Introduction to Mycology


Course description

This online self-study course will enable you to gain foundational, scientifically-sound knowledge in the field of mycology—the study of fungi. Developed by two experts in the field, Bryce Kendrick and Shannon Berch, this course will guide you independently at your own pace through 10 units so that you can attain an understanding of the features of fungi and the roles they play in pathology, nutrient cycling, agriculture, biological control, food, medicine, forests and our urban environments. You will receive a Certificate of Completion on successfully passing the course.

Who should take this course?

  • Anyone who wants to increase their scientific understanding of fungi
  • Volunteers for nature programs and associations
  • Ecotourism operators and adventure tour guides
  • Summer camp naturalists and educators
  • Anyone interested in natural history
  • Beginning naturalists

Learn about a past student's experience in this course: Unearthing the mysteries of mycology.


We highly encourage you to purchase the course textbook, The Fifth Kingdom: An Introduction to Mycology (4th edition), written by Bryce Kendrick. Available for purchase online through various booksellers. Contact Bryce Kendrick for more information.

Learning objectives

Successful completion of this course will enable you to:

  • describe the major differences between fungi and other Kingdoms of Life
  • classify the major groups of fungi and the features that set them apart
  • describe the major lifestyles of fungi, and how fungi fit into and mold the world around us
  • explain the roles that fungi play in pathology, nutrient cycling, agriculture, biological control, food, medicine, forests and our urban environments
  • find reliable information to help guide your future, more-detailed study of fungi


A basic understanding of natural history is an asset, but is not mandatory. This course is at the introductory level and provides numerous resources for beginners.

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