Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences shares this department with the Larner College of Medicine (LCOM). Undergraduate studies are in CALS while graduate studies are in the LCOM. The department offers a B.S. in Biochemistry, a B.S. in Microbiology, or a B.S. in Molecular Genetics.

CALS Biochemistry Major

Biochemistry is the basic science that explores the chemical and physical properties of living organisms and the chemical changes that occur in these organisms. It is integral to the study of multiple disciplines within the life and biomedical sciences, including biology, chemistry, microbiology, genetics, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, nutrition and food sciences, animal sciences, plant biology, and plant sciences. The Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry draws upon a broad set of university resources from CALS, CAS, and COM to provide students with a modern science-based education designed to emphasize fundamental knowledge of chemistry and biology along with advanced courses specializing in biochemistry and related life and biomedical sciences. The biochemistry curriculum offers students with a strong academic ability in the sciences an opportunity to explore upper-level courses in areas of modern biochemistry and is designed to meet the needs of students wishing to compete in the job market at the B.S. degree level as well as students planning to continue with advanced studies in a graduate or professional degree program.

CALS Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Major

Undergraduates who undertake studies in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics receive instruction in the classroom and in state-of-the-art teaching and research laboratories. If you are interested in attending medical school or graduate school, then majoring in Microbiology (MICR) or Molecular Genetics (MGEN) may be appropriate. Fascinating recent developments in medicine and biomedical sciences, such as stem cell research, emerging microbial infectious diseases, genetic engineering, and cancer therapeutics, have emerged from a detailed understanding of the molecular events that underlie the routine functions of cells and organisms. Microbiology majors study in detail the microbes involved in infectious disease, human health, industrial manufacturing, ecology, and basic science research. Molecular genetics majors investigate the chemical, biological, and genetic principles that underlie all living processes at the molecular level.

Small classes, hands-on/intensive classroom laboratory experiences, and a strong commitment to undergraduate advising give students many opportunities to interact with the faculty, including a First-year Colloquium in which students meet directly with the faculty to discuss on-going research projects and contemporary issues in microbiology and molecular genetics. Undergraduates are encouraged to get involved in cutting-edge research projects in the department and the College of Medicine in such areas as DNA repair, infectious diseases, bioinformatics, structural biology, developmental genetics, and other fields. Internship opportunities outside of UVM with the local hospital, The University of Vermont Medical Center, the Department of Health, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner are also available to pre-med students. Approximately 75 percent of MICR and MGEN majors take advantage of either research or internship opportunities.

The program is flexible enough to allow students to minor in another scientific discipline such as animal sciences, biochemistry, biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, medical technology, nutrition, and pharmacology -- or in a field that is altogether different. Students have graduated with minors in French, business administration, psychology, and statistics, allowing them to put together a career plan that spans a wide range of opportunities. The program is also flexible enough to allow students to experience a study abroad semester.