Microbiology (BS): Microbial Research Concentration

To see more about what you will learn in this program, visit the Learning Outcomes website!

Microbiology is concerned with the growth and development, physiology, classification, ecology, genetics, and other aspects of the life process of an array of microscopic, generally single-celled, organisms and viruses. These organisms frequently serve as model systems for elucidation of fundamental processes that are common to all living cells. Most of the major discoveries that have produced spectacular advances in biology and genomic science during the past decade have resulted from studies of microbial systems. Future developments in biotechnology, production of food and fuel, and human and animal health will rely heavily on understanding microbial processes.

There are 4 avenues to earning a B.S. in Microbiology. Students can opt for a general curriculum (MBIO) or can choose to focus in a particular area by selecting one of three areas of concentration: Microbial Biotechnology (MBIO-MT) or Microbial Research (MBIO-MR) or Microbial Health Sciences (MBIO-HS). These concentrations mirror the three most common career paths of Microbiology majors: work in research laboratories and production facilities, further study in graduate school (at the Masters or Doctoral level), and further study in professional schools such as medical and dental schools.

Plan Requirements

Orientation
LSC 103Exploring Opportunities in the Life Sciences1
or MB 103 Introductory Topics in Microbiology
Scientific Communication
ENG 333Communication for Science and Research 13
Mathematical Sciences
MA 131Calculus for Life and Management Sciences A 13
or MA 141 Calculus I
ST 311Introduction to Statistics 13
or ST 371 Introduction to Probability and Distribution Theory
Natural and Physical Sciences
CH 101
CH 102
Chemistry - A Molecular Science
and General Chemistry Laboratory 1
4
CH 201
CH 202
Chemistry - A Quantitative Science
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory 1
4
CH 221
CH 222
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Lab 1
4
CH 223
CH 224
Organic Chemistry II
and Organic Chemistry II Lab 1
4
BIO 181Introductory Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity 14
BIO 183Introductory Biology: Cellular and Molecular Biology 14
Select one of the following: 14
University Physics I
Physics for Engineers and Scientists I
and Physics for Engineers and Scientists I Laboratory
College Physics I
Select one of the following: 14
University Physics II
Physics for Engineers and Scientists II
and Physics for Engineers and Scientists II Laboratory
College Physics II
Major Requirements
LSC 101Critical and Creative Thinking in the Life Sciences 12
MB 351General Microbiology 13
MB 354Inquiry-Guided Microbiology Lab 11
MB 360Scientific Inquiry in Microbiology: At the Bench3
MB 411Medical Microbiology 13
MB 412Medical Microbiology Laboratory 11
MB 414Microbial Metabolic Regulation 13
MB 451Microbial Diversity 13
MB 452Microbial Diversity Lab 12
MB 480Current Issues in Microbiology 11
GN 311Principles of Genetics 14
BCH 451Principles of Biochemistry 14
Gene Expression 13
Biochemistry of Gene Expression
Molecular Genetics
Cell/Physiology 13
Principles of Human Anatomy & Physiology (A): Nervous, Skeletal, Muscular, & Digestive Systems
Principles of Human Anatomy & Physiology (B): Endocrine, Cardiovascular, Respiratory & Renal Systems
Cell Biology
Plant Physiology
Laboratory Elective 13
Microbial Research Electives:12
Professional Experience
Research Experience
GEP Courses
ENG 101Academic Writing and Research 14
GEP Humanities6
GEP Social Sciences6
GEP Health and Exercise Studies2
GEP Additional Breadth (Humanities/Social Sciences/Visual and Performing Arts)3
GEP Interdisciplinary Perspectives3
GEP U.S. Diversity (verify requirement)
GEP Global Knowledge (verify requirement)
Foreign Language Proficiency (verify requirement)
Free Electives
Free Electives (12 Hr S/U Lmt) 23
Total Hours120

