The Microbiology and Immunology programme involves immune cells, bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites. Students can investigate the ecology, evolution and environments of micro-organisms, the diseases they cause, the microbiome and its influence on the immune system and our health, immunity and disease. We are seeking solutions to the problem of antibiotic resistance; designing new, combination drug therapies; using microbial engineering in industrial processing and environmental remediation; determining how our immune system can best protect us against infection and cancer; using this information to design new immunotherapies and treatments for inflammation and auto-immune diseases. Our projects span population and systems biology and ecology, organism behavior and function, cell interactions and molecular mechanisms, and our students graduate with extensive training in analytical thinking, creative innovation and effective communication. Degrees in our programme accelerate students in a great variety of careers in industry, academia, non-for-profit organisations and the business world.
Microbiology has been an integral part of UBC since the university's inception in 1915. Our program is a strong and collaborative community of microbiologists, immunologists, biochemists and cell biologists, based at UBC and affiliated hospitals. We promote fundamental and translational research and we enjoy strong connections to clinical colleagues across Canada. Many of our students are located in the Life Sciences Institute, a world-class collection of scientists with facilities including advanced flow cytometry, microscopy and imaging, together with the Facility for Infectious Disease and Epidemic Research, the Advanced Structural Biology for Re-emerging Infectious Diseases group, and the Genome Sciences Centre. We work closely with the Centres for Drug Research and Development and for High-Throughput Biology, emphasising commercialisation and entrepreneurship.
UBC has an excellent Microbiology & Immunology graduate degree program. I was able to find many excellent researchers and world-renown faculty that I would be interested in working with, with projects that were fascinating to me. As a University, UBC has an international presence, as well as a beautiful campus.
The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:
Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.
Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.
Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:
Overall score requirement: 100
Overall score requirement: 7.0
Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:
The GRE is not required.
All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.
A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.
Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.
Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.
Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.
All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,732.53||$3,043.77|
|Tuition per year|
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||$3,200.00 (-)|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$969.17 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $17,242.00 (check cost calculator)|
Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.
All full-time PhD students in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology will be provided with a funding package of $24,480 stipend plus a life supplement equivalent to tuition and fees for up to five years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships.
All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.
Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.
Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.
Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.
All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.
Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.
The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.
Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.
Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.
Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.
75 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 1 graduate is seeking employment; 1 is in a non-salaried situation; for 7 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 66 graduates:
These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.
|2014||Dr. Pfaffen studied algae from the open oceans. She examined the way in which proteins in the algae store iron from the water to help the algae's later growth. This work contributes to our understanding of how algae survive in iron-limited oceans and bloom upon exposure to iron inputs, thereby having an impact on the global carbon cycle.|
|2014||Dr. Saer studied photosynthesis in the department of Microbiology and Immunology. He highlighted the role of protein movement, or dynamics, as a key player in the utilization of light energy during photosynthesis. This work has potential applications in converting sunlight to electrical power and developing next-generation solar cells and batteries.|
|2014||Dr. Pryjma studied the pathogen Campylobacter jejuni, which acts as a disease causing agent . His research demonstrates how Campylobacter regulates its own metabolism and how it infects human cells. These finding are important as they help to explain how Campylobacter induces disease and what nutrient sources it uses while doing so.|
|2014||Dr. Zaikova studied marine sponges in order to understand how animals interact with microbes. She showed that the sponge immune system can recognize a variety of microbes and the microbes can affect the host's immune response. This work sheds light on the oldest mechanisms used by animals to recognize microbes, with implications for medical research.|
|2014||Dr. Shah has completed her PhD in the field of Microbiology and Immunology. She found that the bacterium Bordetella pertussis, which causes the disease whooping cough, can change its surface to affect interactions with the human immune system. These studies broaden our understanding of whooping cough and have implications for vaccine development.|
|2014||Dr. de la Fuente-Nunez identified a novel class of antibiotics that target bacterial biofilms, which are estimated to cause two thirds of all bacterial infections in humans. This new class of drugs lowers the amount of conventional antibiotics required to treat infections, helping to combat antibiotic resistance.|
|2014||Dr. Loveday examined the regulation of genes during infection with Influenza A virus. She discovered that changes in gene expression are dependent on the duration of the infection and the influenza strain. This research may lead to the development of new bio-markers and treatments for Influenza A viral infections.|
|2014||Dr. Chehal's doctoral studies revealed the degree to which breast cancer can impair the development and function of the immune system. Her discoveries improve our understanding of how breast cancer manipulates anti-tumor immunity. They also suggest new treatment strategies to energize the immune system in the fight against cancer.|
|2014||Dr. Russell studied how intestinal microbes influence allergic diseases. She showed that antibiotic exposure early in life can affect populations of intestinal bacteria and make animals more susceptible to asthma and food allergies. This research highlights a role for healthy intestinal bacteria in the treatment and prevention of allergic diseases.|
|2014||Dr. Wlodarska examined the important role our intestinal microbes play in intestinal disease. She discovered that microbes regulate the intestinal mucus layer, a key component of human health, and identified a novel immune pathway controlling this mucus production. This knowledge is critical in developing new therapeutics for intestinal disease.|
Microbiology and Immunology offers opportunities for original research in the areas of molecular and applied microbiology, biotechnology, cell and developmental biology, epigenetics, geomicrobiology, molecular biology, molecular genetics, molecular immunology, microbial ecology, microbial pathogenesis, and virology.