Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources Microbiology (CASNR)

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Attribute Value
College: Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources
Degree Offered: Bachelor of Science in Microbiology
Hours Required: 120
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 2.0 for graduation
Minor Available: No
Advisor: Jim Alfano
  1. Intro

Microbiology (CASNR)

COLLEGE: Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources

MAJOR: Microbiology (CASNR)

DEGREE OFFERED: Bachelor of Science in Microbiology


MINIMUM CUMULATIVE GPA: 2.0 for graduation


ADVISOR: Jim Alfano


Director: Jim Alfano, Dept. 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: Jim 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 and LIFE 120L 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.


The core courses and 12-18 hours of elective microbiology courses (a minimum of 12 hours at the 300 level or above) must be completed.

College Integrative Course3

SCIL 101 Science and Decision-Making for a Complex World3

Microbiology Requirements13-14

BIOS 312 Microbiology3

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

MBIO 420 Molecular Genetics (BIOS 420) (ACE 10)3

MBIO 440 Microbial Physiology (BIOS 440)3

MBIO 443 Immunology (BIOS 443)3

Natural Sciences37-45

CASNR Approved Life Sciences12

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

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

BIOS 206 General Genetics or AGRO 315 Genetics4


Select one sequence from:

CHEM 109 & CHEM 110 General Chemistry I & II (8 cr)

CHEM 113 & CHEM 114 Fundamental Chemistry I & II (7 cr) & CHEM 221 Elementary Quantitative Analysis (4 cr) (11 cr)

Organic Chemistry4-8

If you plan to take BIOC 321 & BIOC 321L, select one sequence from:4-5

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:7-8

CHEM 251 & CHEM 253 Organic Chemistry I & Lab (4 cr) & CHEM 252 Organic Chemistry II (3 cr) (7 cr)

CHEM 261 & CHEM 263 Organic Chemistry & Lab (5 cr) & CHEM 262 Organic Chemistry (3 cr) (8 cr)


Select one sequence from:

PHYS 141 & PHYS 142 Elementary General Physics I & II (10 cr)

PHYS 211 & PHYS 221 General Physics I & Lab (5 cr) & PHYS 212 & PHYS 222 General Physics II & Lab (5 cr) (10 cr)

Biological Chemistry3-4

Select one sequence from:

BIOC 321 & BIOC 321L Elements of Biochemistry & Lab (4 cr)

BIOC 431 Structure & Metabolism (BIOS 431/CHEM 431) (3 cr)

Mathematics and Statistics8

MATH 106 Calculus I (ACE 3)5

STAT 218 Introduction to Statistics (3 cr) or EDPS 459 Statistical Methods (3 cr) or ECON 215 Statistics (3 cr) or STAT 380 Statistics & Applications (3 cr)3


Written Communication (ACE 1)3

Select from: ENGL 150, ENGL 151, ENGL 254, JGEN 120, JGEN 200, JGEN 300

Communication and Interpersonal Skills (ACE 2)3

Select from: ALEC 102, JGEN 300, COMM 101, COMM 209, COMM 210, COMM 283, COMM 286

Economics, Humanities, and Social Sciences15

AECN 141 Introduction to the Economics of Agriculture (3 cr) or ECON 211 Principles of Macroeconomics (3 cr) or ECON 212 Principles of Microeconomics (3 cr) (ACE 6)3

ACE Courses12

Select one course each from ACE outcomes 5, 7, 8, and 9.

Microbiology Electives12-18

Select a minimum of 12 hours from the list below:

AGRO 460 Soil Microbiology (BIOS 447) (3 cr)

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)

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 477 Bioinformatics & Molecular Evolution (3 cr)

BIOS 487 Field Parasitology (4 cr)

BIOS 497 Environmental Microbiology (1-4 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 (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)

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

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

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

VBMS 424 Basic Molecular Infectious Diseases (3 cr)

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

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

Free Electives11-26

Total Credit Hours for Graduation120

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.


College Admission

Requirements for admission into the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) are consistent with general University admission requirements (one unit equals one high school year): 4 units of English, 4 units of mathematics, 3 units of natural sciences, 3 units of social studies, and 2 units of foreign language. Students must also meet performance requirements (ACT composite of 20 or higher OR combined SAT score of 950 or higher OR rank in the top one-half of graduating class; transfer students must have a 2.0 (on a 4.0 scale) cumulative grade point average and 2.0 on most recent term of attendance. For students entering the PGA Golf Management degree program, a certified golf handicap of 12 or better (e.g., USGA handicap card) or written ability (MS Word file) equivalent to a 12 or better handicap by a PGA professional or high school golf coach is required. For more information, please visit:

Admission Deficiencies/Removal of Deficiencies

Students who are admitted to CASNR with core course deficiencies must remove these deficiencies within the first 30 credit hours at UNL, or within the first calendar year at UNL, whichever takes longer, excluding foreign languages. Students have up to 60 credit hours to remove foreign language deficiencies. College-level course work taken to remove deficiencies may be used to meet degree requirements in CASNR.

