B.S. Microbiology

Mission & Student Learning Goals for a Major in Microbiology (B.S.)

The mission of the undergraduate program in microbiology within the Department of Biological Sciences at Wagner College is to provide students with a comprehensive background in the various fields of modern microbiology including microbial genetics, clinical microbiology, applied microbiology, immunology, molecular biology, and microbial physiology.

Wagner is one of the few liberal arts colleges in the Northeast offering this major as an undergraduate degree.  The primary goal of this major is to prepare students for graduate study and careers as microbiologists in public health, hospital, industrial, or research laboratories.


By graduation, microbiology majors should possess or have demonstrated

  • a basic knowledge of fundamental concepts in cell and molecular biology, microbial genetics, and microbial physiology.
  • a basic knowledge of applied, food, and industrial microbiology.
  • a clear conceptual knowledge of immunology and serology.
  • a general knowledge of clinical microbiology.
  • a basic knowledge of statistical analysis.

Requirements for a Major in Microbiology (B.S.)

A minimum of 18 units with the following distribution:

Core requirements - 7 units of microbiology and 1 unit of biology as follows:
Microbiology 200, 212, 314, 512, 521, 522, 525
Biology 221
Elective requirements - 2 units chosen from:
MI 216, 291, 493, 503, 513, 517, 523, 524, 591; CH 517
Senior Learning Community - 2 units
Microbiology 400E (zero units), 400, 491
Cognate courses - 4 units of Chemistry, 2 units of Physics, 1 unit of Mathematics (beginning catalog year 2018):
Chemistry 111, 112, 211, 212
Physics 131, 132 or Physics 141, 142
Math 121 (beginning 2018)

A laboratory section must be taken as part of any course for which a laboratory section is offered.  Lecture and laboratory must be taken concurrently.
Courses used to calculate the major index include all courses in microbiology.  It is recommended that microbiology majors complete Mathematics 121 or higher to fulfill the mathematics requirement of the college. (MA 121 is required beginning 2018.)

Requirements for a Combined Major in Microbiology and Minor in Chemistry

18 units required for the major in microbiology, and any two additional units in chemistry above Chemistry 212.  The minor must be declared at the time when the major in microbiology is declared.

Requirements for a Minor in Microbiology

A minimum of five units at the 200-level or higher in Microbiology. MI 200 is required and MI 314 and 512 are strongly recommended.

Students who have completed a previous course in statistics cannot count BI 221 toward the minor.

A laboratory section must be taken as part of any course for which a laboratory section is offered.

Lecture and laboratory must be taken concurrently.

Graduate Program

The degree of Master of Science in the field of microbiology is offered. Consult the Wagner College Bulletin, the M.S. Microbiology link of this web site, or the Dean of Graduate Studies for additional information.