Microbiology Bachelor of Science

Students wearing protective gear work in lab. One student holds up a specimen
Students presenting a poster
Exterior of Pearson Hall
Students listen as a professor lectures in the classroom
Microscope stage
A gloved hand is seen performing streaking tasks
A gloved hand is seen performing gram stain tasks
Gloved hands identify unknowns
Students bend over microscopes to view specimens

The requirements for our Bachelor or Science in Microbiology represent our consolidation of the specifics indicated by prospective employers and feedback from graduates into what is reasonable for a good, average student in our baccalaureate program. Our Bachelor of Science degree is designed to provide more in-depth study than the Bachelor of Arts, 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.

Included in this program of study are:

  • 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

The curriculum requires a set of core courses needed by all Microbiology B.S. majors, focus courses that provide more in-depth coverage of disciplines within the field, a research component, and elective courses to complement the students' career objectives.

Suggested Schedule for the B.S. Degree in Microbiology

This schedule integrates requirements for the major, the College of Arts and Science (CAS), and the Miami Plan, and provides a structure for completing them over a 4-year period. The required and recommended courses in the major 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 and CAS requirements, you will take a certain number of credit hours from several categories of courses. Progress towards fulfillment of the requirements for the major is provided online for each student (and their advisor) through their Degree Audit Report (DAR).

All students in the College of Arts and Science must pass satisfy the CAS A requirement for a foreign language, which is to complete a course at the 202 level or higher. Although we have built in a two-year sequence beginning with 101 in our suggested schedule, you may be able to leverage your previous foreign language study in high school, and bypass some of the introductory foreign language coursework. Alternatively, the schedule will accommodate the study of a new language.

Ask your advisor how certain elective courses may contribute to your particular professional goals. Some students will devote their elective course hours to obtain a second major or co-major, such as Chemistry, Spanish or Premedical Studies; other students may use these hours for additional preparation for professional school standardized tests.

First Year Recommended Courses by Semester
Fall Semester Spring Semester
Biological Concepts I: MBI 115 (4) or
Microbial World: MBI 121 and MBI 123 (3,1) or
Elementary Medical Microbiology: MBI 161 (4)
Biological Concepts II: MBI 116 (4)
General Chemistry: CHM 141, 144 (3,2) General Chemistry: CHM 142, 145 (3,2)
Composition and Literature: ENG 111 (3) Miami Plan/ Elective (3)
Foreign Language: 101 (4) Foreign Language: 102 (4)
Introductory Seminar: MBI 147 (1) --

Second year recommended courses by semester
Fall Semester Spring Semester
General Microbiology: MBI 201 (4) Molecular and Cell Biology: MBI 365 (3)
Organic Chemistry: CHM 231 (4) or CHM 241/244 (5) Biochemistry: CHM 332 (3) or CHM 242/245 (5)
Calculus: MTH 151 (5) or Statistics: STA 261 (4) Calculus: MTH 151 (5) or Statistics: STA 261 (4)
Foreign Language: 201 (3) Foreign Language: 202 (3)

Third Year Recommended Courses by Semester
Fall Semester Spring Semester
Microbial Physiology: MBI 425 (4) Microbiology Focus courses* (3-7)
Microbial Genetics: MBI 445 (3)
Physics: PHY 161 (4) or PHY 191 (5)
formerly PHY 171/173 (4) or 181/183 (5)
Physics: PHY 162 (4) or PHY 192 (5)
formerly PHY 172/174 (4) or 182/184 (5)
Miami Plan/ Electives (4-5) Miami Plan/ Electives (5-8)

Fourth Year Recommended Courses by Semester
Fall Semester Spring Semester Fall or Spring Semester
Microbiology Focus/Research courses* (3-7) Microbiology Focus/Research courses* (3-7) Undergraduate Seminar: MBI 490 (1)
Miami Plan/ Electives (8-13) Miami Plan/ Electives (8-13) --

Microbiology B.S. Focus Courses by Semester
Fall Semester Spring Semester Fall or Spring Semester
Immunology Principles & Practice: MBI 415 (4) or Immunology Principles: MBI 414 (3) Medical Bacteriology: MBI 405 (4) Epidemiology: MBI 361 (3)
Note: Not offered every year
-- Human Viruses: MBI 464 (3) --
Structural Genomics: MBI 424 (4)
Note: Not offered every year
Microbial & Molecular Genetics Laboratory: MBI 465 (2) Independent Study: MBI 477.R (2)
Note: Enroll in either Fall, Spring or Summer semester during the senior year
Medical Mycology: MBI 435 (3)
Note: Not offered every year
Microbial Ecology: MBI 475 (4) --
Bacterial Cell Biology: MBI 495 (3)
Not offered every year
Principles of Bioinformatics: MBI 485 (3) --

