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Department of Microbiology, Molecular Genetics, and Immunology

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Principal Course Distribution Requirement

Principal courses offer introductions to the breadth of disciplines in the College. They acquaint students with the subject matter in an area, with the types of questions that are asked about that subject matter, with the knowledge that has been developed and is now basic to the area, and with the methods and standards by which claims to truth are judged.

Students must complete courses in topical groups in three major divisions (humanities, natural sciences and mathematics, and social sciences). For the B.A., three courses are required from each division, with no more than one course from any topical group. The B.G.S. requires two courses from each division, with no more than one from any topical group. To fulfill the requirement, a course must be designated as a principal course according to the codes listed below.

These are the major divisions, their topical subgroups, and the codes that identify them:


  • HT: Historical studies
  • HL: Literature and the arts
  • HR: Philosophy and religion

Natural Sciences and Mathematics

  • NB: Biological sciences
  • NE: Earth sciences
  • NM: Mathematical sciences
  • NP: Physical science

Social Sciences

  • SC: Culture and society
  • SI: Individual behavior
  • SF: Public affairs

No course may fulfill both a principal course distribution requirement and a non-Western culture or second-level mathematics course requirement. Laboratory science courses designated as principal courses may fulfill both the laboratory science requirement and one of the distribution requirements. No free-standing laboratory course may by itself fulfill either the laboratory science requirement or a principal course requirement. Students should begin taking principal courses early in their academic careers. An honors equivalent of a principal course may fulfill a principal course requirement.

View all approved principal course distribution courses »

Non-Western Culture Requirement

A non-Western culture course acquaints students with the culture, society, and values of a non-Western people, for example, from Asia, the Pacific Islands, the Middle East, or Africa. Students must complete one approved non-Western culture course.

One approved non-Western culture course is required. Occasionally courses with varying topics fulfill the non-Western culture course requirement. See the Schedule of Classes for details. These courses are coded NW.

View all approved non-Western culture courses »

Transfer and Earned Credit Course Codes

These codes are used to evaluate transfer credit and to determine which academic requirements a course meets.

  • H: Humanities
  • N: Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • S: Social Sciences
  • W: World Civilization and Culture
  • U: Undesignated Elective Credit (course does not satisfy distribution requirement)

All Microbiology, Molecular Genetics, and Immunology courses

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An introductory course in immunology; cells and tissues of the immune system; B and T cells and their receptors; major histocompatibility complex; antigen presentation; regulation of immune responses; immunity and vaccination. Prerequisite: IGPBS courses or permission of instructor. LEC
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An introductory course in virology; replication of RNA and DNA viruses; viral RNA processing and translation; reverse transcription; virus assembly; viral pathogenesis; viruses as vectors. Prerequisite: MICR 801 or permission of instructor. LEC
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An introductory course in bacteriology; cell structure and function; chromosome and plasmid replication; genetic engineering; bacteriophage; gene regulation; quorum sensing; antibiotics; protein secretion; bacterial pathogenesis. Prerequisite: MICR 801 & MICR 802 or permission of instructor. LEC
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Molecular and cellular aspects of immunity. Specific topics will include immunoglobulin and receptor structure/function, attributes of antigenicity, antigen-antibody reactions, immunocompetent cells, cellular interactions, soluble mediators of immune responses and normal and abnormal immune regulation. Prerequisite: Permission of course director. LEC
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Genetics of bacteria with emphasis on bacterial pathogens. Topics include: gene regulation, recombination, bacteriophages, transposons, genetic exchange, plasmids, genetics of virulence, bacterial adherence and colonization, immune evasion mechanisms, bacterial toxins, vaccines and antimicrobials, re-emerging bacterial diseases. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. LEC
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Molecular biology of animal viruses. Aspects of various virus groups to be covered include structure, replication, and host cell responses. Lectures and student seminars. Prerequisite: Permission of the course director. LEC
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Reports on research and literature. LEC
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This course is specifically designed to provide supervised research experience in various laboratories in the department. LEC
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Introduction to evolutionary biochemistry, and sequence comparison; sequence alignments and database searches; biological networks; reconstruction of metabolism and signaling from genome sequence; homology, orthology and paralogy; origin of new genes, homology and analogy in protein structure and function; tree, or perhaps the web, or life; horizontal gene transfer. Prerequisite: Enrolled in IGPBS program or permission of instructor. LEC
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The course is focused on the impact of infectious disease agents on modern civilization, with the examples of viral, bacterial, and protist agents. The main focus will be on viruses. We will cover, among others, viruses that cause influenza, HIV, hepatitis B and infectious mononucleosis. You will learn the molecular mechanisms underlying viral infectivity, and will see how the knowledge of the molecular, cellular, organismal, and epidemiological mechanisms of infection are translated into technologies for preventing and curing viral diseases. A special attention will be given to the impact of genome technologies, including new-generation sequencing, on our understanding of viruses and microbes and their role in biosphere, which is not limited to causing infectious diseases in humans. We will also examine how the application of the fundamental and technological aspects of virology for understanding and controlling diseases is influenced by geography, history, economics, politics, and culture. Prerequisites: GSMC 850 and 851; or MICR 820; or MICR 893; or CORE 850; or instructor's permission. LEC
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1. Understand the basic concepts of host-pathogen interactions, with an emphasis on pathogen adhesion, invasion and intracellular survival, cell death pathways, innate immunity, and extracellular matrices. 2. Discuss the latest trends in host-pathogen interactions through paper discussion. 3. Provide graduate students opportunity to improve their communication skills. 4. Promote the scientific reasoning capabilities of graduate students. Prerequisites: This course is intended for the second-year microbiology graduate students who have taken Principles courses. Any graduate students from other departments may take this course. However, it is highly recommended to see the instructors before enrollment. LEC
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This course is designated for thesis research leading to the M.A. degree. LEC
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Restricted to writing of the dissertation. THE
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Physiology and growth of bacterial cells. Analysis of the current literature relating to microbial physiology presented in a seminar/discussion format. Topics to be covered include protein secretion, microbial development, cellular responses to environmental stresses, DNA replication and segregation, peptidylglycan biosynthesis and cell division. Prerequisite: MICR 820 or permission of instructor. LEC
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Topics in genetics with lectures and discussions about recent advances in microbial molecular genetics. The topics include the following with emphasis on genetic aspects: Sporulation and differentiation, bacterial pathogenicity, recombination, cell growth and division, DNA replication and site-specific mutagenesis. Prerequisite: MICR 820 or permission of instructor. LEC
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An advanced course dealing with a number of topics of special and current interest in modern virology. Lectures and/or conferences. Prerequisite: MICR 825 or permission of instructor. LEC
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An advanced approach to selected topics in any of the major disciplines in microbiology. Readings and conferences, or advanced laboratory techniques. LEC
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This course is restricted entirely to thesis research. RSH
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Restricted to actual writing of dissertation. THE
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