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Majors in Microbiology


Microbiology begins with the study of bacteria, yeasts, molds, viruses, and parasites - the microbes; how they are isolated, cultivated, and identified. The next level of study considers them as individual living systems, their physiology and genetics. The third level of study, the working level of a modern microbiologist, is concerned with how microbes interact with living and non-living things and how these interactions may be controlled, modified, or expanded. Microbiology is a field whose challenges range from understanding mechanisms of infectious disease to utilizing microorganisms to clean up an environmentally devastating oil spill; from applying biotechnology to produce human insulin in bacterial cells to manipulating bacterial genes for improving agricultural crops and livestock; from stimulating our immune rejection of tumor cells to replacing hazardous chemicals with insecticidal viruses.

B.S. and A.B degree programs in Microbiology

Our Bachelor of Arts degree is designed to be flexible, and yet provide disciplinary breadth for pre-professional students and students interested in an entry-level career in microbiology, the life or health sciences, or environmental sciences. It consists of:

  • a set of core courses
  • focus groups from which students choose electives to provide breadth -
    (biomedical, integrated and advanced core courses)

Our Bachelor of Science degree is designed to provide more in-depth study, particularly in preparation for pursuit of a graduate degree in microbiology and related fields, and careers in research. As part of this preparation, students are required to conduct independent research leading to public presentation of their results. It consists of:

  • a larger set of core courses
  • focus groups from which students choose electives to provide depth -
    (lecture/lab courses, research courses, additional disciplinary courses)
  • an additional semester of math

Course Selection and Requirements for the Microbiology Majors

To provide a more comprehensive view of the Microbiology majors, the Miami Plan, College, and Department requirements have been combined into one document, which indicates the semester schedules taken by most of our students to complete these requirements. The required and recommended courses in science are specifically noted because many of them must be taken in sequence, and some of them may be offered only once a year. To fulfill the Miami Plan requirements (MPF) and college requirements (CAS) you will take a certain number of credit hours from several categories of courses. The program is designed to:

  1. provide a balanced background for the modern microbiologist, and
  2. permit additional study in the area of your special interest.

Progress towards fulfillment of the requirements for the A.B. degree in Microbiology and the B.S. degree in Microbiology is provided online for each student (and their advisor) through their Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS).

Degree requirements for Microbiology

Your requirements for the degree are governed by the year of your admission to Miami University. Since the department recently revised the curriculum, there are two sets of course requirements for the A.B degree in Microbiology, and another set for the B.S. in Microbiology

Students who enrolled prior to 2011 may elect to change to the B.S. degree or the revised A.B. degree by filling out a "Change of Major" form in the Microbiology office.

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This document was last modified on: Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 15:00:28