Microbiology is the study of organisms that usually require the aid of a microscope in order to be seen.

Micro-organisms include viruses, bacteria, archaea bacteria, algae, fungi, and protozoa. Microbiologists seek to understand the interactions between these organisms and components of our biosphere. Many micro-organisms are essential for life, as we know it, to exist on earth. Many of these organisms produce useful biologically active products, such as enzymes and antibiotics. A small number of them cause diseases in plants and animals, including humans.

The study of micro-organisms has led to many important discoveries concerning:

  • the complexities, universality and mechanism of expression of the genetic code;
  • the transfer of genetic information between species and modulation of the gene pool;
  • the mechanism of antigen-antibody reactions and cellular immunity;
  • the synthesis of proteins, nucleic acids and other cellular constituents;
  • the structure, function and biogenesis of membranes; and,
  • the process of molecular and cellular differentiation. 

Microbiology Program Chair: Dr. Sonia M. Tiquia-Arashiro

Concentration Advisors: Dr. Sonia M. Tiquia-Arashiro

Degree Requirements

Learn more about CASL Degree Requirements.

Student Learning Goals

Students majoring in Microbiology will understand basic principles relating to molecular, cellular and organismal biology. In addition to these, students will exhibit proficiency in selected empirical laboratory skills, develop knowledge of contemporary research using the scientific method and demonstrate competence in oral and written communication. This background of knowledge and experience will prepare the students for entry into professional/graduate school or for employment in government, academic or industrial positions. The learning goals are divided into five parts including (1) Conceptual knowledge; (2) Critical and independent thinking skills; (3) Communication skills; (4) Collaborative skills; and (5) Societal impact.

  • Conceptual knowledge

    (1)  Conceptual knowledge: Proficiency in basic principles of the biology of microorganisms including

    • Microbial cell biology
    • Microbial genetics
    • Microbial physiology
    • Microbial diversity and ecology
    • Medical microbiology
    • Microbial biotechnology
  • Critical and independent thinking skills

    (2)  Critical and independent thinking skills

    • Proficiency in the scientific method and hypothesis testing
    • Ability to develop theoretical and practical skills in the design of an experiment
    • Ability to assess the validity of data or scientific information
    • Ability to draw conclusions based on results or findings
    • Ability to perform statistical and quantitative analyses
  • Communication skills
    • Ability to search literature for pertinent information
    • Ability to discuss and present scientific information (i.e., laboratory results, scientific articles, etc.)
    • Ability to communicate scientific information in writing (includes scientific format, appropriate citations, etc.)
  • Collaborative skills
    • Ability to work effectively in groups or teams
    • Ability to manage time and tasks to be done simultaneously by individuals and within groups
  • Societal impact
    • Ability to describe the societal place of microbiology as a science
    • Ability to integrate knowledge and make informed judgments about microbiology in everyday life
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