Microbiology is the study of organisms, many of which are too small to be seen with the naked eye, including fungi, protists, and bacteria, as well as acellular agents such as viruses and prions. Microbiology emerged as a distinct science in the late nineteenth century, with the discovery that microorganisms are the cause of many infectious diseases, and that they play essential roles in ecosystems (such as the microbiome) and in industrial processes. Much work in this field is directed toward the cure, control, or eradication of disease in humans and animals, as well as understanding how microbes support health and life. Genetically engineered microorganisms can also be used for the production of improved foods, new drugs and vaccines, and for removing toxic wastes and spills from the environment. Unfortunately, some microbes have received considerable attention as potential agents of bioterrorism and biowarfare, and consequently much work is being done to counter such threats.

Students completing the undergraduate Biomedical Sciences degree program with a concentration in Microbiology and Infectious Diseases acquire knowledge and laboratory skills in the structure, physiology, genetics, pathogenicity, ecology, and taxonomy of microorganisms, as well as immunological techniques. Students engage in authentic hypothesis-driven research problems in inquiry-based laboratory courses.  Required courses in biological sciences, chemistry, physics, and mathematics support the major. Ample opportunities exist for undergraduates to obtain laboratory research experience and many student researchers have presented at conferences and have been awarded research grants or fellowships.

A Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences with a concentration in Microbiology and Infectious Disease prepares graduates well for continued education in a professional or graduate degree program or for employment in the field.

Learning Outcomes

  • Core Knowledge: Students will apply and integrate the fundamentals of chemistry, microbial biology, and biochemistry and key principles from the following five core areas of the discipline: immunology, bacteriology, virology, microbial physiology, and microbial genetics.
  • Relevance/Impact: Students will demonstrate an awareness of issues at the forefront of the discipline and will evaluate the important interaction between microbes and society, from their beneficial use in industrial, biotechnological, and clinical applications to their role as etiologic agents of infectious disease in humans and animals. 
  • Communication Skills: Students will assimilate factual and conceptual information and effectively communicate disciplinary knowledge to both science literate and general audiences through written or verbal presentations.
  • Laboratory Skills: Students will demonstrate proficiency using microbiological and immunological laboratory techniques employed in clinical, industrial, and research laboratories, and will be able to explain the principles behind the procedures, employ mathematical computations, properly execute the procedures, interpret the results correctly, and analyze the results to draw a conclusion.

Potential Occupations

The curriculum, with the proper selection of departmental electives, meets the requirements for entrance into most professional programs in veterinary and human medicine, and is ideal preparation for students desiring a career as a veterinarian, physician, physician assistant, pharmacist, medical laboratory scientist, optometrist, or dentist. The degree also prepares students for graduate (PhD or MS) studies in various biological sciences, and also provides students with the knowledge and skills to go directly into a career. Career opportunities will continue to grow because microbiology is at the center of complex issues facing our world today, as well as at the forefront of fast-paced innovation and development. Employment opportunities exist in biotechnology (vaccine and therapeutics, pharmaceutical, food, beverage, and medical device industries); government public health agencies (CDC, FDA, and state and municipal health departments); and primary research institutions, such as universities.

For more information about the Microbiology & Infectious Disease concentration under the Biomedical Sciences Major, please visit the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Effective Fall 2023

