​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Program Description

With all there is to see in the world, there’s even more the human eye can’t see. As a student in the biology program studying microscopy, you will use a variety of state-of-the-art instruments to study up close and personal everything left unseen by the naked eye. Using microscopes equipped with a variety of imaging techniques like laser scanning and electron scanning and transmitting, you will develop a strong foundation in biology, chemistry and physics. The common optical microscope that uses visible light — we have those too.

Points of Pride

  • CMU's $95 million Biosciences Building is the largest capital project in the university’s 120-plus year history. The four-story, 169,000-square-foot building will dramatically advance our instructional learning and scientific research space.
  • CMU is the only university in Michigan with an undergraduate degree in microscopy, where students receive specialty training and take part in an independent research project.

Put Your Degree to Work

For More Information

Visit the biology website or contact:

Department of Biology
Biosciences 2100
Phone: 989-774-3227
Fax: 989-774-3462

Program Overview

The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail please see our official online academic bulletin AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the General Education courses required for all majors and may not include some program specific information, such as admissions, retention, and termination standards.

(Click on the course name or number for a complete course description.)

Biology Major: Microscopy Concentration

The Biology Major will prepare students for graduate programs, pre-professional programs, certificate programs, and careers in diverse biological disciplines. Experiences in the program will strengthen skills in teamwork, inquiry and analysis, oral and written communication , problem solving, ethical reasoning, critical and creative thinking, and quantitative and information literacy. Biology students have the opportunity to perform one-on-one research with Biology faculty members and often present their work at local, regional, national, or international venues. To support student success, the Biology department offers numerous scholarship opportunities, granting greater than $60K in awards annually. Biology students are part of a learning community that includes local networking opportunities (registered student organizations and clubs), state and regional collaborations and partnerships (e.g., government agencies, tribal organizations), and global experiences (study abroad opportunities). The Microscopy concentration is designed for students who are interested in a career as a biological microscopist. In addition to fundamental laboratory skills, students will gain experience in sample preparation and image analysis techniques and master advanced microscopy techniques including scanning and transmission electron microscopy, confocal microscopy, and light microscopy. Students that complete this major receive excellent preparation to pursue advanced degrees (e.g., MS, PhD) and/or obtain employment in: - research laboratories - hospitals - pharmaceutical companies - chemical companies - food processing laboratories - forensic laboratories Extensive hands-on learning opportunities, supported by state-of-the art teaching, laboratory and microscopy facilities, will empower students to apply their undergraduate education for employment or graduate/professional training.
Total: 67-75 semester hours
Core Courses I
(20 hours)
BIO 111
Foundations of Evolution and Diversity
BIO 112
Foundations of Cell Biology
BIO 211
Foundations of Genetics
BIO 212
Foundations of Form and Function
BIO 213
Foundations of Ecology
Core Courses II
(17-18 hours)
BIO 330
Light Microscopy
Undergraduate Research
BIO 550
Transmission Electron Microscopy
BIO 552
Scanning Electron Microscope Technique
BIO 553
Confocal Microscopy
Required Courses
(3 hours)
Select one of the following:
BIO 325
BIO 500
Biological Statistics
BIO 536
Other Requirements I
(20 hours)
Note: You may only count one of MTH 130 OR 132, not both.
CHM 131
General Chemistry I
CHM 132
General Chemistry II
MTH 130
Pre-Calculus Mathematics
MTH 132
Calculus I
College Physics I
PHY 131
College Physics II
Other Requirements II
(4-8 hours)
Select one of the following options:
Note: Students selecting Option A in Other Requirements II must select Option A in Other Requirements III. Students selecting Option B or C in Other Requirements II may select any option in Other Requirements III.
Option A
(4 hours)
Option B
(8 hours)
Option C
(8 hours)
Other Requirements III
(3-6 hours)
Select one of the following options:
Option A
(3 hours)
Option B
(3 hours)
Option C
(6 hours)
Other Requirements IV
(0 hours)
Capstone Exit Exam and Survey This capstone experience may include taking the Biology Major Field Test, analyzing and interpreting data, and/or completing an exit survey.