Pre-Med Q&ACategory: Scheduling and ClassesMicrobiology Scheduling
AvatarA asked 1 year ago

I am a sophomore  wondering what would be a good schedule combination to take alongside Biology (305). As part of my microbiology major, I am trying to decide between Microbiology 415, 430, and 440 to take alongside Genetics. Would that be doable, as Atlas says these are predominantly senior classes (I have junior standing) and does not have much information on workload? I am not too sure what to expect from upper level (micro)biology electives.

1 Answers
AvatarRaheem Ahmed answered 1 year ago

I hope you are doing well! Unfortunately, I have not taken these microbiology classes, but I am taking BIOLOGY 305 right now. BIOLOGY 305 is one of the more difficult Biology classes here at UMich and is fairly time consuming, with there being 4 exams that will require a decent amount of studying. So, I would recommend taking the microbiology course that isn’t too demanding. As well, from the LSA Course Guide, it seems that MICRBIOL 440 and BIOLOGY 305 are running at the same time (T/Th 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM), so I don’t think you would be able to take these two together next semester.
From Atlas:

  • Advisory Prereq: BIOLOGY 172
  • Course grade will be based on both exams and a student project
  • 26% perceived this course’s workload to be heavier than other courses
  • Median Grade: A-, 19% get an A+, 29% get an A, 16% get an A-


  • Advisory Prereq: BIOLOGY 172
  • 24% perceived this course’s workload to be heavier than other courses
  • Median Grade: A-, 26% get an A, 37% get an A-

Looking at Atlas, it seems that these two classes don’t differ that much, in terms of grades and workload. So, I would recommend taking the course that seems more interesting to you. Since these are upper-level Biology courses, they might be more demanding than other previous STEM courses you have taken here. However, as long as you meet the prereqs and are willing to put the work into getting the grade you want, being a sophomore shouldn’t be an issue. And the case is usually that most sophomores probably don’t have the opportunity to take courses like this because they have other pre-health courses that they want to take first before taking major electives.
Generally, we like to advise people to take 2 STEM classes per semester if possible. So, taking BIOLOGY 305 and one of these two microbiology courses should be fine as long as your other classes allow you to dedicate most of your study time to those two classes.
I hope this helps! Feel free to stop by our advising hours (on Sunday – Wednesday from 6 – 10 PM) if you have any further questions!
Raheem, PMH Advisor

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