Where Can I Find Free Online Microbiology Courses?

Free online microbiology courses can be accessed through many accredited colleges and universities, including Tufts University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Classes offered from these schools come with lecture notes or readings that students can download to assist with their learning. Keep reading to find out what topics are covered in these courses. Schools offering Biology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Microbiology is the study of fungi, bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms. Whether you're a student or just someone who's curious about how these microbes affect your health and well-being, you can find free, noncredit courses online. These courses typically require a PDF reader to access learning materials, which can include lecture notes, readings, problem sets, quizzes and exams. Some classes also display a recommended textbook to purchase. Since these free online classes are adapted from traditional on-campus courses, some learning objectives are meant to be achieved through hands-on lab experiences. Additionally, certain classes are designed for students in medical school - so having some foundational knowledge of microbiology may be necessary.


Tufts University

Tufts University offers an introductory course in microbiology through its OpenCourseWare (OCW) system. Materials for this non-credit course can be viewed through the university's website.

What Can I Learn?

You could learn how certain microbes cause infectious diseases. The course covers the pathology of hepatitis, fastidious bacteria, streptococcus and HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), to name a few.

What Materials Are Included?

Materials include lecture notes and accompanying slides. You may also view a copy of the syllabus and a list of required and recommended readings.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT also uses an OCW platform to provide students with free, online versions of their campus-based courses. Online learners can complete an undergraduate course in systems microbiology or a graduate course in environmental microbiology. Course materials are available for download in portable document format (PDF).

What Can I Learn?

In the systems microbiology course, you can study how the cellular structures of microbes genetically mutate to resist antibodies and immune systems. Topics of discussion include infectious diseases, virology and the fragile biological relationship between humans and microbes.

The environmental biology class overs microorganisms' interactions with animals and plants. Other topics include soil microbiology, gene flow and the metabolic diversity of microorganisms.

What Assignments Will I Complete?

If you select the systems microbiology class, you could complete sample and review questions for three exams, including the final. You may also download six problem sets and their solutions. These assignments will not be graded. No online versions of assignments or exams is available for the environmental biology course; although, the traditional campus version factors in things like class participation and a final paper in the grade.

What Materials Are Included?

The systems microbiology course materials include 24 sets of lecture slides and notes. The course also offers a list of suggested readings for each lecture. Some of these are available as PDF files. The environmental biology class comes with 21 PDF files of lecture notes on topics, such as metabolism, cell wall structure, microbial ecology and the history of microbiology. A course outline and list of assigned textbook readings are available.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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