M.S. in Microbiology and Immunology

We offer a two year, research-intensive program that leads to a Master's degree in Microbiology and Immunology. Students will be trained in the rigor of the scientific method by proposing and completing a research project under the direction of a selected faculty mentor. 


Master's students will graduate with:

  • broad training in the biomedical sciences and focused training in Microbiology and Immunology. This wide knowledge base will provide versatility in applying for subsequent jobs.
  • technical expertise in molecular biology and a variety of other areas, such as biochemistry, immunological techniques, enzyme assays, and cell culturing.
  • substantially enhanced skills in oral presentations.

As such, they are equipped to succeed in more advanced research, teaching or administrative positions and will serve as leaders in their chosen professions. They are also prepared for additional educational objectives (leading to additional degrees in such areas as law, medicine or research).


To apply, students may use the on-line form (free) or submit a hard copy ($50) of the application. Students will be selected on the basis of grades, GREs, letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose. As this is a research-intensive Master's program, students who show clear evidence of research potential will be given the highest priority for admission. The Admissions Committee, chaired by Dr. Adam Driks, will review applications beginning in December, and continuing until available slots are filled. The Admissions Committee will invite selected candidates to visit Loyola for a 1/2 day interview, following which a decision on admission will be made. Candidates are expected to assume the expenses associated with travel to and from Loyola and, as needed, any housing necessary for the 1/2 day interview. We will begin our review of  Masters applications on December 15 and complete admissions by April 15 of the following year. Applications received throughout this period are reviewed, but those received earlier have a greater chance of success.


During the first year, you will become well-rounded in your understanding of biomedical sciences by attending introductory courses in Molecular Biochemistry, Cell Biology and Methods in Biomedical Sciences. Then you will receive specialized training in Microbiology, Immunology and Virology in the second half of the first year. This coursework is complemented with training in ethics.


The emphasis throughout our graduate program is on research. You will be expected to undertake independent, original experiments culminating in a new and significant contribution to scientific knowledge. Major areas of research emphasis are: molecular and cellular immunology, neuroimmunology, cancer immunology, immunodermatology, mucosal immunology, viral immunology, molecular biology, genetics, pathogenic and diagnostic microbiology, molecular virology, viral pathogenesis, microbial genetics, and microbial physiology.

Students research is supported by close collaboration with a member of the graduate faculty. Upon entering the graduate program, you will be guided by the graduate program director in all aspects of the program, including course and rotation selection. During the first semester you will rotate through research laboratories. At the end of this training period, you will select a mentor and an area of research that is compatible with your interests and future goals. Throughout the duration of your tenure, your mentor provides advice and direction on the research project, monitors your progress through program requirements, and provides any other help and counseling needed for successful completion of the program. M.S. candidates are expected to undertake independent, original experimental study resulting in a new and significant contribution to knowledge. The research will culminate in the preparation of a thesis and a final oral examination conducted by the student's M.S. Thesis Committee.


We believe that students must be able to communicate effectively, whether writing an article on recent developments in their research, writing a grant proposal, presenting a seminar,  teaching class or explaining procedures to lab assistants. The best lecturers and teachers–the ones who keep their audiences involved–are those who can express their thoughts in a clear, organized, and interesting manner. To prepare you for this aspect of a science career,  you have the opportunity  to gain part-time teaching experience and to participate in first year journal club, a weekly exercise in communications training for students in their first year.

To further help you communicate your work and develop your communication skills, we also hold special seminars (separate from the research seminars) at which professional writers work with students to improve and strengthen their writing skills.

Additionally, you will have opportunities to present your research and hone your presentation skills in a number of informal and formal venues. These opportunities include:

  • Weekly lab meetings.
  • Friday meeting, an informal department-wide hour-long lab meeting in which 3 individuals from various labs present their recent research.
  • Department-sponsored journal clubs.
  • Annual department retreat and/or the immunology retreat (often an informal poster presentation)
  • Thesis seminar given at the conclusion of the research program.


Students assume responsibility for tuition and fees. For the 2016-2017 academic year, the tuition is $1,034 per credit hour. Fees include the Student Activity fee, Fitness Center Fee Technology Fee, and Health fee. Together they total $912 for the 2016-2017 academic year. Additional fees are required by the graduate school for Thesis supervision: Course 595 ($500). For complete tuition information please click here.


The University requires all students to have health insurance coverage.