BS in Biological Science (Microbiology)

Units required for Major: 73-85, includes units of study in chosen concentration (see below).

Program Description

The concentration in Microbiology is designed to prepare students for entry level technical positions in the industry and graduate programs in Microbiology leading to careers in research and teaching. This curriculum meets the educational requirements for various entry level career positions for biotechnology, environmental, pharmaceutical, wastewater treatment, and agricultural areas of microbiology. Concentration includes a minor in Chemistry.

Pre-Major Requirements

The Biological Sciences program at Sacramento State is one of the most highly sought after programs in Northern California. Due to the large number of applications, the program is now officially impacted. Students wishing to become Biological Science majors must complete a series of required lower division and then must apply for admission to the program. Check the department website for requirements, and it is highly recommended that interested students speak with an advisor at the Natural Sciences Advising Center (NSAC) as soon as possible.

Freshmen interested in the major are admitted as pre-Biological Science majors.

To change to the Biological Sciences major, pre-major students are required to complete the following courses and grade requirements and submit a Declaration of Major form to the Biological Science Department Office along with transcript copies.

  1. Completion of the following lower division "pre-major" courses with a minimum "C" or better. Only first or second attempt will be considered:
BIO 1Biodiversity, Evolution and Ecology5
BIO 2Cells, Molecules and Genes5
CHEM 1AGeneral Chemistry I5
STAT 1Introduction to Statistics3
ENGL 5Accelerated Academic Literacies3
  1. Overall GPA of 2.5 based on the pre-major courses listed above.
  2. Minimum of 30 units completed at the college level.

Program Requirements

Required Lower Division Core Courses (37-41 Units)
BIO 1Biodiversity, Evolution and Ecology5
BIO 2Cells, Molecules and Genes5
CHEM 1AGeneral Chemistry I5
CHEM 1BGeneral Chemistry II5
Select one of the following:3 - 6
Organic Chemistry Lecture--Brief Course 1
Organic Chemistry Lecture I
Organic Chemistry Lecture II
Select one of the following:3 - 4
Calculus I for the Social and Life Sciences
Calculus I
PHYS 5AGeneral Physics: Mechanics, Heat, Sound4
PHYS 5BGeneral Physics: Light, Electricity and Magnetism, Modern Physics4
STAT 1Introduction to Statistics3
Required Upper Division Core Courses (6 Units)
BIO 100Introduction to Scientific Analysis2
BIO 184General Genetics4
Concentration (30-38 Units)
Select from the following concentrations:30 - 38
General Biology
Biomedical Sciences
Cell and Molecular Biology
Clinical Laboratory Sciences
Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation
Forensic Biology
Total Units73-85

CHEM 24 and CHEM 124 may be taken in lieu of CHEM 20. (CHEM 124 is not counted toward the 36 upper division unit requirement in the major except in the Biomedical Sciences Concentration.)


  • Pre-Health Professional students should take the Chemistry and Math requirements as stated in the Pre-Health Professional Program section of this catalog.
  • With approval, up to six units of upper division coursework from related fields may be applied as electives in the major.
  • No more than 2 units from the following combined can be applied to the Biological Sciences upper division major requirement.
    BIO 195Biological Internship1 - 2
    BIO 197ALaboratory Teaching Assistant1 - 2
    BIO 197BLaboratory Techniques1 - 2
    BIO 197CCo-curricular Activities in Biology1 - 2
    BIO 199AIntroductory Undergraduate Research1 - 2
    BIO 199BDirected Readings1 - 2

Concentration in Microbiology (35 units)

Required Courses (28 Units)
BIO 121Molecular Cell Biology3
BIO 139General Microbiology4
BIO 143General Virology3
BIO 145The Diversity of Microorganisms3
BIO 180Advanced Molecular Biology4
CHEM 20LIntroductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory1
CHEM 31Quantitative Analysis4
CHEM 161General Biochemistry 13
CHEM 162General Biochemistry Laboratory 23
Elective Courses (7 Units)
Select 7 units from the following Cell and Molecular Biology electives or Clinical Laboratory Science and Infectious Disease electives: 37
Cell and Molecular Biology Electives
Forensic Biology
Advanced Laboratory Techniques in Forensic Biology
Advanced Nutrition and Metabolism
Molecular Ecology
Cancer Biology
Topics in Biology
Cell and Molecular Biology Seminar
Advanced Cell Biology
Clinical Laboratory Science and Infectious Disease Electives
Medical Mycology
Medical Microbiology and Emerging Infectious Diseases 4
Pathogenic Bacteriology 4
Immunology and Serology Laboratory
Human Parasitology
Epidemiology 5
Total Units35

CHEM 160A and CHEM 160B may be taken in lieu of CHEM 161. Only three units of the package may be counted toward the upper division requirement.


CHEM 162 can be included in the 36 upper division unit requirement for this concentration.


Electives chosen in consultation with an advisor. BIO 124 and BIO 125 cannot be taken to fulfill the elective requirements for the Microbiology Concentration.


Students may not receive credit for both BIO 140 and BIO 144. Cannot be counted for credit in the Clinical Laboratory Sciences concentration.


Required for Public Health Microbiology Traineeship.