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About the University of Calgary
Graduate Studies Calendar 2017-2018 Program Descriptions Medicine Programs Medicine, Immunology MDIM
Medicine, Immunology MDIM
Contact Information

Location: Health Sciences Centre, Room G329
Program number: 403.220.8306
Fax: 403.210.8109
Email address:
Web page URL:

1. Degrees and Specializations Offered

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Master of Science (MSc), thesis-based


  • Host-Pathogen Interactions

Faculty members are affiliated with the Cumming School of Medicine and the Faculties of Science and Veterinary Medicine.

The Immunology Graduate Program is offered in collaboration with the above faculties, and the curriculum has been designed for students with undergraduate or MSc degrees in those faculties. Background experience, qualifications, and areas of interest of applicants will be taken into account at the time of admission.

Students in the MSc and PhD degree programs are normally considered full-time.

2. Admission Requirements

In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies requirements, the Cumming School of Medicine graduate programs require:

Master of Science

  • BSc degree or equivalent

Doctor of Philosophy

  • MSc degree, or relevant master's degree, recognized by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, or transfer from MSc program, or, in exceptional cases, BSc degree or equivalent.

In addition, the Department requires:

a) A minimum admission grade point average over the last two years (60 units or 10 full-course equivalents) of 3.30 (“B+”) on a four-point scale or equivalent.

b) For applicants who are required to provide proof of proficiency in English, a minimum TOEFL score of 600 (paper-based), or 105 (Internet-based), or a minimum IELTS score of 7.5, or a minimum MELAB score of 86, or a minimum PTE score of 75.

c) Two references from individuals that can attest to the applicant's academic background. Each referee to provide a reference form and accompanying letter on institutional letterhead.

d) Endorsement by the Graduate Program Director that the applicant is acceptable and that adequate supervision of the proposed program is available.

e) An undergraduate course in immunology (Cellular, Molecular Microbial Biology 527 or equivalent). It will be possible for a student to take Medical Science 640 during the first year of their program if they do not have an appropriate prerequisite course.

f) Students must also have confirmed a faculty member willing to supervise their studies.

Meeting the minimum admission criteria above does not guarantee acceptance into the program. Applications will be ranked according to academic excellence, prior research experience and commitment to the study of immunology.

3. Application Deadline

Deadlines for submission of required documents for international applicants:

April 1 for September admission
August 1 for January admission
December 1 for May admission
February 1 for July admission

Deadlines for submission of required documents for domestic applicants:

June 1 for September admission
October 1 for January admission
March 1 for May admission
May 1 for July admission

Students applying to the MD/Masters or MD/PhD program must apply individually to each program and complete a supplementary application to the Leaders in Medicine program.

4. Advanced Credit

Applicants may request to receive credit for previously completed courses at the time of application. See Medicine Programs for further information.

5. Program/Course Requirements

In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Cumming School of Medicine requirements, the Immunology Graduate Program requires:

a) Completion of a minimum of 6 units (1.0 full-course equivalent) for an MSc and 9 units (1.5 full-course equivalents) for a PhD. Medical Science 639.02 or 639.04 is compulsory for all MSc students. Both courses are compulsory for PhD students. Optional courses for either degree can be drawn from any 600 level courses offered by the Cumming School of Medicine in areas that are relevant to the student's research proposal, and approved by the supervisor and supervisory committee. Courses taken while a student is an Open Studies student cannot be used as credits in either the MSc or PhD program.

b) A seminar presentation once a year. Exceptions require recommendation by the supervisory committee and approval by the Graduate Program Director.

c) Regular, mandatory attendance at the Snyder Program Seminar Series.

d) Presentation on the thesis project to the IRG around the time of the defence.

6. Additional Requirements

Research Integrity Day is a Research Ethics session offered several times each year. All graduate students in the Cumming School of Medicine are required to attend Research Integrity Day in the first year of their program as part of their course requirements.

Contributions to journals, relevant journal clubs and/or seminars are desirable.

7. Credit for Undergraduate Courses

Credit will not be given for courses taken below the 600-level.

8. Time Limit

Expected completion time is two years for students in the Master of Science program and four years for doctoral students. Maximum completion time is four years for the Master of Science program and six years for the doctoral program.

Leaders in Medicine: Expected completion time for the MD/Master’s program is four to five years, and for the MD/PhD program, six to seven years. The maximum completion time is six years for the MD/Master’s, and eight years for the MD/PhD program.

9. Supervisory Assignments

Individuals intending to apply for admission to the Immunology Graduate Program are encouraged to contact faculty members directly regarding the possibility of acting as a supervisor. If a potential supervisor has not been identified at the time of application, applications that meet or exceed the minimum criteria will be circulated to potential supervisors based on the indicated areas of interest (declared by candidates in the application). A supervisor must be identified for a student to be admitted to the Immunology Graduate Program.

The supervisor, in consultation with the student, selects a Supervisory Committee. For MSc students, the Supervisory Committee consists of the supervisor plus 2 faculty members, at least one of whom must have completed the supervision of an MSc student. For PhD students, the Supervisory Committee consists of the supervisor plus a minimum of 2 faculty members. At least one member should be from the IRG, and at least two members must have completed the supervision of a doctoral graduate. A Supervisory Committee must be set up no later than three months after the appointment of the permanent supervisor.

10. Required Examinations

In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies requirements, the program requires:

Candidacy Examination

Doctoral students must pass an oral candidacy examination. Specific details of the examination format and other candidacy requirements can be found at:

Thesis Examination

Scheduling of the Examination
All members of the Supervisory Committee must have reviewed the student’s research, including a relevant written sample of the materials related to the thesis, before an examination can be scheduled.

Composition of the Committee
The Internal Examiner may be internal to the home program.

11. Research Proposal Requirements

See the Medicine Programs entry in this Calendar.

12. Special Registration Information


13. Financial Assistance

A source of funding (minimum of $21,000 per annum for MSc and $23,000 per annum for PhD) must be identified for a student to be admitted into the Immunology Program. Graduate students are generally funded by their supervisor’s operating grants, internal awards, and/or external awards. Self-funding is not an option. Possible sources of financial support are listed on the Faculty of Graduate Studies awards database:

Some program awards are also available, dependent on funding. Please see the program website:

14. Other Information

The Immunology Graduate Program offers the following courses:

Medical Science 639.02
Medical Science 639.04
Medical Science 640

Information regarding the courses can be obtained at

15. Faculty Members/Research Interests

The research interests of current IRG faculty members can be found at