CHEM 111General Chemistry I (GT-SC2)3A4
CHEM 112General Chemistry Lab I (GT-SC1)3A1
CHEM 113General Chemistry II 3
CHEM 114General Chemistry Lab II 1
CO 150College Composition (GT-CO2)1A3
LIFE 102Attributes of Living Systems (GT-SC1)3A4
MIP 250Eukaryotic Microbiology 3
MIP 260The World of Parasites 3
VMBS 100Introduction to Biomedical Sciences Major 2
Select a minimum of 3 credits from the following:1B3-4
College Algebra in Context II (GT-MA1)1B 
Logarithmic and Exponential Functions (GT-MA1)1B 
Numerical Trigonometry (GT-MA1)1B 
Analytic Trigonometry (GT-MA1)1B 
Calculus for Biological Scientists I (GT-MA1)1B 
Calculus for Physical Scientists I (GT-MA1)1B 
Elective 3
 Total Credits 30-31
BC 351Principles of Biochemistry 4
MIP 300General Microbiology 3
MIP 302General Microbiology Laboratory 2
MIP 342Immunology 4
Select one group from the following: 8
Group A  
Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry  
Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry Laboratory  
Concentration Elective (see list below)
Group B  
Modern Organic Chemistry I  
Modern Organic Chemistry II  
Modern Organic Chemistry Laboratory  
Historical Perspectives3D3
Social and Behavioral Sciences3C3
Elective 3
 Total Credits 30
Select one course from the following: 5
General Physics I (GT-SC1)3A 
Physics for Scientists and Engineers I (GT-SC1)3A 
Select one course from the following: 3-4
Microbial Physiology  
Microbial Genetics  
Select one course from the following: 4
Principles of Human Physiology  
Fundamentals of Physiology  
Concentration Electives (See list below) 8
Advanced Writing23
Arts and Humanities3B3
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion1C3
 Total Credits 29-30
MIP 351Medical Bacteriology4B3
MIP 420Medical and Molecular Virology4A4
Select one course from the following: 2-3
Capstone in Microbiology: Medical Microbiology4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Biotechnology4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Immunology4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Microbial Diversity/Ecology4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Microbial Genetics4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Virology4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Service Learning4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Prion Biology4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Mycobacterial Biology4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Big Data Sets in Microbiology4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Parasitology4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Microbiome Biology4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Vector Biology4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Environmental Sustainability Health Science4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Pathology of Infectious Disease4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Veterinary Microbiology4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: One Health4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Food Microbiology4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Biofilm Biology4C 
Select one course from the following: 3
Introduction to Applied Statistical Methods  
Introduction to Biostatistics  
Arts and Humanities3B3
Concentration Electives (See list below) 7
Electives2 6-9
 Total Credits 29-31
 Program Total Credits: 120

