Environmental Microbiology Minor

Microbes are responsible for controlling the movement of energy, mass, and information through ecosystems (natural, artificial, and human). The environmental microbiology minor will develop students understanding of fundamental concepts in microbiology (cell structure, physiology, metabolism) together with an understanding of the evolutionary and ecological processes that shape their activities in earth’s environments. By completing the minor, students will gain training to prepare them for a wide variety of microbiology careers, including environmental sciences, health sciences, biotechnology industries, and more.

In addition to the program requirements listed below, students must:

  • take at least nine hours of their minor "core" requirements at UNC–Chapel Hill
  • earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000 in the minor core requirements. Some programs may require higher standards for minor or specific courses.

For more information, please consult the degree requirements section of the catalog.

Core Requirements
One course emphasizing microbiology fundamentals, chosen from:3-4
IDEAs in Action General Education logo The Microbial World: Foundations in Structure, Metabolism, and Ecology 1
and Microbiology Laboratory 1
Introductory Medical Microbiology
Four courses emphasizing microbial ecological theory, evolution, or within the environment, chosen from: 12
Marine Microbiology
Marine Phytoplankton
Marine Microbial Symbioses: Exploring How Microbial Interactions Affect Ecosystems and Human Health
Microbial Ecological Genomics
Biogeochemical Processes
Environmental Microbiology
Discoveries in Prevention and Cure of Infectious Disease in London H
Biology, History, and Evolution of Epidemic Diseases
Disease Ecology and Evolution
Bacterial Genetics with Emphasis on Pathogenic and Symbiotic Interactions
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Environment-ECUIPP Lab: Connecting with communities through environmental research for Public Health 3
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Adv Environ-ECUIPP Lab: Connecting with Communities Through Environmental Research for PH Protection
Ecological Microbiology
Environmental Health Microbiology
One Health: Philosophy to Practical Integration (3 credits required)
--- *95
Mentored research course with a microbiology focus (3 credits required) 2
Total Hours15-16

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.


Prerequisite(s) required. Check course description for details. 


Requires permission by the program director. 


ENVR 335 is repeatable for credit, but only 3 credit hours may count toward the minor. 

Department of Earth, Marine, and Environmental Sciences

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Murray and Mitchell Halls


Eric Kirby


Director of Undergraduate Studies

Kevin Stewart


Undergraduate Student Services Manager

Heratia Brelland