Coursework Track

Coursework Track students gain their knowledge mostly in a classroom setting. With a large selection of courses and supportive advising, students can tailor their education to fit their career goals. Additional milestones, such as the ethics workshop, ensure a well-rounded education.

Complete Program Requirements


All requirements can be found on the Bacteriology M.S. page in the UW – Madison Guide.

Bascom Hill at sunrise

Coursework Milestones

student and professor talking at a table

Orientation Advising Session

During or before orientation, students will met with their respective advisor. In the orientation session, students review any outstanding prerequisites, discuss options for the first semester of coursework, briefly go over program requirements, and get suggestions on courses to take during their time in the program.

The orientation advising form will be used to facilitate the conversation with the advisor. When complete, this form should be submitted to the program coordinator. This is a requirement for both track options.

Ethics Workshop

The Ethics Workshop has the goal of fostering ethical and professional conduct. This workshop will be organized by the M.S. program director, and will occur every year in the fall semester. This is a requirement for both track options.

Students talking at a table
student presenting research poster

Seminar Assessment, Research Poster Assessment or Research Poster

Students must attend one microbiology seminar or poster session of their choice and submit a written report that formulates new questions, ideas, and concepts based on the seminar or poster (report format and rubric found here). Alternatively, students who have completed independent research credits may present a poster summarizing their research (poster format and rubric found here). Reports and posters can be sent to and will be reviewed by the M.S. program co-director and advisor for coursework track students.

Bacteriology Departmental Seminar information can be found here.

Additional Seminars can be found at Today@UW Calendar.

This requirement must be complete by the end of your first year in the program.

Independent Research Study (Optional)

Students in the coursework option are encouraged to participate in laboratory / field / special problems experiences as part of their graduate studies, through independent study on campus or an off campus internship. Research (990), Independent Study (899), Special Problems (699, 999), and internship (399) credits may constitute up to nine credits of the 30 required but cannot be used to satisfy the requirement of 15 credits of Grad50% coursework.

students on a boat sampling lake water

Coursework Track Certification Form

The coursework track certification form helps assist the student, advisor, and program organize the student’s progress to degree completion. It is a helpful tool to be used each semester to track progress. The semester the student anticipates graduating, the form should be completed and sent to the program coordinator.

Coursework Certification Form

Sample Two-Year Plan

Coursework Track

This sample two-year plan is a tool to assist students and their advisor(s). Students should use it —along with their current transcript and Course Search & Enroll tools —to make their own plan based on their individual interests, career direction, and research (if applicable). Plans may vary considerably from student to student, depending on their individual preparation and circumstances. Part-time students will have a different plan and should anticipate more time to graduation.

The example plans assumes that student will:

  • Have completed their prerequisites prior to matriculating in the program
  • Have not completed the required program courses (Micro 303, Micro 470, Micro 526 and Biochem 501) prior to matriculating in the program
  • Be enrolling as a full-time student for fall and spring terms during their time in the program

Year 1 Semester 1:

Microbiology 303 (3 cr)

Elective* 300+ (2-3 cr)

Elective* Grad50% (3cr)

Year 1 Semester 2:

Biochemistry 501 (3 cr)

Microbiology 470 (3 cr)

Elective* Grad50% (2-3 cr)

Year 2 Semester 1:

Microbiology 526 (3 cr)

Elective* Grad50% (3 – 5 cr)

Year 2 Semester 2:

Elective* Grad50% (3-5 cr)

Elective* 300+ (tbd**)

* Electives should be on the pre-approved list or have been approved by the student’s advisor.

**By Year 2 Spring, a student should know how many credits remain for them to reach 30 total degree credits.