Study, analyze, research: that’s what we do.

A microbiology, cellular and molecular biology, and biotechnology option is for the student who is preparing to do graduate work in any area of the laboratory life sciences. There is high demand for graduates with laboratory research training in the public and private sectors. Required and supporting courses provide the background that is essential for admission into life sciences graduate programs or for employment in biotechnology.

What You’ll Do

The curriculum includes rigorous coursework in general microbiology, laboratory methods in biotechnology, and molecular genetics. Core courses will prepare you for any area of biology.

  • Select courses in virology, immunology, investigative molecular biology, epidemiology, physiology, bioinformatics, health physics, and toxicology.
  • Gain competitive graduate school advantage with coursework in chemistry, biochemistry, and mathematics.
  • Engage with faculty advisors who are both active in research programs and readily involve students in their research programs.

What Can You Do with an MCM Biology/Biotechnology Degree?

At Southeast, a biology education goes beyond the classroom. We have amazing success stories to prove it. Southeast alumni are tackling graduate schools and careers at notable institutions.

Graduate School Opportunities of Recent Graduates

  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • University of Missouri
  • Vanderbilt University
  • University of Wisconsin
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Cincinnati
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • University of Massachusetts 

Employment Opportunities of Recent Graduates

  • Monsanto
  • Pfizer
  • Sigma-Aldrich Chemical Company
  • Biokyowa
  • Proctor and Gamble
  • St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • St. Louis University
  • Zoetis

Microbiology, Cellular and Molecular Biology, & Biotechnology (BS) Degree Map

Explore the courses you'll need to complete your degree.

Outcomes & Careers

  • $88k


    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a microbiologist is $88,950.

  • $49k

    Biological Technician

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a biological technician is $49,650.

  • $95k

    Biological Scientist

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a biological scientist is $95,920.

What You'll Study

Degree Map

The Microbiology, Cellular and Molecular Biology, and Biotechnology curriculum includes coursework to prepare you for career paths in cell biology, microbiology, and biotechnology. You’ll complete a minimum of 120 credit hours to complete this degree, including the general education requirements and at least 39 senior division hours.

“Critical Courses” are italicized and bolded. Data shows that students who have completed this course in the first two years and have earned the noted grade are most likely to complete this program of study.

Required Courses:

  • BI163 Evolution & Ecology (4)
  • BI173 Cell & Organismal Biology (4)
  • BI283 Genetics (4)
  • BI389 Career Development in Biology (2)
  • CH184 General Chemistry I Lab (1)
  • CH185 General Chemistry I (3)
Choose one math course:
  • MA116 Precalculus A (3)
  • MA137 Precalculus (5)
  • MA139 Applied Calculus (3)
  • MA140 Analytical Geometry & Calculus I (5)
Choose one additional math course:
  • MAxxx Additional math (for which MA116 is a prerequisite) (3)
  • MA155 Statistical Reasoning (3)
Experiential Learning Requirement: 2 hours
  • BI551-553 Biology Field Studies (2)
  • BI563-565 Experience in Museum Curation (1-3)
  • BI570 Development of Instructional Materials (1)
  • BI582 Internship in Biology (1-3)
Microbiology, Cellular and Molecular Biology, and Biotechnology Option Required Courses:
  • BI245 Lab Methods in Biotechnology (3)
  • BI310 General Microbiology (4)
Choose 6 Hours From:
  • BI403 Medical Genetics (3)
  • BI404 Cell Biology (3)
  • BI413 Molecular Genetics (3)
  • BI442 Immunology (4)
  • BI445 Microbial Physiology (3)
  • BI/BT450 Investigative Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (3)
  • BI543 Pathogenic Microbiology (4)
  • ZO414 Developmental Biology (4)
Biology Electives: Choose 10 Hours
  • Any BI, BO, ZO, BT courses, 300 level and above (10)
Non-Biology Requirements: 13 hours
  • CH 186 General Chemistry II (3)
  • CH 187 General Chemistry II Lab (1)
  • CH341 Foundations of Organic Chemistry (4)
  • CH342 Organic Chemistry Lab I (1)
  • CH531/UI331 Foundations of Biochemistry (3)

Some requirements may be fulfilled by coursework in major program.
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences – 6 hours
  • Constitution Requirement – 3 hours
  • Written Communication – 6 hours
  • Oral Communication – 3 hours
  • Natural Sciences – 7 hours (from two disciplines, one to include a lab)
  • Mathematics – 3 hours
  • Humanities & Fine Arts – 9 hours (from at least two disciplines)
  • Additional requirements – 5 hours (to include UI100 for native students)
  • Civics examination

Freshman Year    

Fall Semester (15-17 Hours)     
  • UI100 (1) 
  • BI163 (4) 
  • CH184/185 (4) 
  • MA116/137/139/140 (3-5) 
  • General Education (3) 
Spring Semester (14 Hours)     
  • EN100 (3)
  • BI173 (4)
  • CH186 (3) 
  • CH187 (1) 
  • Additional Math course (3) 

Milestone: achieve a target cumulative GPA 3.2

Sophomore Year    

Fall Semester (15 Hours)  
  • BI283 (4) 
  • CH341 (4) 
  • CH342 (1) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
Spring Semester (15 Hours)    
  • BI245 (3)
  • BI310 (4) 
  • CH343* (3) 
  • CH344* (2)
  • General Education (3) 

Milestone: achieve a target cumulative GPA 3.2

Junior Year    

Fall Semester (16 Hours)    
  • MCM option course (3) 
  • BI389 (2) 
  • PH120/020* (5) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
Spring Semester (16 Hours)     
  • MCM option course (3) 
  • PH121/021* (5) 
  • Biology elective (3) 
  • Experiential Learning Course (2)
  • General Education (3)

Milestone: achieve a target cumulative GPA 3.2

Senior Year    

Fall Semester (15 Hours)     
  • Biology Elective (3) 
  • Biology Elective (4) 
  • UI331/CH531 (3)
  • General Education (3)
  • Elective (2) 
Spring Semester (14 Hours)  
  • CH533* (2)
  • General Education (3)
  • Elective (3) 
  • Elective (3) 
  • Elective (3) 

Milestone: achieve a target cumulative GPA 3.2

A “Milestone” signifies a significant stage for a student in the completion of a degree.

 *Suggested non-biology elective courses

Become a Redhawk.

Do more than dream about the future. Take the first steps to make it all happen.

Hands-on Learning

You’ll gain hands-on real-world experience through required 80 hours outside the classroom. The Department of Biology has numerous research and teaching labs that provide excellent opportunities for active experiences.


"The research was on functional tricuspid regurgitation. We divided and stretched heart tissues to find how much force was required to completely tear the tissue. It helped me gain an understanding of how things work in a lab, what to do, what not to do, how to troubleshoot problems, and how to work around mistakes. There is a lot of hard work and consistency that is required to do research that you may not think you need. Being an undergraduate researcher taught me that principle well."

Zainab Iqbal

A portrait of biology major, Zainab Iqbal, in a biology lab.

Getting the Job

Your education is just one piece to launching an extraordinary career. Once you’ve mastered the material, you still have to find the job you want, make the right connections, sell your knowledge and experience—and if all this is giving you anxiety, don’t panic. SEMO’s Career Services office is here to help you with the next step. They’ll provide the expertise and support you need, so you’re landing your dream job in no time.

Contact Us
Rhodes Hall 224
Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 6200
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701