Welcome to BIO307: Microbiology. General information on the course and its requirements can be found below.

Course Designer: Amy L. Thompson, PhD, MLS (ASCP)

Evaluation and Minimum Passing Scores

In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the final exam. Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first attempt, you may take it again as many times as needed, following a 7-day waiting period between each attempt. 

You will only receive an official grade on your final exam. However, in order to adequately prepare for this exam, we recommend that you work through the materials in each unit. Throughout the course you may find practice quizzes or other assignments that will help you master material and gauge your learning. Scores on these assignments are informational only and do not contribute to your overall course grade.

Technical Requirements

This course is delivered fully online. You will be required to have access to a computer or web-capable mobile device and have consistent access to the internet to either view or download the necessary course resources and to attempt any auto-graded course assessments and the final exam.

To access the full course including assessments and the final exam, you will need to be logged into your Saylor Academy account and enrolled in the course. If you do not already have an account, you may create one, free of charge, here. Although you can access some course resources without being logged into your account, it’s advised that you log in to maximize your course experience. For example, some of the accessibility and progress tracking features are only available when you are logged in.

For additional technical guidance check out Saylor’s tech-FAQ and the Moodle LMS tutorial.


There is no cost to access and enroll in this course. All required course resources linked throughout the course, including textbooks, videos, webpages, activities, etc are accessible for no charge. This course also contains a free final exam and course completion certificate.

Time Commitment

While learning styles can vary considerably and any particular student will take more or less time to learn or read, we estimate that the "average" student will take 128 hours to complete this course. Each unit within the course is similarly tagged with an estimated time advisory. We recommend that you work through the course at a pace that is comfortable for you and allows you to make regular (daily, or at least weekly) progress. It's a good idea to also schedule your study time in advance and try as best as you can to stick to that schedule.


Learning new material can be challenging, so below we've compiled a few suggested study strategies to help you succeed.

Take notes on the various terms, practices, and theories as you read. This can help you differentiate and contextualize concepts and later provide you with a refresher as you study.

As you progress through the materials, take time to test yourself on what you have retained and how well you understand the concepts. The process of reflection is important for creating a memory of the materials you learn; it will increase the probability that you ultimately retain the information.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
  • explain what microbes are, and recognize microbes on micrographs;
  • compare and contrast cells, viruses, and microbes of the three domains of life;
  • discuss pathogenic microbes and their epidemiology, and employ Koch's postulates;
  • compare and contrast pathogenic protists and bacteria;
  • explain how opportunistic pathogens case illness;
  • describe the life cycle of protists and helminths that are human pathogens;
  • discuss different mechanisms of viral infections;
  • recognize microorganisms based on their shape, size, arrangement, staining, and culture characteristics;
  • design ways to control microbial growth;
  • discuss cellular metabolism in prokaryotes and eukaryotes;
  • outline antimicrobial methods including antibiotic use;
  • compare and contrast genetics and methods of reproduction in various microorganisms;
  • explain how the human body protects itself and how vaccines protect the body;
  • compare and contrast innate and adaptive immunity; and
  • discuss uses for microbiology in the food industry and in bioremediation.

Suggested Prerequisites

In order to take this course, you should:

Last modified: Monday, December 4, 2023, 10:39 AM