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Biology 202 - Introduction to Microbiology

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Course Syllabus – Biology 202 Introduction to Microbiology

MWF 9:00 – 9:50 AM – Hudson Hall 106




Office Hours



We will be using the Open Educational Resource book Microbiology (Parker, Schneegurt, Tu, Forster and Lister, contributing authors) from OpenStax. This book is free to access and download from the following online source: . It is not necessary or required to purchase a print copy; however, you may do so if you wish.


Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. describe the relationship between microbial cell structure and function
  2. discuss the mechanisms of viral replication and its role in disease propagation
  3. distinguish between the different stages of processing genetic information (transcription, translation) in microbial cells and predict the impact of each stage to changes in microbial physiology
  4. assess the impact of advances in microbial genetics on human nutrition and health
  5. describe primary methods for culturing and imaging microorganisms
  6. compare how different microbes obtain their nutrition and describe the different types of metabolisms utilized by different microbial groups
  7. evaluate how microbial metabolism impacts host health through the release of metabolic products
  8. discuss the role of microbial metabolic products in the food industry
  9. contrast between physical and chemical methods for controlling microbial growth and describe the limitations of each method
  10. differentiate between the mechanisms of action of at least five antimicrobial chemotherapeutic agents and describe microbial resistance to such treatments
  11. describe how interactions between microbes and humans impact human health
  12. compare and contrast nonspecific and specific human defense mechanisms and discuss how each defense strategy works to prevent infection


General Education Learning Objectives

Students will demonstrate:

  1.  understanding of the methods scientists use to explore natural phenomena, including observation, hypothesis development, measurement and data collection, experimentation, evaluation of evidence, and employment of mathematical analysis; and

  2. application of scientific data, concepts, and models in microbiology.

Reading Assignments

Chapters and/or page numbers assigned for each lecture and lab period are indicated on the course calendar (below). Readings should be completed before the corresponding class period. The reading assignments are intended to illustrate, support, supplement, and expand on the lectures. All exam questions will come from material covered in the lectures/labs. Please take the reading assignments seriously.


Attendance policy

Attendance during lecture periods is required. Attendance will be taken and will count for 5% of your final grade. You are allowed up to 3 absences without penalty; after that, each absence incurs a 2.5 point deduction. Students are responsible for all material covered in lecture, as well as any announcements made during the lecture period.


Course Website

The course web sites ( and Moodle) are a formal and official means of communication for Biology 202 (Introduction to Microbiology). Detailed instructions for assignments and class notes can be accessed via the web site.


Grading policy

Your course grade will be based on the following (500 points total):

 Make-up exams are available only if: 1) you notify me prior to the scheduled exam time, and schedule a make-up exam at that time, or 2) you miss an exam for a valid reason, such as a family or medical emergency. In all other cases, a grade of 0 will be given. Make-up exams must be taken within one week of the originally scheduled exam, and will differ in format (usually short-answer) from the original exam.

Exam Corrections may be done for Exams 1 - 3.  Exam corrections give you the opportunity to regain up to 50% of the points lost on the exam.  Corrections are due 1 week after the graded exam is returned to you.

Term Paper: 5 pages, based on your research about a topic in Microbiology.   Term papers are intended to go beyond the scope of the textbook, include research into the current scientific literature, and promote your written and oral communication skills. Plagiarizing part or entirety of your paper may result in a grade of “0” for the term paper and/or the course.  Term papers are due on Monday May 1, 2023.

Group presentations:  Students will be assigned to teams of 3-4 ~ mid-semester. Each group will give an oral presentation on a topic to be selected by the group and approved by the instructor. Presentations will take place during final exam week and should be 6-8 minutes in length.

Grading scale








93% – 100%


80% - 82%


67% – 69%


90% – 92%


77% – 79%


60% – 66%


87% – 89%


73% – 76%


< 60%


83% – 86%


70% – 72%



Honor Code

 It is expected that all students enrolled in this class support the letter and the spirit of the Academic Honesty Policy as stated in the college catalog.


Email is the official and formal mode of communication for Bio 203, whether sent through Moodle or the faculty email account. Emails will be sent to the email address associated with your student account. Students are asked to use their email account for all communication with me.


You will be asked to read and acknowledge the course plagiarism policy found on the course Moodle site. (? Academic Dishonesty/Plagiarism Policy)

How will Plagiarism/Academic dishonesty be dealt with?


Depending on the perceived severity of the offense (Intentional or inadvertent? How much of the course grade was affected? How much of an assignment was plagiarized? Was this a repeat offense?) the instructor may mark down the assignment by one letter grade, give a grade of "0" for the assignment, give a grade of "E" for the course, and/or refer the student to the campus judicial committee for academic dishonesty. This will result in a hearing before the judicial committee and may result in expulsion from the University. 

Use of electronic devices in class

All electronic devices such as computers, phones, Blackberries, iPods etc should be turned off during class time except if needed for emergency contacts. No electronic devices are permitted to be in use during exams, including but not limited to cell phones, Blackberries, iPods, calculators, and electronic dictionaries. If you require special testing conditions, please contact Student Support Services.

Writing Standards for Department of Biological Sciences

 It is the position of the Department of Biological Sciences at Plattsburgh State that all students must learn to write in a clear and intelligent manner.  We recognize that this goal cannot be achieved by depending only on the efforts of others to foster good writing. We further believe that the general quality of student writing will not improve unless we as a department are willing to state explicitly the standards we expect students to meet and to enforce those standards.  Therefore, in courses taught by the Department of Biological Sciences, in addition to grading the content of written assignments, all faculty will also grade assignments for writing.


Course help will be available to you in various ways. Please feel free to come to my office during office hours to discuss course-related questions or problems. If you cannot make it in during regular office hours, please schedule an alternate time with me. Many questions can also be addressed via email, and I encourage you to use this approach. I will attempt to answer each message I receive within a day.

Student Accommodations

If you are a student that requires academic or other accommodations, please contact the Student Accessibility Services (SAS) office— 011 Macomb Hall, call 518-564-3844 or email You must certify with this office before using accommodations.



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