*Microbiology B.S. Elective Courses by Semester
Fall Semester Spring Semester Fall or Spring Semester
Bacteriophage Biology: MBI 223 (1)
Note: for first-year students only
Bacteriophage Genomics: MBI 224 (1)
Note: for first-year students only
Topics in Microbiology: MBI 250/350/450 (1-4)
Note: Offered only occasionally
Field Ecology: MBI 333 (2)
Note: Not offered every year
Programming in Life Sciences: MBI 256 (3) Senior Internship: MBI 410 (2-4)
Note: enroll in either Fall, Spring or Summer semester during the senior year
Geomicrobiology: MBI 402 (3)
Note: Not offered every year
-- Research Problems: MBI 440 (2-4)
Note: enroll in either Fall, Spring or Summer semester during the senior year
Bioinformatics Computing Skills: MBI 466 (3) -- Departmental Honors: MBI 480 (1-6)
Note: enroll in either Fall, Spring or Summer semester during the senior year

Course Requirements for the B.S. degree in Microbiology (40 hours)

Core Courses, 23 hours

  • Biological Concepts I or Microbial World / Experimenting with Microbes or Elementary Medical Microbiology
  • Biological Concepts II
  • General Microbiology
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Microbial Physiology
  • Microbial Genetics
  • Undergraduate Seminar

Focus Courses, 14 hours minimum

  • Lab Requirement - select at least 2 of these courses:
    • Medical Bacteriology
    • Immunology Principles and Practice
    • Medical Mycology
    • Microbial Ecology
    • Bioinformatics Principles
  • Research Requirement - select one of these courses:
    • Molecular Genetics Laboratory
    • Laboratory Independent Study
    • Structural Genomics
  • Additional Focus Courses:
    • Epidemiology
    • Immunology Principles
    • Human Viruses
    • Bacterial Cellular and Developmental Biology

Elective Courses

  • Additional Microbiology courses at the 200-level or higher (including additional Focus Courses) to complete the 40 required hours

Related science courses, 24-29 hours

  • Calculus
  • Statistics
  • General Chemistry with Lab
  • Organic Chemistry with Lab (2 semesters)
    or Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry and Outlines of Biochemistry
  • Physics with Lab

Note: No Microbiology or required related course may be taken on credit/no credit basis.

Note: Other MBI 100-level courses DO NOT COUNT towards the 40 required hours in Microbiology

Thematic Sequence (9 hours)

  • Students may choose from among any of the thematic sequences offered at Miami University.
  • Students must register for the thematic sequence at the department offering the sequence.

Note: Microbiology majors cannot use a Microbiology thematic sequence to satisfy the requirement.

Microbiology Capstone (3 hours)

Capstone requirements

  • Senior Internship 410 (2) + Undergraduate Seminar 490 (1)
    - or -
  • Library Research 440 (2) + Undergraduate Seminar 490 (1)
    - or -
  • Laboratory Research 477.R (2) + Undergraduate Seminar 490 (1)
    - or -
  • Departmental Honors 480 (2) + Undergraduate Seminar 490 (1)

Detailed description of the Microbiology Capstone

Note: Research Capstone courses require a completed independent study form.

Note: Microbiology majors can satisfy capstone requirements with any capstone offered by Miami University.

Courses suggested as non-microbiology electives for A.B. degree in Microbiology

  • Technical Writing: ENG 313 (3)
  • Analytical Chemistry: CHM 363, 364 (3,2)
  • Additional upper-level Chemistry
  • Personal Computer Applications: CSE 141 (2), with or without
    Computing Skills - Database: CIT 101.D (1)

Note: Students should be competent in computer usage before taking MBI 201.

Please send questions and comments to:
Chief Departmental Advisor

Advising Handbooks and Worksheets

These are available in the department office (212 Pearson Hall), and by email upon request.

  • Microbiology Programs Handbook (PDF 1.5MB)
  • B.S. in Microbiology
    Student/Advisor Worksheet (PDF 50KB)
  • A.B. in Microbiology
    Student/Advisor Worksheet (PDF 50KB)
  • B.S. in Medical Lab
    Science Student/Advisor Worksheet (PDF 50KB)
  • Minor in Molecular Biology
    Student/Advisor Worksheet (PDF 50KB)