Arts & Sciences Microbiology (ASC)

Quick points
Attribute Value
College: Arts & Sciences
Degree Offered: Bachelor of Science
Hours Required: 120
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 2.0 for graduation
Minor Available:
Advisor: James Alfano
  1. Intro

Microbiology (ASC)

COLLEGE: Arts & Sciences

MAJOR: Microbiology (ASC)

DEGREE OFFERED: Bachelor of Science


MINIMUM CUMULATIVE GPA: 2.0 for graduation


ADVISOR: James Alfano


Director: Jim Alfano, Department of Plant Pathology and Center for Plant Science Innovation

Advisory Committee: Atkin, School of Biological Sciences; Blum, School of Biological Sciences; Buan, Dept. of Biochemistry; Hutkins, Dept. of Food Science and Technology; Moxley, School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; Zhang, Nebraska Center for Virology and School of Biological Sciences

Academic Advisor: James Alfano


The microbiology major is an interdepartmental major that offers educational opportunities in various areas of microbiology leading to a bachelor of science degree in microbiology. The training offered is suitable for a professional career in microbiology, which may lead to employment in the food industry, clinical microbiology, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals; or federal agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Public Health Service, and Environmental Protection Agency. The program is also suitable as preparation for graduate studies leading to academic careers and professional careers in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, and health-related fields. (Completion of the microbiology baccalaureate degree program does not automatically fulfill the admission requirements for application to a given professional program. Students considering application to a professional program are strongly encouraged to work with their advisor to ensure that admission requirements are met during completion of the microbiology degree.)

Students interested in majoring in microbiology are advised to make an appointment with the academic advisor.

Students concerned about their preparation for college-level biology should take LIFE 120 with an understanding that they will need to use the resource center and plan their time accordingly to allow for increased study time. Please consult your advisor if in doubt.


Core Requirements (13-14 credit hours)

BIOS 312 Microbiology (3 cr)

BIOS 313 Molecular Microbiology Lab (2 cr) or BIOS 314 Microbiology Lab (1 cr)

MBIO 440 Microbial Physiology (BIOS 440) (3 cr)

MBIO 420 Molecular Genetics (BIOS 420) (3 cr)

MBIO 443 Immunology (BIOS 443) (3 cr)

Specific Major Requirements

Natural Sciences (38-42 credit hours)

NOTE: If you plan to take BIOC 431, it will increase your natural sciences hours by 3 credits and put you over the 42 credit hours for natural sciences. Adjustments may need to be made in other areas.

LIFE 120 & LIFE 120L Fundamentals of Biology I & Lab (4 cr)

LIFE 121 & LIFE 121L Fundamentals of Biology II & Lab (4 cr)

BIOS 206 General Genetics (4 cr)

CHEM 109 & CHEM 110 General Chemistry I & II (8 cr) [or CHEM 113 & CHEM 114 Fundamental Chemistry I & II & CHEM 221 Elementary Quantitative Analysis (11 cr)]

If you plan to take BIOC 321 & BIOC 321L, select one sequence from:

CHEM 251 & CHEM 253 Organic Chemistry I & Lab (4 cr)

CHEM 261 & CHEM 263 Organic Chemistry & Lab (5 cr)

CHEM 255 & CHEM 257 Biological Organic Chemistry & Lab (4 cr)

If you plan to take BIOC 431, select one sequence from:

CHEM 251 & CHEM 253 Organic Chemistry I & Lab (4 cr) & CHEM 252 Organic Chemistry II (3 cr)

CHEM 261 & CHEM 263 Organic Chemistry & Lab (5 cr) & CHEM 262 Organic Chemistry (3 cr)

PHYS 141 & PHYS 142 Elementary General Physics I & II (10 cr) [or PHYS 211 & PHYS 221 General Physics I & Lab (5 cr) & PHYS 212 & PHYS 222 General Physics II & Lab (5 cr)]

BIOC 321 & BIOC 321L Elements of Biochemistry & Lab (4 cr) or BIOC 431 Structure and Metabolism (BIOS 431/CHEM 431) (3 cr)

NOTE: BIOS 207 Ecology and Evolution is also recommended for students specializing in Applied, Environmental, and Plant Microbiology or who are interested in epidemiology.

Mathematics and Statistics (8 credit hours)

MATH 106 Calculus I (5 cr)

STAT 218 Introduction to Statistics (3 cr) (or one of EDPS 459, ECON 215, STAT 380)

Microbiology Electives

(12-18 credit hours, a minimum of 12 hours from the list below)

BIOC 432 Metabolism & Biological Information (BIOS 432/CHEM 432) (3 cr)

BIOC 433 Biochemistry Lab (BIOS 433/CHEM 433) (2 cr)

BIOC 437 Research Techniques in Biochemistry (BIOS 437) (4 cr)

BIOC 442 Computational Biology (STAT 442) (3 cr)

BIOS 302 Cell Biology (3 cr)

BIOS 303 Molecular Biology (3 cr)

BIOS 326 Biology of Viruses (3 cr)

BIOS 402 Cancer Biology (3 cr)

BIOS 407 Biology of Cells & Organelles (3 cr)

BIOS 426 Systems Biology (3 cr)

BIOS 444 Geomicrobiology (GEOL 444) (3 cr)

BIOS 447 Soil Microbiology (AGRO 460/NRES 460/SOIL 460) (3 cr)

BIOS 477 Bioinformatics & Molecular Evolution (3 cr)

BIOS 487 Field Parasitology (4 cr)

BIOS 497 Environmental Microbiology (3 cr)

FDST 405 Food Microbiology (BIOS 445) (3 cr)

FDST 406 Food Microbiology Lab (BIOS 446) (2 cr)

FDST 415 Molds & Mycotoxins in Food, Feed, & the Human Environment (3 cr)

FDST 455 Microbiology of Fermented Foods (2 cr)

FDST 455L Microbiology of Fermented Foods Lab (offered even years only) (1 cr)

PLPT 369 Introductory Plant Pathology (BIOS 369) (3 cr)

PLPT 369L Introductory Plant Pathology Lab (1 cr)

PLPT 370 Biology of Fungi (AGRO 370/HORT 370) (3 cr)

VBMS 303 Principles & Prevention of Livestock Diseases (3 cr)

VBMS 408 Functional Histology (BIOS 408) (4 cr)

VBMS 424 Basic Molecular Infectious Diseases (offered odd years only) (3 cr)

VBMS 441 Pathogenic Microbiology (BIOS 441) (3 cr)

Within the same subject matter area, students may request substitution for an elective course at the 300 level or above.

Minimum Credit Hours for Graduation – 120 cr

Program Assessment. To gauge the effectiveness of the program, majors within their senior year will be required to complete selected assessment activities.

Results of participation in these assessment activities will in no way affect a student’s GPA or graduation.


Grade Rules

Pass/No Pass Limits

Students majoring in microbiology may not take any of the courses required for the major in microbiology as Pass/No Pass except for courses involving independent study, research, and seminars.