Undergraduate Program in Microbiology

We offer a comprehensive and diverse curriculum using state-of-the-art education tools.

  • I know what that is

    Students learn scientific concepts through hands-on experience which facilitates a deeper understanding of science in one of the department's teaching labs. Here students have the opportunity to participate in inquiry and discovery-based projects specifically designed to hone their skills and broaden their knowledge base in all areas of microbiology. Read more »

  • 2012 Goldwater Scholar, Benjamin Waldman and mentor Professor Steven Sandler

    Interesting Phenotypes

    You don't have to be a graduate student to contribute to research. 2012 Goldwater Scholar, Benjamin Waldman and mentor Professor Steven Sandler explore the microscopic phenotypes of recombination mutants, through high definition microscopy and customized software developed by the lab. Read more »

  • Undergraduates culturing, isolating and identifying unknown microbes.

    Identifying Unknowns

    Dr. Erika Hamilton carefully walks microbiology undergrads through the multistep process of culturing, isolating and identifying unknown microbes from a multi-organism mixture. This type of practical learning environment sets our students apart as they explore the frontiers of microbiological science in a fun and engaging classroom setting. Read more »

  • Undergraduate research is a student-faculty collaboration

    Professor, graduate and undergraduate students in the Burand lab collaborate on research which enables each student to explore a project of interest to them and later communicate the results to others at the departmental, university-wide and national stage. Read more »

Undergraduate Program Overview

Join the Microbiology Major!

We are a small major that allows you to explore molecular biology, cellular biology, genetics, immunology, biotechnology, ecology, and evolution within the context of microorganisms and the immense impact they have on our world. Please check out our videos to hear about the major from the perspective of our students and alums.

Why Choose Microbiology?

About the Major

Interested in Our Major?

For undergraduate advising or to change your major to Microbiology, students can book an appointment online with an academic advisor. To learn more, login to Navigate, then find Microbiology under Advising > Explore How to Declare or Change Major > Microbiology.


To obtain additional information about our programs, visit the on-line Guide to Undergraduate Programs.

The Department of Microbiology offers undergraduates both a major and minor in microbiology. We also offer a Fifth Year Master's Program exclusively for our microbiology majors. 

Microbiology Major

The curriculum for students majoring in microbiology includes a broad background and education in the sciences, including chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics as well as specific, focused training in the field of microbiology. Majors complete 35 credits in microbiology departmental courses, with offerings in general microbiology, molecular and microbial genetics, immunology, virology, microbial physiology, pathogenic bacteriology, biotechnology and microbial ecology. For more information, see specific requirements for a major in microbiology.

In addition to coursework, students are strongly encouraged to participate in independent research projects with individual faculty members. Students also obtain valuable experience by participating in summer internship and co-operative education programs.

Microbiology Minor

A minor in microbiology is available to undergraduates and requires completion of 15 credits in microbiology in courses numbered higher than 300. Students must include MICBIO 310 - General Microbiology and MICBIO 265 - Intro to Microbiology Lab in those 15 credits. Anyone interested in completing a minor should meet with a faculty advisor to plan their program.

Departmental Honors

A Departmental Honors Track is available in Microbiology and requires an overall cumulative grade point average of 3.4 and at least sophomore standing in Commonwealth College. Application to the program is made through an interview with the Departmental Honors Coordinator. Upon admission to the program, the Honors Coordinator will assist the student in finding a research sponsor from among the faculty. For more information on the Departmental Honors Track, see the required course work listing.

Microbiology Club

Whether you're a microbiology major or you're just interested in microbiology, check out the Microbiology Club to connect with students and professors!