College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences2016-2017

Department of Biological Sciences

Microbiology, Bachelor of Science

Ever since Van Leeuwenhoek described the “cavorting wee beasties” seen through his simple 1670s-style microscope, scientists have been fascinated by tiny life forms. This degree allows students to join those who explore the world of bacteria, viruses, mitochondria, neurons, and genetic material. A strong core of biology and chemistry anchors the program, which offers flexibility through a generous selection of approved electives.

Careers

What Can I Do with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology?

Are you interested in infectious disease? Do you want to help conduct clinical trials for new drugs? Microbiology might be the career path for you. You can also use our program to prepare for graduate study, for admission to medical, dental, or veterinary school, or for other professional training.

You'll receive plenty of personal attention from faculty-in the classroom, in research laboratories, and in our Biology Advisement Center. You'll have numerous opportunities, even as an undergraduate, to do research-research that might get you a job in a lab or get you into medical school. Our graduates have exceptional placement rates in medical schools, government agencies, and graduate programs.

Career opportunities that might be pursued:
  • Medical corporations
  • Biological testing laboratories
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • State or federal government agencies

With further education, one of these paths is possible:
  • Physician
  • Researcher
  • Crime lab analyst
  • University professor


University Requirements

  • To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.

    • All of Northern Arizona University's liberal studies, diversity, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
    • At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
    • At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
    • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.
    The full policy can be viewed here.

     

Overview

In addition to University Requirements:

  • At least 71 units of major requirements

  • Up to 9 units of major prefix courses may be used to satisfy Liberal Studies requirements; these same courses may also be used to satisfy major requirements

  • Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units

Please note that you may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 120
Major GPA C
Mathematics Required MAT 125
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Optional
Research Optional
University Honors Program Optional
Progression Plan Link View Progression Plan
Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to communicate scientific information effectively, especially relating to microbiological organisms, and the roles of microbial organisms in ecosystem function and health-related issues
  • Students will be able to collect, analyze and interpret scientific data, including developing a familiarity with microbiology laboratory techniques and safety procedures
  • Students will develop proficiency in the quantitative skills necessary to analyze biological problems (e.g., arithmetic, algebra, dimensional analysis, and statistical analysis as applied to biology), with a knowledge of specialized techniques used in microbiology
  • Students will be able to apply the scientific method as a demonstration that they understand its application furthering our knowledge of the microbial world
  • Students will be able to describe fundamental principles of biology e.g., central dogma, diversity of life, inheritance and how these principles relate to microorganisms
  • Students will be able to describe unique microbial genetic systems (i.e., prokaryotic and viral genomes, lateral gene transfer, plasmid structure and function, etc.)
  • Students will appreciate the biological diversity of microbial forms, and appreciate that this diversity results from evolutionary processes
  • Students will be able to access and interrogate the primary scientific literature and be aware of leading journals in the field of microbiology
  • Students will be able to synthesize material from lower division courses across a biological sub-discipline and apply this to advanced course material (i.e., a Capstone experience); specifically, students will draw from their learning experiences in the fields of microbial ecology & evolution, microbial physiology, bioremediation, immunology, etc., as related to the topic of their capstone course
  • Students will gain familiarity with the unique role of microbes play in genetic modification technologies (i.e., creation of GMOs, industrial applications, gene therapy, etc.)
  • Students will gain familiarity with the role of microbes in human disease, the role of microbes in issues of international health, and the human immune response to microbial infection
  • Students will gain familiarity with the role of microbes in the context of ecosystem function (e.g., microbial ecology, microbiome, etc.)

Details

Major Requirements
    • Select additional coursework from the following (including up to six units of non-BIO prefix courses) (8-9 units):

General Electives
  • Additional coursework is required, if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit. 

    You may take these remaining courses from any academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you. (Please note that you may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.)

Additional Information
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Campus Availability



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