Microbiology

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. 

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.

In addition to the major requirements, students must complete all CASL Degree Requirements.

Pre-Major Requirements

A solid background in mathematics is essential to success in any of the scientific disciplines. Incoming students who intend to choose a major in Microbiology should have completed at least three years of high school mathematics. First year students should plan to enroll in MATH 104 or MATH 105; MATH 113 or MATH 115; or MATH 114 or MATH 116 based on the results of their math placement tests. CHEM 134 or CHEM 144 and CHEM 136 or CHEM 146 are prerequisites to many other courses in the Natural Sciences Department; students majoring in any of the sciences should complete this sequence as soon as possible.

BIOL 130
BIOL 140
Intro Org and Environ Biology
and Intro Molec & Cellular Biology
8
CHEM 134General Chemistry IA4
or CHEM 144 Gen Chemistry IB
CHEM 136General Chemistry IIA4
or CHEM 146 General Chemistry IIB
CHEM 225
CHEM 226
CHEM 227
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry II
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
8
MATH 113Calc I for Biology & Life Sci4
or MATH 115 Calculus I
Select one of the following:3-4
Calc II for Biology & Life Sci
Calculus II
Biostatistics I 4
Statistical Computing 4
Select one of the following:8
Introductory Physics I
and Introductory Physics II (preferred sequence)
General Physics I
and General Physics II
Total Credit Hours39-40

Major Requirements

A minimum of 29 upper level credit hours in Microbiology (MICR) or Biological Sciences (BIOL) must be completed as outlined below:

Note: Students should begin the chemistry sequence before electing any MICR/BIOL course.

Required Courses

All of the following courses are required:
MICR/BIOL 385Microbiology4
MICR/BIOL 405Applied & Environ Microbiology4
MICR/BIOL 406Microbial Genetics3
MICR/BIOL 440Micro Genetics & Physi Lab1
MICR/BIOL 485Physiology of Microorganisms3
Select at least one credit hour from the following: 11
Off-Campus Research
Seminar in Microbiology
Ind Study in Microbiology
Lab in Micro Research
Complete an additional 13 credit hours (to reach minimum 29 hours required for the major) from the following list, of which at least four credit hours must be from microbiology courses (MICR).
Microbiology (MICR) Courses- A minimum of 4 credit hours from: 24
Epidemiology
Topics in Microbiology 3
Medical Virology
Virology
Immunology
Pathogenic Microbiology
Off-Campus Research
Seminar in Microbiology
Ind Study in Microbiology
Lab in Micro Research
Select a minimum of 9 credits from:9
Cell Biology
General Genetics
Histology
Principles of Biochemistry 5
Epidemiology
Topics in Biology 3
Medical Virology
Virology
Immunology
Pathogenic Microbiology
Biochemistry I 5
Biochemistry II 5
Biochemistry Lab I
Biochemistry Laboratory II
Molecular Biology
Seminar in Biology
Independent Study in Biology
Laboratory in Biological Resrh
Cognates
A minimum of six credit hours upper level courses from the following:6
Any upper level courses in BCHM, CHEM, ENST, ESCI, GEOL, PHYS
Probability
Biostatistics I 4
Statistical Computing 4
Intro to Survey Sampling
Medical Ethics
Philosophy of Science
Medical Anthropology
Human Genetics
Physiological Psychology
Medical Sociology
Total Credit Hours35

 Other appropriate cognate courses may be permitted with approval of the faculty program advisor by petition.

Notes:

   1.   A maximum of 44 credit hours of MICR or BIOL may count in the 120 hours required for graduation.

   2.   At least 12 of the 29 credit hours of upper level MICR/BIOL used toward the major must be elected at UM-Dearborn.

  3. A maximum of 6 credit hours of Independent Study (courses numbered 495, 498, 499) in any science discipline may count in the 120 hours to graduate.

  4.  A maximum of 6 credit hours combined in MICR 495/BIOL 495, MICR 498/BIOL 498, MICR 499/BIOL 499 may be applied toward the 29 credit hours required in the major.

  5.  In the entire minimum 35 credit hours required for both the microbiology major and cognates, students may use either BIOL/BCHM/CHEM 370 or BIOL/BCHM/CHEM 470 and/or 471.

