Microbiology - Online and Distance Education




Entrance Exam: Not Required

The University Certificate in Microbiology offers students the opportunity to further their understanding of microorganisms and the roles they play in the world in which we live. The intended audience of this certificate includes degree-seeking undergraduate students at institutions where a microbiology major or minor is not available, and non-degree students seeking additional experience in microbiology for career advancement or to enhance their applications to professional, graduate, or allied health schools. This certificate may also improve the ability of K-12 science teachers to compete for positions or teach more effectively. Finally, this certificate provides an in-depth understanding of microbiology for those interested out of personal satisfaction.


Students apply by submitting their academic record and a letter of interest. Admission to the program is not required to take certificate courses. The requirements for admission are:

  • A high school diploma (or equivalent);
  • Completion of high-school-level chemistry and biology;
  • Completion of college-level organic chemistry and either genetics or biochemistry courses (required as prerequisites for upper-level certificate courses) OR current enrollment in a program offering these courses OR other access to these courses;
  • Degree-seeking students at NC┬áState University are not eligible (these students should enroll in the microbiology minor);
  • Students who have completed or are currently enrolled in a microbiology degree program (including a minor) are not eligible.


This 12-credit post-baccalaureate program includes four three-credit undergraduate courses. At 2020-21 tuition rates, the cost of these courses is $237 per credit for North Carolina residents and $916 per credit for non-residents. Thus, the total estimated cost for the program is $2,844 for North Carolina residents and $10,992 for non-residents. See Online and Distance Education Tuition and Fees for cost details.

Plan of Study

The certificate requires 12 credit hours. Students pursuing university certificate programs are considered non-degree studies (NDS) students for the purpose of university registration. Because MB 351 General Microbiology is a prerequisite for MB 411 Medical Microbiology, which in turn is a prerequisite for MB 451 Microbial Diversity, this program will take a minimum of 3 semesters to complete if all courses are taken at NC State University.