Human Virology


Virology is a continuously evolving field that studies the biological mechanisms of viruses and viral diseases, including their cultivation and distribution within human societies. Human virology concentrates explicitly on the epidemiology, immune response, diagnosis and treatment of human viral pathogens. This course provides a solid foundation for human virology, covering basic and advanced details of viruses that cause human diseases. Through discussions, readings and lectures, you’ll study clinical cases that illustrate the cellular pathology that viruses cause in various human diseases, including cancer. Class discussions will also focus on emerging and reemerging human viral infections, such as COVID-19, vaccines, antivirals and the beneficial uses of viruses.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the basic organization of the cell
  • Recognize the viral families that include human pathogens and learn about specific viruses in each family
  • Understand the three major hypotheses for the origin of viruses and evaluate the support or criticisms of each hypothesis
  • Examine the architecture of helical and icosahedral viruses, identifying the components and viral proteins involved
  • Compare and contrast the innate versus adaptive immune system's role and features

Skills You'll Gain

  • Detection of viral antigens or antiviral antibodies, as well as viral nucleic acids
  • Collection and transport of clinical specimens
  • Understanding of virus replication processes, replication cycles and patterns of infection 
  • In-depth understanding of epidemiology and worldwide eradication efforts
Academic Units
Section Number
Instruction Method
Online class

Section Notes

Course begins September 23, 2024 and ends December 2, 2024.

This is an online class, which consists of fully produced, original content that is designed, developed and released specifically for online consumption. These courses make use of Canvas—an online learning environment where you interact with your instructor and peers—and include pre-recorded lectures.

This is not a self-paced course. Students will progress through the course together. Course modules are released weekly, where lessons typically load on Mondays and are due the following Sundays. You can log in and work on courses at any time within that week to view lectures and complete assignments. The previous week's lesson will remain available for the duration of the course. If you enroll after the course start date, you will need to contact the instructor regarding missed lessons.

Enrollment Policies

Refund deadline: 09/30/24. Requests to drop after this date will not be considered. View complete enrollment policy information including details on withdrawals and transfers.

Technical Requirements

To ensure your success in this online course, please review our technical requirements.