Students entering the microbiology program typically have interests in science, the environment, or the health professions. High school preparation should include a solid background in mathematics and introductory classes in biology and/or chemistry.

Admission into the Major

Students are expected to formally declare a major no later than the fourth semester of full-time enrollment (or at 61 semester hours for transfer students). Students may declare a major by completing the Change of Major/Minor Application online under the Student tab of myBama. The department recommends that students declare a microbiology major as soon as possible.

Special Opportunities

The Biological Sciences Honors Program is available to students majoring in either biology or microbiology after the completion of 16 hours of biological science courses with at least a 3.4 GPA overall and in BSC courses. Admission into the program is made through an application that is submitted to the undergraduate program coordinator. Requirements for the program include: four to eight hours of BSC 390 Honors Thesis Research, maintenance of a 3.4 GPA in BSC courses and overall, and submission and defense of an acceptable honors thesis. Additional details are available in the office of the Department of Biological Sciences.

Accelerated Master's Program

The Department of Biological Sciences also participates in the Accelerated Master's Program, which allows highly motivated students to pursue closely integrated undergraduate and graduate programs that may lead to the simultaneous completion of requirements for both master's and bachelor's degrees. Students usually apply for admission prior to the junior or senior year. For more information about the Accelerated Master's Program visit or consult The University of Alabama graduate catalog.

Students earning the bachelor of science in microbiology (BMB) degree must complete all University, College and departmental degree requirements. These include the general education requirements, the following major requirements and other sufficient credits to total a minimum of 120 applicable semester hours.

Code and Title Hours
Major Courses
Select one of the following: 4
Principles Of Biology I
and Laboratory Biology I
Honors General Biology I
Select one of the following:4
Principles Biology II
and Biology II Laboratory
Honors Gen Biology II
BSC 300Cell Biology3
BSC 310Microbiology3
BSC 312Microbiology Lab2
BSC 311Microbiology II3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 19
Select 18 hours of BSC electives 300 or 400 level18
Credit Hours Subtotal: 18
Ancillary Courses
Grades in ancillary courses are not computed into the major GPA. The major in microbiology requires the successful completion of the following courses outside the major:
CH 101 or General Chemistry4
CH 117 Honors General Chemistry
CH 102 or General Chemistry4
CH 118 Honors General Chemistry
CH 231Elem Organic Chemistry I3
CH 232
CH 237
Elem Organic Chem II
and Elem Organic Chem Lab
MATH 125 or Calculus I4
MATH 145 Honors Calculus I
Select one of the following:4
General Physics I
General Physics W/Calc I
Honors Gen Ph W/Calculus
Select one of the following:4
General Physics II
General Physics W/Calc II
Honors Gen Ph W/Calculus II
Credit Hours Subtotal: 28
Additional Major Requirements 1
The department offers a number of courses designed to enrich the learning experience of students beyond the traditional classroom setting. These courses include:
Honors Thesis Research
Tutorial In Biol Science
Undergraduate Research
Presentation of UG Research
Intro To Bsc Instruction
Honors Bsc Instruction
Honors Seminar In Bsc
Total Hours65


Other BSC courses must be selected from the following:

Code and Title Hours
BSC 313Gen Bacteriology Lab3
BSC 390Honors Thesis Research1-8
BSC 391Tutorial In Biol Science1-2
BSC 396Resident Study1-6
BSC 398Undergraduate Research1-4
BSC 399Presentation of UG Research2
BSC 403Intro To Bsc Instruction2
BSC 404Honors Bsc Instruction2
BSC 407Honors Seminar In Bsc1
BSC 431Pathogenic Microbiology3
BSC 435Immunology4
BSC 439Bch/Molecular Biology Lab3
BSC 442Integrated Genomics4
BSC 444General Virology3
BSC 450Fundamentals of Biochemistry3
BSC 451Molecular Biology3
BSC 456Microbial Ecology3
BSC 464Biology Of Algae4
BSC 472Mycology4
BSC 497Special Topics1-4

These hours must include two laboratories to be selected from:

Code and Title Hours
BSC 313Gen Bacteriology Lab3
BSC 390 or Honors Thesis Research 11-8
BSC 398 Undergraduate Research
BSC 439Bch/Molecular Biology Lab3
BSC 442Integrated Genomics4
BSC 464Biology Of Algae4
BSC 472Mycology4

Grade Point Average

A 2.0 grade point average in the major is required for completion of the degree. Please see the Grades and Grade Points section of this catalog for an explanation on grade point average calculations.

Upper-level Residency

A minimum of 12 hours of 300- and 400-level courses in the major must be earned on this campus.

Required Minor

The microbiology major does not require a minor.


Prerequisites for all BSC courses at the 300- and 400-level must be passed with a minimum grade of C-. 

Restrictions on course attempts

No undergraduate course offered by the Department of Biological Sciences may be attempted more than three times. Mid-semester withdrawal (any withdrawal that results in a final grade of W) is not considered an attempt. Students who, in three attempts, fail to pass a required course or fail to make a C- or better in a Biology course that is a prerequisite for a required upper level course may no longer major in Biology.

A major in microbiology prepares students for a wide range of employment opportunities in clinical and public health fields, biotechnology, environmentally related fields, and industries concerning food, water quality, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment and supplies.

Types of Jobs Accepted

Recent graduates have worked in entry-level industrial jobs; clinical-medical laboratories; and local, state, or federal government agencies. Others have worked in non-laboratory jobs selling pharmaceuticals and laboratory supplies and equipment used in research facilities, hospitals, and public health areas. Some graduates go into a professional school (e.g., medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, optometry, and public health) and others to graduate school for the master's degree, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), or Doctor of Science (ScD).

Jobs of Experienced Alumni

Physician, pharmacist, optometrist, veterinarian, laboratory technician, teacher, professor, public health officer, pharmaceutical representative

Learn more about opportunities in this field at the Career Center