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College of Letters & Science

Medical Microbiology and Immunology

Note: Admission to the major in medical microbiology and immunology is closed to undergraduates and is only available to those individuals who declared the major in spring 2012 or earlier. The information on this page is strictly for those students who already declared the MM&I major.

Application Procedure
Requirements for the Major
Honors in the Major

1332 Microbial Sciences Building, 1550 Linden Drive,Madison, WI 53706-1521; 608-262-7538; www.medmicro.wisc.edu

Professors Bangs, Brandt, Huttenlocher, Keller, Klein, Malkovsky, Mansfield, McFall-Ngai, Paulnock, Ruby, Schell, Weidanz, Welch (chair), Woods; Associate Professors Andes, Dillard, Gumperz, Hull, Knoll, Striker; Senior Lecturers Manning, Schrader; Faculty Associates Franz, Weber

Undergraduate advisors in the major: See the department website

The undergraduate major in medical microbiology and immunology (MM&I) provides a basic theoretical and technical study of the structure, molecular biology, pathogenesis, epidemiology, and laboratory identification of the various microorganisms that cause human disease, as well as the host immune response to them.

MM&I graduates have a variety of career options from which to choose. University and government laboratories, research institutes, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, and diagnostic laboratories are among the list of employers looking for qualified microbiologists. MM&I graduates are employed in settings such as university research laboratories studying the molecular biology of infectious disease and product development laboratories of major pharmaceutical companies.

Many MM&I undergraduates combine the regular course of study with additional courses, such as physics, statistics and calculus, to prepare for graduate and professional school.

Prospective majors should meet with an MM&I advisor in the freshman year to outline a course of study appropriate to their academic needs and professional goals.

Application Procedure

Students wishing to major in medical microbiology and immunology (MM&I) must have declared the major by spring 2012 or earlier.   Admission to the MM&I major requires a grade point average in the following courses:

General Chemistry (Chem 103–104 or Chem 109 or Chem 115–116)

First semester of Organic Chemistry (Chem 343) or Analytical Chem (Chem 327 or Chem 329)

First semester of Introductory Biology (Botany/Zoology 151 or Biocore 301)

See the Medical Microbiology & Immunology Undergraduate Program or the department's website for more information.

Requirements for the Major

Completion of requirements for B.A. or B.S. degree: once admitted to the major, medical microbiology and immunology majors must maintain a GPA sufficient to satisfy the Quality of Work requirement of the College of Letters and Science.

All students must fulfill the L&S requirement of at least 15 credits of upper-level work in the major completed in residence. Courses that count toward this requirement are: MM&I 301, 302, 350, 351, 410, 412, 460, 528, 529, 554, 575, 603, 677, 696, 699; Microbio 470, 545, 612, 640; BMolChem 503, 504; Biochem 501, 612, 620; Genetics 612; Oncology 640; Pl Path 640; Zool 570.

A. Chemistry Requirements

General Chemistry (Chem 103–104; or 109; or 115–116)
Analytical Chemistry (Chem 327 or 329) This is not required of students who successfully complete Chem 116).
Organic Chemistry including lab (Chem 343 and 344 and 345)

B. Biology Requirements

One year Introductory Biology including lab (Botany/Zoology 151–152; or Biocore 301–302, 303–304)
Biology of Microorganisms including laboratory (Microbio 303 and 304)

C. Department Requirements—Medical Microbiology/Biochemistry

MM&I 301 Pathogenic Bacteriology, 2 cr
MM&I 302 Medical Microbiology Laboratory, 3 cr
MM&I 341 Immunology, 3 cr
MM&I 350 Parasitology, 3 cr
MM&I 410 Medical Mycology, 2 cr
MM&I 575 Biology of Viruses, 2 cr
BMolChem 503 Human Biochemistry, 3 cr (or Biochem 501 Introduction to Biochemistry, 3 cr)

D. Laboratory or Research Experience—any 2 credits from the following laboratory classes:

MM&I 351 Parasitology Laboratory, 2 cr
MM&I 412 Medical Mycology Laboratory, 1 cr
MM&I 460 Techniques in DNA Science for Microbiologists, 3 cr
MM&I 529 Immunology Laboratory, 2 cr
MM&I 699 Directed Study (1–3 cr) (maximum of 3 cr can count toward major)
BMolChem 504 Human Biochemistry Laboratory, 2 cr

E. Electives

5 additional credits chosen from the Section D list or from the following, with the guidance of an MM&I advisor.

Medical Microbiology and Immunology

528 Immunology, 3 cr
554 Emerging Infectious Diseases and Bioterrorism, 2 cr
603 Clinical and Public Health Microbiology, 5 cr
677 Advanced Topics in Microbiology, 1–3 cr
696 Critical Thinking in Medical Microbiology & Immunology, 3 cr


470 Microbial Genetics and Molecular Machines, 3 cr
*545 Topics in Biotechnology, 1 cr
*612 Prokaryotic Molecular Biology, 3 cr


323 Organismal Biology, 3 cr


401 Introduction to Experimental Oncology, 2 cr
*640 General Virology—Multiplication of Viruses, 3 cr


466 General Genetics, 3 cr


*620 Eukaryotic Molecular Biology, 2 cr


570 Cell Biology, 3 cr


**301 Introduction to Statistical Methods, 3 cr
**371 Introductory Applied Statistics for the Life Sciences, 3 cr

*Additional prerequisites—check course listing.

**Can also be applied to L&S math requirements.

Elective courses should be planned carefully to complement the student's major and to prepare for specific careers or for graduate study.

Honors in the Major

To earn the BA or BS degree with Honors in Medical Microbiology and Immunology, a student must:

  1. Complete the L&S general degree requirements and MM&I undergraduate degree requirements.
  2. Apply to and be accepted in the MM&I undergraduate degree program.
  3. Declare Honors in the Major by speaking with the undergraduate advisor and completing the Honors in the Major Declaration form available from the L&S Honors Program office.  This form must be signed by the MM&I advisor and submitted to the L&S Honors Program office. Note: the Honors in the Major Declaration form is not the same as the Major Declaration form used to declare a major in the College of Letters and Science. Major declaration forms can be obtained from the academic department offices.
  4. Earn a cumulative grade point of 3.5 in required and elective courses for the major. Required courses that count toward the cumulative grade point are MM&I 301, 302, 341, 350, 410, 575, 2 credits from any lab classes taken, 681, 682, BMolChem 503, and all electives chosen from the MM&I department-approved list.
  5. Maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.3 in all courses taken at UW–Madison.
  6. Successfully complete a senior honors thesis by registering for MM&I 681–682 (total of 6–8 credits). Students should find an MM&I faculty or affiliate faculty mentor for the thesis during their junior year. Faculty in other departments can be considered as MM&I 681–682 mentors; however, the MM&I department chair must approve such requests.