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Undergraduate Course Catalog 2008-2009

College of Life Sciences and Agriculture


Microbiology (MICR)


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Chairperson: Aaron B. Margolin
Professor: Aaron B. Margolin, Thomas G. Pistole, Frank G. Rodgers
Research Professor: Michael P. Lesser
Associate Professor: Louis S. Tisa
Assistant Professor: Vaughn Cooper, Cheryl A. Whistler
Affiliate Assistant Professor: Stephen D. Torosian
Clinical Assistant Professor: Elise R. Sullivan

Microbiology explores the world of organisms too small to be seen with the unaided eye. The primary emphasis in the Department of Microbiology is on prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea) and viruses. The curriculum provides basic familiarity with microorganisms, their interactions with other life forms (including humans), and their roles in natural systems and processes.

Baccalaureate degree holders in microbiology secure positions in industry (food and beverage, pharmaceutical, bioproducts, etc.); in city, state, and federal agencies (public health, environmental quality, regulatory, etc.); or in universities or research institutes.

The Department of Microbiology offers programs of study leading to the bachelor of science degree. Microbiology is widely recognized as being both a basic life science and a highly pragmatic applied science. The curriculum within the microbiology program is intended to accommodate the diverse needs of potential students. It provides solid training for individuals intending to enter the workforce or to pursue graduate education in the biological sciences, biomedicine, or biotechnology. It also provides for entry into professional programs such as dentistry, human medicine, or, with little additional preparation, veterinary medicine. The curriculum is appropriate for students planning to enter the workforce immediately upon graduation, as research technicians, applied scientists, or in sales or marketing positions in the life sciences or biotechnological industry. The curriculum is also appropriate for transfer students and those planning to pursue a degree in business, including the M.B.A., for careers in managing diagnostic laboratories or in hospital administration.

Other microbiology-related courses offered in the following programs may be taken with an adviser’s permission: animal sciences, biochemistry and molecular biology, plant biology, civil engineering, zoology, or medical laboratory science. Courses in these areas are reviewed periodically by the microbiology faculty to ascertain their suitability for microbiology majors.

Special Problems in Microbiology (MICR 795) is available by permission and allows students the opportunity to conduct semi-independent research projects in conjunction with departmental faculty. Up to 4 credits of Problems in Microbiology may be applied to major requirements, although students may enroll for additional hours. Students must receive a minimum grade of C in major requirements (e.g., microbiology). A passing grade in major requirements taught outside the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture (e.g., chemistry, math, or physics) is acceptable.

Students planning to attend graduate or postgraduate professional school or to apply for certification as registered microbiologists through the American Society for Microbiology are strongly advised to take a course in quantitative analysis (CHEM 517-518).

Individuals considering a major in microbiology are strongly encouraged to enroll in MICR 503 and organic chemistry in their sophomore year. Requirements in the biology core curriculum may be deferred until the subsequent year, if necessary.

Students may obtain a minor in microbiology by successfully completing MICR 503 and four additional departmental courses totaling a minimum of 20 credits at the 600 or 700 level. Students must receive a minimum grade of C in major requirements taught in the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture (e.g., microbiology, biology, or biochemistry). BCHM 658/659 may be substituted for one of these courses. A maximum of 4 credits of Problems in Microbiology may be applied to the minor.

Microbiology Curriculum
The microbiology Bachelor of Science degree is satisfied by students taking seven microbiology courses totaling a minimum of 28 credit hours at a grade of C or above.  Students are required to take the microbiology core (5 classes) and a minimum of two microbiology electives.  Additionally, students must also satisfy the general biology core requirements.

Microbiology Core
MICR 503, General Microbiology
MICR 602, Pathogenic Microbiology
MICR 704, Genetics of Prokaryotic Microbes
MICR 717, Microbial Physiology
A microbial ecology course (this requirement may be fulfilled by taking either MICR 707, MICR 713, or NR 706

MICR 711, Genomics and Bioinformatics
MICR 718, Ethics and Issues in Microbiology
MICR 751, Cell Culture
MICR 702, Infectious Disease and Health
MICR 706, Virology (and 708, Laboratory)
MICR 714, Public Health and Waterborne Diseases
MICR 705, Immunology
MICR 707, Marine Microbiology
MICR 713, Microbial Ecology & Evolution
NR 706, Soil Ecology
MICR 600, Field Experience
MICR 603, Bacteriology of Food (UNHM)
MLS 720/721, Mycology, Parasitology, and Virology
MICR 795, Problems in Microbiology

Biology Core
BIOL 411-412, Principles of Biology I and II
CHEM 403-404, General Chemistry
CHEM 651/653 Organic Chemistry
CHEM 545/546
BCHM 658/659 General Biochemistry
BCHM 751-752, Principles of BCHM with BCHM 755 (lab)
PHYS 401-402, Introduction to Physics I and II
MATH, 424B, Calculus for Life Sciences,
MATH 425 (BIOL 528, or equivalent statistics)
BIOL 604, Principles of Genetics

1.  MICR 795 can be taken for 3-4 credits over 1-2 semester.  Maximum of 4 credits can be applied as one of Microbiology required courses, and it must be a lab experience.  Faculty permission is required.

2.  MICR 600 Field Experience (must be 3-4 credits for meeting major requirements; maximum of 4 credits toward major).  The following criteria must be met:

3.  For students transferring into the microbiology major, the equivalent of two semesters of a laboratory biological science may be accepted with microbiology faculty approval.

4.  Premedical and other pre-health students should take one year of organic chemistry.  

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