The Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology unites two academically rich and overlapping disciplines - microbiology as an organism-defined discipline and biochemistry as a discipline underlying the study of all living systems. Edward Voorhees established the Department of Soil Chemistry and Bacteriology in 1901, the first department of agricultural microbiology in the country and the progenitor of the current Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology. The Biochemistry component of the Department had its genesis at the School of Agriculture as the Department of Agricultural Biochemistry in 1925 under Dr. Walter C. Russell. In 1965, the Departments of Agricultural Microbiology and Agricultural Biochemistry were merged to form what is today the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology.

The mission of the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology is to provide leadership in research and education in Biochemistry and Microbiology to advance our understanding of life processes. Microorganisms are the smallest living things, the oldest form of life on Earth, ubiquitous in the biosphere and perform diverse metabolic functions and ecosystem services that are central to and essential for life on Earth. Microbiology is the study of all aspects of microorganisms, exploiting bacteria, archaea, fungi and viruses; Biochemistry is the study of life processes of all living systems, at the level of molecules and their interactions. Our department combines these disciplines in one encompassing theme.

The academic programs in Biochemistry and Microbiology serve the central mission of the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, and Rutgers University through its programs in fundamental and applied research and instruction in microbiology and biochemistry. Microbiology and Biochemistry are at the core of the food, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical industries, where they are broadly utilized in wide ranging applications from food fermentations, new pharmaceuticals production, waste treatment, to biodegradation of toxic chemicals. Thus, the fields of microbiology and biochemistry are major contributors toward industrial development, human, animal and plant health, environmental integrity and agricultural productivity.


  

 First Semester Planning 

We recommend that students register for approximately 15 credits each semester and no more than 16 credits in their first semester. Your schedule should be well-balanced and include coursework from a variety of subjects. A diverse schedule will help you begin your studies in potential majors and minors; explore a breadth of new knowledge across departments at Rutgers to meet SAS Core Curriculum learning goals; and survey broader academic interests through elective courses as you work to attain the required 120 degree credits for graduation.

Your schedule will look something like this: 

College Writing or English course per placement results (3 credits)

Major Exploration course (3-4 credits)

Major or Minor Exploration course (3-4 credits)

Course beyond main academic interest, such as SAS Core or elective course (3 credits)

 Byrne or First-Year Interest Group Seminar (FIGS) (1 credit) 

 Total Credits: 15-16

 

 

Introductory courses recommended by faculty. Include at least one of these in your schedule:

Students with a Precalculus or Calculus math placement AND Expository Writing English placement

Course Title

Course Number

Credits

Subject on University Schedule of Classes
General Biology 01:119:115 4 Biological Sciences (119)
General Chemistry 01:160:161 4 Chemistry (160)
Calculus-Based Math   4 Mathematics (640)
 

Students without a Precalculus or Calculus math placement AND Expository Writing English placement

Course Title

Course Number

Credits

Subject on University Schedule of Classes
Prep for General Biology 01:119:199 4 Biological Sciences (119)
Calculus-Based Math   4 Mathematics (640)

Your first year of college is an opportunity for you to explore fields of interest to enhance your understanding of yourself, the world around you, and your main academic and career goals. Think of your schedule as including courses you must take (English, courses to explore potential majors, etc.) and courses you can take (everything else!) All courses are part of your degree - if necessary, review the components of the SAS degree on this page.

Through these degree components, you will curate your own unique educational experience - but we understand that this level of flexibility and freedom can feel overwhelming for new students. Like a recommendation based on a book or TV show you enjoyed, the information below can help you identify related courses to consider in your first semester.

Course Title

Course Number

Credits

Subject on University Schedule of Classes

Dinosaurs 01:460:206 3 Geological Sciences (460)
Intro to Environmental Science 11:375:101 3 Environmental Science (375)
Introduction to Oceanography 01:628:120 3 Marine Sciences (628)
Transforming the Global Environment 01:450:102 3 Geography (450)
Data 101 01:198:142 4 Computer Science (198)

The Schedule of Classes provides information about the courses being offered in a particular semester. There are literally thousands of courses offered each semester at Rutgers, and you may find it helpful to narrow down your options by looking for courses in subjects related to your potential major or minor. Use the recommendations below to find possible introductory courses in other subjects. 

To find potential courses in other subjects related to this one:

1. On the Schedule of Classes, select the current term, location "New Brunswick" and level "undergraduate". Click continue.

2. In the Search By box, click the "search multple subjects" link. Select the following departments:

Biological Sciences (119)

Chemistry (160)

Cell Biology and Neuroscience (146)

3. In Section Status, deselect Closed

4. In Level of Study, deselect 300 and 400. In general, 100 and 200 are appropriate for first-year students, 300 and 400 are often more appropriate for students with more familiarity with the subject. If you are interested in registering for a 300 or 400 level course, consult with an advisor before registering. 

Review these courses for possible inclusion in your first-semester schedule, or to consider for future semesters.

 

The recommended first semester schedule for a first-year student considering the Microbiology major would consist of the following:

 

Course 1:

Course 2:

 Course 3:

 Course 4:

Seminar(s):

 

 

Expository Writing 101 (3cr)

General Biology (4)

General Chemistry (4)

Calculus-Based Math (4)

Byrne and/or First-Year Interest Group

(1-2cr) Seminar (FIGS)

Total Credits: 16-17

 

The recommended first semester schedule for a first-year student considering the Microbiology major and who did not place into Pre-Calculus or Calculus AND Expository Writing would consist of the following:

Course 1:

Course 2:

Course 3:

Course 4:

Seminar(s):

 

Expository Writing 101 or placement (3cr)

Prep for General Biology (4cr)

Calculus-Based Math (4cr)

SAS Core, or Signature Course (3cr)

 Byrne and/or First-Year Interest Group
(1-2cr) Seminar (FIGS)

 Total Credits: 15-16