- College Admission
- Academic and Career Advising
- ACE Requirements
- College Degree Requirements
- Catalog to Use
- Learning Outcomes
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 applying to a professional program are strongly encouraged to work with their advisor to ensure that admission requirements are met during the completion of the microbiology degree.)
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.
The entrance requirements for the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), including any of the majors or minors offered through the college, are the same as the University of Nebraska–Lincoln General Admission Requirements. In addition to these requirements, the College of Arts and Sciences strongly recommends a third and fourth year of one foreign language in high school. Four years of high school coursework in the same language will fulfill the College of Arts and Sciences’ language requirement. It will also allow students to continue language study at a more advanced level at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and provide more opportunity to study abroad.
Academic and Career Advising
Academic and Career Advising Center
Not sure where to go or who to ask? The Advising Center team in 107 Oldfather Hall can help. The Academic and Career Advising Center is the undergraduate hub for CAS students in all majors. Centrally located and easily accessed, students encounter friendly, knowledgeable people who are eager to help or connect students to partner resources. Students also visit the Advising Center in 107 Oldfather Hall to:
- Choose or change their major, minor, or degree program.
- Check on policies, procedures, and deadlines.
- Get a college approval signature from the Dean’s representatives.
CAS Career Coaches are available by appointment (in-person or zoom) and located in the CAS Academic and Career Advising Center, 107 Oldfather Hall. They help students explore majors and minors, gain experience, and develop a plan for life after graduation.
Assigned Academic Advisors
Academic advisors are critical resources dedicated to students' academic, personal, and professional success. Every CAS student is assigned an academic advisor based on their primary major. Since most CAS students have more than just a single major, it is important to get to know the advisor for any minors or additional majors. Academic advisors work closely with the faculty to provide the best overall support and the discipline specific expertise. They are available for appointments (in-person or zoom) and through weekly virtual drop-ins. Assigned advisors are listed in MyRED and their offices may be located in or near the department of the major for which they advise.
Students who have declared a pre-health or pre-law area of interest will also work with advisors in the Exploratory and Pre-Professional Advising Center (Explore Center) in 127 Love South, who are specially trained to guide students preparing to enter a professional school.
For complete and current information on advisors for majors, minors, or pre-professional areas, visit https://cas.unl.edu/major-advisors, or connect with the Arts and Sciences Academic and Career Advising Center, 107 Oldfather Hall, 402-472-4190, email@example.com.
The College believes that Academics + Experience = Opportunities and encourages students to complement their academic preparation with real-world experience, including internships, research, education abroad, service, and leadership. Arts and sciences students have access to a powerful network of faculty, staff, and advisors dedicated to providing information and support for their goals of meaningful employment or advanced education. Arts and sciences graduates have unlimited career possibilities and carry with them important career competencies—communication, critical thinking, creativity, context, and collaboration. They have the skills and adaptability that employers universally value. Graduates are prepared to effectively contribute professionally and personally with a solid foundation to excel in an increasingly global, technological, and interdisciplinary world.
Students should contact the career coaches in the Arts and Sciences Academic and Career Advising Center in 107 Oldfather Hall, or their assigned advisor, for more information. The CAS career coaches help students explore career options, identify ways to build experience, and prepare to apply for internships, jobs, or graduate school, including help with resumes, applications, and interviewing.
Students must complete one course for each of the ACE Student Learning Outcomes below. Certified course choices are published in the degree audit, or visit the ACE website for the most current list of certified courses.
|ACE Student Learning Outcomes|
ACE 1: Write texts, in various forms, with an identified purpose, that respond to specific audience needs, integrate research or existing knowledge, and use applicable documentation and appropriate conventions of format and structure.
ACE 2: Demonstrate competence in communication skills.
ACE 3: Use mathematical, computational, statistical, logical, or other formal reasoning to solve problems, draw inferences, justify conclusions, and determine reasonableness.
