Microbiology and Immunology

Study Microbiology and Immunology at UBC

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About Microbiology and Immunology

Microbiology is the study of minute, simple life forms (microbes), including bacteria, algae, fungi, protozoa, and viruses. Microbes are everywhere - in the air, in our food, and in our bodies. They are critically important in many processes of life on Earth and despite their small size, microbes exert a huge influence on all terrestrial and aquatic environments, thereby affecting all plants, animals, and humans. Immunology is the branch of science that deals with how the body defends itself against disease-causing microbes. Microbiology and immunology together involve studying how microbes can be controlled to prevent disease. Microbiology is one of the fastest developing fields of research in biology. Some examples of what microbiologists do include manipulating bacteria to produce useful products like human insulin, and using other microbes that naturally feed on pollutants to clean up polluted water bodies. They have also developed pesticides made out of microbes that attack only pests and not the plants they are sprayed on (unlike traditional chemical pesticides).

Program details

The programs include a flexible list of selections that allow students to take a wide range of courses within the field or focus on areas such as biotechnology, bioinformatics, molecular microbiology, environmental microbiology, bioinformatics, immunology, virology, or pathogenic microbiology. Co-op can be done with each of the five academic programs.


Over the course of a four-year degree, this program could help you build the following skills:

  • Application of logical and systematic thought processes to understanding the structure and functioning of human, animal and plant tissues and cells
  • Quantitative and qualitative research and data synthesis
  • Analytical method development or validation (QA/QC), ensuring compliance with safety regulations
  • Project management and experimental design
  • Critical analysis of current microbiological and immunological literature and report writing
  • Usage of laboratory techniques, such as aseptic technique, staining, plasmid isolation, cloning and screening, western blots, PCR, ELISA, Gel electrophoresis, and microscopy
  • Usage of technical instruments, like spectrophotometers, light and fluorescent microscopes, and thermocyclers

Programs offered

  • Major or Honours, Microbiology and Immunology
  • Combined Major or Combined Honours, Computer Science and Microbiology and Immunology
  • Biotechnology in Microbiology and Immunology
  • Co-op


Academic Calendar Entry
Program Specialization Website
Undergraduate Advisors
Student Club Website
Research and Library Help
Involvement and Career Resources

Career options in Microbiology and Immunology

With an undergraduate degree

  • Food technologist
  • Laboratory technician
  • Research assistant
  • Scientific writer/journalist

With additional study

  • Dentist
  • Doctor
  • Geneticist
  • Immunologist
  • Lawyer
  • Microbiologist
  • Mycologist
  • Pathologist
  • Pharmacologist
  • Professor/Teacher
  • Research scientist
  • Scientific consultant
  • Veterinarian
  • Virologist

UBC Science Microbiology and Immunology Graduates Work As

  • PhD Candidate in Transplantation Immunology, University of Cambridge
  • Dentist, Dr. James Y. Y. Hsia Inc.
  • Medical Student, University of British Columbia
  • PhD Candidate in Computational & Systems Immunology, Stanford University
  • Biomedical Engineering Technologist, Lions Gate Hospital
  • Associate Attorney, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Related Professional Groups

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