Jul 18, 2024  
2021-2022 UMaine Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 UMaine Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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Minimum number of credits required to graduate: 120

Minimum Cumulative GPA required to graduate: 2.0.

Minimum Grade requirements for courses to count toward major: For the Microbiology major, a “C or better” is required in “Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology” (BMB 280) to continue in the required, upper-level BMB courses.

Other GPA requirements to graduate: The Microbiology major requires a minimum GPA of 2.0 in all required BMB courses and science electives.

Required Course(s) for fulfilling Capstone Experience: BMB 491

Contact Information: Robert Gundersen, Chair, Hitchner Hall Room 117, (207) 581-2802, gundersn@maine.edu
or Ed Bernard, Undergraduate Coordinator, Hitchner Hall, Room 284, (207) 581-2804, edward.bernard@maine.edu

The Microbiology program is designed to provide the student with a broad background in the biological and physical sciences and an opportunity for in depth concentration in one of the most active disciplines in the biological sciences.

Departmental Requirements:
Cumulative grade point average of 2.0 in the major and a minimum grade of C in BMB 280.

Hands-on Experience:
An important aspect of the Microbiology program is the requirement for hands-on experience in the laboratory. Laboratory courses are offered in fundamental aspects of biochemistry and microbiology as well as specialized topics such as recombinant DNA techniques, virology, cell culture, immunology, pathogenic microbiology and microbial genetics. Laboratory courses in these topics are not generally available at smaller institutions without graduate and research programs or at many larger research universities where student numbers are too large to accommodate numerous laboratory courses in such specialized areas. At the University of Maine, however, we are large enough to have faculty with expertise in most sub disciplines but small enough in terms of students to be able to provide a wide variety of laboratory courses. We also take pride in the fact that all of our advanced laboratory courses are taught by professors, not by graduate students or part-time instructors. We believe strongly that such close interactions between students and faculty in small groups typical of most laboratory courses are important and mutually beneficial to the student and the faculty. Because the Department also offers M.S. and Ph.D. programs in the areas of biochemistry, microbiology, and molecular and cellular biology, we provide a variety of opportunities for undergraduate students to engage in independent study and research with individual faculty. In fact, we believe that this is one of the most important aspects of our undergraduate programs. In the required senior year research course, you will be part of a research team of faculty, postdoctoral research associates, technicians, and graduate and undergraduate students who are actively engaged in ongoing research projects that are both publicly and privately funded. Opportunities to earn academic credits while working off-campus in industry, hospitals, and research institutes also exist.

The departmental facilities for teaching and research are located in Hitchner Hall. The building contains a modern facility for teaching and research in microbiology, including specialized equipment and laboratories for teaching molecular biology, virology, pathogenic microbiology, and animal cell culture. The University’s Automated DNA Sequencing Facility and the department’s Zebrafish Facility are located in Hitchner Hall. Close proximity to research laboratories enables students to participate in independent study and undergraduate research projects using state-of-the-art equipment and methods.

Career Opportunities:
Rewarding career opportunities for microbiologists are exceptionally numerous and varied. A career in Microbiology is not just a job, but an opportunity to explore new phenomena, participate at the frontiers of the most actively expanding areas of science today, and make significant contributions to human beings, our society and our world. These disciplines are at the core of the rapidly expanding fields of biotechnology, molecular biology and the allied health professions. Graduates of these programs work in: public health laboratories, medical, dental, veterinary, and university research laboratories; pharmaceutical, food, and chemical industries; environmental research and monitoring laboratories; colleges and universities; and a variety of existing as well as emerging genetic engineering and biotechnology industries.

Health Professions:
Majoring in microbiology provides an ideal preparation for further study in medical, dental, veterinary and other health-related professional schools. Students interested in these careers should register with the Health Professions Office in their first year, which provides information and assistance in selecting proper supporting courses and the application process.

Accelerated UM/UNECOM Binary Degree Program with a B.S. in Microbiology
The University of Maine and the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNECOM) cooperate to offer an Accelerated Binary Degree Program (3+4 program), which allows qualifying students majoring in Microbiology at UMaine to be admitted to the College of Osteopathic Medicine at UNE after three years at UMaine rather than the customary four. Upon successful completion of the first year of medical school at UNE, students participating in this program will receive a bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from UMaine. The intent of this program is to facilitate an increase in the number of primary care physicians practicing in the State of Maine. This agreement is specifically between the University of Maine and the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. Consult the Health Professions Office for qualifications and curriculum requirements.

Microbiology is the study of microscopic forms of life such as bacteria and viruses and the immune response to these microorganisms. It is a broad, multidisciplinary field using techniques of genetics, chemistry, biochemistry, physiology, ecology, and pathology to study the biology of microorganisms from gene expression at the molecular level to the composition of populations of microorganisms. Exciting discoveries involving microorganisms have important and far-reaching implications for biotechnology, molecular biology, medicine, public health and the environment. AIDS and other important diseases present new and exciting challenges for microbiologists in the public health field. Advances in recombinant DNA technology, immunology, and the ability to manipulate the biology of microbial cells have revolutionized science and thrust microbiology into the center of the rapidly expanding arena of biotechnology.

Required Courses in Suggested Sequence for the B.S. in Microbiology

Second Year - First Semester

Third Year - First Semester

Fourth Year - First Semester

Fourth Year - Second Semester

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