Home Home
College of Arts and Sciences

Microbiology

K343 Fialkow Biomedical Sciences Research Pavilion (K wing)
206-543-5824
Website
Faculty Website
micro@uw.edu

Microbiology is the study of the smallest living organisms (bacteria, algae, fungi, and protozoa) and viruses. Because of their simplicity and rapid growth rates, microorganisms are readily amenable to study in the laboratory. Because their cellular processes closely resemble those of higher organisms they are ideally suited for fundamental studies of biological structure, physiology, metabolism, genetics and development. The Microbiology department at the University of Washington works mainly in cutting edge research in Bacteria and Viruses. The B.S. in Microbiology is complemented by the College of Arts and Sciences general educational requirements such as English Composition, Writing, Foreign Language, Quantitative & Symbolic Reasoning, Visual Literary & Performing Arts and Individuals and Societies courses which provide a comprehensive liberal arts degree.

 Undergraduate Programs


Microbiology

K343 Fialkow Biomedical Sciences Research Pavilion (K wing)
206-543-2572
microadv@uw.edu

 Program of Study: Major: Microbiology


Program Overview

Microbiology is the study of the smallest living organisms (bacteria, algae, fungi, and protozoa) and viruses. Because of their simplicity and rapid growth rates, microorganisms are readily amenable to study in the laboratory. Because their cellular processes closely resemble those of higher organisms, they are ideally suited for fundamental studies of biological structure, physiology, metabolism, genetics and development. The Microbiology department at the University of Washington works mainly in cutting edge research in Bacteria and Viruses. The B.S. in Microbiology is complemented by the College of Arts and Sciences general educational requirements such as English Composition, Writing, Foreign Language, Quantitative & Symbolic Reasoning, Visual Literary & Performing Arts and Individuals and Societies courses which provide a comprehensive liberal arts degree.

This program of study leads to the following credential:
  • Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Microbiology
Recommended Preparation

Suggested First- and Second-Year Courses: PHYS 114, PHYS 115, or PHYS 121, PHYS 122; one of the following: MATH 112, MATH 124, Q SCI 381, or STAT 311.

MICROM 410, the first microbiology course for majors, is taken after completion of BIOL 200 and organic chemistry (CHEM 223 or CHEM 237). To graduate in four years, a student must complete introductory biology and organic chemistry before autumn quarter of the junior year.

MICROM 301, and MICROM 302, offered to non-majors, serve as introductory courses, but cannot be used to fulfill graduation requirements for a major in microbiology. MICROM 301 is a prerequisite for students applying to nursing, physical therapy, or dental school.

Admission Requirements
  1. Minimum 75 credits applicable to graduation, with a minimum 2.00 overall cumulative GPA.
  2. Completion of the following prerequisite courses with a minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA: BIOL 180; BIOL 200 (minimum 2.3 grade); BIOL 220; either CHEM 142, CHEM 152, CHEM 162; or CHEM 143 and CHEM 153; either CHEM 223, CHEM 237, or CHEM 335

 Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Microbiology


Credential Overview

Microbiology is the study of the smallest living organisms (bacteria, algae, fungi, and protozoa) and viruses. Because of their simplicity and rapid growth rates, microorganisms are readily amenable to study in the laboratory. Because their cellular processes closely resemble those of higher organisms, they are ideally suited for fundamental studies of biological structure, physiology, metabolism, genetics and development. The Microbiology department at the University of Washington works mainly in cutting edge research in Bacteria and Viruses. The B.S. in Microbiology is complemented by the College of Arts and Sciences general educational requirements such as English Composition, Writing, Foreign Language, Quantitative & Symbolic Reasoning, Visual Literary & Performing Arts and Individuals and Societies courses which provide a comprehensive liberal arts degree.

Completion Requirements

Minimum 90 credits (including microbiology courses) in the biological, physical, and mathematical sciences

