University of Montana Catalog 2023-2024

Microbiology B.S. - Microbial Ecology

Bachelor of Science - Microbiology; Microbial Ecology Concentration

General Education Requirements

Information regarding these requirements can be found in the General Education Section of the catalog. 


Biology/Microbiology Lower-Division Core17
Upper-Division Microbiology Core Courses19
Additional Upper-Division Courses Required for Microbial Ecology Concentration13
Additional Upper-Division Depth Courses in Microbiology
Required Courses Outside of the Major29-39
Mathematics - Calculus
Mathematics - Statistics
Additional Science Requirement
Advanced College Writing Requirement
Total Hours78-88


Degree Specific Credits: 78-88

Required Cumulative GPA: 2.0

Note: Microbiology is the study of microorganisms including bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa. The concentration in Microbial Ecology emphasizes microbial structure and function as well as interactions and relationships with the environment and other organisms. Students may continue their studies at the graduate level and seek research careers in government or private laboratories.

Biology/Microbiology Lower-Division Core

Note: The lower division core should be completed before attempting most upper division major courses. AP Biology credit with a score of 3 may be substituted for either BIOB 160N/BIOB 161N or BIOB 170N/BIOB 171N.

Complete all of the following courses:
BIOB 160NPrinciples of Living Systems3
BIOB 161NPrinciples of Living Systems Lab1
BIOB 170NPrinciples of Biological Diversity3
BIOB 171NPrinciples of Biological Diversity Lab2
BIOB 260Cellular and Molecular Biology4
BIOB 272Genetics and Evolution4
Total Hours17

Minimum Required Grade: C- 

Upper-Division Microbiology Core Courses

Complete all of the following courses:
BIOE 370General Ecology3
BIOM 360General Microbiology (equiv to 260)3
BIOM 361General Microbiology Lab (equiv to 261)2
BIOM 410Microbial Genetics3
BIOM 411Experimental Microbial Genetics Lab1
BIOM 415Microbial Diversity Ecology & Evolution3
BIOM 450Microbial Physiology3
BIOM 451Microbial Physiology Lab1
Total Hours19

Minimum Required Grade: C-

Additional Upper-Division Courses Required for Microbial Ecology Concentration


Complete either one semester or one year of Biochemistry:4-6
One Semester:
One Year:
Advanced Biochemistry I
Advanced Biochemistry II
Total Hours4-6

Minimum Required Grade: C-

Additional Upper-Division Depth Courses in Microbiology

Complete 7-9 credits from the following (labs must be taken if available). 7 credits if BCH 480-482 was taken; 9 credits if BCH 380) was taken.7-9
and Immunology Laboratory
Phylogenics and Evolution
General Ecology Lab (equivalent to 271)
Aquatic Microbial Ecology
Freshwater Ecology
Stream Ecology
Lake Ecology
Host-Microbe Interactions
General Parasitology
and General Parasitology Lab
Ecology of Infectious Diseases
Advanced Undergraduate Research
Plant Physiology
and Plant Physiology Lab
Total Hours7-9

Minimum Required Grade: C-

Required Courses Outside of the Major

Mathematics - Calculus

Complete one of the following courses:4
Applied Calculus
Calculus I
Total Hours4

Minimum Required Grade: C-

Mathematics - Statistics

Complete the following course:
STAT 216Introduction to Statistics4
Total Hours4

Minimum Required Grade: C-


Complete one of the following Chemistry sequences:10-20
Introduction to General Chemistry
Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry
and Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry Lab
College Chemistry I
and College Chemistry I Lab
College Chemistry II
and College Chemistry II Lab
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Lab
Organic Chemistry II
and Organic Chemistry II Lab
Total Hours10-20

Minimum Required Grade: C-


Complete one of the following Physics sequences:5
Algebra- and Trigonometry-based Physics:
College Physics I
and College Physics I Laboratory
Calculus-based Physics:
Fundamentals of Physics with Calculus I
and Physics Laboratory I with Calculus
Total Hours5

Minimum Required Grade: C-

Additional Science Requirement

Complete 6 credits from the following courses:6
Analytical Chemistry-Quantitative Analysis
Introduction to Computer Science
Interdisciplinary Computer Science I
Soils, Water and Climate
Calculus II
Multivariable Calculus
College Physics II
College Physics II Laboratory
Statistical Methods I
Statistical Methods II
Computer Data Analysis I
Computer Data Analysis II
Total Hours6

Minimum Required Grade: C- 

Advanced College Writing Requirement

Rule: Complete the equivalent of a full writing course (either three 1/3 writing courses or one 2/3 writing course + one 1/3 writing course or one complete writing course). To meet the Advanced College Writing Requirement, Microbiology students take at least 2 partial writing courses. The Microbiology degree requires one 2/3 writing course (BIOM 411). The Advanced College Writing Requirement is completed with one more course, chosen from any of the following.

 1/3 Advanced Writing Courses

BCH 482Advanced Biochemistry II3
BIOB 410Immunology3
BIOB 425Advanced Cellular & Molecular Biology3
BIOB 483Phylogenics and Evolution3
BIOE 403Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy4
BIOE 409Behavior & Evolution Discussion1
BIOE 428Freshwater Ecology5
BIOM 402Medical Bacteriology& Mycology3
BIOO 320General Botany5
BIOO 434Plant Physiology Lab1
BIOO 470Ornithology4
BIOO 475Mammalogy4

Minimum Required Grade: C-

2/3 Advanced Writing Courses

BCH 486Biochemistry Research Lab3
BCH 499Senior Thesis/Capstone3-6
BIOB 411Immunology Laboratory2
BIOB 499Undergraduate Thesis3-6
BIOE 342Field Ecology5
BIOE 371General Ecology Lab (equivalent to 271)2
BIOM 411Experimental Microbial Genetics Lab1
BIOM 499Undergraduate Thesis3-6

Minimum Required Grade: C-

Complete Advanced Writing Course

BIOH 462Principles of Medical Physiology3
BIOM 420Host-Microbe Interactions3

Minimum Required Grade: C-