 6. Any one course may be used to satisfy only one requirement within the major.

Minor or Integrative Studies Concentration Requirements

A minor or concentration consists of 12 credit hours of upper-level courses in microbiology (MICR).

  • A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required for the minor/concentration. The GPA is based on all coursework required within the minor (excluding prerequisites).
  • A minimum of 9 credits must be completed at UM-Dearborn for a 12 credit minor/concentration.
  • A minimum of 12 credits must be completed at UM-Dearborn for a 15 or more credit minor/concentration.
  • Courses within a minor/concentration cannot be taken as Pass/Fail (P/F).
  • Only 3 credit hours of independent study or internship may be used to fulfill the requirements for a 12 credit hour minor/concentration.  Only 6 credit hours of such credit may be used in a 15 or more credit hour minor/concentration.
  • Minors requiring 12 credits may share one course with a major. Minors requiring 15 credits or more may share two courses with a major. This does not apply to concentrations for the Integrative Studies major.

Learning Goals

Students majoring in Microbiology will understand basic principles relating to molecular, cellular and organismal biology. In addition, 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 in to five parts including (1) Conceptual knowledge; (2) Critical and independent thinking skills; (3) Communication skills; (4) Collaborative skills; and (5) Societal impact.

1. Conceptual knowledge: 

  • Proficiency in basic principles of biology of microorganisms including:
    • Microbial cell biology
    • Microbial genetics
    • Microbial physiology
    • Microbial diversity and ecology
    • Medical microbiology
    • Microbial biotechnology

2. Critical and independent thinking skills: 

  • Ability to acquire, present, and develop scientific ideas
  • Proficiency in scientific method and hypothesis testing
  • Ability to develop theoretical and practical skills in the design of 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

3. 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.)

4. Collaborative skills

  • Ability to work effectively in groups or teams 
  • Ability to manage time and tasks to be done simultaneously by individuals and within group

5. 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

MICR 309     Introduction to Mycology     4 Credit Hours

An introduction to the biology of the fungi. Classification, structure, industrial use, gastronomic qualities, and disease-producing ability of macroscopic and microscopic forms are studied. Laboratories include microscopic and macroscopic examinations of fungi, and their growth and field studies on the occurrence and classification of edible and poisonous varieties. Three hours lecture, four hours laboratory. (OC).

Prerequisite(s): BIOL 130 and BIOL 140

MICR 380     Epidemiology     3 Credit Hours

Introduces the methods for infectious disease epidemiology (occurence and spread in population) and case studies of important disease syndromes and entities. Methods include definitions and nomenclature, outbreak investigations, disease surveillance, case-control studies, cohort studies, laboratory diagnosis, molecular epidemiology, dynamics of transmission, and assessment of vaccine field effectiveness. Case-studies focus on acute respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases, hepatitis, HIV, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases, malaria and other vector-brone diseases. This course emphasizes methods of study that would contribute to understanding disease etiology.

Prerequisite(s): BIOL 140

MICR 385     Microbiology     4 Credit Hours

The biology of microorganisms is considered through study of the properties of bacteria, fungi, algae, protozoa, and viruses. Microbial structures are discussed and correlated with their function. Aspects of cellular metabolism pertinent to microorganisms are emphasized. The interaction of microorganisms and their environment, animate and inanimate, is discussed with respect to the beneficial or harmful effects of the different microbial groups. Laboratory exercises introduce the student to basic, practical microbiological techniques and illustrate various principles of microbial life. Three hours lecture, four hours laboratory. (F,S).

Prerequisite(s): BIOL 140 and (CHEM 134* or CHEM 144*)

Corequisite(s): MICR 385L

MICR 390     Topics in Microbiology     1 to 6 Credit Hours

Current topics in microbiology will be presented through a lecture, discussion and/or laboratory format. Topics will vary, as appropriate, and may cover any area of microbiology including studies on bacteria, algae, fungi, protozoa, viruses, biotechnology, mechanisms of pathogenesis and immunology. (OC).

Prerequisite(s): BIOL 385 or MICR 385

MICR 405     Applied & Environ Microbiology     4 Credit Hours

The study of the diversity, structure and function of microorganisms as they interact with their environment. Emphasis will be placed on soil microbiology (fungi, bacteria, microalgae) and plant-microbe interactions (pathogens, symbioses). Ecological topics include decomposition, nutrient cycling, bioremediation and agroecosystems. Three hours lecture, four hours laboratory. (W).

Prerequisite(s): BIOL 140

Restriction(s):
Can enroll if Class is Senior

MICR 406     Microbial Genetics     3 Credit Hours

A course that emphasizes the genetics and molecular biology of bacteria and their viruses. Topics include DNA structure and replication, recombination, DNA repair, genetic mapping, mechanisms of gene transfer, regulation of gene expression, mutagenesis, and recombinant DNA techniques. (YR, W).

Prerequisite(s): MICR 385 or BIOL 385 or BIOL 306

MICR 430     Medical Virology     3 Credit Hours

The course provides a general description of the history and nature of animal virus disease. Emphasis is placed on the pathogenesis and clinical description of specific diseases. Three hours lecture.

Prerequisite(s): MICR 385 or BIOL 385

MICR 440     Microbial Genetics & Physiology Laboratory     1 Credit Hour

This course emphasizes the use of advanced microbiological techniques for understanding the genetics and physiology of microorganisms. Experiments focus on the understanding of general microbial phenomena, such as nutrition, metabolism and biochemistry; protein and nucleic acid synthesis; energy generation, enzyme regulation, membrane transport, motility, differentiation, cellular communication and the behavior of populations. (W).

Prerequisite(s): BIOL 140*

Restriction(s):
Cannot enroll if Class is Freshman
Can enroll if Level is Undergraduate

MICR 450     Virology     4 Credit Hours

The first half of this course deals with bacterial viruses, with emphasis on classical events in this field. The second half surveys the field of animal viruses, with emphasis on recent discoveries, including replication, pathogenesis, and viral association with cancers. Three hours lecture, four hours laboratory. (AY,W).

Prerequisite(s): (BIOL 385 or MICR 385) and CHEM 226

MICR 455     Immunology     4 Credit Hours

A detailed study of the field of immunology. Among the topics covered are various aspects of the immunological response, such as humoral or cell-mediated immunity, cell-cell interactions, and immunology as related to the cause and prevention of disease. Three hours lecture, four hours laboratory. (AY,F).

Prerequisite(s): BIOL 385 or BIOL 301 or MICR 385

MICR 459     Pathogenic Microbiology     4 Credit Hours

An introduction to pathogenic microorganisms and mechanisms of microbial pathogenicity. Disease-causing bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa are studied. Laboratories emphasize clinical approaches to isolation, identification, and treatment. Three hours lecture, four hours laboratory. (AY,F).

Prerequisite(s): BIOL 385 or MICR 385

MICR 485     Physiology of Microorganisms     3 Credit Hours

An in-depth examination of the physiology of microorganisms. Areas of emphasis include the growth and nutrition of microorganisms, the development of viruses, the microbial degradation of organic compounds, the regulation of degradation reactions, and the biosynthesis of uniquely microbial compounds and secondary metabolites, such as antibiotics and toxins. Consideration is given to the natural environments of specific microorganisms. (YR, W).

Prerequisite(s): BIOL 140 and CHEM 225*

MICR 495     Off-Campus Research     1 to 3 Credit Hours

Participation in ongoing experimental research at an off-campus laboratory (or in the field). Arrangements made between the research laboratory, (director of field study), the student, and the microbiology concentration advisor. No more than 6 hours combined from MICR 495, 498, and 499 may be credited toward the 120 hours required for a degree. Four to twelve hours laboratory. Permission of concentration advisor. (F,W,S).

MICR 497     Seminar in Microbiology     1 Credit Hour

Topics of current interest in microbiology will be presented by guest lecturers, faculty members or students. Topics chosen will vary from term to term. Can be elected up to three times. One hour seminar. Permission of instructor. (W).

MICR 498     Ind Study in Microbiology     1 to 3 Credit Hours

Library research and independent study performed under the guidance of a faculty member. Four to twelve hours readings. (F,W,S).

MICR 499     Lab in Micro Research     1 to 3 Credit Hours

Directed laboratory research performed under the guidance of a faculty member. Four to twelve hours laboratory. Permission of instructor. (F,W,S).

*An asterisk denotes that a course may be taken concurrently.

Frequency of Offering

The following abbreviations are used to denote the frequency of offering: (F) fall term; (W) winter term; (S) summer term; (F, W) fall and winter terms; (YR) once a year; (AY) alternating years; (OC) offered occasionally