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Graduate Studies Calendar 2014-2015 Program Descriptions Medicine Programs Medicine, Immunology MDIM
Medicine, Immunology MDIM
Contact Information

Location: Health Sciences Centre, Room G329
Program number: 403.210.9572
Fax: 403.210.8109
Email address:
Web page URL:

1. Degrees and Specializations Offered

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

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 regulations, the Cumming School of Medicine graduate programs require a minimum admission grade point average of 3.30 (on the University of Calgary four-point system; equivalent to a "B+") based on the last two years of the undergraduate degree consisting of a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents and master's course work if applicable.

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.

a) For applicants required to provide proof of proficiency in English, a minimum TOEFL score of 600 (written), or 100 (Internet-based), or a minimum IELTS score of 7.0, or a minimum MELAB score of 84, or a minimum PTE score of 70.

b) 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.

c) Endorsement by the Chairperson, Immunology Graduate Education Committee (IGEC) that the applicant is acceptable and that adequate supervision of the proposed program is available.

d) An undergraduate course in immunology (Cellular, Molecular Microbial Biology 527 or equivalent). It will be possible for a student to take Medical Science 755.01 during the first year of their program if he/she does not have an appropriate prerequisite course.

e) 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. Students must also have confirmed faculty member willing to supervise his or her studies.

3. Application Deadline

Deadlines for submission of complete applications for students with international transcripts:

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

Deadlines for submission of complete applications for students with Canadian and U.S. transcripts:

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

4. Advanced Credit

Applicants may request to receive credit for previously completed courses at the time of application. Where credit is to be given, it will be noted in the letter to the Faculty of Graduate Studies recommending the student's admission.

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 two half courses for an MSc and three half courses 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 Study student cannot be used as credits in either the MSc or PhD program.

b) Participation in the seminar program of the Immunology Research Group (IRG). This will entail the annual presentation of a 30-50 minute Research in Progress seminar, attendance at the weekly seminars and journal club.

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

6. Additional Requirements

Attendance at a Research Integrity Day workshop is required for all graduate students. MSc students must attend prior to defending their thesis and PhD students must attend prior to their candidacy oral examination.

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 2.5 years for an MSc and 5 years for a PhD. See “Medicine Programs” for maximum completion times.

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 and a source of funding (minimum of $19,000 per annum) 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 two members should be from the IRG, and at least two members must have completed the supervision of a doctoral graduate.

10. Required Examinations

See the “Medicine Programs” entry in this Calendar.

11. Research Proposal Requirements

See the “Medicine Programs” entry in this Calendar.

12. Special Registration Information

Exceptional students registered for the MSc degree may request to change their registration status to that of a PhD candidate within 24 months of admission to the program. Within 18 months of first registration, the student will discuss with the supervisor his/her intent to transfer from the MSc to the PhD program. Students are only eligible for transfer if at least 2 graduate courses have been completed. A revised draft research proposal should be presented to the supervisory committee before the transfer has occurred.Transfers will require unanimous approval from each member of the supervisory committee and recommendation to the Chairperson, IGEC. The student’s academic record and approval from the supervisory committee will be considered in making a decision to recommend a transfer into a PhD program. If the transfer is approved, the Chairperson, IGEC will send a written recommendation to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

The student will be required to submit a revised research proposal and complete the course requirements of the doctoral program. Student must meet the 30-month deadline for the candidacy oral examination.

13. Financial Assistance

Applicants must identify a source of funding 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:

These include Faculty of Graduate Studies Scholarships, Dean’s Excellence Awards, Dean’s Entrance Awards, and the Faculty of Graduate Studies Open Scholarship Competition.

Students in the program are eligible to receive a Graduate Student Support scholarship to assist them with tuition while paying full program fees, upon completion of annual program requirements.

Students are also eligible to receive the Immunology Program Specific award for travel to a national or international scientific meeting to make a presentation.

In addition, the Immunology Program Award for Research Excellence is awarded to students whose final thesis is unanimously deemed worthy of nomination for a national or international award by the examiners of their final thesis. In addition to a certificate, the student receives a monetary award.

14. Other Information

The Immunology Graduate Program offers the following four courses:

Medical Science 639.01: Principles of Immunology
Medical Science 639.02: Cellular and Molecular Immunology
Medical Science 639.04: Inflammation

Information regarding the courses can be obtained at

Detailed course descriptions are available at and timetabling information can be found through the MyUofC portal.

15. Faculty Members/Research Interests

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