College of Arts and Sciences

Microbiology is the study of the smallest living organisms (bacteria, algae, fungi, and protozoa) and viruses. Because of their simplicity and rapid growth rates, microorganisms are readily amenable to study in the laboratory. Because their cellular processes closely resemble those of higher organisms, they are ideally suited for fundamental studies of biological structure, physiology, metabolism, genetics and development. The Microbiology department at the University of Washington works mainly in cutting edge research in Bacteria and Viruses. The B.S. in Microbiology is complemented by the College of Arts and Sciences general educational requirements such as English Composition, Writing, Foreign Language, Quantitative & Symbolic Reasoning, Visual Literary & Performing Arts and Individuals and Societies courses which provide a comprehensive liberal arts degree.

Minor available

Major category: Minimum requirements

Topic: Health, Natural sciences

Applicant type


Freshmen can apply to the UW to begin autumn quarter or winter quarter (U.S. applicants only)

Read more about applying to the UW as a freshman, including details for programs that provide high school students with college credit (like Running Start).


Quarters of general admisson to UW: autumn / winter (U.S. applicants only) / spring / summer

Preparation for the major is a factor in transfer admission.

  • Use the information below to help you prepare for this degree
  • Visit MyPlan to run a degree audit.
  • Use the UW Equivalency Guide to find out how courses taken at a Washington state community or technical college will transfer to the UW.
  • UW college and school graduation requirements

Department admission information

  • Departmental application deadline:
  • You must enroll at the UW before applying to this major. Please contact the department for additional details.

Read more about applying to the UW as a transfer student.

Career outcomes