  1. Minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA in courses required for admission: BIOL 180; BIOL 200 (minimum 2.3 grade), BIOL 220; either CHEM 142, CHEM 152, and CHEM 162, or CHEM 143 and CHEM 153; either CHEM 223, CHEM 237, or CHEM 335
  2. Core Courses (8 credits): MICROM 402; MICROM 410; MICROM 496
  3. Distribution Groups and Electives (28 credits): Minimum one course from each of the following four distribution groups; minimum two laboratory courses. Remaining credits from additional courses from the distribution groups or from an approved list of electives. See adviser for approved list
    1. Medical Microbiology: IMMUN 441, MICROM 442 MICROM 443, MICROM 460, or both MICROM 460 and MICROM 461
    2. Virology: MICROM 445 or MICROM 450
    3. Diversity and Ecology: MICROM 412 or MICROM 435
    4. Genetics and Molecular Biology: MICROM 411; or MICROM 431; and either GENOME 361 or GENOME 371
  4. Either PHYS 114 and PHYS 115; or PHYS 121 and PHYS 122 (PHYS 116 or PHYS 123 recommended)
  5. Either MATH 112, MATH 124, MATH 144, Q SCI 381, STAT 220, or STAT 311
  6. Either BIOC 405 and BIOC 406, or BIOC 440, BIOC 441, and BIOC 442
  7. All required courses taken for a numerical grade unless course is offered credit/no-credit only. Minimum 2.25 cumulative GPA; minimum 1.8 grade in all MICROM and IMMUN core and elective courses applied to the major
  8. Transfer students must complete at least 20 required and elective microbiology credits through the UW.

 Program of Study: Minor: Microbiology


Program Overview

Microbiology is the study of the smallest living organisms (bacteria, algae, fungi, and protozoa) and viruses. Because of their simplicity and rapid growth rates, microorganisms are readily amenable to study in the laboratory. Because their cellular processes closely resemble those of higher organisms, they are ideally suited for fundamental studies of biological structure, physiology, metabolism, genetics and development. The Microbiology department at the University of Washington works mainly in cutting edge research in Bacteria and Viruses. Our minor program is great for students who want to add an extra area of concentration to their major, or are looking for more specific content to study at the micro level. It includes content from basic chemistry and biology, as well as upper division courses in bacteria and virology.

This program of study leads to the following credential:
  • Minor in Microbiology

 Minor in Microbiology


Credential Overview

Microbiology is the study of the smallest living organisms (bacteria, algae, fungi, and protozoa) and viruses. Because of their simplicity and rapid growth rates, microorganisms are readily amenable to study in the laboratory. Because their cellular processes closely resemble those of higher organisms, they are ideally suited for fundamental studies of biological structure, physiology, metabolism, genetics and development. The Microbiology department at the University of Washington works mainly in cutting edge research in Bacteria and Viruses. Our minor program is great for students who want to add an extra area of concentration to their major, or are looking for more specific content to study at the micro level. It includes content from basic chemistry and biology, as well as upper division courses in bacteria and virology.

Completion Requirements

29 credits

  1. 14 credits to include BIOL 200; one of CHEM 152, CHEM 155, CHEM 162, or CHEM 165; one of CHEM 223, CHEM 237, or CHEM 355.
  2. 15 credits from the following: MICROM 410; one from MICROM 302, MICROM 402, MICROM 431, or MICROM 443; and approved 400-level, graded microbiology courses to reach 29 credits. See adviser for approved list.
  3. Minimum cumulative 2.00 GPA for all courses counted toward the minor
Additional Information

Student Outcomes and Opportunities

  • Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes: The department's objective is to provide a major with the best instruction possible in broad areas of microbiology so students qualify for a wide variety of positions with a terminal BS degree or qualify to pursue advanced degrees in graduate or professional schools.

    Microbiology offers students an excellent education in the biology of microorganisms, namely bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses. Through learning about the biology of these microorganisms and viruses, students more fully understand the pivotal position they occupy in establishing and maintaining our biosphere, their effects on human, animal, and plant life, and how the biological properties of certain microbes are exploited for certain purposes. Microorganisms are important in drinking water, wastewater and sewage treatment, production and spoilage of foods, production of antibiotics, bioremediation of toxic compounds, and genetic engineering of organisms having unique characteristics. Students gain insight into strategies used by microorganisms and viruses to cause disease and the mechanisms used by their host to defend themselves.

    Graduates have found research positions in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, as well as in state and government positions hiring microbiologists. Students interested in a health profession or graduate program benefit from this program.

  • Instructional and Research Facilities: Microbiology courses are taught using state-of-the-art facilities in the teaching wing of the Health Sciences building. Research labs are located in the Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, NW Regional Primate Research Center, and UW Rosen building.
  • Honors Options Available: With College Honors (Completion of Honors Core Curriculum and Departmental Honors); With Honors (Completion of Departmental Honors requirements in the major). See adviser for requirements.
  • Research, Internships, and Service Learning: MICROM 499, undergraduate laboratory research, is offered for credit. See adviser for details.
  • Department Scholarships: The department offers four awards each year. More information is available at the department's website.
  • Student Organizations/Associations: The Microphiles Club is open to all students. The club sponsors field trips to local biotech companies, speakers on topics such as research and career opportunities, graduate school, and peer teaching.