Microbial Sciences Minor

Structure of the Minor in Microbial Sciences

The minor in microbial sciences is intended for students who are either not enrolled in the Biology Major or who are taking a concentration other than Microbiology within the Biology Major. To fulfill the minor, Students must

  • Students must take at least of 15 credits in microbiology courses.
  • At least 2 courses must be in Basic Microbiology (from Group A) to gain important background in microbiological sciences.
  • At least 1 course must be in Microbial Ecology and Environmental Microbiology (from Group B)
  • At least 1 course must be in Applied and Pathogenic Microbiology (from Group C).

Group A–Fundamental Biology of Microorganisms (2 course required)

  • BioMi 1100 — Locker Rooms, Kitchens and Bedrooms: The Microbiology of College Life (3 cr, S)
  • BioMI 1400 - Antibiotics (3 cr, S)
  • BioMI 2900 – General Microbiology Lectures (3 cr; F, S)
  • BioMI 2911 – General Microbiology Laboratory (2 cr; F, S)
  • BioMI 4850 – Bacterial Genetics* (2 – 3 cr; F)

Group B – Microbial Ecology, Diversity and Environmental Microbiology (1 course required)

  • BIOMI 1120 — Microbes, the Earth, and Everything (3 cr; F)
  • BioMI 3500 – Marine Microbes & Disease (3 cr, F)

Group C – Applied and Pathogenic Microbiology (1 course required)

  • BioMI 2500 – Public Health Microbiology (3 cr, F)
  • BIOMI 2600– Microbiology of Human Contagious Diseases (3 cr, S, SU)
  • BIOMI 2950- Biology of Infectious Disease: From Molecules to Ecosystems (3 cr, S)
  • BioMI 3210 – Human Microbes and Health* (3 cr, F)
  • BioMI 3310 – General Parasitology (2 cr, S)
  • BioMI 3940 – Applied and Food Microbiology* (3 cr, F)
  • BioMI 4040 – Pathogenic Bacteriology* (2 – 3 cr, S)
  • BioMI 4090 – Principles of Virology* (3 cr, F)
  • BioMI 4310 – Medical Parasitology (2 cr, F)
  • BIOMS 4340– Cellular and Molecular Microbial Pathogenesis (3 cr; S)

All courses must be taken for a letter grade and students must receive a grade of “C” or better for the course to count toward the minor. Any undergraduate student at Cornell may enroll in the minor.

*Note that BioMI 2900 is a pre-requisite for most advanced classes in Microbiology

*All classes taken toward the major may not count towards the minor

Enrolling in the Minor in Microbial Science

The Minor in Microbial Science is open to all students in all majors other than Biology. Biology Majors should pursue the curriculum for the Concentration in Microbiology. The Minor is available to students in all Colleges at Cornell University.

There is no formal enrollment process for the Minor in Microbial Science. Students interested in pursuing the Minor should contact the Microbiology Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Meaghan Austin (ma857 [at] cornell.edu), to review planned courses to complete the minor.  Students are responsible for planning their minor program of study in conjunction with their advisor in their major.

After discussing the plan for completing the minor, the Undergraduate Program Coordinator will track the student's progress each term and contact them prior to graduation with an email stating if the minor was completed or not. It is ultimately the student's full responsibility to complete all requirements and check in with the Undergraduate Program Coordinator with updates to planned coursework.

Students wishing to count subjects taken while on study abroad should contact their Minor Advisor or the Undergraduate Program Coordinator. Students should be prepared to provide a syllabus for the course and the name and contact details for the course instructor. The Minor Advisor will review the syllabus and contact faculty at Cornell teaching similar subjects to check the appropriateness of credit. Generally speaking, courses that cover the same material as on-campus courses will be considered for credit.

Should you be interested in a subject that is not currently listed, please contact the Undergraduate Program Coordinator and the Minor Advisor to discuss. Only courses which are microbiology, and courses that pertain to the three focus areas of the minor will be considered. 

Students and advisers in other departments should contact the Undergraduate Program Coordinator and/or the Minor Advisor if they have questions about Microbiology courses.