecology Laboratory (2)
11:680:410 Microbiology and Culture of Cheese and Wine (3)
11:704:405 Evolution of Infectious diseases (3)
11:770:302 General Plant Pathology (3)
11:770:400 Fungi in the Environment (3)

11:680:497,498 Research in Microbiology (BA): One to three credits of research may be substituted for an equal number of credits of elective courses, with the approval of the curriculum coordinator.

 

IX. Unspecified Electives (3-7 credits)



Minor Requirements

Requirements for Minor in Microbiology (19-21 credits)

 

Prerequisites
Students must have completed 01:119:101-102 General Biology and 01:160:161-162 General Chemistry
with grades of C or better.

Required courses:
General Biochemistry 11:115:403 (4) or Introduction to Biochemistry 11:115:301 (3)
General Microbiology 11:680:390 (4)

One of the following:
Microbial Ecology and Diversity 11:680:491 (3)
Microbial Genetics and Genomics 11:680:480 (3)
Applied Microbiology 11:680:494 (4)

At least 9 credits from the following (in addition to the courses listed above):

Microbial Ecology and Diversity 11:680:491 (3)
Microbial Genetics and Genomics 11:680:480 (3)
Applied Microbiology 11:680:494 (4)
Bacterial Physiology 01:447:498 (3)
Environmental Microbiology 11:375:411 (3)
Food Microbiology 11:400:423 (3)
Pathogenic Microbiology 01:447:392 (3)
Microbial Ecology & Diversity Laboratory 11:680:492 (2)
Fungi and Ecosystems 11:628:404 (3)
Comparative Virology 11:126:407 (3)
or other microbiology course approved by the Program Director



Suggested Course Sequence

First Year, Fall Term
01:355:101 Expository Writing (3)
01:119:101 General Biology (4)
01:160:161 General Chemistry (4)
01:640:135 Calculus I (4)*
* Can be delayed to subsequent year

Total Semester Credits: 15; Cumulative Total Credits: 15

First Year, Spring Term
01:119:102 General Biology (4)
01:160:162 General Chemistry (4)
01:160:171 Introduction to Experimentation (1)
01:640:138 Calculus II (4)*
   or Basic Stats for Research - 01:960:480 (3)
Course fulfilling Areas III, IV or V (3)
* Can be delayed to subsequent year

Total Semester Credits: 16; Cumulative Total Credits: 31

Second Year, Fall Term
01:160:307 Organic Chemistry (4)
01:447:380 Genetics (4)
01:750:193 Physics for the Sciences (4)
Courses fulfilling Areas III, IV or V (3-6)

Total Semester Credits: 18; Cumulative Total Credits: 49

Second Year, Spring Term
01:160:308 Organic Chemistry (4) *
11:680:390 General Microbiology (4)
01:750:194 Physics for the Sciences (4)
* 01:160:311 Organic Chemistry Laboratory (2) recommended

Total Semester Credits: 14; Cumulative Total Credits: 63

Third Year, Fall Term
11:115:403 Biochemistry (4)
11:115:413 Experimental Biochemistry (3)
11:680:494 Applied Microbiology (4)
   or 11:680:491 Microbial Ecology and Diversity (3) *
01:355:302 Scientific and Technical Writing (3)
   or equivalent Course fulfilling Areas III, IV or V (3)
Total Semester Credits: 14; Cumulative Total Credits: 77
* 11:680:491 is a pre-requisite for 11:680:492 Microbial Ecology & Diversity Lab offered every other spring (even years)

Third Year, Spring Term
11:115:404 Biochemistry (3)
11:680:492 Microbial Ecol and Diversity Lab (2)
11:680:480 Microbial Genetics & Genomics (3)
Microbiology electives (3-6)
   and/or Research in Microbiology (3) 11:680:401
Ethics and Issues in Microbiology (1)

Total Semester Credits: 15; Cumulative Total Credits: 92

Fourth Year, Fall Term

11:680:495 Seminar in Microbiology (1)
Microbiology Electives (6-9)
   and/or Research in Microbiology (3)*
Courses fulfilling Areas III, IV or V (3)
Free elective courses (0-5)

Total Semester Credits: 18 Cumulative Total Credits: 110

Fourth Year, Spring Term
Junior/Senior Colloquium (3)
11:680:481 Microbial Physiology (3)
Microbiology Electives (3-6)
   and/or Research in Microbiology (3)*
Courses fulfilling Areas III, IV or V (3)
Free elective courses (3)

Total Semester Credits: 18 Cumulative Total Credits: 128

*An appropriate cooperative education placement, approved by the Program Director or a George H. Cook Scholars project can substitute for Research in Microbiology.



Additional Resources

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Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology