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The Bachelor of Science in Microbiology

Student Learning Outcomes

All candidates for the BS in Microbiology will demonstrate mastery in the following Student Learning Outcomes:

1. Students can demonstrate knowledge of cell structure and metabolism.

2. Students can demonstrate knowledge of evolutionary forces and their consequences.

3. Students can demonstrate knowledge as to how microorganisms interact with their environment.

4. Students can demonstrate knowledge of the interaction between humans and microorganisms.

5. Students can describe and use new and existing methods and technologies in and out of the laboratory setting.

6. Students can formally communicate the results of biological investigations using both oral and written communication skills.

7. Students can demonstrate an understanding, and ability to use, the scientific method including observation, hypotheses testing, data collection, and analysis.

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree: 120 units

See Bachelor's Degree Requirements in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 40 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.

A suggested Major Academic Plan (MAP) has been prepared to help students meet all graduation requirements within four years. You can view MAPs on the Degree MAPs page in the University Catalog or you can request a plan from your major advisor.

General Education Pathway Requirements: 48 units

See General Education in the University Catalog and the Class Schedule for the most current information on General Education Pathway Requirements and course offerings.

This major has approved GE modification(s). See below for information on how to apply these modification(s).

  • BIOL 360 is an approved major course substitution for Upper-Division Natural Sciences.
  • BIOL 371 is an approved GE Writing Intensive substitution.
  • BIOL 470 is an approved GE Writing Intensive substitution.

Diversity Course Requirements: 6 units

See Diversity Requirements in the University Catalog. Most courses taken to satisfy these requirements may also apply to General Education .

Literacy Requirement:

See Mathematics and Writing Requirements in the University Catalog. Writing proficiency in the major is a graduation requirement and may be demonstrated through satisfactory completion of a course in your major which has been designated as the Writing Proficiency (WP) course for the semester in which you take the course. Students who earn below a C- are required to repeat the course and earn a C- or higher to receive WP credit. See the Class Schedule for the designated WP courses for each semester. You must complete the GE Written Communication (A2) requirement before you may register for a WP course.

Course Requirements for the Major: 78 units

Completion of the following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, is required of all candidates for this degree. Additional required courses, depending upon the selected option are outlined following the major core program requirements.

Major Core Program: 56 units

Lower-Division Requirements: 40 units

11 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
A university success course for biology majors new to California State University, Chico. Appropriate for all incoming freshmen and transfer students. The course explores academic and social opportunities in addition to resources available to promote successful completion of the student's educational goals. Meets twice a week for the first half of the semester. 1 hour lecture. Credit/no credit grading. (021133)
Prerequisites: Recommend CHEM 111 or concurrent enrollment.
Introduction to biological molecules, bioenergetics, cellular structure and function, elements of molecular biology and genetics, and mechanisms of macroevolution and systematics. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. This is an approved General Education course. (001122)
Prerequisites: BIOL 151 or faculty permission; recommend CHEM 112 or concurrent enrollment.
Introduction to evolutionary history and biological diversity, microbes and protists, invertebrates, vertebrates, and plants. Form and function of plants and animals. Ecological principles. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. This is an approved General Education course. (001123)
Prerequisites: BIOL 151; CHEM 112 or concurrent enrollment recommended.
Introduction to plant and animal physiology and development. Laboratory consists of small group independent investigations of biological questions that include student-devised experiments; application of biological techniques, data analysis, and peer reviewed presentation of results. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. This is an approved General Education course. (020284)
Prerequisites: Completion of ELM requirement; second-year high school algebra; one year high school chemistry. (One year of high school physics and one year of high school mathematics past Algebra II are recommended.)
Principles of chemistry for students in science and engineering programs. Topics include atoms, molecules and ions, reactions, stoichiometry, the periodic table, bonding, chemical energy, gases, and solution chemistry. The laboratory sequence supports the above topics including both qualitative and quantitative experiments, analysis of data, and error propagation. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. This is an approved General Education course. (001816)
Prerequisites: CHEM 111 with a grade of C- or better.
A continuation of CHEM 111. Topics include kinetics, equilibrium, acid-base chemistry, electrochemistry, chemical thermodynamics, coordination chemistry, and nuclear chemistry. The laboratory sequence supports the above topics including both qualitative and quantitative experiments, analysis of data, and error propagation. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001817)
Prerequisites: CHEM 112.
A study of the fundamental principles of organic chemistry: the chemistry of carbon compounds. Lecture topics include structure, bonding, nomenclature, physical properties of organic compounds, stereochemistry, basic spectroscopy, and basic chemical reactions and their mechanisms. Laboratory topics include the discussion and application of organic laboratory techniques, reactions, and an introduction to organic synthesis. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001840)
This course introduces students to the issue and practices of environmental literacy. Environmental literacy is the capacity to perceive and interpret the relative health of environmental systems and to connect the environment to human physical, mental, and social health. Students are encouraged to recognize that their lives depend upon the environment, and that their personal decisions affect the environment. 3 hours lecture.This is an approved Writing Intensive course. This is an approved General Education course. (021259)

