Jun 14, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog 
2023-2024 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Microbiology, BS

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About the Program

Microbiology includes the study of viruses, bacteria, and fungi. A student can expect to study topics such as microbial growth, nutrition, metabolism, pathogenesis, morphogenesis, and production of antibiotics. Career opportunities are found in public health, medical laboratories, quality assurance, environmental toxicology, and related areas. A microbiology major provides excellent preparation for advanced study (or direct employment) in biological sciences, education, and many health-related professions.

Microbiology Website

Biological Sciences Major Change (CODO) Requirements    

Degree Requirements

120 Credits Required

Curriculum and Degree Requirements for College of Science

A College of Science degree is conferred when a student successfully completes all requirements in their degree program.  Students will complete coursework or approved experiential learning activities to meet the following three degree components:

  1. Major
  2. Science Core Curriculum
  3. Electives

Students may use any of the following options to meet College of Science degree requirements:

  • Purdue Coursework
  • AP, IB, and CLEP credit.  The use of AP and IB coursework varies between College of Science degree plans.
  • Transfer Credit. Students should consult the Admissions Transfer Credit Resource page for all available transfer options.

College of Science degree programs vary widely in their approval and use of the proceeding options and thus students are strongly encouraged to work closely with their academic advisors and to regularly consult their MyPurduePlan to view the use of each option in their degree plan. 

Most College of Science degree programs contain elective credits students may use to pursue courses that relate to their interests or which support their major area of study. The elective area of a degree plan may also be used to complete minors, second majors and certificates such as the Entrepreneurial Certificate. With the exception of courses on the No Count List, any Purdue course may be used to meet the elective area of a student’s degree plan.

College of Science Core Requirements

All Students starting Purdue University Fall semester, 2007 or later are required to pursue the 2007 Science Core curriculum.

The College of Science Core Curriculum requires the completion of approved coursework and/or experiential learning opportunities in the following academic areas:

Earning Core Curricular Requirements through Experience

Students may meet selected core curriculum requirements through approved experiential learning opportunities. Interested students should contact their academic advisor for more information on this option and incorporating experiential learning into their four-year program of study. For more information on earning requirements through experience, please click here.

Departmental/Program Major Courses (36-37 credits)

Biology 2.0 Major GPA: A minimum 2.0 average is required in all courses used to meet major requirements.  A maximum of 3 credits of undergraduate research (BIOL 29400/49400/49900) may be factored into the Biology GPA calculation.  Any excess Biology courses and research credits are “free electives” and not included in this calculation.

BIOL 500-level course: Each student must take at least one 2-3 credit 500-level BIOL lecture course (excluding: lab-only courses such as BIOL 54200 or BIOL 59500 lab modules).  This selection may double-dip with other major requirements. 

Upper-Level Biology Coursework (17-18 credits)

Intermediate Biology Selective (3 credits)

MICR majors must use BIOL 43800 for this requirement.

Microbiology Selective I: BIOL 500-level (3 credits)

Choose one. May not overlap Microbiology Selective II.

Microbiology Selective II (3-4 credits)

Choose either one 3-credit option, or two 2-credit options. May not overlap with Microbiology Selective I.

Any excess coursework will count as “free electives” towards graduation.

Two credit options (2 classes/4 credits)

Select TWO 2-credit options.

Any excess coursework will count as “free electives” towards graduation.

Three credit options (1 class/3 credits)

Select ONE.

Base Lab Requirement (2 credits)

MICR majors must use BIOL 43900 for this requirement.

Click Base Lab Requirements for all Biology majors  for additional lists.

Other Departmental Requirements (51-73 credits)

Chemistry (17 credits)

College of Science Core Requirements (34-56 credits)

^ - Labeled as a Science Core Selection in the four year plan of study

* - Requirement may be met with a zero credit experiential learning option. See your advisor for more information.

Composition & Presentation (3-10 credits)

Written Communication (3-4 credits)

Choose one course from the Written Communication list here. (satisfies Written Communication and Information Literacy for core)​​​​​​​

Technical Writing And Presentation* (0-6 credits)

Students may elect to take one course (COM 21700), a combination of courses, or experiences to meet the TWTP requirement. The list of approved courses and experiences can be found here . (satisfies OC for core)

  • Special Note: Students completing both COM 11400 (elective) and COM 21700 (Technical Writing and Presentation requirement) may use both courses to meet degree requirements.
  • *Students wishing to meet the Technical Presentation and/or Technical Writing requirement through experience are required to complete the Experiential Learning Contract process.
  • International Students Only: International students whose primary high school/equivalent instruction was not in English may meet this requirement with a course option only.

Computing (2-4 credits)

If CS 17700 or CS 18000 is selected and taken at Purdue University, these courses would also meet the College of Science: ‘Team-Building & Collaboration’ requirement.

Cultural Diversity (Language & Culture)^* (0-9 credits)

Choose courses from the list HERE  to fulfill each Option below (select courses can also satisfy University Core: ‘Humanities’).

  • Language & Culture Option I
  • Language & Culture Option II
  • Language & Culture Option III

General Education^ (9 credits)

Choose courses from the list HERE  to fulfill each Option below (select courses can also satisfy University Core: ‘Behavioral/Social Sciences’).

  • General Education Option I
  • General Education Option II
  • General Education Option III

Great Issues In Science (3 credits)

Choose one from the list HERE .

Laboratory Science (8 credits)

Choose one Physics I and one Physics II option.

Mathematics (6-10 credits)

Choose one Calculus I course and one Calculus II course. (satsifies STS for core)

Science Technology and Society

Met with required major coursework (BIOL 12100).

