Molecular & Medical Microbiology, Bachelor of Arts College of Biological Sciences

The department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics offers the major in Molecular & Medical Microbiology.

Microbiology is the branch of biology that deals with bacteria, yeasts and other fungi, algae, protozoa, and viruses. These microorganisms are ubiquitous in nature and play a crucial role in areas such as agriculture, biotechnology, ecology, medicine, and veterinary science. The field of microbiology contributes to areas of fundamental inquiry such as biochemistry, cell biology, evolution, genetics, molecular biology, pathogenesis, and  physiology. The ease and power of simultaneous genetic and biochemical analysis of microbes led to the emergence of the new disciplines of molecular biology & molecular genetics, and spawned the new industry of biotechnology.

The Program

The Molecular & Medical Microbiology Undergraduate Program offers Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees in the College of Biological Sciences. Both degrees are designed to provide students with quantitative skills and knowledge across the breadth of Biological Sciences, while maintaining a focus on the biology of microorganisms. The B.S. degree offers more training in mathematics, biochemistry and laboratory methodology; the A.B. degree incorporates more exposure to the liberal arts. The choice of a major program and its suitability for particular career options should be discussed with a Biology Academic Success Center (BASC) advisor.

Career Alternatives

A bachelor's degree in Molecular & Medical Microbiology serves as the foundation for advanced study in microbiology, entry into the professional schools of all health sciences, or immediate employment in biotechnology, health care and food science industries.

Related Courses

The offerings of the Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics are augmented by courses in Food Science & Technology (FST)Medical Microbiology (MMI)Molecular & Cellular Biology (MCB)Pathology, Microbiology, & Immunology (PMI)Plant Pathology (PLP); and Soil Science (SSC).

Please note, MIC courses are in the process of transitioning to MMG courses.

Faculty of the Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics also teach or participate in the following courses: BIS 002ABIS 101BIS 104 and BIS 181.

Faculty Advisor

Miriam Markum, Ph.D.

Honors & Honors Program

Miriam Markum, Ph.D.

Teaching Credential Subject Representative

Miriam Markum, Ph.D.; see the Teaching Credential/M.A. Program.


Biology Academic Success Center (BASC) in 1023 Katherine Esau Hall (formerly known as Sciences Laboratory Building); 530-752-0410.

Graduate Study

The Graduate Group in Microbiology offers programs of study and research leading to M.S. and Ph.D. degrees.

Strong preference is given to doctoral applicants. The group offers study in general microbiology, microbial physiology, microbial genetics, molecular mechanisms of microbial regulation, molecular mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis, immunology, virology, and recombinant DNA technology. For information on the graduate study and undergraduate preparation for the program contact a graduate advisor or the Chairperson of the Group.

The major requirements below are in addition to meeting University Degree Requirements & College Degree Requirements; unless otherwise noted. The minimum number of units required for the Molecular & Medical Microbiology Bachelor of Arts is 81.

Preparatory Subject Matter
Biological Science15
Introduction to Biology: Essentials of Life on Earth
and Introduction to Biology: Principles of Ecology & Evolution
and Introduction to Biology: Biodiversity & the Tree of Life
Choose the 002 series or 004 series:10
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry
General Chemistry for the Physical Sciences & Engineering
and General Chemistry for the Physical Sciences & Engineering
Choose the 008 series or 118 series: 16-12
Organic Chemistry: Brief Course
and Organic Chemistry: Brief Course (Or )
Organic Chemistry for Health & Life Sciences
and Organic Chemistry for Health & Life Sciences
and Organic Chemistry for Health & Life Sciences
Choose a series: 28
Calculus for Biology & Medicine
and Calculus for Biology & Medicine
and Calculus
Choose the 001 series or 007 series:6-12
Principles of Physics
and Principles of Physics
General Physics
and General Physics
and General Physics
Preparatory Subject Matter Subtotal45-57
Depth Subject Matter
Biological Science
BIS 101Genes & Gene Expression4
BIS 105Biomolecules & Metabolism3-6
or BIS 103
BIS 102
Bioenergetics & Metabolism
and Structure & Function of Biomolecules
MIC 102Introductory Microbiology3
MIC 104LGeneral Microbiology Laboratory3
MIC 105Microbial Diversity3
MIC 105LMicrobial Diversity Laboratory3
MIC 111Human Microbiology3
Areas of Study
Choose at least one course from each of the areas of study below:6-7
1. Microbial Genetics
Recombinant DNA Cloning & Analysis (Discontinued)
Genomes of Pathogenic Bacteria (Discontinued)
Yeast Molecular Genetics
2. Virology or Immunology
General Virology (Discontinued)
Human Immunology
Human Immunology
Fundamentals of Immunology
Biology of Animal Viruses
Choose additional course work from the list below, to achieve a total of 36 or more units. Upper division Microbiology courses not used in satisfaction of any other requirement:
Comparative Genomics
Functional Genomics
Food Microbiology
Advanced Molecular Biology
Principles of Genomics
MIC 117
Microbial Ecology
Host-Parasite Interactions
Cancer Biology
Fungal Biology & Disease
Soil Microbiology
Or upper division courses in related fields, relevant to the student’s interest and chosen in consultation with the advisor.
No more than 3 units of variable-unit courses (numbered 192, 198, or 199) may be used for credit in this category.
Note: Although a course may be listed in more than one category, that course may satisfy only one requirement in the entire major.
Depth Subject Matter Subtotal36
Total Units81-93

With BASC advisor approval, this combination also satisfies the Organic Chemistry requirement: CHE 118A-CHE 008B.


With BASC advisor approval, this combination also satisfies the Mathematics requirement: MAT 021A-MAT 017BMAT 017A-MAT 021B.