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Department Overview

H564 Health Sciences

The department includes more than 30 faculty and 200 scientists, students, post-docs and staff engaged in elucidating fundamental immunological mechanisms and how these mechanisms impact human health; infectious, autoimmune, and allergic diseases; and cancer. Current focus areas include lymphocyte signaling, T and B cell development, macrophage function, antigen processing, immuno-tolerance, and the structure of antigen receptors.

Graduate Program

Graduate Program Coordinator
H564 Health Sciences, Box 357650
(206) 685-3955, fax (206) 543-1013

Master of Science

Students are not admitted to the department specifically as candidates for a master's degree. A terminal master's degree can be awarded if the faculty deems the student has made some progress in the program but not enough to be consistent with earning the PhD.

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

Students are admitted for autumn quarter; application deadline is January 1 for U.S. citizens and November 1 for international applicants. Requirements for admission are flexible. However, most successful applicants have completed survey courses in biology, chemistry, and physics; one year of organic chemistry; and mathematics through integral calculus. Prior exposure to immunology through formal coursework, or especially through laboratory research, is desirable. A bachelor's degree is required, as is evidence of superior scholarship and above average performance on the GRE General Test. A GRE subject test is not required.

International students must take the TOEFL; 250 is the minimum acceptable score on the computer test.

Degree Requirements

90 credits

  1. 18 graded credits in the first two years. First-year coursework consists of consecutive five-week-long courses taken autumn through spring quarters two per quarter (for 1.5 to 2 graded credits each); winter quarter, first year students also take IMMUN 532 (4 graded credits), for a total of 13 or 13.5 graded credits the first year, depending on course choices. In the second year, students earn 4.5 or 5 additional graded credits by taking electives winter and/or spring quarters. As part of first- and second-year coursework, students take two five-week courses that specifically focus on cancer immunology.
  2. Autumn quarter of the first year, students may take an elective and attend selected lectures of the undergraduate immunology course, IMMUN 441. Students attend the departmental seminar series, Journal Club, and research-in-progress talks beginning the first quarter and continuing throughout enrollment.
  3. All elective courses must be relevant to biomedical research, and include either a final examination or required written paper for a grade. Elective classes must be at the 500 level, and receive a numerical grade.
  4. Each student takes the qualifying examination during July immediately following the second year of classes. (MSTP students take qualifying examinations following the first year of graduate classes.)
  5. Students who pass the qualifying examination then prepare for the General Examination, which must be taken within 15 months of the qualifying examination.
  6. The dissertation must meet all format requirements.