HomeUndergraduate Programs

Undergraduate Study in

Microbiology, Immunology, and
Molecular Genetics


Undergraduate Overview

To achieve the Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics (MIMG), the student must fulfill both lower division and upper division requirements.  The lower division requirements, also called the Prep for the major, consist of those courses that make up the Life Science Core Curriculum:

  • Calculus
  • Chemistry
  • Life Science
  • Physics

The Life Science Core courses are required of every student in a Life Science-related major and are designed to prepare the student for the upper division courses of UCLA’s various life science disciplines.

Beginning Fall quarter 2014, Stats 13 is also a required lower division course for the MIMG major.

Upper Division Requirements

To fulfill the MIMG upper division requirements, the student must take 10 to 11 courses, totaling 45-46 units.

There are three Foundation Courses that are required:

  • Biochemistry (CHEM 153A)
  • Immunology (MIMG 185A)
  • Introductory Microbiology (MIMG 101)
Next, the Laboratory Requirement may be satisfied by either Path 1 or Path 2 courses.  This Competency-based Research Laboratory Curriculum (CRLC) is designed to provide in-depth research opportunities for all students in the MIMG major.  Laboratory requirements may be completed as follows:

Path 1:  Students choose one of three laboratory courses referred to as Research Immersion Labs (Path 1 AL courses).  The process of discovery is demonstrated through a guided, inquiry-based experience organized around team research project objectives.  Activities span two consecutive quarters with each Research Immersion Lab followed by an Advanced Research Analysis course (Path 1 BL courses).  The first course offers hands-on experience collecting data, analyzing preliminary results, and reading the scientific literature, and the second course emphasizes rigorous quantitative and computational analysis of data, oral presentation and discussion of research ideas, and formal written documentation of research accomplishments.  All Path 1 students share their research achievements with peers and faculty by presenting a poster at a symposium at the end of BL.

Path 2:  Students interested in pursuing an independent research experience in a faculty mentor’s laboratory may fulfill departmental major requirements by completing at least two consecutive quarters of letter-graded laboratory research (Path 2 course 196A/B) coupled to participation in concurrent research seminars (180A and 180B).  This Path is suited for third-year students who maintain a 3.0 grade-point average in their major and who develop an interest in research while participating in a Research Acquaintance experience in an MIMG or MCDB faculty mentor’s laboratory.  Path 2 students should acquire in-depth and broad knowledge about their research project by evaluating relevant scientific literature, orally presenting and formally writing about their research progress.  Eligible students must apply and be approved for enrollment in Path 2 by departmental curriculum committees.  Those who complete all course requirements for Path 2 are exempt from participating in Path 1.  All Path 2 students share their research achievements with peers and faculty by presenting a poster at a symposium at the end of 180B.

The remaining requirements are Electives that are chosen by the student from departmentally approved lists.

The upper division requirements described above provide students with flexibility in planning their schedules and allows students to tailor their course choices to reflect their interests.  While the MIMG major doesn’t have specializations, this flexibility permits the student to focus on specific disciplines within the major such as:

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Parasitology
  • Virology

The department also has a plethora of opportunities for students to gain research experience while undergraduates.  MIMG faculty members are involved in cutting-edge research in anthrax, AIDS, bioinformatics, cancer, cellular immunology, Herpes, and protein regulation, to name a few areas of investigation.

The MIMG major provides a solid foundation for those wishing continue their education in a health-related field as well as those who are planning to go graduate school.  Microbes are everywhere!  And so are the opportunities for students in MIMG.