American Society for Microbiology (ASM)


American Society for Microbiology (ASM)

The purpose of ASM’s Curriculum Guidelines project is to provide a set of concepts and example learning outcomes applicable to any undergraduate General Microbiology course. The documents are not meant to be a mandate nor an infringement upon academic freedom, but are curriculum recommendations. The documents for this project can be used both as a benchmark for instructors currently teaching undergraduate General Microbiology and a guide for instructors developing new courses.

The importance of evidence-based instructional practices

ASM’s Curriculum Guidelines were written to be used in conjunction with evidence-based instructional practices. Evidence-based instructional practices, such as student-centered classrooms, active learning, and backwards course design, are teaching practices that have been shown to be effective in student learning for long-lasting and deep understanding through scientific studies. To learn more about evidence-based instructional practices, go to ASM’s faculty professional development website: (for example, see webinar series)


The ASM Recommended Curriculum Guidelines for Undergraduate Microbiology is a concept-based comprehensive curriculum for introductory microbiology courses. The guidelines identify six core concepts that provide a framework for 27 fundamental concept statements, 4 scientific thinking competencies, and 7 key skills. These statements, competencies, and skills were selected to promote deep understanding of concepts and skills that are deemed to be of lasting importance beyond the classroom and laboratory. The Curriculum Guidelines are broad enough to be applicable to any undergraduate General Microbiology course, including courses for microbiology majors and Allied Health courses.



The ASM General Microbiology Learning Outcome Examples provides a bridge between the concept-based guidelines and the learning outcomes for any general microbiology course. This is a sample, not comprehensive, list of learning outcomes for undergraduate microbiology, and it includes both lower- and higher-order thinking skills. Please feel free to add to the list and write your own learning outcomes.