Undergraduate Program

The science of microbiology primarily encompasses the realms of bacteria and viruses, but also includes other microbes such as fungi and protozoa.

Despite a microscopic size, microorganisms influence the world of humans in monumental ways, ranging from infectious diseases to healthful living, and from food production to waste treatment. Microorganisms also sense and respond to their own world, fending off competitors and promoting their own propagation.

Our undergraduate program in Microbiology offers courses that provide an introduction to the microbial world as well as in depth studies of genetics, physiology, infectious disease, diversity, and structure of microorganisms. Nearly all undergraduate microbiology courses satisfy the Natural World (NW) requirement in the Areas of Knowledge component for a bachelors degree at the University of Washington.

For students interested in microbiology but not planning to major in the field, Microm 301 and 302 are good options. Microm 301 is a lecture course while Microm 302 is a hands-on laboratory course. Both Microm 301 and 302 are commonly required for students preparing to enter health science professions such as nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, and physical therapy.  If you have a strong biology background and want more focused content, our 400-level courses are excellent choices. 

Students interested in the microbiology major, the Microm 410-411-412 sequence is typically the first course of study. Students planning to major in microbiology are strongly encouraged to make an appointment with Microbiology’s undergraduate academic advisor,  Sarah Mears.