Illinois logo MCB The Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology

Undergraduate Studies

In addition to the MCB bachelor's degree, students may choose to follow a particular Area of Emphasis, such as Microbial Biology. An Area of Emphasis is an advising option for students interested in pursuing a particular area of MCB in depth. To complete the microbial biology area of emphasis, you must complete the requirements for the MCB major (see below) as well as the requirements for the Microbiology area of emphasis (see below).

The following information should help you understand the courses required for the microbial biology emphasis. The MCB Undergraduate Program Web site has detailed information on the requirements for the MCB degree, including required courses. Also available at the advising Web site are foreign language requirements, general education electives, advanced composition requirements, and MCB electives. We suggest you use this as a guide for planning your course work over the next four years.

The requirements for receiving an Area of Emphasis in Microbial Biology indicate that some of the same courses are required for both the MCB degree and the microbial biology emphasis. There are some additional courses that are specific for the microbial biology emphasis. Two classes are required: MCB 300 and MCB 301. In addition, a minimum of three 400-level Microbiology courses and one advanced laboratory course must be taken. The Microbiology Courses link above shows the 400-level microbiology courses that potentially fill this requirement. Please keep in mind that some courses are only offered once a year, so planning carefully in advance ensures you will take all of the courses that are required and interesting.

Contact Melissa Michael (; 217-244-6238), Associate Director for Curriculum and Instruction, with additional questions regarding the undergraduate major in MCB and the MCB core curriculum including MCB 150, 151, 250, 251, 252, 253, and 354.

Careers in Microbiology

A bachelor's degree in microbiology trains students for a wide variety of careers. Some students, of course, continue on to medical or graduate school. Others obtain jobs immediately after graduation as laboratory technicians in industry or academia. Still others pursue careers in technical writing, sales, product development for medical companies, forensic science, or teaching.

We have links to Web sites that will educate you about the positions you may apply for when you get your bachelor's degree. The MCB Advising Program is the main career source for undergraduate students pursuing their bachelors' degrees in molecular and cellular biology.