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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 Fundamentals of Biology I and LIFE 120L Fundamentals of Biology I laboratory 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.

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.

College Requirements

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 the 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 the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, or within the first calendar year at Nebraska, whichever takes longer, excluding foreign languages. Students have up to 60 credit hours to remove foreign language deficiencies. College-level coursework 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 catalog. 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. Some degree programs have a higher cumulative grade point average required for graduation. Please check the degree program on its graduation cumulative grade point average.

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 the 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

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. Some degree programs have a higher cumulative grade point average required for graduation. Please check the degree program on its graduation cumulative grade point average.

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 (60) is the maximum number of hours the University will accept on transfer from a two-year college. Ninety (90) is the maximum number of hours the University 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 the University of Nebraska–Lincoln 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 the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

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 the University of Nebraska–Lincoln 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 coursework. 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 the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 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 the University of Nebraska–Lincoln 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. Students should discuss these degree programs with their academic advisor.

Cooperative Degree Programs

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

UNL Degree-Granting Programs

A University of Nebraska–Lincoln 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 and a transfer program leading to a bachelor of science in agricultural education in the teaching option.

Wayne State College. Wayne State College offers a 3+1 program leading to a bachelor of science in plant biology in the ecology and management option.

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).

Nebraska 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 the CASNR Dean’s Office, 800-472-8800, ext. 2541.

Non University of Nebraska–Lincoln Degree-Granting Programs

CASNR cooperates with other institutions to provide coursework 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 the University 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 coursework at Chadron State College and one year of specialized range science coursework (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 University of Nebraska–Lincoln 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 Nebraska college and excluding independent study regardless of the 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. University of Nebraska–Lincoln open enrollment and summer independent study courses count toward residence.

Online and Distance Education

There are many opportunities to earn college credit online through the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. 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 online 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
305 Brace Labs
Lincoln, NE 68588-0109

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 coursework 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

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.

Catalog Rule

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

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of microbiology will be able to:

  1. Understand the physiology, biochemistry and genetics of bacteria and other microorganisms including cell structure, function, diversity, metabolism and the genetics of metabolic regulation.
  2. Be knowledgeable about the immune response and disease-causing microorganisms including aspects of the innate and adaptive immune responses, as well as an introductory understanding of the molecular basis for pathogenesis.
  3. Understand the role of microorganisms in plant and animal agriculture, foodborne disease and spoilage, as well as beneficial roles played by microorganisms.
  4. Understand the taxonomic, ecological, evolutionary, and genetic relationships among microorganisms including nutrient cycling, microbial diversity and the biotechnological application of microorganisms to solve environmental problems.
  5. Be proficient at the scientific method of investigation and hypothesis testing including the development of theoretical and practical skills in the design and execution of experiments as well as the development of oral and writing skills necessary for the effective communication of experimental results and/or scientific principles.