Deficiencies in the required entrance subjects can be removed by completion of specified courses in the University or by correspondence.

The Office of Admissions, Alexander Building (south entrance), City Campus, provides information to new students on how deficiencies can be removed.

College Degree Requirements

Curriculum Requirements

The curriculum requirements of the College consist of three areas: ACE (Achievement-Centered Education); College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Core; and Degree Program requirements and electives. All three areas of the College Curriculum Requirements are incorporated within the description of the Major/Degree Program sections of the bulletin. The individual major/degree program listings of classes insures that a student will meet the minimum curriculum requirements of the College.

Foreign Languages/Language Requirement

Two units of a foreign language are required. This requirement is usually met with two years of high school language.

Minimum Hours Required for Graduation

The College grants the bachelors degree in programs associated with agricultural sciences, natural resources and related programs. Students working toward a degree must earn at least 120 semester hours of credit. A minimum cumulative grade point average of C (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) must be maintained throughout the course of studies and is required for graduation.

Grade Rules

Removal of C-, D and F Grades

Only the most recent letter grade received in a given course will be used in computing a student’s cumulative grade point average if the student has completed the course more than once and previously received a grade or grades below C in that course.

The previous grade (or grades) will not be used in computation of the cumulative grade point average, but it will remain a part of the academic record and will appear on any transcript.

A student can remove from his/her cumulative average a course grade of C-, D+, D, D- or F if the student repeats the same course at the University of Nebraska and receives a grade other than P (pass), I (incomplete), N (no pass), W (withdrew), or NR (no report). If a course is no longer being offered, it is not eligible for the revised grade point average computation process.

For complete procedures and regulations, see the Office of the University Registrar website at

Pass/No Pass Limits

Students in CASNR may take any course offered on a Pass/No Pass basis within the 24-hour limitation established by the Faculty Senate. However, a department may specify that the Pass/No Pass status of its courses be limited to non-majors, or may choose to offer some courses for letter grades only.

GPA Requirements

A minimum cumulative grade point average of C (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) must be maintained throughout the course of studies and is required for graduation.

Transfer Credit Rules

To be considered for admission, a transfer student, Nebraska resident or nonresident, must have an accumulated average of C (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) and a minimum C average in the last semester of attendance at another college. Transfer students who have completed less than 12 credit hours of college study must submit either ACT or SAT scores.

Ordinarily, credits earned at an accredited college are accepted by the University. The College, however, will evaluate all hours submitted on an application for transfer and reserves the right to accept or reject any of them. Sixty is the maximum number of hours UNL will accept on transfer from a two-year college. Ninety is the maximum number of hours UNL will accept from a four-year college. Transfer credit in the degree program must be approved by the degree program advisor on a Request for Substitution Form to meet specific course requirements, group requirements, or course level requirements in the major. At least 9 hours in the major field, including the capstone course, must be completed at UNL regardless of the number of hours transferred.

The College will accept no more than 10 semester hours of C-, D+, D and D- grades from other schools. The C-, D+, D and D- grades can only be applied to free electives. This policy does not apply to the transfer of grades from UNO or UNK to UNL.

Joint Academic Transfer Programs

The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources has agreements with many institutions to support joint academic programs. The transfer programs include dual degree programs and cooperative degree programs. Dual degree programs offer students the opportunity to receive a degree from a participating institution and also to complete requirements for a bachelor of science degree in CASNR. Cooperative programs result in a single degree from either UNL or the cooperating institution.

Dual Degree Programs

A to B Programs

The A to B Program, a joint academic program offered by the CASNR and participating community colleges, allows students to complete the first two years of a degree program at the participating community college and continue their education and study in a degree program leading toward a bachelor of science degree.

The A to B Program provides a basic knowledge plus specialized course work. Students transfer into CASNR with junior standing.

Depending on the community college, students enrolled in the A to B Program may complete the requirements for an associate of science at the community college, transfer to UNL, and work toward a bachelor of science degree.

Participating community colleges include:

  • Central Community College
  • Metropolitan Community College
  • Mid-Plains Community College
  • Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture
  • Northeast Community College
  • Southeast Community College
  • Western Nebraska Community College

3+2 Programs

Two specialized degree programs in animal science and veterinary science are offered jointly with an accredited college or school of veterinary medicine. These two programs permit CASNR animal science or veterinary science students to receive a bachelor of science degree from UNL with a degree in animal science or veterinary science after successfully completing two years of the professional curriculum in veterinary medicine at an accredited veterinary school. Students who successfully complete the 3+2 Program, must complete the “Application for Degree” form and provide transcripts to the Credentials Clerk, Office of the University Registrar, 107 Canfield Administration Building, UNL. Students should discuss these degree programs with their academic advisor.

Cooperative Degree Programs

Academic credit from UNL and a cooperating institution is applied towards a four-year degree from either UNL (UNL degree-granting program) or the cooperating institution (non UNL degree-granting program). All have approved programs of study.