Concentration Electives 

Select a minimum of 18 credits from the following not taken elsewhere in the program. CHEM 343 may count as a Concentration Elective for students who select organic chemistry Group B in the Sophomore year.
A minimum of two laboratory courses MUST be selected from the following:
Introduction to Research Methods
Food Microbiology Laboratory
Immunology Laboratory
Medical Bacteriology Laboratory
Laboratory Research Methods in Microbiology
Virology and Cell Culture Laboratory
Microbial Ecology Laboratory
Parasitology and Vector Biology
Microbial and Molecular Genetics Laboratory
Two unique courses (for a maximum of 6 credits) may be selected from the following:
Introductory Research
Supervised College Teaching
Independent Study
ANEQ 460Meat Safety2
BC 404Comprehensive Biochemistry Laboratory2
BC 463Molecular Genetics3
BMS 301Human Gross Anatomy5
BMS 302Laboratory in Principles of Physiology2
BMS 305Domestic Animal Gross Anatomy4
BMS 325Cellular Neurobiology3
BMS 330Microscopic Anatomy4
BMS 345Functional Neuroanatomy4
BMS 401Laboratory Research in Biomedical Sciences4
BMS 420Cardiopulmonary Physiology3
BMS 450Pharmacology3
BMS 460Essentials of Pathophysiology3
BSPM 302Applied and General Entomology2
BZ 220Introduction to Evolution3
BZ 310Cell Biology4
BZ 333Introductory Mycology4
BZ 350Molecular and General Genetics4
BZ 360Bioinformatics and Genomics4
BZ 418Ecology of Infectious Diseases4
CHEM 334Quantitative Analysis Laboratory1
CHEM 335Introduction to Analytical Chemistry3
CHEM 343Modern Organic Chemistry II 13
ERHS 220Environmental Health3
ERHS 320Environmental Health--Water Quality3
ERHS 332Principles of Epidemiology3
ERHS 340Cancer Biology, Medicine, and Society2
ERHS 350Principles of Occupational Safety and Health3
ERHS 410Environmental Health-Air and Waste Management3
ERHS 430Human Disease and the Environment3
ERHS 446Environmental Toxicology3
ERHS 448Environmental Contaminants3
ERHS 502Fundamentals of Toxicology3
ERHS 567Cell and Molecular Toxicology Techniques3
FTEC 360Brewing Processes4
FTEC 460Brewing Science II4
FTEC 574Current Issues in Food Safety2
LIFE 103Biology of Organisms-Animals and Plants (GT-SC1)4
LIFE 201BIntroductory Genetics: Molecular/Immunological/Developmental (GT-SC2)3
LIFE 203Introductory Genetics Laboratory2
LIFE 210Introductory Eukaryotic Cell Biology3
LIFE 211Introductory Cell Biology Honors Recitation1
LIFE 212Introductory Cell Biology Laboratory2
LIFE 320Ecology3
MATH 155Calculus for Biological Scientists I (GT-MA1)4
MATH 160Calculus for Physical Scientists I (GT-MA1)4
MIP 303General Microbiology--Honors Recitation1
MIP 315Pathology of Human and Animal Disease3
MIP 334Food Microbiology3
MIP 400ACapstone in Microbiology: Medical Microbiology2
MIP 400BCapstone in Microbiology: Biotechnology2
MIP 400CCapstone in Microbiology: Immunology2
MIP 400DCapstone in Microbiology: Microbial Diversity/Ecology2
MIP 400ECapstone in Microbiology: Microbial Genetics2
MIP 400FCapstone in Microbiology: Virology2
MIP 400GCapstone in Microbiology: Service Learning2
MIP 400HCapstone in Microbiology: Prion Biology2
MIP 400ICapstone in Microbiology: Mycobacterial Biology2
MIP 400JCapstone in Microbiology: Big Data Sets in Microbiology2
MIP 400KCapstone in Microbiology: Parasitology2
MIP 400LCapstone in Microbiology: Microbiome Biology2
MIP 400MCapstone in Microbiology: Vector Biology2
MIP 400NCapstone in Microbiology: Environmental Sustainability & Health Science2
MIP 400OCapstone in Microbiology: Pathology of Infectious Disease2
MIP 400PCapstone in Microbiology: Veterinary Microbiology2
MIP 400QCapstone in Microbiology: One Health2
MIP 400RCapstone in Microbiology: Food Microbiology2
MIP 400SCapstone in Microbiology: Biofilm Biology2
MIP 410Foundations of Modern Biotechnology2
MIP 432/ESS 432Microbial Ecology3
MIP 443Microbial Physiology4
MIP 450Microbial Genetics3
MIP 496Group Study1-3
MIP 530Advanced Molecular Virology4
MIP 540Fundamentals of Biosafety and Biosecurity2
MIP 555Principles and Mechanisms of Disease3
MIP 563Biology of Disease Vectors3
MIP 570Functional Genomics3
OT 215Medical Terminology1
PH 122General Physics II (GT-SC1)5
SOCR 330Principles of Genetics3
SOCR 455Microbiomes of Soil Systems3
SOCR 456Soil Microbiology Laboratory1
VS 331Histology4
VS 333Domestic Animal Anatomy4

CHEM 343 may count as a Concentration Elective for students who select organic chemistry Group B in the Sophomore year.


Select enough elective credits to bring the program total to a minimum of 120 credits, of which at least 42 must be upper-division (300- to 400-level).

Distinctive Requirements for Degree Program:
To Declare Major: competitive entry controls required and capped enrollment in place. Please contact Director of Student Success in the CVMBS Student Success Center for more information.

To prepare for first semester: The curriculum for the microbiology and infectious disease concentration assumes students enter college prepared to take MATH 124. Entering students who are not prepared to take MATH 124 will need to prerequisite requirements in the first semester. Those requirements are listed as benchmark courses in Freshman Semester 1 below. LIFE 102 requires high school chemistry as a prerequisite; CHEM 111 requires Algebra II as a prerequisite (this prerequisite is met by having Algebra II by test credit, transfer credit, or placement out of MATH 117 and MATH 118 on Math Placement Exam).