Team-Building and Collaboration* (0 or 3 credits)

This requirement can double-dip with other degree requirements if taken at Purdue University, such as BIOL 32800 (Departmental/Program Major Requirements), or CS 17700 or 18000 (College of Science Core: Computing).

For the full list of options, click HERE .

Electives (10-33 credits)

GPA Requirements

  • 2.0 Graduation GPA required for Bachelor of Science degree.
  • Biology 2.0 Major GPA: A minimum 2.0 average is required in all courses used to meet major requirements.  A maximum of 3 credits of undergraduate research (BIOL 29400/49400/49900) may be factored into the Biology GPA calculation.  Any excess Biology courses and research credits are “free electives” and not included in this calculation.

Course Requirements and Notes

  • Students may earn no more than nine credits of graded (grades of A-F) research.  This rule applies regardless of the subject under which credit was earned (BIOL, CHM, BTNY, etc.).  Any additional research credits beyond nine must be pass/not pass grade mode. (Research courses include but are not limited to: ANSC 49100, ANTH 39000, ASL 39000, BCHM 49800, BIOL 29400, BIOL 49400, BIOL 49900, BTNY 49800, CHM 49900, EDPS 59000, ENTM 49700, FNR 49800, FS 49100, HDFS 39000, HORT 49100, NUTR 39000, PHRM 49500, PSY 39000, PUBH 49000, and SLHS 49800)
  • Courses cannot double count between General Education, Culture and Diversity, and Great Issues requirements.

College of Science Pass/No Pass Option Policy

  • Only free electives and courses at the 50000-level general education requirement may be taken under the pass/not-pass option. 
  • The pass/not-pass grade mode may be entered for courses which are not required by a student’s major(s), minor(s) or science core curriculum.
  • Grade mode Passing is equivalent to at a minimum grade of C- had a letter grade been awarded.
  • Students may elect to use the pass/not-pass option for no more than 20% of the 124/120 credit requirement for graduation and for no more than two courses per academic year (Fall-Summer).
  • The pass/not-pass option cannot be elected for a course that has already been completed with a letter grade. University Regulation.
  • Students may take elective credit while abroad using the P/NP mode.  In the case of universities which only post P/NP, the University will apply a calculation process to determine a letter grade.
  • Department of Languages and Cultures P/NP policy and Language Placement results. Students must take advanced coursework for a letter grade to receive credit for lower-level language courses.

College of Science Transfer Credit Policy

College of Science degree programs vary widely in their approval and use of non-Purdue originated credit (AP, IB, CLEP, and transfer credit). Students work closely with their academic advisors and degree plan audits to review the use and approval of each non-Purdue credit option.

University Requirements

University Core Requirements

For a complete listing of University Core Course Selectives, visit the Provost’s Website.
  • Human Cultures: Behavioral/Social Science (BSS)
  • Human Cultures: Humanities (HUM)
  • Information Literacy (IL)
  • Oral Communication (OC)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (QR)
  • Science #1 (SCI)
  • Science #2 (SCI)
  • Science, Technology, and Society (STS)
  • Written Communication (WC) 

Civics Literacy Proficiency Requirement

The Civics Literacy Proficiency activities are designed to develop civic knowledge of Purdue students in an effort to graduate a more informed citizenry. For more information visit the Civics Literacy Proficiency website.

Students will complete the Proficiency by passing a test of civic knowledge, and completing one of three paths:

  • Attending six approved civics-related events and completing an assessment for each; or
  • Completing 12 podcasts created by the Purdue Center for C-SPAN Scholarship and Engagement that use C-SPAN material and completing an assessment for each; or
  • Earning a passing grade for one of these approved courses (or transferring in approved AP or departmental credit in lieu of taking a course).

Upper Level Requirement

  • Resident study at Purdue University for at least two semesters and the enrollment in and completion of at least 32 semester hours of coursework required and approved for the completion of the degree. These courses are expected to be at least junior-level (30000+) courses.
  • Students should be able to fulfill most, if not all, of these credits within their major requirements; there should be a clear pathway for students to complete any credits not completed within their major.

Sample 4-Year Plan

16-18 Credits

16-19 Credits

15 Credits

15-16 Credits

Fall 3rd Year

15 Credits

14 Credits

Fall 4th Year

  • (Microbiology Selective I)
  • Computing Selective - Credit Hours: 3.00-4.00 ♦
  • Great Issues In Science - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • Elective - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • Elective - Credit Hours: 3.00

15-16 Credits

Spring 4th Year

15 Credits

Prerequisite Information

For current pre-requisites for courses, click here.

World Language Courses

World Language proficiency requirements vary by program. The following list is inclusive of all world languages PWL offers for credit; for acceptable languages and proficiency levels, see your advisor. (ASL-American Sign Language; ARAB-Arabic; CHNS-Chinese; FR-French; GER-German; GREK-Greek(Ancient); HEBR-Hebrew(Biblical); HEBR-Hebrew(Modern); ITAL-Italian; JPNS-Japenese; KOR-Korean; LATN-Latin; PTGS=Portuguese; RUSS-Russian; SPAN-Spanish)

Critical Course

The ♦ course is considered critical.

In alignment with the Degree Map Guidance for Indiana’s Public Colleges and Universities, published by the Commission for Higher Education (pursuant to HEA 1348-2013), a Critical Course is identified as “one that a student must be able to pass to persist and succeed in a particular major.  Students who want to be nurses, for example, should know that they are expected to be proficient in courses like biology in order to be successful.  These would be identified by the institutions for each degree program”. 


The student is ultimately responsible for knowing and completing all degree requirements.

Consultation with an advisor may result in an altered plan customized for an individual student.

The myPurduePlan powered by DegreeWorks is the knowledge source for specific requirements and completion.

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