Required and Offered Courses: General Virology

MICR 6403 General Virology — Fall

Course Description

Location: Levin Hall 3.320
Date: Monday through Thursday
Time: 1 PM - 2 PM


All students who declared Microbiology & Immunology as their graduate program must take this course. Students taking the course should have a robust knowledge in cell biology, immunology, and pathophysiology. Students will be required to complete a self-assessment and a final evaluation form about the course at the end. If the evaluation form is not received, an “I” incomplete grade will be reported to the Office of Enrollment Services. If the course requirements are not completed within 30 days, the grade automatically converts to a grade of F.


This sixteen-week course is the foundational and discipline-specific course of the Microbiology & Immunology graduate program curriculum. The course is aimed at students who want to gain an advanced knowledge in virology & viral immunology and want to strengthen their critical thinking skills. By the end of the course the students should have an understanding of the fundamental tenets of virology as a scientific discipline while also becoming aware of the opportunities and challenges for virology research. This course will contribute to the program’s overall goal of training highly skilled biomedical researchers who possess a cohesive and mechanistic understanding of the molecular aspects of virology, transmission and pathogenesis of viruses and diagnostics and countermeasures; students will also learn the methodological and teamwork skills necessary to translate basic scientific knowledge into improvements in public health.

Objectives and Teaching Style

  • Instructional sessions will be based on review of textbook chapters and faculty-designed lectures so students can learn fundamental knowledge in virology as well as cutting-edge research and challenges.
  • Students will explore and apply concepts in virology through a range of learning modalities such as in class discussions, written exams, oral presentations, and small group learning activities.
  • Students will learn to articulate and critique state-of-the-art topics in virology by a faculty that is actively engaged in innovative and competitive research in relevant areas.


  • Four hours per week in class time
  • Two hours per class of pre-class reading and studying of learning material.
  • A significant amount of time needs to be committed on preparing the final project (presentation and paper) towards the end of the project.

Course Grade

The course grade will be determined as follows:

  • Course Participation - 10%
  • Exam I - 20%
  • Exam II - 20%
  • Exam III - 20%
  • Final Project - 30%

Final course grades will be determined with the following grading scale:

Letter GradePercentage
F69% or below

The expected performance to meet the expectations of the M&I program would generally fall between 80%- 92%. Scores above this are considered to exceed expectations. Students may challenge a grade on any graded component. Any appeals for grading changes must be submitted to the faculty responsible for the writing and grading of the question(s) within 5 business days after the return of the graded examination to the student.

Grading procedure

Student assessment will be multi-modal and linked to defined competencies of a virologist. The following rubrics will be used to assess submitted work products, presentation performances, or projects. M&I rubrics outline sets of criteria that are used to evaluate learner efforts towards attaining the competencies expected of graduate school researcher. We review and revise existing rubrics to ensure they continue to support the learning goals of any assignment. Grading is based on a three-tier system: A (100%-90%) = Exemplary (above expectations); B (89%-80%) = Competent (meets expectation); C (79%-70%) = Developing (below expectations) or D. The following are examples of general rubrics to be used in our course.

*Students are strongly encouraged to complete an overall course evaluation form at the end of the term. The constructive comments and critiques will remain anonymous and will be released to the course directors after all the grades are finalized.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

All work submitted in this course is to be done entirely by students. This includes all process work, drafts, and final works, whether in group or individual work. The following are violations of academic honesty: using generative AI tools such as ChatGPT,,, having other people or entities do any portion of a graded assignment, whether for hire or not.

Visit this link for a list of required materials, policies, and guidelines.

Co-Course Director:
Dennis Bente, DVM, PhD
GNL 5.200E - Please make an appointment
Phone (409) 266-6935; Cell # (409) 692-6599


Co-Course Director:
Shinji Makino, DVM, PhD
MRB, room 4.142E - Please make an appointment
Phone (409) 772-2323

Course Coordinator:
Aneth Zertuche
MRB 4.102
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.