OR (the following course may be substituted for the above)

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
This course introduces students to the issue and practices of environmental literacy. Environmental literacy is the capacity to perceive and interpret the relative health of environmental systems and to connect the environment to human physical, mental, and social health. Students are encouraged to recognize that their lives depend upon the environment, and that their personal decisions affect the environment. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. (003723)
Prerequisites: Completion of ELM requirement; MATH 118, MATH 119 (or High School equivalents).
This course covers the fundamental concepts and techniques of differential and integral calculus with an introduction to differential equations. Emphasis on applications from the Life Sciences. This course is not intended for majors in mathematics, physics, chemistry, or engineering. No credit for students with credit in MATH 120. A score that meets department guidelines on a department administered calculus readiness exam must be achieved by those who claim high school equivalence. 4 hours discussion. This is an approved General Education course. (005512)
Prerequisites: High school physics or faculty permission. High school trigonometry and second-year high school algebra or equivalent (MATH 051 and MATH 118 at CSU, Chico).
Mechanics, properties of matter, wave motion, sound, heat. Science majors are encouraged to take PHYS 204A instead of this course. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. This is an approved General Education course. (007394)
Prerequisites: PHYS 202A with a grade of C- or higher.
Light, electricity, magnetism, selected topics in modern physics. Science majors are encouraged to take PHYS 204B instead of this course. Algebra and trigonometry are used. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (007395)

Upper-Division Requirements: 16 units

Microbiology majors are expected to have completed BIOL 109, BIOL 151, BIOL 152, BIOL 153, CHEM 111, and CHEM 112 before beginning their upper-division requirements.

6 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: BIOL 153 or permission of instructor.
A detailed study of the principles of classical, molecular, and population/evolutionary genetics. Activities will include computer simulations of segregation, linkage, and population genetics, internet-based database searches for genetic diseases and cloned genes, and searches of the current genetic literature. 3 hours lecture, 1 hour discussion. (001173)
Prerequisites: Completion of GE Written Communication (A2) requirement; BIOL 151, BIOL 152, BIOL 153, or faculty permission.
Introduction to the biology of prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms, as well as viruses. Topics include cell structure, metabolism, genetics; ecological interactions; pathogenic mechanisms; and the roles of microorganisms in sanitation, food production, and biotechnology. The lab focuses on methods for growing and studying diverse microbes. 2 hours lecture, 6 hours laboratory. This is an approved Writing Proficiency course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. (020279)
Prerequisites: CHEM 270 with a grade of C- or higher.
A continuation of CHEM 270. Topics include properties and reactions of ethers, conjugated systems, aromatic compounds, aldehydes and ketones, amines, carboxylic acids and derivatives, and biologically relevant molecules. 3 hours discussion. (001852)
Prerequisites: CHEM 370 may be taken as a prerequisite or concurrently with CHEM 370L.
Laboratory continuation of CHEM 270. Laboratory experiments in organic chemistry focused on topics discussed in CHEM 370. Not applicable towards a degree in chemistry or biochemistry. 3 hours laboratory. (001856)
Prerequisites: CHEM 370 with a grade of C- or higher.
A general study of the chemistry of biomolecules. Conformation and function of enzymes and other proteins; metabolism, energy generation, and storage; brief discussion of important physiological processes. 3 hours discussion. (001900)
Prerequisite: CHEM 451 (may be taken concurrently). Recommended: CHEM 370L or CHEM 370M.
Separation, identification, and/or analysis of biological materials by modern procedures, such as spectrophotometry, chromatography (gas, TLC, column, ion exchange), electrophoresis, enzymology, fluorimetry, and high-speed centrifugation. Fulfills laboratory requirement for certain biological science majors. Does not fulfill requirement for biochemistry major. 3 hours laboratory. (021067)

Major Option Course Requirements: 22 units

The following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, are required dependent upon the option chosen. Students must select one of the following options for completion of the major course requirements.  Use the links below to jump to your chosen option.



The Option in General Microbiology: 22 units

2 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: BIOL 152. Recommended: BIOL 371.
The roles and interactions of viruses, bacteria, algae, protozoa, and fungi in the natural and human environment, stressing fundamental principles of ecology and evolution. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001225)
Prerequisites: BIOL 371, BIOL 360, CHEM 270. CHEM 451 is recommended.
Study of bacterial structure and function, modes of metabolism, regulatory responses to environmental change and stress, and microbial aspects of nutrition and growth. 2 hours discussion, 6 hours laboratory. (001222)

14 units selected from:

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: CHEM 112 with a grade of C- or higher.
Precision and accuracy in measurements, interpretation of data by statistical analysis, and development of good quantitative techniques. Analysis by gravimetry, titrimetry, potentiometry, chromatography, and spectrometry. 2 hours discussion, 6 hours laboratory. (001847)
Prerequisite: MATH 105, MATH 109, or MATH 120, or faculty permission.
Single and two sample inference, analysis of variance, multiple regression, analysis of co-variance, experimental design, repeated measures, nonparametric procedures, and categorical data analysis. Examples are drawn from biology and related disciplines. The statistical programming language R is used. Appropriate for biology, agriculture, nutrition, psychology, social science and other majors. 3 hours discussion. (005568)

2 courses selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: BIOL 153.
The development and expression of the immune response, the basic principles of antigen-antibody reactions and their relevance to medicine, genetics, taxonomy, and evolution. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (001220)
Prerequisites: Completion of GE Written Communication (A2) requirement; BIOL 371, BIOL 466, CHEM 270.
Immunization against tetanus and diphtheria required. Biological characteristics of medically important bacteria. Mechanisms of pathogenecity and host-resistance. Laboratory procedures for isolation and identification. 3 hours discussion, 6 hours laboratory. This is an approved Writing Proficiency course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. (001182)
Prerequisites: BIOL 360. BIOL 371 is recommended.
The molecular basis of mutation and recombination, mechanisms of gene transfer, transcription in bacteria and bacteriophages, genetics and biochemistry of regulation of bacterial operons, and bacteriophage development, and recombinant DNA application to genetic engineering. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (001224)
Prerequisites: BIOL 151, BIOL 371. Recommended: BIOL 360.
The physical, chemical, and biological properties of bacteria and animal viruses, and their interactions with the host at cellular and organismic levels. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (001185)

1-4 units selected from:

BIOL 399 or any 400-level biology (BIOL) courses.

Note: A maximum of 3 units of BIOL 399 may be applied to the major.

The Option in Clinical Laboratory Science: 22 units

5 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: BIOL 152, BIOL 153; CHEM 108 or CHEM 270.
General features of vertebrate physiology. Function of muscular, nervous, respiratory, circulatory, excretory, and endocrine systems. 2 hours discussion, 6 hours laboratory. (001180)
Prerequisites: BIOL 153. Recommended: CHEM 270.
The study of blood in normal and abnormal conditions. 2 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (001174)
Prerequisites: BIOL 153.
The development and expression of the immune response, the basic principles of antigen-antibody reactions and their relevance to medicine, genetics, taxonomy, and evolution. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (001220)
Prerequisites: Completion of GE Written Communication (A2) requirement; BIOL 371, BIOL 466, CHEM 270.
Immunization against tetanus and diphtheria required. Biological characteristics of medically important bacteria. Mechanisms of pathogenecity and host-resistance. Laboratory procedures for isolation and identification. 3 hours discussion, 6 hours laboratory. This is an approved Writing Proficiency course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. (001182)
Prerequisites: CHEM 112 with a grade of C- or higher.
Precision and accuracy in measurements, interpretation of data by statistical analysis, and development of good quantitative techniques. Analysis by gravimetry, titrimetry, potentiometry, chromatography, and spectrometry. 2 hours discussion, 6 hours laboratory. (001847)

2 units selected from:

BIOL 399 or any 400-level biology (BIOL) courses.

Note: A maximum of 3 units of BIOL 399 may be applied to the major.

Grading Requirement:

All courses taken to fulfill major course requirements must be taken for a letter grade except those courses specified by the department as Credit/No Credit grading only.

Advising Requirement:

Advising is mandatory for all majors in this degree program. Consult your undergraduate advisor for specific information.

Honors in the Major:

Honors in the Major is a program of independent work in your major. It requires 6 units of honors course work completed over two semesters.

The Honors in the Major program allows you to work closely with a faculty mentor in your area of interest on an original performance or research project. This year-long collaboration allows you to work in your field at a professional level and culminates in a public presentation of your work. Students sometimes take their projects beyond the University for submission in professional journals, presentation at conferences, or academic competition. Such experience is valuable for graduate school and professional life. Your honors work will be recognized at your graduation, on your permanent transcripts, and on your diploma. It is often accompanied by letters of commendation from your mentor in the department or the department chair.

Some common features of Honors in the Major program are:

  1. You must take 6 units of Honors in the Major course work. All 6 units are honors classes (marked by a suffix of H), and at least 3 of these units are independent study (399H, 499H, 599H) as specified by your department. You must complete each class with a minimum grade of B.
  2. You must have completed 9 units of upper-division course work or 21 overall units in your major before you can be admitted to Honors in the Major. Check the requirements for your major carefully, as there may be specific courses that must be included in these units.
  3. Your cumulative GPA should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5% of majors in your department.
  4. Your GPA in your major should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5% of majors in your department.
  5. Most students apply for or are invited to participate in Honors in the Major during the second semester of their junior year. Then they complete the 6 units of course work over the two semesters of their senior year.
  6. Your honors work culminates with a public presentation of your honors project.

While Honors in the Major is part of the Honors Program, each department administers its own program. Please contact your major department or major advisor to apply.

Catalog Cycle:16