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A microbiology major provides a foundation for numerous employment opportunities and is excellent preparation for graduate school and professional schools.

  • We offer undergraduate programs Microbiology, Clinical Laboratory Science, and a Microbiology Master's Program. More than 95% of microbiology graduates are employed within the discipline.
  • We are the only independent microbiology department among the UW comprehensive universities.
  • We offer a Clinical Laboratory Science degree (also known as a Medical Laboratory Scientist or Medical Technologist)
    • Use your lab skills to help physicians diagnose and treat patients!
    • Healthcare professionals that analyze body fluids, tissues, and cells
    • Identify and analyze disease-causing microbes.
    • Make a difference and help impact patient care.
  • Our masters program produces highly sought graduates.
    • Improve marketability for jobs and promotions 
    • A steppingstone to professional and Ph.D. programs.
    • Faculty research interest in medicine, the  environment, genetics, cell signaling, biotechnology,  metabolism, and physiology.
    • State-of-the-art research facilities support our program and your research.

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Undergraduate programs


Undergrad major Undergrad minor

Microbiology is the study of microscopic organisms, their activities and uses. Although small in size, microorganisms — viruses, bacteria, archaea, fungi, protozoa and algae — are almost everywhere and play an enormous role in the environment and in society. Microbes impact human health, disease, and medicine. They are integral to the food, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. And they are critical in global nutrient cycling and agriculture.

Areas of study

Biomedical Concentration

Undergrad major View a sample plan for Biomedical Catalogfor Biomedical

Business Concentration

Undergrad major View a sample plan for Business Catalogfor Business

Environmental Concentration

Undergrad major View a sample plan for Environmental Catalogfor Environmental

Clinical Laboratory Science

Undergrad major Graduate degree

Medical technologists, medical laboratory scientists, or clinical laboratory scientists are different titles to describe the same profession. These professionals examine and analyze body fluids, tissues and cells. They detect and identify bacteria, parasites, or other microorganisms; analyze the chemical content of fluids; select blood for transfusion; and run tests to see how patients are responding to treatment. 

Areas of study

Undergrad + graduate dual degree

Clinical Laboratory Science and Clinical Microbiology Dual Degree program enables a UWL student to earn both a bachelor’s degree in clinical laboratory science (CLS) and a master's degree in microbiology with emphasis in clinical microbiology in six years.

Undergrad major Graduate degree View a sample plan for Undergrad + graduate dual degree Catalogfor Undergrad + graduate dual degree

