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Microbiology is a fundamental biological science concerned with bacteria, viruses and other microbes. Some of the most important scientific discoveries have been made by microbiologists. Since 1910, approximately one-third of the Nobel Prizes in medicine and physiology have been awarded to microbiologists. The discipline covers a wide spectrum of specialized interest areas that show how microbes affect human and animal health, our environment, food technology and safety, and the biotechnology industry. Microbiology prepares students for a wide range of important career opportunities.

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The Program

In recent years, the field of microbiology has had a major impact upon virtually all other scientific disciplines. For this reason, students who choose to major in microbiology often minor in biotechnology, chemistry or food safety. Students who choose to major in other fields may find it advantageous to minor in microbiology.

Career Opportunities

A career in microbiology offers many opportunities. The microbiology major is an excellent preparation for professional school (such as veterinary and human medicine) and graduate school, due to its emphasis on the pathogenesis of infectious disease, molecular biology, sterile techniques and laboratory skills. Graduates also may seek employment in the health sciences, biomedical industries, biotechnology, agricultural biosystems, food industries, pharmaceutical industries and government agencies. In these careers, graduates may identify new emerging diseases; develop diagnostic tests, new medicines and vaccines; work in departments of public health or hospital laboratories to insure a safe food supply; or work in academic or private research laboratories. Microbiologists work in government agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency. Many microbiologists are teachers and professors.

The Faculty and Facilities

The teaching faculty offer expertise and experience in nearly all areas of microbiology. Additionally, faculty are active researchers and devoted research mentors. Our undergraduates frequently have opportunities to perform cutting edge research in nationally-funded laboratories.

The Department of Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences is located in Van Es Hall. The modern teaching and research laboratories are especially spacious, well-equipped and pleasant.

High School Preparation

Students will find courses in science and mathematics, such as algebra, biology, physics and chemistry, to be very helpful in preparing for a major in microbiology.

The Curriculum

During the first year, students in microbiology take basic college courses in English, chemistry, biology or zoology and mathematics. The curriculum over the next three years includes advanced courses in microbiology and the life sciences. These courses include pathogenic microbiology, virology, immunology, parasitology, microbial genetics, food microbiology, microbial ecology and bacterial physiology. The department also offers courses in epidemiology, animal disease, and food safety to enhance our students’ understanding of applied microbiology and infectious disease.

Qualified upperclass students majoring in microbiology may pursue individualized study and research under the supervision of one of the faculty members.

Sample Curriculum

General Education RequirementsCredits
First Year Experience
  AGRI 189 - Skills for Academic Success1
  COMM 110 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
  ENGL 110, 120 - College Composition I, II 3, 3
  MICR 354 - Scientific Writing3
Quantitative Reasoning
  STAT 330 - Introductory Statistics3
Science & Technology
  CHEM 121, 121L - General Chemistry I and Lab3, 1
  CHEM 122 - General Chemistry II3
  PHYS 211 - College Physics I3
Humanities & Fine Arts6
Social and Behavioral Sciences6
Cultural Diversity-
Global Perspective-
Major Requirements
MICR 350, 350L - General Microbiology and Lab 3, 2
MICR 450, 450L - Infectious Disease Pathogenesis and Lab 5
MICR 470 - Basic Immunology 3
MICR 471 - Immunology and Serology Lab 2
MICR 475 - Animal Virology 3
MICR 480 - Bacterial Physiology 3
MICR 482 - Bacterial Genetics and Phage 3
MICR 486 - Capstone Experience 3
Microbiology Electives 6
Total 33
Related Requirements Credits
AGRI/ANSC/VETS 150 - Agriculture Orientation 1
BIOC 460, 460L - Fundamentals of Biochemistry and Molecular
  Biology I and Lab

3, 1
BIOC 461 - Fundamentals of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology II   3
BIOL 150, 150L - General Biology I and Lab 3, 1
CHEM 122L - General Chemistry II Lab 1
CHEM 341, 341L - Organic Chemistry I and Lab 3, 1
CHEM 342 - Organic Chemistry II 3
MATH 103 - College Algebra and
  MATH 105 - Trigonometry or
   MATH 146 - Applied Calculus I

PHYS 211L - College Physics I Lab 1
PHYS 212, 212L - College Physics II and Lab 3, 1
PLSC 315, 315L - Genetics and Lab 3, 1
BIOL/BOT/ZOO Elective 3
Electives 19-21

This sample curriculum is not intended to serve as a curriculum guide for current students, but rather an example of course offerings for prospective students. For the curriculum requirements in effect at the time of entrance into a program, consult with an academic adviser or with the Office of Registration and Records.

Van Es Hall
Lab 150

Van Es Hall is located on the west side of campus on Centennial Boulevard (Campus Map)

Contact Information

Department of Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences
North Dakota State University
Van Es Room 150
Dept #7690, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-7667 / Fax: (701) 231-9692

Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Ceres 114
Dept #5230, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802



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Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802
Campus address: Ceres Hall 114
Physical/delivery address: 1301 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5230 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: NDSU Webmaster

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 03, 2016 1:57:41 PM