Immunology Curriculum

We strive to be as flexible as possible in designing a coursework program for each student. However, the basic coursework program will consist of:

  • PIBS 503 - Research Responsibility and Ethics (1 credit)
  • PIBS 800 - PIBS Seminar Series (1 credit)
  • PIBS 600 - 2 Lab Research Rotations (1 - 8 credits)Additionally, at least two of the following three:
  • 2 credits of Biochemistry (Biological Chemistry 660 or equivalent)Molecules of life: Protein structure, function and dynamics.
  • 3 credits of Genetics (Human Genetics 541 or equivalent)
  • 3 credits of Cell and Developmental Biology (CDB 530 or equivalent)

Plus Electives.  Students must complete a minimum of 18 credit hours to be eligible for candidacy.

Immunology-specific Course Descriptions:

Student seminars (Immunology 815). Pre-candidate students register for this class Fall and Winter terms of their second year. All students give one or more seminars each year they are in graduate school. Faculty assist the students in preparation of the seminar and provide an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the presentation after the seminar. The faculty at the University of Michigan feel that oral communication skills are very important for scientists whether they are engaged in teaching, research in academic institutions, research in government agencies, research in the private sector, or many other career areas for doctorally prepared biological scientists.

Experimental Immunology (850). Pre-candidates generally register for this class Winter term of first year. Literature based immunology techniques course aimed at providing first year students with an understanding of the theory and application of common tools used in immunology.

Special Topics in Immunology (851). Pre-candidates generally enroll in this course during Fall of the second year. This is a literature based course consisting of didactic overview lectures on special topics not covered in Micro 640. The focus is also on guided discussions of recent research papers in immunology with an emphasis on translational immunology.  Students are strongly encouraged to attend and participate after the second year.  

Example syllabi are presented in blue links.


MSTP students come into the Program with credits toward their Ph.D.  Once in the Program, the following courses are required:

  • Immunology 815 - Journal Club (2 credits - 1 credit for 2 semesters) Offered in the Fall and Winter.
  • Immunology 850 – Experimental Immunology (3 credits) Offered in the Winter semester.
  • Immunology 851 - Special Topics in Immunology (2 credits) Offered in the Fall semester.
  • PIBS 503 - Research Responsibility and Ethics (1 credit) Offered in the Fall semester.
  • PIBS 800 - PIBS Seminar Series (1 credit) Offered in the Fall and Winter semesters.
  • Microbiology and Immunology 640 - Molecular and Cellular Immunology (3 credits) Offered in the Fall semester.
  • Microbiology and Immunology 641 – Advanced Immunology (1 credit) Offered in the Fall semester.

Since MSTP students have had coursework in human genetics, microbiology and cellular biology, the following courses are waived:

  • Biological Chemistry 660 - Molecules of Life: Protein Structure, Function, and Dynamics (3 credits) 
  • Cell and Developmental Biology 530 - Cell Biology (3 credits)
  • Human Genetics 541 - Molecular Genetics (3 credits)