Graduate Studies in Microbiology and Immunology
About Our Program
Graduate Program in Microbiology & Immunology
The Graduate Program of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology revolves around two major fields of scientific endeavor: i) The molecular and cellular biology of microorganisms, and ii) The molecular and cellular biology of the immune system. These fields involve studies on bacteria, virus, parasites, cancer cells, and immune cells with an emphasis on molecular biology, biochemistry, and pathogenesis.
The Department is primarily committed to the training of Ph.D. students but also offers programs leading to a M.Sc. degree. Ph.D. and M.Sc. degrees are offered through the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and thus their calendar should be consulted for general and specific information pertaining to residency requirements, deadlines, thesis requirements, and other pertinent information. Additional program specific information can be accessed via the navigation links at the top of this page.
1) Doctoral (Ph.D.) program
The Ph.D. program is designed to provide a level of training that will provide the candidate with the ability to function as an independent research scientist as well as the ability to teach in the area of his/her specialty. The program requires successful completion of courses as well as a demonstrated ability to publish original research in peer-reviewed journals. To qualify for this degree, the candidate must submit and successfully defend a thesis in a University examination. The normal duration of the Ph.D. degree program is 5 years. Doctoral students receive a minimum living allowance (after tuition expenses have been paid) of $15,250.00 per year. This minimum stipend can increase substantially if students are awarded an external scholarship.
2) Conventional 2-year Masters (M.Sc.) program
The purpose of the conventional M.Sc. degree is to provide advanced training in the area of Microbiology & Immunology, with an emphasis on learning strategies and experimental methods of scientific research. The program requires successful completion of courses as well as submission and successful defense of a thesis in a Departmental examination. This program is intended for students who are interested in a research career or who are interested in acquiring research skills. M.Sc. students receive a minimum living allowance (after tuition expenses have been paid) of $13,250.00 per year. This minimum stipend can increase if students are awarded an external scholarship.
3) New! 1-Year Project and Course-Based Masters (M.Sc.) program
The 1-year project and course-based M.Sc. program is aimed at highly motivated undergraduate students who intend to pursue a professional degree, and want to prepare by learning critical thinking skills using hands-on training in state-of-the-art biomedical research methods. Students enrolled in this program will work with faculty mentors in a hands-on laboratory setting. This one-year program is available only to students currently enrolled in a Western BMSc program with an honours research thesis component. Ideally, students applying for this program intend to work with the same supervisor as their current honours thesis project. For this program, students are responsible for their own tuition and living costs. This program will begin on May 1 and end April 30 of the following calendar year. Courses will include components only available to one-year project and course-based MSc degree students including professional interview skills and lab management skills.
For a detailed description of the program (PDF file) click this link.
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Applicants for entry into the conventional MSC or PhD programs must have an Honors Bachelor degree, or equivalent, in Microbiology, Immunology or in some other biological sciences program. At least a high B average is required. Holders of MD, DDS, or DVM degrees are also eligible to apply.
Applicants for entry into the one-year project and course-based MSc program must be currently enrolled in an honours BMSc program at Western University.
All applicants must be approved by the Graduate Studies Committee and by the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies before being permitted to register.
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Collaborative programs in Developmental Biology or Molecular Imaging are also available to our students.
The purpose of the collaborative program in Developmental Biology is to create a community of graduate students with an interest in Developmental Biology and to provide specific courses to support and teach that community.
DEV 9000 (Developmental Biology) is a required two-term course for all MSc students enrolled in the Developmental Biology program. This is in addition to the courses required for MSc and PhD programs in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology but will replace the requirement for writing and defending a grant proposal in MICROIMM 9000A. DEV 9100 is a half course to be taken in the second year for PhD students. Schedule conflicts with Microbiology & Immunology courses will be assessed on an ad hoc basis by the Graduate Studies Committee.
The Collaborative Graduate Program in Molecular Imaging is designed for students that are interested in the disciplines of Molecular Imaging as well as Microbiology and Immunology. The combination of solid disciplinary training provides students with the tools necessary to better understand and conduct research in the area of Molecular Imaging.
Required courses/substitute courses:
Medical Biophysics 9518B (Molecular Imaging) is a required one-term course for all students in the Molecular Imaging program. This is in addition to the courses required for MSc and PhD programs in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Schedule conflicts with Microbiology and Immunology courses will be assessed on an ad hoc basis by the Graduate Studies Committee. Students are required to attend a monthly Molecular Imaging journal club as a substitute for the M&I journal club.
To participate in these programs, students must be accepted to the graduate program in Microbiology & Immunology. The student may then apply to the collaborative program according to their specific instructions.
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