In Biological Sciences .
Microbiology is the study of organisms that are too small to be seen with the unaided eye: prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea), viruses, and unicellular eukaryotes.
Microorganisms thrive in every corner of the world, from Antarctic ice (< 0 degrees C) to deep-sea thermal vents (> 100 degrees C); from the gastrointestinal tracts and skin of animals to the root nodules of leguminous plants; from sewage treatment plants to pristine lakes and streams. To study microbiology is to pursue the breadth of biology, as microorganisms provide experimental material for understanding physiology; cell structure and function; biochemistry; molecular biology; photosynthesis; ecology; evolution; genetics; development; and even simple behavioral responses and “memory.” Studies with microorganisms continue to lay the foundation for molecular genetics, recombinant DNA research, biotechnology, environmental sciences, human health and many areas of biochemistry.
All students participating in the concentration must take an Introductory Lecture Course as well as an Introductory Laboratory which provides training in basic laboratory skills used by microbiologists. Additional classes that can be used to fulfill the credit requirement for the concentration reflect current areas of research in microbiology as well as the research interests of the faculty in the Department of Microbiology. These offerings include courses in environmental microbiology, microbial physiology, bacterial diversity, bacterial genetics, microbe-host interactions, virology, marine microbiology, advanced laboratory skills, applied microbiology and genomics. One of these classes must come from a designated list that includes courses dealing with core concepts in microbiology. The remaining credit requirements can be fulfilled using any of the courses from the approved lists.
The Microbiology concentration provides excellent preparation for graduate study in many areas of biological science, as well as for professional study in medical, veterinary, or dental school. Graduates with bachelor’s degrees can pursue careers in biotechnology or industrial microbiology, environmental microbiology, clinical microbiology, food microbiology, or pharmaceutical microbiology, and can also work as technicians in university, government, industrial, or hospital research laboratories.
Microbiology Concentration Curriculum Learning Objectives
After completing the Concentration in Microbiology, students should be able to:
- Explain core concepts of microbiology, including the evolution and diversity of microbes; cell structure and function; metabolism; information flow and the role of microbes in ecosystems.
- Apply the basic principles of chemistry and quantitative reasoning to solve problems in microbiology.
- Develop hypotheses and design experiments to test those hypotheses.
- Display proficiency in basic microbiological skills.
- Communicate the fundamental concepts of microbiology, both in written and in oral format.
- Analyze, interpret and evaluate a range of scientific literature in microbiology.
- Use basic bioinformatic tools to search genomes and to investigate gene function.
Classes required of all students
The concentration in microbiology requires a minimum of 13 credit hours in addition to the biology requirements. [NOTE: although BIOMI 2900 has a 4 credit option, students in the concentration may only apply 3 credits of BIOMI 2900 towards satisfying the concentration requirements.]
In addition, ONE of the Group A courses is also required. If desired, a student may take more than one of the Group A courses to fulfill the credit hour requirement.
Group B classes can be used to fulfill the credit-hour requirement but cannot be used to fulfill the Introductory or Group A course requirements:
Minor in Microbial Science
Structure of the Minor in Microbial Sciences
The minor in microbial sciences is intended for students who are either not enrolled in the Biology Major or who are taking a concentration other than Microbiology within the Biology Major. Students must complete an Introductory Course in Microbiology to gain important background in microbiological sciences. Next, students must take a course in Microbial Biology (Group A) to equip them with knowledge of microbial physiology, genetics, and genomics. Students must then take one course each from two general areas of microbiological research: Microbial Ecology, Diversity and Environmental Microbiology (Group B) and Applied and Pathogenic Microbiology (Group C). Students must also take a microbiology laboratory course.
Students must satisfy a total of 15 credits in microbiology courses (which must come from at least 1 introductory course and one course in each of Groups A – C).
Introductory Courses (1 course required):
Group A - Biology of Microorganisms (1 course required):
Group B - Microbial Ecology, Diversity and Environmental Microbiology (1 course required):
Group C - Applied and Pathogenic Microbiology (1 course required):
Laboratory Courses (1 laboratory course required):
BIOMI 2900 is a prerequisite for advanced classes in Microbiology; students wishing to take the minor who enroll in BIOMI 1120 should also take BIOMI 2900 .