Major in Microbiology

Microbiology is the study of microorganisms (bacteria, archaea, protists, fungi) and  viruses. The Department offers a BS in Microbiology with two track options as well as research opportunities to conduct original research and investigate different aspects of microbial structure and function.

Microorganisms were the first living things on earth, and they remain the most abundant and the most diverse of all organisms. They can cause diseases of plants, animals and humans; they play critical roles in biogeochemical cycles and bioremediation; and they are important in the food and biotechnology industries.

As a microbiologist, you will be on the cutting edge of developments in industrial production processes, public health, biotechnology, and drug discovery. To read more about the microbiology profession visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ web site.

Industrial Fermentation and Biotechnology option

In addition to the standard option, we offer the Industrial Fermentation and Biotechnology option within the Microbiology major. This option is jointly offered by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and aims to prepare you for careers in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

To declare a major in Microbiology with a standard or industrial fermentation and biotechnology option, please contact one of the microbiology advisors, or visit us during our Open Advising Days that we hold every semester. It is essential that you consult with a microbiology advisor early to ensure that you are on the right track and to get help in your course selection and planning for graduate school or a career after college.


Honors in the Major

Students in microbiology who meet all of the following criteria are awarded honors in the major upon graduation:

  1. A 3.5 cumulative GPA in all UWM graded credits;
  2. A 3.75 GPA in UWM courses counting toward the microbiology major; and
  3. The completion of laboratory or field research independent study (Bio Sci 697, 698, or 699) or internship (Bio Sci 489).

Students who believe they may qualify for honors should apply to the Department during their last semester of study.