Major in Microbiology

Microbiology is the study of microorganisms (bacteria, archaea, protists, fungi) and viruses. The Department offers a BS in Microbiology with 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, students will be on the cutting edge of developments in public health, industrial production processes, biotechnology, and drug discovery. The Microbiology major prepares students for a variety of careers in the fields of microbiology, virology, molecular biology, biotechnology, and health related professions, for graduate studies in medical microbiology, industrial microbiology, environmental microbiology, microbial biotechnology, and molecular biology, and for professional studies in pharmacy, dentistry, and medicine.

Microbiology Major Sample Four Year Plan – Option 1

Microbiology Major Sample Four Year Plan – Option 2

Microbiology Degree Requirements

The Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Microbiology requires 34 credits. These consist of Bio Sci 150, Bio Sci 152, and 26 credits in courses at or above 300 level (see below for a list of courses approved for the microbiology major). As a Letters & Science student, you are also expected to take additional courses in natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities to satisfy university-wide general education requirements. In addition, you will take classes in formal reasoning, international awareness, and research to satisfy the College of Letters & Science breadth requirements.

To ensure that you fulfill the requirements for the BS degree in microbiology in a timely fashion, it is very important to meet with your Letters & Science advisor and a microbiology faculty advisor at least once a semester to make sure you are on-track. Please note, however, that some classes may fulfill more than one requirement and with early planning, you can save yourself time and money. Declare your major today to be assigned a Microbiology faculty advisor, who will help you prepare your four-year plan.

In order to complete your declaration, you will need to complete Foundations in Biological Sciences I (Bio Sci 150), and pass with a C or better. To initiate your declaration of a Microbiology major, fill out and submit the…

Declaration of Major Form »

You will be contacted by the Departmental Coordinator who will assist you in the process of completing your Declaration of Major/Minor and connecting you with a faculty advisor in your specific area of interest within the Biological Sciences.

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.

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