Laboratory Elective

BBS/BEC 426Upstream Biomanufacturing Laboratory2
BCH 452Introductory Biochemistry Laboratory2
BEC 436Introduction to Downstream Process Development2
BEC 440Expression Systems in Biomanufacturing 13
BEC 441Expression Systems in Biomanufacturing II3
BEC 462Fundamentals of Bio-Nanotechnology3
BEC 463Fermentation of Recombinant Microorganisms2
BEC 475Global Regulatory Affairs for Medical Products3
BEC 480cGMP Fermentation Operations2
BEC 483Tissue Engineering Technologies2
BEC 485cGMP Downstream Operations2
BEC 488Animal Cell Culture Engineering2
BEC 495Special Topics in Biomanufacturing1-4
BEC 497Biomanufacturing Research Projects1-3
BIT 402Biotechnology Networking and Professional Development1
BIT 410Manipulation of Recombinant DNA4
BIT 462Gene Expression Analysis: Microarrays2
BIT 463Fermentation of Recombinant Microorganisms2
BIT 464Protein Purification2
BIT 465Real-time PCR Techniques2
BIT 466Animal Cell Culture Techniques2
BIT 467PCR and DNA Fingerprinting2
BIT 468Genome Mapping2
BIT 471RNA Interference and Model Organisms2
BIT 473Protein Interactions2
BIT 474Plant Genetic Engineering2
BIT 476Applied Bioinformatics2
BIT 477Metagenomics2
BIT 478Mapping the Brain2
BIT 479High-Throughput Discovery2
BIT 480Yeast Metabolic Engineering2
BIT 481Plant Tissue Culture and Transformation2
BIT 492External Learning Experience1-6
BIT 493Special Problems in Biotechnology1-6
BIT 495Special Topics in Biotechnology1-3
BME 483Tissue Engineering Technologies2
CHE 462Fundamentals of Bio-Nanotechnology3
CHE 463Fermentation of Recombinant Microorganisms2
CHE 488Animal Cell Culture Engineering2
FS 426Upstream Biomanufacturing Laboratory2
GN 312Elementary Genetics Laboratory1
MB 360Scientific Inquiry in Microbiology: At the Bench3
MB 420Fundamentals of Microbial Cell Biotransformations2
PB 481Plant Tissue Culture and Transformation2
PO 466Animal Cell Culture Techniques2

Semester Sequence

This is a sample.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterHours
BIO 181 Introductory Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity 1 4
CH 101
CH 102
Chemistry - A Molecular Science
and General Chemistry Laboratory 1
4
LSC 101 Critical and Creative Thinking in the Life Sciences 1 2
MA 131 Calculus for Life and Management Sciences A 1 3
MB 103 Introductory Topics in Microbiology 1
GEP Health and Exercise Studies 1
 Hours15
Spring Semester
BIO 183 Introductory Biology: Cellular and Molecular Biology 1 4
CH 221
CH 222
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Lab 1
4
CH 222 Organic Chemistry I Lab 1 1
ENG 101 Academic Writing and Research 4
GEP Social Sciences 3
 Hours16
Second Year
Fall Semester
CH 223
CH 224
Organic Chemistry II
and Organic Chemistry II Lab 1
4
PY 211 College Physics I 1 4
MB 351 General Microbiology 1 3
GEP Social Sciences 3
MB 354 Inquiry-Guided Microbiology Lab 1 1
 Hours15
Spring Semester
CH 201
CH 202
Chemistry - A Quantitative Science
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory 1
4
PY 212 College Physics II 1 4
MB 360 Scientific Inquiry in Microbiology: At the Bench 1 3
MB 411
MB 412
Medical Microbiology
and Medical Microbiology Laboratory 1
4
 Hours15
Third Year
Fall Semester
ENG 333 Communication for Science and Research 3
GN 311 Principles of Genetics 1 4
ST 311 Introduction to Statistics 3
BSC 492
Professional Experience 1
or Research Experience
3
GEP Health and Exercise Studies 1
 Hours14
Spring Semester
Cell/Physiology Elective 1 3
BCH 451 Principles of Biochemistry 1 4
Laboratory Elective 1 3
GEP Additional Breadth 3
BSC 492
Professional Experience 1
or Research Experience
3
 Hours16
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
MB 414 Microbial Metabolic Regulation 1 3
BSC 492
Professional Experience 1
or Research Experience
3
MB 480 Current Issues in Microbiology 1 1
GEP Humanities 3
MB 451
MB 452
Microbial Diversity
and Microbial Diversity Lab 1
4
 Hours14
Spring Semester
Gene Expression Elective 1 3
BSC 492
Professional Experience 1
or Research Experience
3
GEP Interdisciplinary Perspectives 3
Free Elective 3
GEP Humanities 3
 Hours15
 Total Hours120

Career Opportunities

Many students majoring in the Department of Biological Sciences take advantage of scholarship and honors programs available at NC State, including the University Honors Program and the University Scholars Program.  In addition, we offer a discipline-based Undergraduate Honors Program in Biological Sciences (DBS Honors Program).  The DBS Honors Program requires students to design a challenging program of advanced study, including eight credits of honors coursework in biology and at least two semesters of research or teaching scholarship.  Participants write an honors thesis and are required to present their scholarly work at a local, regional, or national meeting.  Invitations to join the DBS Honors Program are sent in the first three weeks of the Fall and Spring semesters.  Students in any major in the Department of Biological Sciences who have earned an overall GPA of 3.60 after completing 30-65 credit hours at NC State will receive an invitation to join the DBS Honors Program; transfer students in any of our majors who have earned an overall GPA of 3.60 in 15 credit hours at NC State also will receive an invitation.  

Students who graduate from the Department of Biological Sciences are well prepared for employment in various government agencies and private industries. Graduates may continue their education with studies leading to advanced degrees in many areas of the biological sciences, including cell biology, ecology, microbiology, genetics, zoology, neurobiology, and biomedical disciplines. Many choose to seek advanced degrees in medicine, dentistry, optometry, veterinary medicine, public health, and other health-related fields. Students who plan to seek certification for pre-college teaching may want to pursue a second major in the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Education.