ACE 4: Use scientific methods and knowledge to pose questions, frame hypotheses, interpret data, and evaluate whether conclusions about the natural and physical world are reasonable.
ACE 5: Use knowledge, historical perspectives, analysis, interpretation, critical evaluation, and the standards of evidence appropriate to the humanities to address problems and issues.
ACE 6: Use knowledge, theories, and research perspectives such as statistical methods or observational accounts appropriate to the social sciences to understand and evaluate social systems or human behaviors.
ACE 7: Use knowledge, theories, or methods appropriate to the arts to understand their context and significance.
ACE 8: Use knowledge, theories, and analysis to explain ethical principles and their importance in society.
ACE 9: Exhibit global awareness or knowledge of human diversity through analysis of an issue.
ACE 10: Generate a creative or scholarly product that requires broad knowledge, appropriate technical proficiency, information collection, synthesis, interpretation, presentation, and reflection.
College Degree Requirements
College Distribution Requirements – BA and BS
The College of Arts and Sciences distribution requirements are common to both the bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees and are designed to ensure a range of courses. By engaging in study in several different areas within the College, students develop the ability to learn in a variety of ways and apply their knowledge from a variety of perspectives. All requirements are in addition to University ACE requirements, and no course can be used to fulfill both an ACE outcome and a College Distribution Requirement.
- A student may not use a single course to satisfy more than one College Distribution Requirement, with the exception of CDR Diversity. Courses used to meet CDR Diversity may also meet CDR Writing, CDR Humanities, or CDR Social Science.
- Independent study or reading courses and internships cannot be used to satisfy distribution requirements.
- Courses from interdisciplinary programs will be applied in the same area as courses from the home/cross-listed department.
|College Distribution Requirements|
|CDR: Written Communication||3|
|Select from courses approved for ACE outcome 1.|
|CDR: Natural, Physical, and Mathematical Sciences with Lab||4|
|Select from biochemistry, biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, geology, meteorology, mathematics, and physics. Must include one lab in the natural or physical sciences. Lab courses may be selected from biochemistry, biological sciences, chemistry, geology, meteorology, and physics.|
|Some courses from geography and anthropology may also be used to satisfy the lab requirement above. 1|
|Select from classics, English, history, modern languages and literatures, philosophy, and religious studies. 2|
|CDR: Social Science||3|
|Select from anthropology, communication studies, geography, political science, psychology, or sociology. 3|
|CDR: Human Diversity in U.S. Communities||0-3|
|Select from a set of approved courses as listed in the degree audit.|
|Fulfilled by the completion of the 6-credit-hour second-year sequence in a single foreign language in one of the following departments: Classics and religious studies or modern languages and literatures. Instruction is currently available in Arabic, Chinese, Czech, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Latin, Russian, and Spanish.|
|A student who has completed the fourth-year level of one foreign language in high school is exempt from the languages requirement, but encouraged to continue on in their language study.|
|Credit Hours Subtotal:||13-32|
See Degree Audit or a College of Arts and Sciences advisor for approved geography and anthropology courses that apply as natural science.
Language courses numbered 220 and below do not fulfill the CDR Humanities.
See Degree Audit or College of Arts and Sciences advisor for list of natural/physical science courses in anthropology, geography, and psychology that do not apply as social science.
The University of Nebraska–Lincoln and the College of Arts and Sciences place great value on academic exposure and proficiency in a second language. The University of Nebraska–Lincoln entrance requirement of two years of the same foreign language or the College’s language distribution requirement (CDR: Language) will rarely be waived and only with relevant documentation. See the main College of Arts and Sciences page for more details.
Experiential Learning Requirement
All undergraduates in the College of Arts and Sciences must complete an Experiential Learning (EL) designated course. This may include 0-credit courses designed to document co-curricular activities recognized as Experiential Learning.
