Virology Courses

Traditional classroom / didactic teaching in virology is achieved through the capstone course “General Virology – Multiplication of Viruses”. This three-credit course is taught every Fall semester.  Students can register for the course as Oncology 640, Microbiology 640, or Plant Pathology 640, depending on their graduate program affiliation.  This is an advanced course taken by many entering graduate students, a varied group of other advanced and returning students interested in virology (e.g. from the Veterinary, Nursing, or Law schools), and select undergraduates.  The goals of the course are to introduce students to the major classes of viruses and their replication mechanisms, to examine virus-host interactions, and to discuss the public health aspects of virus infections, as well as the beneficial use of viruses in research, biotechnology, and medicine.  The course is rigorous and demanding. It is not taught solely from a textbook, but uses the primary research literature.  The exams (three in class and one comprehensive final) are challenging and ask students to interpret experimental results, and to design their own experiments to ask important questions about viral replication and pathogenesis. 

A weekly Molecular Virology Seminar course, Biochemistry 910 is also offered.  Many students register for this seminar as part of their required curriculum, but it is attended by all MVP students, researchers and faculty.  Eminent virologists visiting from other institutions, as well as in house faculty and students offer presentations.  The seminar represents an essential way in which we all keep abreast of research on campus, but also on hot topics in virology worldwide.  The weekly meeting is a great place to network for faculty and students, to learn about new techniques and exciting advances, and to establish new collaborations.  One of the longest continuously running seminar series on campus, it is very well attended due to its academic and social utility. 


Other courses that virology students find helpful include:


An upper level undergraduate course in virology is also offered.  “The Biology of Viruses” is taught every Spring semester as Medical Microbiology and Immunology 575 and Biochemistry 575.  In general, this course cannot be used to satisfy graduate program requirements although students are suggested to confirm this with their individual graduate programs.  Students seeking graduate credit are directed to the Oncology 640 course described above.