Biology (BIOL) 325

Introductory Microbiology (Revision 6)

BIOL 325

Revision 6 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online. Four days of in-person supervised laboratory work offered four times per year in either Calgary or Athabasca, Alberta.

BIOL 325 lab exemption

Check dates and locations of supervised lab prior to registering for the course. This course is charged a lab fee.

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Science

Prerequisite: BIOL 204, BIOL 205, (or equivalent undergraduate courses) and professor approval required.

Faculty: Faculty of Science & Technology

Biology Studies home page

BIOL 325 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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BIOL 325 is a three-credit, university-level course that covers fundamental elements of the study of microorganisms and their environment. This course emphasizes the impact microorganisms have in nature. The course provides an overview of microbial environments, with special emphasis on structural and functional differences among bacteria, fungi, algae, protozoa, and viruses.

Upon completion of this course, the student will be well-versed in the current classification system of bacteria, in microbiological techniques, and in biochemical function. Clinical and industrial applications in microbiology will be discussed. As there is a laboratory component in this course, students will gain experience in microbiological techniques, and in isolation and identification of bacteria.


BIOL 325 comprises the following 15 units.

Unit 1: Introduction to Microbiology

Unit 2: Microbial Anatomy

Unit 3: Microbial Biochemistry

Unit 4: Microbial Growth

Unit 5: Microbial Genetics

Unit 6: Classification of Microorganisms

Unit 7: The Prokaryotes: Domains Bacteria and Archaea

Unit 8: The Eukaryotes: Fungi, Algae, Protozoa, and Arthropods

Unit 9: Viruses, Viroids, and Prions

Unit 10: Diseases and Epidemiology

Unit 11: Pathogenicity

Unit 12: Immunology

Unit 13: Microbial Diseases

Unit 14: Environmental Microbiology

Unit 15: Microbiological Applications


To receive credit for BIOL 325, you must obtain at least 50 per cent on each of the TMEs and examinations and on the laboratory component. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

4 Tutor-marked Exercises (10% each) Midterm Exam Final Exam Laboratory Exercises Total
40% 20% 20% 20% 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Tortora, G. J., Funke, B. R., & Case, C. L. (2010). Microbiology: An introduction (10th ed.). San Francisco: Pearson Benjamin Cummings.

Leboffe, M. J., & Pierce, B. E. (2005). A photographic atlas for the microbiology laboratory (3rd ed.). Englewood, CO: Morton.

Other Materials

Most of the course materials for BIOL 325 are available online through the myAU portal. If you require a print copy of these materials, a copy may be acquired by special request.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the BIOL 325 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least “D” (50 percent) on the examination.

Paper Exam

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 6, April 9, 2010.

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