Microbiology (Medical Microbiology), BS

At a Glance: program details

  • Location: Tempe campus
  • Additional Program Fee: No
  • Second Language Requirement: No
  • Math Intensity: Moderate program math intensity moderate
  • Initial Math Course: MAT 251 - Calculus for Life Sciences

Required Courses (Major Map)

Major Map

Major Map on-campus archive

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Is your goal to have a health-related career? When you possess the important critical thinking skills and competencies pertinent to the biomedical sciences and the curricular background that's applicable to the changing world of medicine, you'll be prepared for advanced education in the health area of your choice.

Program Description

The medical microbiology concentration serves students in the BS in microbiology degree program who aim to pursue careers in health professions, medical microbiology or biomedical research.

The curriculum aligns with the scientific competencies recommended for premedical students in a report of the American Medical Colleges and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Committee and which are also reflected in the 2015 changes to the MCAT. Coursework includes many of the courses in the microbiology major, including chemistry, biochemistry, math and physics, with some microbiology courses replaced by cell biology, animal physiology and courses that relate to human biology and society. The coursework emphasizes core concepts, competencies and critical intellectual skills necessary for success in medical school or biomedical research. The concentration includes coursework that students need in preparation for the MCAT or medical school admission.

This program is available as an accelerated degree program. Students can visit this website to learn more about accelerated degree programs.

In addition to the guidelines in the Concurrent Program Options section below, students interested in pursuing concurrent or second baccalaureate degrees in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are advised to visit the college's website for more information and requirements.

Microbiology Diagnostic Exam

The Microbiology Diagnostic Exam is used to determine whether you have adequate background from an existing microbiology class (MIC 205) to skip MIC 220 and still be competitive in upper division microbiology classes. If you successfully pass this exam, you may take any course that has MIC 220 as a prerequisite and utilize MIC 205 as the prerequisite instead.

The diagnostic exam consists of multiple-choice questions and is broken into eight subject areas, each of which can be taken independently as time permits. Each section contains ten questions, which must be answered in one sitting.

To start, contact your advisor to enroll you in the Canvas course. We highly recommended that you review the practice exam, which will give you an idea about the questions and testing format in the diagnostic test.

Once you complete all eight sections of the exam, let your advisor know you have completed the test.


Undergraduate Advising (480) 727-6277

Major Core

Note: Once you start a General BIO sequence, you must complete the full sequence (BIO 181 & 182 OR BIO 281 & 282)

  • BIO 181 General Biology I (4) or BIO 281 Conceptual Approaches to Biology for Majors I (4)
  • BIO 182 General Biology II (4) or BIO 282 Conceptual Approaches to Biology for Majors II (4)
  • BIO 340 General Genetics (4) or MBB 347  Molecular Genetics: From Genes to Proteins (4)
  • MIC 220 Biology of Microorganisms & MIC 206  Microbiology Lab (4)
  • MIC 401 Research Paper (1)
  • MIC 401 is the Microbiology Research Paper course that requires permission before enrolling. Please consult with an advisor at least a semester prior to enrolling to verify course requirements.

Major Concentration Courses

  • BIO 312/PHI 320 Bioethics or BIO 416/HPS 410 Biomedical Research Ethics (3)
  • BIO 353  Cell Biology (3)
  • BIO/MIC 420  Immunology: Molecular and Cellular Foundations (3)

Major Elective Concentration Courses (five credit hours are required)

  • BIO 360  Animal Physiology (3)
  • HPS 331/BIO 318  History of Medicine (3)
  • MIC/SSH 314  HIV/AIDS: Science, Behavior & Society (3)
  • MIC 481  Bacterial Pathogenesis (3)
  • MIC 421  Experimental Immunology (2)

Microbes and Biomedicine Courses (minimum of 6 credits required - one from each of the sublists below)

Microbes Course List
  • MIC 302  Advanced Bacteriology Lab (2)
  • MIC 360  Bacterial Physiology (3)
  • MIC 379  Medical Bacteriology (3)
  • MIC 425  Advanced Immunology (3)
  • MIC 441  Bacterial Genetics (3)
  • MIC 442  Bacterial Genetics Laboratory (1)
  • MIC 485  General Virology (3)
  • MIC 494/598 - Topic: Novel Models for Host-Microbe Interactions (4)
  • MIC 494   Special Topics: Emerging Infectious Diseases (3)
  • MIC 498  Viral Pathogenesis and Host Defense (1-7)
  • BIO/HPS/MIC/MBB 495 Undergraduate Research or BIO/MIC/MBB 492 Honors Directed Study (1-3)
Biomedicine Course List
  • BIO 302 Cancer - Mother of All Diseases (3)
  • BIO/MBB 343 Genetic Engineering and Society (4)
  • BIO 345  Evolution (3)
  • BIO 351  Developmental Biology (3)
  • BIO 451  Cell Biotechnology Laboratory (4)
  • MIC/MBB 445  Techniques in Molecular Biology (3)
  • MIC/MBB 446  Techniques in Molecular Biology Laboratory (2)
  • SSH 404/ASB 462  Medical Anthropology: Culture and Health (3)

Please see an advisor if the above courses are not offered in the term you wish to take them

Medical Microbiology Laboratory 

  • MIC 302  Advanced Bacteriology Lab (2)
  • MIC 442  Bacterial Genetics Laboratory (1)
  • BIO/MBB 343 Genetic Engineering and Society (4)
  • BIO 451  Cell Biotechnology Laboratory (4)
  • MIC/MBB 446  Techniques in Molecular Biology Laboratory (2)
  • BIO/HPS/MIC/MBB 495 Undergraduate Research or BIO/MIC/MBB 492 Honors Directed Study (1-3)

Requirements in Related Fields: 

General Chemistry
  • CHM 113  General Chemistry I (4)
  • CHM 116  General Chemistry II (4)
Organic Chemistry (choose general or pre-health sequence)
  • CHM 231  Elementary Organic Chemistry (3)
  • CHM 235  Elementary Organic Chemistry Laboratory (1)
OR pre-health sequence
  • CHM 233  General Organic Chemistry I (3)
  • CHM 234  General Organic Chemistry II (3)
  • CHM 237  General Organic Chemistry Laboratory I (1)
  • CHM 238  General Organic Chemistry Laboratory II (1)
  • BCH 361 Principles of Biochemistry (3) or BCH 461/462 General Biochemistry (3)
  • BCH 367 Elementary Biochemistry Laboratory (1) or BCH 467 Analytical Biochemistry Lab (3)
Physics (choose general or pre-health sequence)
  • PHY 101  Introduction to Physics (4)
OR pre-health sequence
  • PHY 111  General Physics I (3)
  • PHY 112  General Physics II (3)
  • PHY 113  General Physics Laboratory I (1)
  • PHY 114  General Physics Laboratory II (1)
Math (complete one of the following)
  • MAT 251 Calculus for Life Sciences (3)
  • MAT 210 Brief Calculus (3)
Statistics (complete one of the following)
  • STP 231 Statistics for Biosciences (3) 
  • STP 226 Elementary Statistics (3)

For more information on requirements and recommendations specific to this degree please see our Did you know for on-campus degrees page.

Admission Requirements

All students are required to meet general university admission requirements.

Freshman Transfer International Readmission

Transfer Options

ASU is committed to helping students thrive by offering tools that allow personalization of the transfer path to ASU. Students may use the Transfer Map search to outline a list of recommended courses to take prior to transfer.

ASU has transfer partnerships in Arizona and across the country to create a simplified transfer experience for students. These pathway programs include exclusive benefits, tools and resources, and help students save time and money in their college journey. Students may learn more about these programs by visiting the admission site: https://admission.asu.edu/transfer/pathway-programs.

Change of Major Requirements

A current ASU student has no additional requirements for changing majors.

Students should refer to https://changingmajors.asu.edu for information about how to change a major to this program.

Flexible Degree Options

Accelerated program options

This program allows students to obtain both a bachelor's and master's degree in as little as five years.
It is offered as an accelerated bachelor's and master's degree with:


Deepen your knowledge about the life sciences and build strong conceptual foundations in frontier areas of modern biology.

Website | Locations: TEMPE,ONLNE


When you become an expert in microbes, you will be able to contribute to the greater good. Join us to learn how microbes impact human health and the environment, and receive theoretical and practical training in your chosen area of interest.

Website | Locations: TEMPE

Global Management

This program offers applied learning opportunities, 17 concentration options, and internships in real-world global settings where you can gain hands-on experience and learn from the diverse perspectives of a global cohort of classmates.

Website | Locations: DTPHX,ONLNE

Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. During their junior year, eligible students will be advised by their academic departments to apply.

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Career Outlook

Graduates of the bachelor's degree program in microbiology with a concentration in medical microbiology have knowledge of foundational concepts in biological sciences, chemistry, physics and statistics as well as the ability to understand and apply core microbiology concepts.

They have fulfilled the majority of prerequisite requirements and mastered many of the competencies valued by graduate programs in medical, dental and optometry fields and by programs which prepare students to be physician assistants or physical therapists. Additionally, they have a practical understanding of the process of science, preparing them for a career in research. They are prepared to enter research in a number of areas including cellular biology, immunology, bacteriology and virology.

Example Careers

Students who complete this degree program may be prepared for the following careers. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for academic or clinical positions. Career examples include but are not limited to:


  • Growth: 4.9%
  • Median Salary*: 57380
  Bright Outlook

Dentists, General

  • Growth: 4.4%
  • Median Salary*: 155040


  • Growth: 4.9%
  • Median Salary*: 57380
  Bright Outlook

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists

  • Growth: 4.9%
  • Median Salary*: 57380
  Bright Outlook

General Internal Medicine Physicians

  • Growth: 2.5%
  • Median Salary*: 214460


  • Growth: 5.2%
  • Median Salary*: 81990
  Bright Outlook


  • Growth: 8.8%
  • Median Salary*: 125590
  Bright Outlook

Orthopedic Surgeons, Except Pediatric

  • Growth: 1.6%
  • Median Salary*: 0


  • Growth: 2.6%
  • Median Salary*: 132750

Physician Assistants

  • Growth: 26.5%
  • Median Salary*: 126010
  Bright Outlook

* Data obtained from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

Global Opportunities

Global Experience

Students gain valuable experience when studying abroad. Those pursuing a medical microbiology concentration are able to expand their knowledge of how human biology is impacted by a variety of societies and cultures, and they challenge themselves to adapt and persevere in a new and exciting culture.

With over 300 programs available, study abroad allows students to tailor their experience to their unique interests and skill sets, and gain experience that enhances their resumes. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences recommends these study abroad programs for students majoring in medical microbiology.

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.