Virginia Tech®home

BIOL 2984: Science of COVID-19

BIOL 2984 provides an interdisciplinary examination of the science of COVID-19, exploring what the principles of science tell us about the disease. Students will engage with questions such as:

  • What is a coronavirus? Where do they come from?
  • How does the virus invade our body? How does our immune system fight it?
  • Does the virus evolve?
  • How do the vaccines work? What about other therapies?
  • What is herd immunity?
  • ¬∑Why does behavior matter? Do other animals isolate when sick?
  • What is a PCR/antibody test?
  • How do masks work?
  • How do scientists model the spread of the disease?

Why take it?

Covid-19 is arguably the greatest challenge humans have faced in decades. It has already cost more than 750,000 lives in the US and over 5 million globally. Understanding the disease is a critical component of addressing the crisis. This course guides students to achieve that understanding through an integrative and trans-disciplinary approach. Students will explore topics such as immunology, disparities in healthcare, modeling epidemiology, and how masks work.


There are no prerequisites for this course.

This course fulfills Pathways requirements in Reasoning in the Natural Sciences.