College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
1322 Microbial Sciences Building, 1550 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706; 608-262-2914; www.bact.wisc.edu
Professors Gourse (chair), Donohue, Downs, Escalante-Semerena, Filutowicz, Forest, Goodrich-Blair, Jeffries, Johnson, Kaspar, Keller (Medical Microbiology and Immunology), Landick, Mansfield, Roberts, Wong; Associate Professors Barclay, Currie, Hammel, McMahon (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Thomas, Wassarman, Weimer, Yu; Assistant Professor Suen
Contact Katy France, Student Services Coordinator, 262-2975, firstname.lastname@example.org, for information about the undergraduate program, declaring the microbiology major, career opportunities, and advisor assignments.
Microorganisms are the oldest life forms on earth and impact our lives and the well being of the planet in innumerable ways. The field of microbiology has become even more prominent in recent years because of increased concerns about bioterrorism, infectious disease, and environmental manipulation. The microbiology major offered by the Department of Bacteriology provides training in broad aspects of microbiology with emphasis on 21st-century laboratory skills.
Core courses focus on the diversity, genetics, biochemistry, and physiology of microorganisms. A variety of elective courses provide the opportunity to study environmental microbiology, microbial ecology, food microbiology, host-parasitic interactions, microbial pathogenesis, immunology, virology, fermentation, and microbial biotechnology. Instructional laboratory courses provide hands-on experience with modern techniques and equipment. Students have many opportunities for independent research projects in faculty laboratories.
The bachelor's degree provides a strong background in the biological sciences for students planning to enter medical, dental, veterinary or other professional schools, as well as those planning graduate studies in any branch of microbiology or other biological sciences such as molecular or cell biology.
Students who end their training with a bachelor's degree are well prepared for a wide variety of career opportunities, including laboratory positions in pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms and in university and government laboratories. They also work as specialists in industrial quality testing and control, and as regulatory workers in government agencies and public health laboratories. Exposure to the scientific process and training in microbiology itself allow microbiology graduates to enter fields as diverse as business, technical service, sales, or technical writing.
Requirements for the Microbiology Major
The department offers an undergraduate major for students in both the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) and the College of Letters and Science (L&S). Students completing the microbiology major in CALS are certified for a Bachelor of Science degree. The basic requirements include one year of general biology and Genetics 466 or Biocore 301/303/323 plus two biocore lab courses; one semester of calculus; one semester of statistics; two years of chemistry, including organic and one year of physics.
Students majoring in microbiology complete a minimum of 24 credits, including the core courses—Microbio 303, 304, 305, 450, 470, 526, 527, and 551. The remaining 6 credits can be taken in a variety of electives; up to 3 credits may be fulfilled by specified nonmicrobiology courses. Contact the department for a complete list of electives.
In addition to training in instructional laboratories, microbiology majors are encouraged to complete at least two semesters of independent research as part of the learning experience. Students should consult with an advisor to learn of research opportunities.