7 Best Online Microbiology Courses with Certificate

Microbiology is a relevant topic for modern learners. It comes up in technology, biology, environmental studies, and other fields of interest. Online microbiology courses are a great way to participate in lifelong learning. Courses that grant certificates or college credit can help present your knowledge and abilities to a potential employer or educational institution.

Online microbiology courses are available for people with no scientific experience. There are mid-level courses for people with a basic science background, as well. It is even possible to take courses intended for graduate students online.

closeup on a microscope

1. General Microbiology (North Carolina State University)

North Carolina State University offers an undergraduate certificate in microbiology. This program does not require admission to the college. The first course in the certificate is a general microbiology course, and students are not required to continue. This is a good option for students who have some science background who are potentially interested in continuing their college education in the field. General biology and organic chemistry are prerequisites.

The associated undergraduate certificate requires a total of four online microbiology courses. NCSU also offers an online course titled Microbiology and World Affairs, which has no required prerequisites. All North Carolina State University courses run on a semester schedule.

Website: NCSU.edu.
Certificate: No. Certificate is available for students who take three additional courses. This course does grant college credit.
Exam: Yes.
Cost: $710.64.

2. Microbiology 101 (Universal Class)

This is a cost-effective option for students seeking a first course in microbiology. It is available continuously, so students can start anytime. A CEU certificate is available as an option, for an extra $25.

This course is self-paced, but must be completed within six months. Students can enroll at any time. For students taking multiple courses, the platinum program offers unlimited courses (with certificates) for $189 per year.

Website: Universalclass.com.
Certificate: Optional.
Exam: Yes.
Cost: $110 with CEU certificate or $85 without.

3. Microbiology: Certificate Program (Study.com)

This is one of the online microbiology courses that break the subject down into small chunks. There are no prerequisites, and it is a cost-effective option if you complete the course rapidly. The website operates based on a subscription service rather than a per-course fee, and students can join at any time.

This class is self-paced, so the cost to complete it depends on how much time you can devote to it. Basic access provides only videos and lecture notes. Premium access offers certificates, quizzes and tests, and access to instructors.

Website: Study.com.
Certificate: Optional.
Exam: Yes.
Cost: $39.99/month provides basic access, or $59.99/month provides certificate. Free five day trial.

4. Basics of Medical Microbiology (Udemy.com)

This is a course for people interested in basic online microbiology courses who have had some previous science training. There are no mandatory prerequisites, but a general biology and a general chemistry course are recommended. It was designed for students working at an undergraduate level.

This course offers a certificate of completion, and the new student price is one of the best around. It is the only course on this list that does not have a final exam, There are regular quizzes. Students can sign up at any point, and the expected course completion time is 30 days.

Website: Udemy.com.
Certificate: Yes.
Exam: No.
Cost: $14.99 for new students, regularly $30, 30-day money-back guarantee.

5. Basic Biology of Microorganisms (University of Florida)

This course from the University of Florida was designed to be the first course in a graduate certificate or degree program. UFL offers a graduate certificate and a master’s degree in microbiology. This course is intended for students transitioning from a non-science field.

No prerequisites are noted, and the course does not award a certificate. It is the most expensive option on the list. However, it does grant college credit from a reputable school. This is great for students who are potentially interested in continuing their education in the field. The University of Florida operates on a semester schedule.

Website: UFL.edu.
Certificate: No, but the course does grant college credit.
Exam: Yes.
Cost: $1,605.

6. Online Microbiology (StraighterLine)

Straighterline.com provides online microbiology courses for students interested in self-paced classes. An introductory biology course is recommended but not required. Students can purchase the accompanying lab (also online) for $49. The price is relatively moderate per month but can add up. Students who work at a slower pace could wind up spending more money than they intended to complete the course.

The course material for this class is from Saylor.org, but StraighterLine provides the exam proctor and college credit. Students may join at any time. New students receive a free eTextbook when they sign up for this course.

Website: Straighterline.com.
Certificate: No, but the course does grant college credit.
Exam: Yes.
Cost: $99/month plus $89 for the course.

7. Microbiology (Saylor Academy)

Saylor.org is a non-profit that provides free online microbiology courses to interested students. This is a general microbiology course. It grants a digital certificate of completion for students who pass the final exam with a 70 percent or better. There are no graded assignments aside from the final exam.

The Academy recommends that students have completed their introductory molecular and cell biology course before attempting this course. Self-motivated students who want a certificate but do not need college credit will probably get the most out of this course. Students may join at any time. The course is self-paced.

Website: Saylor.org.
Certificate: Yes.
Exam: Yes.
Cost: Free.

Learning About Microbiology Online

A variety of options exist for students who are looking to learn more about microbiology online. Courses are available for free for students with limited financial means. Even the more expensive courses may be cost-effective for some students.

Some courses are designed for students with no previous science education, while others are aimed at an upper-division or even graduate-level audience. Many award college credit, while some offer certificates of completion or CEUs. Have you taken any of these courses? What was your experience like? Join the discussion!