Get started thinking about the future now.

Use this major map to explore possibilities and plan for success in five overlapping areas of career and academics.

Choose your year below, then see what you can do when you:

  • Learn. Develop the knowledge and skills to complete your major.
  • Engage. Contribute to campus and the community.
  • Network. Build a foundation of professional connections.
  • Transform. Make a positive impact in a diverse world.
  • Prepare. Plan for life after graduation.

The map just offers suggestions - you don’t have to do it all.

First Year

Learn: What foundational courses should I be taking?

  • Microbiology concentrators must elect BIOL 140 during their freshman year so that MICR 385 can be elected in the Fall of their sophomore year
  • Solid foundation in chemistry (CHEM 134 or 144 and 136 or 146, CHEM 225, 226, and 227) and math (MATH 113 or 115 [Calculus I] and 114 or 116 [Calculus II] or Biostatistics)

Engage:  What kinds of activities and organizations can I explore?

Network: What are important topics in my field?

  • Emerging technologies for detecting and tracking pathogens
  • New and emerging viral, bacterial and parasitic infections of animals and humans; antibiotic resistance
  • Understanding global reservoirs of zoonotic diseases; microbiomes
  • Applications of microbes in biotechnology and industries

Transform: What are the challenges and the strengths in my community?

Prepare: What are the career options for people with my major?

  • Public health, medical, or veterinary laboratory scientist/technologist
  • Quality assurance/control scientist
  • Food, agricultural, or environmental laboratory scientist/technologist
  • Research associate; technician
  • Biosafety specialist
Second Year

Learn: How do I build on  foundational courses?

  • Microbiology (MICR 385) is a gateway course in the microbiology program and builds upon what was learned in BIOL 140, CHEM 134/144 and CHEM 136/146
  • Students must complete MICR 385 in order to take any upper-level microbiology courses such as MICR 406, MICR 485, MICR 440, MICR 405; MICR 380; MICR 430; MICR 450); MICR 455 and MICR 459

Engage: What activities and organizations will help me develop professional skills? 

Network: How do I connect with faculty and students with similar interests?

  • Attend department colloquium and other research talks on campus

  • Attend research talks at UM-Ann Arbor, Wayne State or Oakland University

  • Visit your professors during office hours to introduce yourself

Transform: What are the challenges and strengths of the Detroit Metro area?

  • Contribute to a community project through the Office of Metropolitan Impact (OMI)
  • Volunteer for a campus or community organization
  • Become a Diversity Ambassador or participate in a Conversation on Race

Prepare: What resources are available on campus to help me develop the professional skills I will need?

Third Year

Learn: How do I gain expertise in my major?

  • Get to class
  • Study more
  • Join a study group
  • Use tutors
  • Take advantage of SI sessions
  • Connect with your professor

Engage: How can I grow as a leader on campus?

  • Join a campus club where you can have fun and develop leadership and teamwork experience
  • Take the lead on class projects. Show that you can delegate and keep others on a tight schedule
  • Take a leadership training workshop to gain crucial skills like communication and teamwork
  • Consider running for Student Government or a leadership position in a campus organization

Network: How can I broaden my professional relationships?

Transform: How can I prepare to effectively solve local and global challenges?

Prepare: What practical things should I do to further my career options?

  • Start building your CV - your academic resume
  • Explore career options in your field to learn about requirements and expectations. Schedule a visit to the Office of Career Services
  • Explore possible graduate programs
  • Leverage your alumni network
  • Work an internship into your schedule to gain professional experience
Fourth Year

Learn: How do I finish strong?

  • Make a study plan
  • Don’t procrastinate
  • Get organized
  • Focus on actually learning, not just on your grades
  • Don’t give up

Engage: How can I mentor others to be leaders on campus?

Network: How can I demonstrate my readiness for the next steps?

  • Submit your best paper for the Campus Writing Awards
  • Make sure your applications for graduate or professional schools are complete with a writing sample and personal essay
  • Network with alumni in your field of interest
  • Request letters of recommendation

Transform: How can I add to the strengths of my community, the region, and the world?

  • Contribute to global learning initiatives on campus

  • Add a minor or certificate program to your degree

  • Consider spending the summer volunteering with government agency or nonprofit

Prepare: How do I make the best use of university resources to launch my professional next steps?

  • Visit Career Services for advice with job searching and interviewing, resumes, and graduate school applications
  • Explore graduate programs at UM-Dearborn
  • Register for postgraduate entrance exams (GRE, MCAT, LSAT) if you plan on graduate school
Where could I go after graduation?

UM-Dearborn students who graduate with a degree in microbiology typically follow various pathways as they launch their post-baccalaureate careers. Many of our students choose to pursue additional study in graduate school or medical school. Several enter MS programs; however, it is not unusual for students to undertake Ph.D. studies directly upon leaving UM-Dearborn. Students who complete senior research projects and qualify for Special Honors typically have greater choice of schools to attend and are usually more likely to receive financial aid in the form of assistantships. 

Many of our graduates have found jobs in several areas of microbiology as community college instructor, research assistant, field microbiologist, clinical laboratory technologist, research microbiologist, environmental quality analyst, medical technologist, food technologist, biosafety specialist, environmental health sanitarian, quality assurance specialist, specimen processing specialist, infection control epidemiologist, infection control coordinator, food safety laboratory manager, water quality specialist, public health scientist, microbiology test technician, or histotechnologist.

How to use this Major Map

Use the map on the interior portion of this brochure to review possibilities and plan for success in the five areas listed - Learn, Engage, Network, Transform, Prepare. The map gives options so you can select what best matches your interests and goals. Start thinking about your future now and build a path throughout your UM-Dearborn career that will prepare you for success. 

College is a time for discovering your passions–figuring out who you are and what drives you. UM-Dearborn offers more than 100 majors and minors, so you can find a program that is right for you. We are committed to cultivating a campus community that acknowledges our similarities and celebrates our differences. On campus you’ll find a range of support services and offices that provide the programs you need to be successful both academically and personally.

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