Microbiology major (Fall 2005 through Summer 2008)

Microbiology (B.S.)

Effective Fall 2005 through Summer 2008 

May be elected as an interdepartmental major, supervised by the Microbiology Major Committee

Microbiology includes the study of viruses, algae, bacteria, protozoa, and fungi. Immunobiology is also included within the science of microbiology. A major in microbiology prepares students for graduate study in microbiology, biochemistry, agricultural science, and food science as well as for study in other areas of biology which emphasize cellular structures and their function. A bachelor"s degree in microbiology may qualify students for entry-level positions in medical, industrial, or governmental laboratories.

Students intending to go to graduate school should have at least two terms of research experience. These can appear as graded courses, UROP participation, or be independent of the graded curriculum. Most graduate school-bound students will have 1-2 graded research courses (2-4 credits/each) on record. Students intending to go to graduate school will need research experience as well as two terms of Calculus and two terms of Physics. Students intending to go to medical school will need to take two terms of Physics and CHEM 230.

Prerequisites to the Major.

  • BIOLOGY 171, 172 and 173; or BIOLOGY 195 and BIOLOGY 173; or BIOLOGY 162; or BIOLOGY 163;
  • CHEMISTRY 210/211 and CHEMISTRY 215/216;
  • MATH 115 and 116;
  • PHYSICS 125/127 and 126/128; or PHYSICS 135/141 and 235/241; or PHYSICS 140/141 and 240/241.

The PHYSICS 140/141 and 240/241 sequence is recommended for students interested in an Honors major and for those who anticipate graduate work in the field of microbiology.


Program of study in a major

  1. Core:
    1. BIOLOGY 207.
    2. Biochemistry. One of: BIOLOGY 310 or 311, BIOLCHEM 415 or 451 (when elected with BIOLCHEM 452), or CHEM 451 (when elected with CHEM 452).
    3. Advanced laboratory: MCDB 306, 429, or BIOLCHEM 416.
    4. Genetics: BIOLOGY 305.
  2. Specified Electives (minimum 19 credits). A minimum of eleven credits must be selected from Groups 1 and 2 which must include at least two courses from Group 1 and one course from Group 2. The remaining eight credits may be selected from Groups 1, 2, or 3.
    1. Group 1 - Microbial Genetics, Physiology, Cellular
      Biology, Diversity and Ecology:
      • MCDB 415, 432, 589
      • EEB 315, 470
      • MICRBIOL 460/ INTMED 460.
    2. Group 2 - Microbial Pathogenesis, General Virology & Immunology:
      • MICRBIOL 405, 415;
      • EPID 460;
      • MICRBIOL 440 or MCDB 436.
    3. Group 3 - Advanced Electives. A maximum of eight credits from the courses listed below may be applied toward a Microbiology major.
      1. Advanced Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Cellular Biology:
        MCDB 427, 428
        MCDB 411 or CHEM 452.
      2. Ecology:
        EEB 476, EEB 483.
      3. Microbiology & Immunology:
        Any MICRBIOL course at the 500-level or higher (with approval of advisor).
      4. Mathematics:
        Any course with a MATH 116 prerequisite.
      5. Statistics:
        Any STATS course at the 400-level or above.
      6. Research:
      7. MICRBIOL 399

        EEB 400

        MCDB 400 (maximum of 3 credits).

        Note: A maximum of 3 credits of independent research can be applied to the major. A course must be taken for a minimum of two credits and completed in a single term to count as an elective course.  

      8. Other courses with permission of advisor.

Field of Major. For purposes of calculating grade point average, the term "field of the major" means the following:

  1. All BIOLOGY, EEB, MCDB, and Biological Station courses, including cross-listed ones, at the 200-level and above.
  2. All course used to satisfy requirements for the major
  3. All required cognate courses (if any).
  4. All mandatory prerequisites.


Honors Plan.

The Microbiology B.S. degree is the basis for the Honors degree in Microbiology. Students must elect two semesters of independent research, maintain a major GPA of 3.4, complete an Honors thesis and give a research presentation based on their Honors work. Prior to applying to the Microbiology Honors Program, students must identify a research mentor in one of the participating departments. Students may conduct Honors research with faculty in other units on the University of Michigan campus, but must have a formal co-sponsor relationship with a research track or tenure-track faculty in one of the participating departments. Students apply to the Honors Program in Microbiology by submitting a research proposal along with a letter from the research mentor indicating their willingness to sponsor the student"s research.

Using non-LS&A coursework in the Microbiology major.All courses in Biological Chemistry (BIOLCHEM) and Microbiology and Immunology (MICRBIOL) are listed in the Online Schedule of Classes under the Medical School; Epidemiology (EPID) courses are listed under the School of Public Health. Courses not listed in this Bulletin and not cross-listed through an LS&A departmentcount as non-LS&A course work (see "Non-LS&A Course Work" in Chapter III ). BIOLCHEM 415 and 416 are listed in this Bulletin and therefore are not included in the non-LS&A credits which may be applied toward the degree. Majors may elect 20 credits of non-LS&A course work in the minimum 120 required for an A.B. or B.S. degree. Students pursuing a major in microbiology should elect cross-listed courses through the LS&A department whenever possible.


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