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Cornell University    
 
    
 
  Oct 19, 2017
 
Courses of Study 2017-2018

Microbiology


In Biological Sciences .

Course Offerings  

Microbiology is the study of organisms that are too small to be seen with the unaided eye: 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.

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:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of core concepts of microbiology, including the evolution and diversity of microbes; cell structure and function; metabolism; information flow and the role of microbes in human and non-human ecosystems.
  2. Apply the basic principles of chemistry and quantitative reasoning to solve problems in microbiology.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of hypotheses testing and experimental design.
  4. Display proficiency in basic microbiological skills.
  5. Communicate the fundamental concepts of microbiology, both in written and in oral format.
  6. Analyze, interpret and evaluate a range of scientific literature in microbiology.
  7. Display proficiency in basic bioinformatic skills needed to investigate gene function and search genomes to test functional hypothesis.

Microbiology Requirements


Classes required of all students

The concentration in microbiology requires a minimum of 13 credit hours in addition to the biology requirements.

All students participating in the concentration must take an Introductory Lecture Course (BIOMI 2900 ) as well as an Introductory Laboratory (BIOMI 2911 ) which provides training in basic laboratory skills used by microbiologists. Students must also take a senior seminar class (BIOMI 4900 ) to develop skills in reading the primary literature.

[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.]

Other credits:


The remaining 7 credits may be fulfilled by the student’s choice of the following courses:

The additional 7 credit hours of classes include courses in environmental microbiology, microbial physiology, bacterial diversity, bacterial genetics, microbe-host interactions, virology, marine microbiology, applied microbiology and genomics.  The remaining credit requirements can be fulfilled using any of the courses from the approved list below.

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 take at least 15 credits in microbiology courses.


  • At least 2 courses must be in Basic Microbiology (from Group A) to gain important background in the microbiological sciences.
  • At least 1 course must be in Microbial Ecology and Environmental Microbiology (from Group B)
  • At least 1 course must be in Applied and Pathogenic Microbiology (from Group C).