Online College Courses in Microbiology
Microbiology is the study of microscopic organisms, and a fundamental course for anyone pursuing a degree in biology or medicine. Even though microbiology is most often required for someone pursuing an undergraduate degree in biology or another hard science, many majors which require a strong science background require microbiology as well. For instance, students in a pre-medical or pre-veterinary track, whether it is in the sciences or humanities, may take microbiology to fulfill the prerequisites for medical or veterinary school and to better prepare themselves for the MCAT or VCAT. Nursing students may be required take this course as a prerequisite before they begin their nursing courses. Even students whose major is in a non-science area, such as communications or history, may choose to take microbiology to help fulfill the natural sciences portion of their general education requirements.
A microbiology online college course equips students with a broad knowledge of living microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, algae, protozoa, and non-living microbes like viruses and prions. The course provides a great foundation for future study in areas such as virology and immunology, both of which are essential to medical study.
Today, students have the option of taking online college courses in biology, which allows them the flexibility to access their microbiology class at a time of day that works best for them. The flexibility of an online biology course is especially beneficial for working adults, who might not be able to attend rigidly-scheduled courses on a college campus. Hybrid, or blended, courses are an alternative to online college courses in biology, and allow students to complete any lab requirements of a microbiology course on campus and complete the rest of the course online.
Keep in mind that not all online courses are created equal. Make sure that the course is offered by an accredited institution by running the name of the college or university through the U.S. Department of Education's database of accredited postsecondary institutions. In addition, research the institution's overall reputation to get an idea of its quality. Finally, if you plan to use an online microbiology course as credit toward a particular degree at another school, make sure ahead of time that the credits will transfer from one institution to another.
Microbiology and Your Career
The knowledge and experience gained in online biology college courses like microbiology can add to the foundation you need to pursue an education in high-demand areas like medicine, veterinary science, or other healthcare-related fields like nursing. Completing on-campus undergraduate work in one of these challenging tracks can be difficult to manage, particularly if you work or have family responsibilities. But if you're unable to find a microbiology course on campus that fits your busy schedule, you may have the option to take this biology college course online.
Aside from using it as a stepping stone into careers in healthcare, students may take microbiology along the path to becoming biological scientists. Biological scientists generally must have a Ph.D. in biology or one of its subfields to work in academia or in independent research and development, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, but along the way, you will need to earn an undergraduate degree, in which core scientific knowledge is first ingrained into a lifelong academic. As an alternative to graduate study, some students who take microbiology as a biology major go on to earn teacher certification in their state, and become science teachers in K-12 schools.
In general, taking online college biology courses in microbiology can add to your overall skills in critical thinking, problem solving, oral and written communications, organization, and teamwork, according to North Carolina State University. These are all essential skills needed in the modern workplace. More specifically, microbiology builds your skills in operating microscopes and other scientific equipment, as well as biology theory, adding to the extensive knowledge base needed for a scientific or healthcare career.
Free Online Microbiology Courses:
- Microbiology – Tufts University OpenCourseWare
- Environmental Microbiology – MIT OpenCourseWare
- Systems Microbiology – MIT OpenCourseWare
- Infectious Disease/Microbiology – University of Michigan OpenCourseWare