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Academic Planning


Microbiology is the study of microscopic organisms and how they interact with other organisms and the environment. Topics in microbiology include how microbes benefit and harm human health, the role of microbes in the environment, and how microbes can be used in medicine, agriculture, and engineering.


Students in the Microbiology major will

  • complete a comprehensive study of life processes at the molecular and cellular level, with particular emphasis on prokaryotes, and
  • perform basic and advanced techniques in laboratory methodology.

Through advanced course study, the many subdisciplines of microbiology such as molecular genetics, immunology, and virology may be explored more fully. Ample opportunities exist for participation in faculty-initiated research projects. Extensive laboratory experience is a particular strength of the major. Courses in such applied areas as industrial, medical, and food microbiology help prepare students for careers in the pharmaceutical, biotechnical, and agricultural industries.


Microbes constitute the greatest biomass on earth!  Microbiology is a basic science!  Some would even say microbes run the world!  Did you know that the greatest genetic diversity in the living world occurs among the microbes?  If these are not enough reasons to choose Microbiology as a major, consider that the discipline includes the fields of immunology and virology as well as bacteriology.  Whether it is tackling questions about the molecular biology of viral replication inside a living cell, or how the body is able to defend itself against foreign agents, or how bacteria establish associations with plant, animal or human hosts to create biofilms, Microbiology is the discipline that covers all these topics and more.  Advanced courses in the major include such areas as viral pathogenesis, tumor viruses and oncogenes, microbial diversity, as well as applied areas of industrial and food microbiology.  Graduates of the major are well-prepared for graduate and professional schools and for assuming positions in the biopharmaceutical industry.


Program Goals

  • Graduates will have and be able to communicate an understanding of microbiology sufficient to qualify for graduate or professional schools or for entry-level positions as industrial scientists.


  • Graduates will develop basic laboratory skills and be familiar with the standard techniques and equipment used in the modern microbiology laboratory.


  • Graduates will generate and interpret data with subsequent application to the solution of novel problems in microbiology.


  • Graduates will identify career opportunities and professional and ethical issues that concern scientists in the microbiology field.


Requirements to Enter the Major

Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better and must complete Chem 110, 111, 112, and Math 140 with a grade of C or better.


Requirements to Graduate

To graduate, students must meet all three of the following requirements:

  • 2.0 cumulative GPA.


  • a grade of C or better in two of the following three courses: BMB/Micrb 251, BMB/Micrb 252 & Micrb 201.


  • a grade of C or better in 9 credits of  400-level Micrb/BMB lecture courses (for Micrb majors).


View the most current Suggested Academic Plan for Microbiology

Downloadable Academic Planning Forms

For additional Academic Planning Forms please contact (814) 863 - 5487.


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Minors to Consider

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