Many students entering the Biology program at UWG identify their career goals as medicine and allied health. The Microbiology Certificate Program provides an opportunity for these individuals to join a cohort of students learning microbiology laboratory skills for the workplace.

The courses included in our certificate are selected from the list of recommendations made by the American Association of Microbiologists (ASM) and provide a strong foundation in the field of microbiology. Such courses will assist students in becoming competitive for jobs in clinical laboratory sciences and microbiology. In addition students will be well prepared for application to Medical Laboratory Science, MLS, programs offered by other institutions.

The Certificate in Microbiology program will provide students with an opportunity to explore a variety of areas within the microbial world.

Laboratory components of courses satisfying the certificate have been designed specifically to provide experiential learning in a variety of sub-disciplines within microbiology. The goal of this certificate is to provide students with a strong foundation in the theories relating to the microbial world, and the opportunity to practice relevant technical skills used by working microbiologists. This concentration of microbiology courses will better prepare students for entry into careers or vocational programs within the field. The certificate contains fundamental microbiology courses, and advanced specialized courses, covering clinically relevant topics. The sub-disciplines of bacteriology, immunology, virology, microbial genetics and environmental microbiology may be offered. The opportunity for internship placement within a research or clinical lab is also included within this program.

This program is embedded within the Biology BS degree and may be completed with no additional hours of study than the 120 required for the BS.

For more information, please see the Academic Catalog.


  • The Microbiology Certificate program is open to all Biology majors, students pursuing either the B.S. or minor in Biology at the University of West Georgia.
  • A student may formally apply to the certificate program after successful completion of Microbiology (BIOL 3310) with a grade of “C” or higher.
  • Following completion of all program requirements, a certificate will be awarded by the University of West Georgia to acknowledge this academic accomplishment.
  • Microbiology Certificate program application packages are available through the University of West Georgia Department of Biology.

Program Location

Carrollton Campus

Method of Delivery

Face to Face


The University of West Georgia is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Credit and transfer

Total semester hours required:

This program may be earned entirely face-to-face. However, depending on the courses chosen, a student may choose to take some partially or fully online courses.

Save money

UWG is often ranked as one of the most affordable accredited universities of its kind, regardless of the method of delivery chosen.


  • Total tuition costs and fees may vary, depending on the instructional method of the courses in which the student chooses to enroll.
  • The more courses a student takes in a single term, the more they will typically save in fees and total cost.
  • Face-to-face or partially online courses are charged at the general tuition rate and all mandatory campus fees, based on the student's residency (non-residents are charged at a higher rate).
  • Fully or entirely online course tuition rates and fees my vary depending on the program. Students enrolled in exclusively online courses do not pay non-Resident rates.
  • Together this means that GA residents pay about the same if they take all face-to-face or partially online courses as they do if they take only fully online courses exclusively; while non-residents save money by taking fully online courses.
  • One word of caution: If a student takes a combination of face-to-face and online courses in a single term, he/she will pay both all mandatory campus fees and the higher eTuition rate.
  • For cost information, as well as payment deadlines, see the Student Accounts and Billing Services website

There are a variety of financial assistance options for students, including scholarships and work study programs. Visit the Office of Financial Aid's website for more information.



  1. A Minimum of 16 Total Credit Hours.
  2. Notes:
    • Credit hours from courses taken to fulfill the Microbiology Certificate also count toward the B.S. in Biology and the Biology minor.
    • Furthermore, certificate requirements do not change the degree requirements for the B.S. in Biology and the Biology minor.
    • An equivalent course to BIOL 3310 from a different institution may be acceptable upon approval by certificate directors.

Required Course

(prerequisite for all 4000-level electives)

Microbiology is the study of biological organisms and agents too small to be seen with the unaided eye. This course will introduce students to the diversity, physiology, anatomy, and genetics of microorganisms, with particular emphasis on the bacteria. It will also introduce students to key areas of microbiology, including medical microbiology, microbial ecology, food microbiology, and biotechnology.

