Undergraduate Microbiology Major

Two microbes

Microbiology is a fundamental biological science concerned with microscopic organisms such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other microbes. If you pick up a handful of garden soil you will be holding thousands if not millions of different kinds of microbes.

Microbes have a daily effect on human and animal health, our environment, and are directly related to issues such as food safety, infectious diseases, biofuels and bioenergy; environmental biology, and bioterrorism.

The UNL undergraduate microbiology program  is an interdisciplinary major offered through both the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR).

Areas of Specialization

Microbiologists and other scientists who study microbes usually focus on a particular microbe or research career area. Microbiology offers 4 different areas of specialization within the major, so you can focus on the particular areas that most interest you and fit your career path.

  • Clinical and veterinary microbiology (including medical, dental, and other health related areas)
  • Food microbiology
  • Biotechnology and industrial microbiology
  • Applied and environmental microbiology
Microbiology Careers

Some of the most important scientific discoveries have been made by microbiologists. Microbiologists can be found in a variety of settings, from the traditional laboratory to fields and streams.

  • Microbiology is perfect for students interested in pre-medicine, pre-dentistry or pre-veterinary science.
  • Or, you may choose to pursue an advanced degree at graduate school.

Different careers, Different paths
A bachelor of science degree in microbiology prepares you for a wide range of important careers:

High School Preparation

High school courses in science and mathematics, such as algebra, biology, physics and chemistry are very helpful in preparing for a major in microbiology.

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Regardless of which college you choose, the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) or the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR), you will have the same Biology instructors, and can pursue similar options, including entrance into medical school.

The difference is in the college distribution requirements:
  • CASNR requires an Economics course as well as AGRI/NRES 103 (Intro to Agricultural and Natural Resource Systems).
In addition, the foreign language requirements differ:
  • In CAS, a foreign languages exemption requires completion of four years of the same foreign language in high school; for CASNR, the requirement is two years.