The Microbiology Bachelor of Science Major

In the B.S. in Microbiology, students study basic life processes of viruses, bacteria and archaea, their genetics, biochemistry, structures, and reproduction. Advanced courses in Immunology, Microbial Diversity, Metabolic Regulation and Virology are offered. Applied areas such as biotechnology, food, and medical microbiology may also be studied. Research and other work experience opportunities are available in the department and surrounding private and government laboratories. Microbiology is an appropriate major for students interested in medicine, dentistry and other health professions as well as careers in research, production, regulatory affairs and scientific sales.

Many Microbiology majors choose to obtain minors in Biotechnology, Genetics, Biotechnology, or Biomanufacturing.

Required courses in the Microbiology major are :

  • Microbiology : General Microbiology, Medical Microbiology, Metabolic Regulation, Microbial Diversity, Senior Seminar. Laboratory components are part of General and Medical Microbiology and Microbial Diversity
  • Microbiology Electives
  • Other Life Sciences : Biology, Genetics, Advanced Cell Biology or Physiology, Gene Expression, and Laboratory elective
  • Chemistry : General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Quantitative Chemistry, and Biochemistry
  • Calculus, Statistics, and Physics
  • The General Education (GEP) courses, Orientation, and Communication for Science and Research

Students are free to choose from a array of Microbiology elective courses and free electives.

Detailed requirements

Admission to the Microbiology Major

NC State students who wish to add a Microbiology major, or switch majors to Microbiology, should contact the Director of Microbiology Undergraduate Programs to schedule an appointment so that he/she can review your academic record to determine if you are admissible to his/her program.

The Director of Microbiology Programs is :

Dr. James W. Brown
Professor of Biological Sciences
124 David Clark Labs

Requirements for transfer:

  • 2.5 or higher cumulative NC State GPA
  • Space is available in the program

Admission to the major from within NC State University (adding or changing majors) is vis the normal university CODA (Change of Degree Appliction) process.

Admission to the major from outside NC State University (freshmen or transfer stduents) is vis the normal university admissions process.


Microbiology majors who wish to focus their studies in specific areas of Microbiology for career development or in preparation for advanced graduate or professional study can choose from one of the three Microbiology concentrations:

Microbial Health Science

Microbial Research Concentration

Microbial Biotechnology Concentration

Requirements : 15 credit hours from :
  • MB 435 Bacterial Pathogenesis
  • MB 441 Immunology
  • MB 461 Molecular Virology
  • FS 405/406 Food Microbiology/lab
  • GPH 201 Global Public Health
  • PHI/STS 325 Biomedical Ethics
  • GN 441 Human and Biomedical Genetics
Requirements :
  • MB 360 Scientific Inquiry in Microbiology: At the Bench
  • 12 credit hours of research credit (this can come under various course numbers)
Requirements :
  • MB 455 Microbial Biotechnology

  • 12 credit hours of Microbial Biotech electives (mostly 400-level BIT or BEC courses)
Many Microbial Biotech students will choose to minor in Biotechnology (BIT) or Biomanufacturing (BEC).
The Microbial Health Sciences concentration is designed for students who wish to enroll in health-related post-graduate programs, such as medical, PA, dental, veterinary, or pharmacy schools. The Microbial Research concentration is designed for students who wish to continue their education in research-oriented Ph.D. or M.S. graduate programs. The Microbial Biotechnology concentration is designed for students who wish to enter the workforce in the biotechnology or biomanufacturing industry after graduation.

Detailed requirements

Detailed requirements

Detailed requirements

The Microbiology Honors Program

Microbiology majors who have earned an overall GPA of 3.50 after completing 30 credit hours at NC State (or transfer students who earn a GPA of 3.50 after completing 15 credit hours at NC State), will receive an invitation to join the Honors Program in Microbiology.

Program Requirements

  • Two semesters (6 cr) of mentored research or teaching experience in their discipline
  • includes written project proposal, a paper, and a poster presentation describing your work
  • requires a completed contract with the mentor, approved by the Program Director in advance of the experience
  • Eight (8) credit hours of honors coursework
  • must be completed with a C or better
  • must be numbered 300 or higher
  • can include ALS 398 for those who completed it no later than Spring 2013

Honors coursework is defined as including any course designated as an honors course by the University Honors Program, any course for which an Honors Contract is approved by the University Honors Program, any course at the 500 level, and any approved Study Abroad course.

Graduation Requirements

Students must complete the Program Requirements as described above and must maintain an overall GPA of 3.35 or higher throughout their remaining undergraduate career, and must graduate in Microbiology.

CALS Honors

Microbiology majors currently in the CALS Honors Program will be allowed to switch into the Honors Program in Microbiology, if they desire to do so. Microbiology majors in the Microbial Biotechnology concentration can choose between the Microbiology Honors program or the CALS Honors program.