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Upper-Level Electives

(minimum of 12 credit hours):

Note: A maximum of 2 credit hours from each of the following elective courses can be counted toward the certificate.

  • BIOL-4983 - Advanced Undergraduate Biology Research — 1.0 - 4.0 Credit Hours (with an approved placement)
  • BIOL-4986 - Biological Internship — 1.0 - 4.0 Credit Hours (with an approved placement)

Bacterial Genetics is an advanced microbiology course which focuses on the molecular genetics of the bacterium Escherichia coli. Topics addressed include the nature of the bacterial chromosome, the multi-step process of DNA replication, DNA damaging agents and mutations, DNA repair systems, mechanisms of gene transfer and antibiotic resistance, and the regulation of gene expression. The laboratory component reinforces concepts learned in lecture and familiarizes students with modern techniques used in genetic engineering and biotechnology.

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Course is designed to expose students to the importance of micro organisms in industry and in the environment. Lab exercises focus on microbial growth, interactions with environmental factors and use in industrial applications such as treatment of sewage. Same as ENVS 4321.

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Advanced medical microbiology is designed to inform students of current developments in the areas of clinical and medical microbiology. The course will focus on mechanisms of pathogenesis and host defense. Discussion of new and emerging infectious agents will be addressed.

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Essentials of immunology is designed as an introduction to the immune response. The student will obtain a broad, comprehensive understanding of the principles of immunology. The course will focus on a detailed study of antigen-antibody interactions, humoral immunity, and cell-mediated immunity. Medically important syndromes, including AIDS, will be discussed to reinforce the principles of immunology. A laboratory component is included to support the exploration of immuno-diagnostic techniques.

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Bacterial Pathogenesis introduces students to the field of medical microbiology and the study of infectious disease. Topics covered include a discussion of environmental and host factors involved in bacterial infection and disease, an introduction to epidemiology and nosocomial infections, an overview of innate and acquired host defenses, and an extensive survey of bacterial pathogens with special emphasis on virulence factors and molecular mechanisms underlying disease processes. The laboratory component will focus on methods routinely used to isolate, culture, and identify bacterial pathogens.

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The emerging pathogen course is designed to inform students of the dramatic changes and current developments in the area of infectious disease. The course will focus on the evolving microorganisms and the reasons that the pathogens emerged. Also the course will include discussions on the mechanisms of pathogenesis and the host defense.

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A course designed to allow students to conduct faculty-directed, independent research projects in areas of the biological sciences. The course may be repeated, but credit for BIOL 4983 may be applied toward biology degree requirements for a maximum of 4 credit hours.

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Students wishing to enter an internship experience should discuss with their academic advisor the procedure for arranging the internship and the expectations for student performance. Credit hours received will be determined by the amount of time devoted to the internship. Variable Credit Course 1-4 hours. May be repeated for up to 12 hours.

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William J. Kenyon, Ph.D.

William J. Kenyon, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology & Co-Director of Microbiology Certificate Program

Sara Molesworth-Kenyon, Ph.D.

Sara Molesworth-Kenyon, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology & Co-Director of Microbiology Certificate Program

No Admissions Data Provided.

Specific dates for Admissions (Undergraduate only), Financial Aid, Fee Payments, Registration, Start/End of term, Final Exams, etc. are available in THE SCOOP.

  1. Students will use concepts, principals, and knowledge to demonstrate mastery in two of the following four subject areas:
    1. Bacteriology,
    2. Microbial genetics,
    3. Virology,
    4. Immunology.
  2. Students will use critical thinking skills or problem based learning skills to demonstrate mastery of the scientific method as pertains to three criteria:
    1. Background knowledge,
    2. Data analysis, and
    3. Experimental design.
  3. Students will acquire, organize, and present scientific information in the written or oral form and be judged in terms of three criteria:
    1. Scientific content,
    2. Comprehension and development of ideas, and
    3. Structure and organization of their work.