Course Planning

Freshman Year

  • Inorganic chemistry (Chem 142, 152, 152) and the math requirement should be completed in the first year. Those considering graduate work should consider completing one year of calculus (Math 124, 125, 126), or alternatively Quantitative Science 291, 292, and 381.
  • Complete Language skills requirements if possible, and begin courses for the Additional Writing and Areas of Knowledge requirements. The Quantitative/Symbolic reasoning requirement is satisfied by taking the math course(s) that are required of microbiology majors.


  • By the end of the second year the basic biological sequence Biol 180, 200, 220; Organic Chemistry, Chem 223, or 237 or honors 335; Physics 114, 115 or 121, 122 (Physics labs recommended) should be completed. In certain cases postponement of physics to the third year may be desirable.
  • Continue courses for areas of Knowledge and Additional Writing requirements.

Junior and Senior

  • Usually the microbiology courses are distributed between the junior and senior years. There is a broad choice of electives in many departments including a selection of 500 level courses. 500 level courses require the permission of the instructor.
  • For students considering graduate research work, Bioc 440, 441, 442 is the preferred sequence; Physical Chemistry, and Microm 499 (undergraduate laboratory research) are strongly recommended.
  • It is recommended that students considering certain professional graduate programs (medical school, dental school, and pharmacy) take Phys 116 or Phys 121, plus the labs that correspond with the physics and chemistry series. Internships or volunteer experience is strongly recommended.
  • Complete the Areas of Knowledge requirements and electives.