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    University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
  Dec 12, 2017
2012-2013 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Microbiology – Major

Microbiology involves the study of small, usually single cell organisms. The microscopic life forms (microbes) that the discipline investigates include archaebacteria, bacteria, fungi, and algae, as well as various animal microscopic parasites. The study of viruses is also a part of microbiology. Some microbes cause disease; however, most are not harmful to people, and many are beneficial.

Microbiologists study microbes to: [i] improve our knowledge base; [ii] solve technical problems pertaining to food production and preservation; [iii] identify, prevent, and cure infectious diseases; [iv] produce alternative energy sources; and [v] manage wastes. Microbiologists work in a wide variety of professional environments. The American Society for Microbiology has identified career opportunities in academic, clinical, industrial, and government settings for microbiologists with bachelor-level degrees. Furthermore, the undergraduate microbiology degree provides the background necessary to pursue graduate or professional education.

The microbiology curriculum meets the requirements of the American Society for Microbiology Core Curriculum and is structured, yet flexible enough, to provide students with additional exposure to the natural and physical sciences and humanities, plus independent study and directed research.

Microbiology Degree Requirements

To qualify for the degree of bachelor of science in microbiology, a minimum of 130 credit hours of approved courses is required, of which at least 45 credit hours must represent courses in the biological sciences. At the 200 level and above, only those credits for which a student has earned a grade of “C-” or better will count toward the minimum biological science credits required for graduation. Coursework used to meet the 45-credit minimum for the biological sciences must include the following:

Microbiology Program Electives (minimum of 11 credit hours required)

At least one elective course must have a laboratory component.

Additional Curricular Requirements


  1. Qualified students may substitute CH 111/113 and CH 112/114.
  2. Qualified students may substitute CH 211/213 and CH 212/214.
  3. Qualified students may substitute PY 211 and PY 212.

Additional Information

Credit hours earned in a course of a biological nature offered by a department other than the Department of Biological Sciences may only be used to meet the minimum credits required to qualify for a bachelor of science in microbiology with written approval of the chair of the Department of Biological Sciences.

In order to earn a degree from the Misher College of Arts and Sciences, a student must complete thirty (30) in-residence credits at a University campus. Fifteen (15) of the thirty in-residence credits must be at the 300 level or higher. In-residence credits are defined as credits for courses offered by the University for which a student receives credit and a grade that can contribute to the student’s calculated grade point average.

Sample Microbiology Curriculum Plan

Students entering in Catalog Year 2009 and beyond (graduating classes of 2013 and beyond)—with general education.

First Year

Credits/Semester: 15

Credits/Semester: 15

Second Year

Fall Semester

Intellectual Heritage I Credits: 3

(Choose one)

Credits/Semester: 17

Spring Semester

  • General Education Requirement Credits: 3
  • General Education Communication Requirement Credits: 3

Intellectual Heritage II Credits: 3

(Choose one)

Credits/Semester: 18

Third Year

Spring Semester

  • General Education Elective or Microbiology Elective Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 18

Fall Semester

  • General Education Requirement Credits: 6

Credits/Semester: 16–17

Fourth Year

Fall Semester

  • Microbiology Program Elective Credits: 6–8
  • Free Elective Credits: 3–4

Credits/Semester: 14–17

Spring Semester

  • Microbiology Program Elective Credits: 6–8
  • Free Elective Credits: 6–8

Credits/Semester: 13–17

Total Minimum Credits: 130


  1. Qualified students may substitute CH 111/113 and CH 112/114 for CH 101/103 and CH 102/104.
  2. Qualified students may substitute CH 211/213 and CH 212/214 for CH 201/203 and CH 202/204.
  3. Qualified students may substitute PY 211 and PY 212 for PY 201 and PY 202.