Major Requirements

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 Course
SCIL 101Science and Decision-Making for a Complex World3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 3
Core Requirements
MBIO 101Introduction to the Microbiology Major1
BIOS 312Microbiology3
BIOS 314Microbiology Laboratory1
MBIO 420 / BIOS 420Molecular Genetics (ACE 10)3
MBIO 440 / BIOS 440Microbial Physiology3
MBIO 443 / BIOS 443Immunology3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 14
Natural Sciences
CASNR Approved Life Sciences
LIFE 120
Fundamentals of Biology I
and Fundamentals of Biology I laboratory (ACE 4)
LIFE 121
Fundamentals of Biology II
and Fundamentals of Biology II Laboratory (ACE 4)
BIOS 206General Genetics4
or AGRO 215 / HORT 215 / TLMT 215 Genetics
Select one sequence of the following:8-11
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry II
Fundamental Chemistry I
and Fundamental Chemistry II
and Elementary Quantitative Analysis
Organic Chemistry
Select from the following:4-8
If you plan to take BIOC 401 & BIOC 401L, select one sequence of the following:
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Laboratory
Biological Organic Chemistry
and Biological Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
If you plan to take BIOC 431, select one sequence of the following:
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Laboratory
and Organic Chemistry II
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
and Organic Chemistry
Select one of the following:3-4
Elements of Biochemistry
and Laboratory for Elements of Biochemistry
Structure and Metabolism
Select one sequence of the following:10
Elementary General Physics I
and Elementary General Physics II
General Physics I
and General Physics Laboratory I
and General Physics II
and General Physics Laboratory II
Credit Hours Subtotal: 37
Mathematics and Statistics
MATH 106Calculus I (ACE 3)5
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Statistics
Statistical Methods
Statistics and Applications
Credit Hours Subtotal: 8
Written Communication (ACE 1)
Select one of the following:3
Writing and Inquiry
Writing and Argument
Writing and Communities
Basic Business Communication
Technical Communication I
Technical Communication II
Communication and Interpersonal Skills (ACE 2)
Select one of the following:3
Interpersonal Skills for Leadership
Technical Communication II
Communication in the 21st Century
Public Speaking
Communicating in Small Groups
Interpersonal Communication
Business and Professional Communication
Credit Hours Subtotal: 6
Economics, Humanities, and Social Sciences
Select one of the following (ACE 6):3
Introduction to the Economics of Agriculture
Principles of Macroeconomics
Principles of Microeconomics
Select one course each from ACE outcomes 5, 7, 8, and 912
Credit Hours Subtotal: 15
Upper Division Microbiology Electives
Select 12-18 hours of the following: 112-18
Soil Microbiology
Metabolism and Biological Information
Biochemistry Laboratory
Research Techniques in Biochemistry
Cell Biology
Molecular Biology
Biology of Viruses
Cancer Biology
Biology of Cells and Organelles
Systems Biology
Bioinformatics and Molecular Evolution
Field Parasitology
Special Topics in Biological Sciences
Food Microbiology
Food Microbiology Laboratory
Molds and Mycotoxins in Food, Feed, and the Human Environment
Microbiology of Fermented Foods
Microbiology of Fermented Foods Laboratory (Offered even years only)
Microbial Diversity
Introductory Plant Pathology
Introductory Plant Pathology Lab
Computational Biology
Principles and Prevention of Livestock Diseases
Functional Histology
Basic Molecular Infectious Diseases
Pathogenic Microbiology
Credit Hours Subtotal: 12
Free Electives
Select 11-25 hours11-25
Credit Hours Subtotal: 25
Total Credit Hours120

Additional Major Requirements

Grade Rules

C- and D Grades

A grade of C or above is required for all courses in the major.

Pass/No Pass

No course taken Pass/No Pass will be counted toward the major or minor, except for courses involving independent study, research, and seminars.

This document represents a sample 4-year plan for degree completion with this major. Actual course selection and sequence may vary and should be discussed individually with your college or department academic advisor. Advisors also can help you plan other experiences to enrich your undergraduate education such as internships, education abroad, undergraduate research, learning communities, and service learning and community-based learning.


Icon Legend: CriticalCritical
16 HR TERM 1
Intro MicrobiologyCritical
complete MBIO 101

ACE 4 Chemistry
complete CHEM 109

ACE 3 Math/Statistics
complete MATH 106

College Course
complete SCIL 101

ACE 1 Written
14 HR TERM 2
Life ScienceCritical
complete either LIFE 120 or LIFE 120L
Completion of the LIFE Sequence (LIFE 120 & 120L and LIFE 121 & 121L) becomes critical to your success in the major if not completed by the fourth term of enrollment.

ACE 4 Chemistry
complete CHEM 110

ACE 2 Comm Skills

complete Any Course
17 HR TERM 3
ACE 3 Math/Statistics
complete STAT 218

BIOC321/Lab Organic ChemCritical
complete CHEM 251, CHEM 253
CHEM 251 becomes critical to your success in the major if not completed by the fifth term of enrollment.

Life ScienceCritical
Completion of the LIFE Sequence (LIFE 120 & 120L and LIFE 121 & 121L) becomes critical to your success in the major if not completed by the fourth term of enrollment.

ACE 5 Humanities
complete 1 from ACE5

complete Any Course
14 HR TERM 4
BIOC 431-Organic Chem
complete CHEM 252

complete BIOS 312
BIOS 312 becomes critical to your success in the major if not completed by the fourth term of enrollment.

