ASM Recommended Curriculum for Microbiology Majors

Dec. 31, 2012

To provide guidance in the education of undergraduate students in microbiology, ASM’s Undergraduate Education Subcommittee developed a list of recommended courses for microbiology majors. These are not meant to be a set of criteria for accreditation of a program, but rather a tool to be used by departments in their own assessment, maintenance and formation of strong programs in microbiology. The recommendations assume a semester-based academic calendar. The lists are presented as courses for simplicity, although departments may choose to integrate the equivalent content into several courses rather than offer them each as individual courses.

Core Courses for Microbiology Majors

•    Introduction to Microbiology (with lab)
•    Microbial Physiology (with lab)
•    Microbial Genetics (with lab)
•    Microbial Diversity and Ecology (with lab)
•    One advanced course that includes laboratory
•    Capstone course (e.g., senior seminar presentation, independent research project, internship)

Elective Courses for Microbiology Majors

•    Immunology
•    Pathogenic Microbiology
•    Food and Dairy Microbiology
•    Environmental Microbiology
•    Marine Microbiology
•    Industrial and Applied Microbiology
•    Biotechnology
•    Bioinformatics
•    Virology & other accellular agents
•    Parasitology/Protozoology
•    Mycology
•    Phycology
•    Epidemiology
•    Public Health
•    Undergraduate research and internship
•    Careers in Microbiology*
•    Bioethics*
*Bioethics and Careers in Microbiology could be integrated into core course material to ensure exposure of all students to the topics.

Support Courses for Microbiology Majors

•    General Biology with lab (1 year)
•    Cell and molecular biology
•    General Chemistry with lab
•    Organic Chemistry with lab
•    Biochemistry (1 semester)
•    Math (through calculus)
•    Physics (1 year)
•    Statistics (1 semester)
•    Scientific Writing and Technical Communication

Curriculum Guidelines and Laboratory Skills

For more detail about concepts and example learning outcomes applicable to general microbiology courses, see ASM’s community-developed Curriculum Guidelines for Undergraduate Microbiology and Curriculum Guidelines for Microbiology in Nursing and Allied Health. Both sets of guidelines include scientific thinking, communication and laboratory skills that students should demonstrate.

Author: Contributor

The Education Board's mission is to educate individuals at all levels in the microbiological sciences. It supports both student and faculty development through fellowships, online publications, conferences, workshops, and institutes, and networking opportunities.