Graduate program


Graduate degree

Areas of study

Clinical Microbiology Concentration

Graduate degree

Featured courses

  • Urinalysis and Body Fluids
    CLI 395 | 2 credits
    This course introduces the formation, distribution, and function of urine and other nonblood body fluids. Instruction in the handling and analysis of these fluids will be given based on their chemical, physical, and cellular composition in health and disease. The laboratory focuses on performing and interpreting results from the clinical laboratory procedures performed in the lab. Lect. 1, Lab 2. Prerequisite: admission to Clinical Lab Science Program. Offered Spring, Summer.
  • Clinical Hematology
    CLI 410 | 3 credits
    Introductory course in hematology which examines normal hematologic physiology, cellular development, and hemostasis in the human. Introduction to pathophysiology, with emphasis on clinical and laboratory evaluation of hematologic status. Theory and background of laboratory procedures used in the diagnosis and treatment of hematologic and other diseases are included. Emphasis is on peripheral blood cell morphology, hematopoiesis, maturation, and kinetics. Pathophysiology of hematologic disorders, including anemias and hematologic malignancies are explored. Manual laboratory techniques as well as instrumentation will be included in the laboratory portion. Complete blood counts, correlation of automated and manual differentials and routine coagulation testing also will be performed. Lect. 2, Lab 2. Prerequisite: admission to Clinical Lab Science Program. Offered Fall.
  • Immunohematology
    CLI 420 | 3 credits
    Course covers the general aspects of the Blood Group System, red cell types and group systems, antibody screening, compatibility testing, blood donor service, selection of donors, blood drawing, storage, and preservation, components, records, and regulations for blood banks. The laboratory section includes performance of blood bank procedures, donor processing, compatibility testing, component preparation, antibody screening, and antibody identification. Lect. 4, Lab 6. Prerequisite: admission to Clinical Lab Science Program. Offered Summer.
  • Clinical Chemistry
    CLI 450 | 6 credits
    This course focuses on chemical analysis performed in the clinical laboratory. The correlation between the organ systems, the clinical laboratory procedures, and human disease states is presented. Discussion of areas unique to clinical chemistry laboratory related to evaluation and validity of test results is emphasized. Laboratory rotation applies the principles of clinical chemistry and their relationship to the performance of analytical procedures and management of the clinical chemistry laboratory. Six-week rotation. Prerequisite: admission to Clinical Lab Science Program; acceptance to a NAACLS accredited clinical lab science program. Offered Fall.
  • Clinical Hematology/Hemostasis
    CLI 455 | 6 credits
    Course extends concepts and skills learned in CLI 395 and CLI 410. Advanced theory in hematology to include abnormal and malignant processes, applications of flow cytometry and special stains, the diagnosis of classification of leukemias, troubleshooting instrumentation and interpretation of scatterplots. Hemostasis concepts, selection of appropriate tests and interpretation of results and diagnosis of coagulation disorder as well as advanced body fluid morphology will be covered. Students will gain experience processing and analyzing patient specimens with a wide variety of complex procedures as well as instrumentation. Students will also expand their identification and diagnostic skills on microscopic analysis of hematology and body fluid specimens. Six-week rotation. Prerequisite: CLI 395 and CLI 410; admission to Clinical Lab Science Program; acceptance to a NAACLS accredited clinical lab science program. Offered Fall.
  • Clinical Immunohematology
    CLI 460 | 6 credits
    Course extends concepts and skills acquired in CLI 420. Performance and interpretative skills in ABO and Rh typing, antibody detection and identification techniques, hemolytic disease problems, quality assurance management, solving patient's blood compatibility problems, histocompatibility techniques and selection of appropriate blood products for various bleeding disorders will be expanded. Six-week rotation. Prerequisite: CLI 420; admission to Clinical Lab Science Program; acceptance into a NAACLS accredited clinical lab science program. Offered Spring.
  • Global Impact of Infectious Disease
    MIC 130 | 3 credits
    A multifaceted examination of issues related to infectious disease throughout the world. The course will begin with historical examples of how infectious disease has impacted society, from plagues of centuries past to recent emerging diseases. After defining the types of pathogens and methods for their control, the interplay between infectious disease and global economics, health and politics will be evaluated. Additionally, the impact of public perceptions and misconceptions on the spread of infectious disease will be analyzed. Finally, the role of current human activities in shaping disease patterns of the future will be explored. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.
  • Immunology
    MIC 310 | 3 credits
    Fundamentals of immune system structure and function. Includes response to infectious agents, as well as vaccination, allergy, autoimmune disease, cancer, organ transplantation, immune deficiency and related public health issues. Prerequisite: MIC 100 or BIO 105 with a grade of "C" or better; one 200 level or higher biology or microbiology course. Offered Fall, Spring.
  • Food Microbiology
    MIC 380 | 4 credits
    A study of environmental factors affecting the growth, activity, and destruction of microorganisms in food; principles of food spoilage; preservation of foods, including basic methods and their application to foods; food-borne intoxications and infections; indicator organisms; sanitation and microbiological standards in foods. Laboratory instruction includes quality control methods, sampling methods, techniques to identify important microorganisms in foods, and data interpretation and analysis. Lect. 2, Lab 4. Prerequisite: MIC 230. Offered Spring.
  • Bacterial Diversity
    MIC 350 | 3 credits
    A survey of the bacteria. Lectures will cover bacterial classification and the structure, physiology, ecology, and applications of various groups of bacteria. Special emphasis will be on the more unique species and those of industrial, ecological and environmental importance. The laboratory will involve enrichment and isolation procedures for selective groups of bacteria. Lect. 2, Lab 3. Prerequisite: MIC 230. Offered Spring, Fall-Odd # Years.