Microbiology Core
complete BIOS 314

Biological SciencesCritical
complete BIOS 206
BIOS 206 becomes critical to your success in the major if not completed by the sixth term of enrollment.

ACE 6 Economics
complete 1 from AECN 141, ECON 211, ECON 212, ECON 200
16 HR TERM 5
ACE 4 Elem Gen Physics
complete PHYS 141

BIOC 431-Organic Chem
complete BIOC 431

ACE 7 Arts
complete 1 from ACE7

Microbiology Electives

complete Any Course
16 HR TERM 6
ACE 4 Elem Gen Physics
complete PHYS 142

ACE 8 Ethical Principles
complete 1 from ACE8

Microbiology Electives

complete Any Course
MBIO 498 is recommended for 2 of the 5 elective hours this term.
15 HR TERM 7
Microbiology Core
complete BIOS 440, BIOS 443

ACE 9 Global/Human Divers
complete 1 from ACE9

Microbiology Electives

complete Any Course
12 HR TERM 8
Microbiology Core
complete MBIO 420
MBIO 420 will fulfill the ACE 10 requirement.

Microbiology Electives

complete Any Course
Graduation Requirements
  1. Performance Measure: 2.00 GPA required for graduation.
  2. ***Total Credits Applying Toward 120 Total Hours***

Career Information

The following represents a sample of the internships, jobs and graduate school programs that current students and recent graduates have reported.

Transferable Skills

  • Understand and utilize a variety of research methodologies
  • Understand fundamental life processes
  • Communicate results of scientific experiments to scientific and non-scientific audiences
  • Design and implement research experiments
  • Apply mathematical and scientific skills to solve real-world problems
  • Comprehend and critically evaluate complex information
  • Analyze and explain data
  • Conduct and present research to large and small groups
  • Read, understand, and critically review scientific information
  • Understand and practice proper laboratory safety procedures

Jobs of Recent Graduates

  • Research Assistant, University of Nebraska Medical Center - Omaha NE
  • Lab Manager, University of Nebraska-Lincoln - Lincoln NE
  • Laboratory Technician, POET Research Center, Inc - Scotland SD
  • Plant Research Biologist, Midwest Research Inc. - York NE
  • Contractor, Syngenta - Omaha NE
  • Postdoctorate, Harvard University - Boston MA
  • Science Writer, LI-COR Biosciences - Lincoln NE
  • Chemist, Archer Daniels Midland - Lincoln NE
  • Scientist I, Aerotek - Chicago IL
  • Phlebotomist, BryanLGH - Lincoln NE


  • R&D Summer Intern, Estee Lauder Companies - Melville NY
  • Project Manager Assistant/Engineering Assistant, LI-COR Biosciences - Lincoln NE
  • Construction Management Intern, Nemaha Landscape Construction - Lincoln NE
  • Undergrad Student Research Intern, UNL Mid-America Transportation Center - Lincoln NE
  • Certified Nursing Assistant, Delmar Gardens Retirement Home - CNA Program - O'Fallon MO
  • Intern, Monsanto - Gothenburg NE
  • Beckman Research Scholar, UNL College of Arts of Sciences Beckman Scholars - Lincoln NE
  • Associate Management Intern, Cargill - Kansas City, MO
  • Advanced Research Intern, Li-COR Biosciences - Lincoln NE
  • Distinguished Life Sciences Scholar, College of Arts and Sciences - Lincoln NE

Graduate & Professional Schools

  • Medicine, University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine - Vermillion SD
  • Dentistry, University of Nebraska Medical College - Lincoln NE
  • College of Medicine, University of Nebraska - Medical Center - Omaha NE
  • Cancer Research Graduate Program, UNMC - Omaha NE
  • Medical Anatomy, University of Nebraska Medical Center - Omaha NE
  • Interdisciplinary Biology and Chemistry with a focus on chemistry, West Texas A&M University - Canyon TX
  • Dental Program, UNMC College of Dentistry - Lincoln NE
  • BS Biochemistry, University of Nebraska-Lincoln -
  • Biochemistry, University of Nebraska - Lincoln - Lincoln NE
  • Masters of Arts in Business Adminstration, University of Nebraska-Lincoln - Lincoln NE