Semester 1CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CHEM 111General Chemistry I (GT-SC2)X 3A4
CHEM 112General Chemistry Lab I (GT-SC1)X 3A1
CO 150College Composition (GT-CO2)  1A3
LIFE 102Attributes of Living Systems (GT-SC1)X 3A4
VMBS 100Introduction to Biomedical Sciences Major   2
Select 0-1 credits from the following:   0-1
College Algebra in Context II (GT-MA1)  1B 
Logarithmic and Exponential Functions (GT-MA1) X1B 
Numerical Trigonometry (GT-MA1)  1B 
Analytic Trigonometry (GT-MA1)  1B 
MATH 124 must be completed by the end of Semester 1, if necessary.X   
 Total Credits   14-15
Semester 2CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CHEM 113General Chemistry IIX  3
CHEM 114General Chemistry Lab IIX  1
MIP 250Eukaryotic Microbiology   3
MIP 260The World of ParasitesX  3
Select 2-4 credits from the following:   2-4
Logarithmic and Exponential Functions (GT-MA1)  1B 
Numerical Trigonometry (GT-MA1)  1B 
Analytic Trigonometry (GT-MA1)  1B 
Calculus for Biological Scientists I (GT-MA1)  1B 
Calculus for Physical Scientists I (GT-MA1)  1B 
Elective   3
CO 150 must be completed by the end of semester 2.X   
3-4 credits of MATH must be completed by the end of semester 2.X   
MATH 125 must be completed by the end of semester 2.X   
 Total Credits   15-17
Semester 3CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
MIP 300General MicrobiologyX  3
MIP 302General Microbiology LaboratoryX  2
Select one group from the following:   3-5
Group A: (5 credits)    
Fundamentals of Organic ChemistryX   
Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry LaboratoryX   
Group B: (3 credits)    
Modern Organic Chemistry I    
Social and Behavioral Sciences  3C3
Elective   3
 Total Credits   14-16
Semester 4CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
BC 351Principles of Biochemistry X 4
MIP 342ImmunologyX  4
Select the same Group (A or B) as selected Semester 3:   3-5
Group A: (3 credits)    
Concentration Elective (See list on Requirements Tab)
Group B: (5 credits)    
Modern Organic Chemistry II    
Modern Organic Chemistry Laboratory    
Historical Perspectives  3D3
 Total Credits   14-16
Semester 5CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
Select MIP 450 Semester 5 if MIP 443 will not be taken Semester 6:   0-3
Microbial Genetics    
Select one course from the following:   5
General Physics I (GT-SC1)XX3A 
Physics for Scientists and Engineers I (GT-SC1)X 3A 
Concentration Electives (See list on Requirements Tab)   5
Diversity, Equity, and InclusionX 1C3
 Total Credits   13-16
Semester 6CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
Select MIP 443 Semester 6 if MIP 450 was not taken Semester 5:   0-4
Microbial Physiology    
Select one course from the following:   4
Principles of Human Physiology    
Fundamentals of Physiology    
Concentration Electives (See list on Requirements Tab)   3
Advanced Writing  23
Arts and Humanities  3B3
Select MIP 450 (Fall) or MIP 443 (Spring) by end of semester 6.X   
 Total Credits   13-17
Semester 7CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
MIP 420Medical and Molecular VirologyX 4A4
Select one AUCC 4C course from the following:X 4C2-3
Capstone in Microbiology: Medical Microbiology  4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Biotechnology  4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Immunology  4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Microbial Diversity/Ecology  4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Microbial Genetics  4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Virology  4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Service Learning  4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Prion Biology  4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Mycobacterial Biology  4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Big Data Sets in Microbiology  4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Parasitology  4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Microbiome Biology  4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Vector Biology  4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Environmental Sustainability Health Science  4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Pathology of Infectious Disease  4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Veterinary Microbiology  4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: One Health  4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Food Microbiology  4C 
Capstone in Microbiology: Biofilm Biology  4C 
Research  4C 
Select one from the following:   3
Introduction to Applied Statistical Methods    
Introduction to Biostatistics    
Concentration Elective (See list on Requirements Tab)   2
Arts and Humanities  3B3
 Total Credits   14-15
Semester 8CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
MIP 351Medical BacteriologyX 4B3
Concentration Electives (See list on Requirements Tab)X  5
ElectivesX  6-9
The benchmark courses for the 8th semester are the remaining courses in the entire program of study.X   
 Total Credits   14-17
 Program Total Credits:   120