Microbiology Courses and Classes Overview

Courses in microbiology are offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Bachelor's and master's degree students often follow similar courses of study, although graduate microbiology courses typically offer more rigorous and in-depth coursework with a greater focus on independent and original research.

Essential Information

Students completing undergraduate and graduate microbiology classes seek careers in microbiology, biotechnology, nursing and other science and health care-related fields. Some programs of study, such as nursing, require just an introductory microbiology course as a prerequisite. It's also possible to major in or complete a graduate program in microbiology. Microbiologists often work in labs, conducting and helping with research.

List of Common Courses

The microbiology courses below are found at many colleges and universities throughout the U.S.

Fundamentals of Microbiology Course

In this entry-level class, participants study prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms. Lectures and labs focus on microbial anatomy and physiology. The coursework lays the foundation for further microbiology courses, as well as specialized coverage of subjects like marine and medical microbiology.

Genetics of Microbiology Course

Focusing on the genetic structure of various microbes, lessons cover genes and inherited traits, experimental genetics and genetic engineering. This class includes in-depth coursework on DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), RNA (ribonucleic acid) and chromosomes. Students take labs that accompany their lectures either concurrently or separately.

General Virology Course

Virology is the study of the incubation, transmission and replication of viruses. Instruction includes a structural look at common viruses like the one that causes influenza, also known as the flu. Viruses that affect plants, animals and humans are all examined. Students study common viral pathologies, organisms' physiological response to exposure to viruses and typical antiviral treatment options.

Microbial Pathogens and Immunology Course

Students gain an understanding of the immune system and how it functions in response to specific microbial pathogens. They explore the development and use of vaccines and learn about immunoglobulin, t-cell receptors, immunological deficiencies, transplant conditions, allergic reactions and autoimmune conditions. This class typically includes lab work and is available toward the end of a degree program.

Infectious Diseases Course

Immunodeficiency, antibiotic abuse, human behavioral changes, breakdown of public health and land use issues are the focus of this upper-level course. It explores, asks and answers questions about emerging and re-emerging diseases. There is no lab component.

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