Course code:



I - Introductory

Class size limit:


Meets the following requirements:

  • HY - History
  • ES - Environmental Science

Typically offered:


Infectious diseases have had profound impacts on human history. Bacteria and viruses have an effect on their hosts that far outweighs their microscopic size. In this course, we will study the fundamentals of bacterial and viral replication, and their effects on hosts and society. We will begin with the biology and life cycle of bacteria and viruses and how they infect their hosts. We will then look at how infectious agents affect their hosts and at how they spread. We will study several famous historical pandemics and look at their effects on society. We will then look at specific diseases in detail; these might include tuberculosis, HIV, malaria, smallpox, polio measles or others. We will then study how public health measures have been implemented to prevent infectious diseases and will study the role of sanitation, vaccination and supportive nursing care in reducing morbidity and mortality. Students will also keep a journal of events as they experience them during the current coronavirus pandemic. Students interested in understanding the biology and history of infectious diseases, and the role of public health in prevention and management of infectious diseases will benefit from taking this course. Evaluation will be through on-line class discussions, written tests, narrative journals, papers and a final project.



Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.