PhD in Fundamental Immunology

The PhD degree is an advanced research degree intended to reflect a level of training consistent with the ability of the candidate to function as an independent research scientist. This involves successful completion of course work reflecting a knowledge of modern immunology, as well as a demonstrated ability to carry out research of publishable quality. To qualify for the degree each candidate must successfully achieve candidacy, submit a satisfactory thesis based on his/her original research, and successfully defend it in a Final Oral Examination. The PhD thesis should contain a body of original research roughly corresponding in quantity to that which would be appropriate for two or three publications in a recognized refereed journal. Normally, at least one of these manuscripts should have been accepted for publication at the time of the exam. 

There are 2 routes to entering the PhD program. 

  1. Direct entry from the BSc
    Students with outstanding undergraduate records are encouraged to apply to the PhD program directly. Students entering via this route undergo a qualifying exam during the 2nd year of their program. Students admitted to the direct-entry PhD may choose to graduate with an MSc after two years of study if extenuating circumstances prevent them from continuing with the PhD. This change requires approval from the Supervisor, the Department, and the School of Graduate Studies.
  2. Entry after completion of an M.Sc. degree
    Students who have completed or are in the process of completing an MSc degree from another department/University are encouraged apply to the PhD program. All students entering the PhD program with an MSc degree must undergo a qualifying exam during the 2nd year of their program. 

Students doing a thesis-based PhD in Fundamental Immunology will receive a guaranteed stipend.

In our Department, students typically spend about 5 years in the PhD degree program.

Course Requirements

The Department requires students to complete

  • IMM1000Y Recent Advances in Immunology
  • IMM1025/2025H Student Seminar Series I / II*
  • IMM1050/2050H Easton Seminar Series I / II*
  • IMM1075/2075H Special Topics in Immunology I / II*
  • IMM1200H Scientific Skills for Immunologists
  • 1.0 FCE electives, approved by the Associate Chair, Graduate Studies

*Continuous courses taken throughout the student's PhD program until completed.

More information on required and elective courses