Scientific Base - BS Only
The bachelor of science degree requires students to complete 60 hours in mathematical, physical, and natural sciences. Approved courses for scientific-based credit come from the following College of Arts and Sciences disciplines: actuarial science, anthropology (selected courses), astronomy, biochemistry (excluding BIOC 101), biological sciences (excluding BIOS 100 or BIOS 203), chemistry (excluding CHEM 101), geography (selected courses), geology, life sciences, mathematics (excluding courses below MATH 104), meteorology, microbiology (excluding MBIO 101), and physics (excluding PHYS 201.)
See your Degree Audit or your assigned academic advisor for a complete list, including individual classes that fall outside of the disciplines listed above. Up to 12 hours of scientific and technical courses offered by other colleges may be accepted toward this requirement with approval of the College of Arts and Sciences. See your assigned academic advisor to start the approval process.
Minimum Hours Required for Graduation
A minimum of 120 semester hours of credit is required for graduation from the College of Arts and Sciences. A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 is required.
Restrictions on C- and D Grades
The College will accept no more than 15 semester hours of C- and D grades from other domestic institutions except for UNO and UNK. All courses taken at UNO and UNK impact the UNL transcript. No transfer of C- and D grades can be applied toward requirements in a major or a minor. No University of Nebraska–Lincoln C- and D grades can be applied toward requirements in a major or a minor. International coursework (including education abroad) with a final grade equivalent to a C- or lower will not be validated by the College of Arts and Sciences departments to be degree applicable.
Pass/No Pass Privilege
The College of Arts and Sciences adheres to the University regulations for the Pass/No Pass (P/N) privilege with the following additional regulations:
- Pass/No Pass hours can count toward fulfillment of University ACE requirements and college distribution requirements up to the 24-hour maximum.
- Most arts and sciences departments and programs do not allow courses graded Pass/No Pass to apply to the major or minor. Students should refer to the department’s or program’s section of the catalog for clarification. By college rule, departments can allow up to 6 hours of Pass/No Pass in the major or minor.
- Departments may specify that certain courses of theirs can be taken only on a P/N basis.
- The college will permit no more than a total of 24 semester hours of P/N grades to be applied toward degree requirements. This total includes all Pass grades earned at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and other U.S. schools. NOTE: This 24-hour limit is more restrictive than the University regulation.
A student who feels that he/she has been unfairly graded must ordinarily take the following sequential steps in a timely manner, usually by initiating the appeal in the semester following the awarding of the grade:
- Talk with the instructor concerned. Most problems are resolved at this point.
- Talk to the instructor’s department chairperson.
- Take the case to the Grading Appeal Committee of the department concerned. The Committee should be contacted through the department chairperson.
- Take the case to the College Grading Appeals Committee by contacting the Dean’s Office, 1223 Oldfather Hall.
Course Level Requirements
Courses Numbered at the 300 or 400 Level
Thirty (30) of the 120 semester hours of credit must be in courses numbered at the 300 or 400 level. Of those 30 hours, 15 hours (1/2) must be completed in residence at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Students must complete at least 30 of the 120 total hours for their degree at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Students must complete at least 1/2 of their major coursework, including 6 hours at the 300 or 400 level in their major and 15 of the 30 hours required at the 300 or 400 level, in residence. Credit earned during education abroad may be used toward the residency requirement only if students register through the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Catalog to Use
Students must fulfill the requirements stated in the catalog for the academic year in which they are first admitted to and enrolled as a degree-seeking student at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. 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 the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in the College of Arts and Sciences. Students must complete all degree requirements from a single catalog year. Beginning in 1990-1991, the catalog which a student follows for degree requirements may not be more than 10 years old at the time of graduation.
Transfer Students: Students who have transferred from a community college may be eligible to fulfill the requirements as stated in the catalog for an academic year in which they were enrolled at the community college prior to attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This decision should be made in consultation with academic advisors, provided the student a) was enrolled in a community college during the catalog year they are utilizing, b) maintained continuous enrollment at the previous institution for 1 academic year or more, and c) continued enrollment at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln within 1 calendar year from their last term at the previous institution. Students must complete all degree requirements from a single catalog year and within the time frame allowable for that catalog year.
