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Microbiology (BI32)

Description, major requirements and advising resources for the Microbiology (BI32) Major in the School of Biological Sciences.

The Lower-Divison and Upper-Division Requirements listed on this page only apply to students who were admitted to UC San Diego in Fall 2024.

Older major requirements can be referenced within the General Catalog Archive.

Description of the Major

The Microbiology major encompasses a wide range of topics from human health to biotechnology, synthetic biology to microbiomes, and biofuels to bioremediation. This major provides students with a solid background in biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology and basic microbiology, and then allows them to tailor their studies for an emphasis in general, medical, biotechnological, or environmental microbiology. The Microbiology major provides a foundation for careers in a variety of fields including healthcare, epidemiology, clinical diagnostics, food microbiology, microbial fermentation, environmental testing, health and environmental public policy, biotechnology, bioenergy, and biomanufacturing. The Microbiology major will also provide an excellent foundation for graduate studies in microbiology, virology, infectious diseases, biotechnology, and related fields, as well as for medical, dental, nursing, veterinary and pharmacy school.

Lower-Division Requirements

  • Biology: BILD 1, 3, 4, and 5*
  • Chemistry: CHEM 6A, 6B, 6C and 7L
  • Organic Chemistry: CHEM 40A and 40B
  • Mathematics: MATH 10A, 10B, and 11 or 20A, 20B, and 11
  • Physics: PHYS 1A/1AL, 1B/1BL, and 1C/1CL or 2A, 2B, 2C and one lab (2BL, 2CL, 2DL)

*BILD 5 is required for Fall 2024 admitted students

Upper-Division Requirements

Note: Any given course can only satisfy one major requirement

  • Genetics (BICD 100)
  • Molecular Biology (BIMM 100)
  • Microbiology (BIMM 120)
  • Microbiology Laboratory (BIMM 121)
  • Microbial Genetics (BIMM 122)
  • Biochemistry - complete one of the following courses:
    • Structural Biochemistry (BIBC 100)
    • Metabolic Biochemistry (BIBC 102)
    • Biochemical Structure and Function (CHEM 114A)
    • Biochemical Energetics and Metabolism (CHEM 114B)
  • Microbiology Core Courses - complete three courses from the following:
    • Immunology (BICD 140)
    • Genome Diversity and Dynamics (BIEB 146)
    • Evolution (BIEB 150)
    • Evolution of Infectious Diseases (BIEB 152)
    • Virology (BIMM 114)
    • Medical Microbiology (BIMM 124)
    • Genome Science (BIMM 172)
    • Biology Meets Computing (CSE 180)
  • Upper-Division Biology Lab - complete one of the following courses:
    • Biochemical Techniques (BIBC 103)
    • Chemistry of Biological Interactions (BIBC 151)
    • Eucaryotic Genetics Laboratory (BICD 101)
    • Plant Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology Lab (BICD 123)
    • Laboratory in Molecular Medicine (BICD 145)
    • Ecology Lab (BIEB 121)
    • Molecular Methods in Evolution & Ecology Lab (BIEB 123)
    • Marine Invertebrate Ecology Lab (BIEB 131)
    • Aquatic Ecology Lab (BIEB 135)
    • Intro to Q-Modeling Biology Lab (BIEB 141)
    • Computer Modeling in Evolution and Ecology (BIEB 143)
    • Microbiome Function Laboratory (BIEB 159)
    • Animal Communication Lab (BIEB 167)
    • Recombinant DNA Techniques (BIMM 101)
    • Bioinformatics Laboratory (BIMM 143)
    • Animal Physiology Lab (BIPN 105)
    • Neurobiology Lab (BIPN 145)
    • BISP 196/197/199 (at least 4 units)
  • Biology Electives - complete at least six or eight units of upper-division coursework offered by the UC San Diego School of Biological Sciences (a total of 48 upper division units is required for completion of the major).
    • Upper-division Biology elective units may be completed with courses numbered 100-189 taken through UC San Diego’s School of Biological Sciences. Elective units may include one quarter of BISP 195, up to four BIxx 194s, and one quarter of either BISP 193 or BISP 196/197/199.
    • Only one BISP 196/197/199 can apply towards the major. Subsequent quarters of BISP 196, 197 or 199 may be applied toward college and university requirements.

Coursework taken outside of the School of Biological Sciences may be applicable toward the major, assuming the course has been previously reviewed and approved and meets minimum criteria. Non-reviewed coursework requires an Undergraduate Student Petition for consideration.

Advising Documents and Resources

Additional Major Requirements

In addition to programmatic course requirements, all majors offered by the School of Biological Sciences have a minimum grade, upper division unit and residency requirement. All coursework, along with additional major requirements, must be complete in order to earn a degree from the School.

Program Learning Outcomes & Goals for BioSci Majors

UC San Diego is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Interested in how your curriculum is built? View our Inventory of Educational Effectiveness Indicators. You can find out more about accreditation and WASC at UC San Diego Accreditation. Additionally, the School of Biological Sciences' Program Learning Outcomes align with knowledge and compentencies mastered by undergraduate students upon completion of degree requirements.