UNL Degree-Granting Programs

A UNL degree-granting program is designed to provide students the opportunity to complete a two-year program of study at one of the four-year institutions listed below, transfer to CASNR and complete the requirements for a bachelor of science degree.

Chadron State College. Chadron State College offers a 2+2 program leading to a grassland ecology and management degree program.

University of Nebraska at Kearney. Transfer programs are available for students pursuing degree programs leading to a bachelor of science degree.

University of Nebraska at Omaha. The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) cooperates with CASNR in providing four-semester pre-agricultural sciences, pre-natural resources, pre-food science and technology, pre-horticulture and pre-turfgrass and landscape management transfer programs.

A student enrolled in these programs may transfer all satisfactorily completed academic credits identified in the suggested program of study, and enter CASNR to study toward a degree program leading to a bachelor of science degree. The total program would require a minimum of four years or eight semesters (16 credit hours/semester or 120 credit hours).

UNL CASNR faculty teach horticulture and food science and technology courses at UNO to assist an urban population in better understanding the food processing, horticulture, and landscape horticulture industries.

For more information, contact Megan Lane, University of Nebraska at Omaha, 402-554-3624; and/or the CASNR Dean’s Office, 800-472-8800, ext. 2541.

Non UNL Degree-Granting Programs

The CASNR cooperates with other institutions to provide course work that is applied towards a degree at the cooperating institution. Pre-professional programs offered by CASNR allow students to complete the first two or three years of a degree program at UNL prior to transferring and completing a degree at the cooperating institution.

Chadron State College–Range Science. The 3+1 Program in range science allows Chadron State College students to pursue a range science degree through Chadron State College. Students complete three years of course work at Chadron State College and one year of specialized range science course work (32 credit hours) at CASNR.

Dordt College (Iowa) – Agricultural Education: Teaching Option. This program allows students to pursue an Agricultural Education Teaching Option degree leading toward a bachelor of science in agricultural education. Students at Dordt College will complete 90 credit hours in the Agricultural Education: Teaching Option Transfer Program.


Students must complete at least 30 of the total hours for their degree using UNL credits. At least 18 of the 30 credit hours must be in courses offered through CASNR1 (>299) including the appropriate ACE 10 degree requirement or an approved ACE 10 substitution offered through another UNL college and excluding independent study regardless of number of hours transferred. Credit earned during education abroad may be used toward the residency requirement if students register through UNL and participate in prior-approved education abroad programs. UNL open enrollment and summer independent study courses count toward residence.

1 Includes courses taught by CASNR faculty through interdisciplinary prefixes (e.g., LIFE, MBIO, ENVR, SCIL, EAEP, HRTM, ENSC) and CASNR crosslisted courses taught by non-CASNR faculty.

Online and Distance Education

There are many opportunities to earn college credit through the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Office of Online and Distance Education. Some of these credits may be applicable not only as elective credits, but also toward the fulfillment of the College’s education requirements. Credits earned through the UNL Online and Distance Education program may count toward residency. However, certain offerings may not be counted toward scholarship requirements or academic recognition criteria.

For further information, contact:

Office of Online and Distance Education

University of Nebraska–Lincoln

2100 Vine Street

Lincoln, NE 68588-8307


Independent Study Rules

Students wishing to take part in independent studies must obtain permission; complete and sign a contract form; and furnish copies of the contract to the instructor, advisor, departmental office, and the Dean’s Office. The contract should be completed before registration. Forms are available in 103 Agricultural Hall or online at the CASNR website.

Independent study projects include research, literature review or extension of course work under supervision and evaluation of a departmental faculty member.

Students may only count 12 hours of independent study toward their degrees and no more than 6 hours can be counted during their last 36 hours earned, excluding senior thesis, internships, and courses taught under an independent study number.

Other College Degree Requirements

Capstone Course Requirement

A capstone course is required for each CASNR degree program. A capstone course is defined as a course in which students are required to integrate diverse bodies of knowledge to solve a problem or formulate a policy of societal importance.

ACE Requirements

All students must fulfill the Achievement Centered Education (ACE) requirements. Information about the ACE program may be viewed at www.ace.unl.

The minimum requirements of CASNR reflect the common core of courses that apply to students pursuing degrees in the college. Students should work with an advisor to satisfy ACE outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 10 with the college requirements.

Bulletin Rule

Students must fulfill the requirements stated in the bulletin for the academic year in which they are first admitted to UNL or when they were first admitted to a Joint Academic Transfer Program. In consultation with advisors, a student may choose to follow a subsequent bulletin for any academic year in which they are admitted to and enrolled as a degree-seeking student at UNL in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Students must complete all degree requirements from a single bulletin year. The bulletin which a student follows for degree requirements may not be more than 10 years old at the time of graduation.


This is the site for old bulletin data. Please head to UNL's Course Catalog for updated course and program information.