Graduates of microbiology will be able to:
- Understand the physiology, biochemistry, and genetics of bacteria and other microorganisms, including cell structure, function, diversity, metabolism, and the genetics of metabolic regulation.
- 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.
- Understand the role of microorganisms in plant and animal agriculture, foodborne disease and spoilage, as well as beneficial roles played by microorganisms.
- 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.
- 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.
|MBIO 101||Introduction to the Microbiology Major||1|
& LIFE 120L
|Fundamentals of Biology I|
and Fundamentals of Biology I laboratory
& LIFE 121L
|Fundamentals of Biology II|
and Fundamentals of Biology II Laboratory
|BIOS 206||General Genetics||4|
|BIOS 314||Microbiology Laboratory||1|
|MBIO 420 / BIOS 420||Molecular Genetics||3|
|MBIO 440 / BIOS 440||Microbial Physiology||3|
|MBIO 443 / BIOS 443||Immunology||3|
|Credit Hours Subtotal:||26|
|Total Credit Hours||26|
|Mathematics and Statistics|
|MATH 106||Calculus I||5|
|Select one of the following:||3|
|Introduction to Statistics|
|Statistics and Applications|
|Credit Hours Subtotal:||8|
|Select one sequence from the following:||8-12|
|General Chemistry I|
and General Chemistry I Laboratory
and General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Laboratory
|Fundamental Chemistry I|
and Fundamental Chemistry I Laboratory
and Fundamental Chemistry II
and Elementary Quantitative Analysis
and Elementary Quantitative Analysis Laboratory
|If you plan to take BIOC 401 & BIOC 401L, select one sequence from the following:|
|Organic Chemistry I|
and Organic Chemistry I Laboratory
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
|If you plan to take BIOC 431, select one sequence from the following:|
|Organic Chemistry I|
and Organic Chemistry I Laboratory
and Organic Chemistry II
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
and Organic Chemistry
|Credit Hours Subtotal:||12-20|
|Select one of the following:||3-4|
|Elements of Biochemistry|
and Laboratory for Elements of Biochemistry
|Biochemistry I: Structure and Metabolism|
|Credit Hours Subtotal:||3-4|
|Select one sequence from 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:||10|
|Total Credit Hours||33-42|
Specific Major Requirements
|Advanced Microbiology Courses|
|Select at least 12 hours from the following advanced microbiology-related courses:||12|
|Biochemistry II: Metabolism and Biological Information|
|Research Techniques in Biochemistry|
|Molecular Microbiology Laboratory|
|Biology of Viruses|
|Biology of Cells and Organelles|
|Earth and Environmental Microbiology|
|Soil Microbial Ecology|
|Bioinformatics and Molecular Evolution|
|Special Topics in Biological Sciences|
|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)|
|Introductory Plant Pathology|
|Introductory Plant Pathology Lab|
|Principles and Prevention of Livestock Diseases|
|Basic Molecular Infectious Diseases (offered odd years only)|
|Credit Hours Subtotal:||12|
Additional Major Requirements
C- and D Grades
A grade of C or above is required for all courses in the major, including ancillary courses.
With the exception of MBIO 101, no course taken Pass/No Pass will be counted toward the major, except for 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.
- ***Total Credits Applying Toward 120 Total Hours***
- A minimum 2.00 GPA required for graduation.
- Complete 30 hours in residence at UNL.
4. Complete 30 hours at the 300 or 400 level.
5. Complete 60 hours of Scientific-Base courses in the Natural and Mathematical Sciences.
The following represents a sample of the internships, jobs and graduate school programs that current students and recent graduates have reported.
- 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
- Use quantitative analysis techniques
- Demonstrate ethical conduct in research activities
- Collaborate with a team to develop solutions
- Develop and defend evidence based arguments
- Develop basic techniques of statistical analysis
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