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Prospective students interested in pursuing a PhD Specialization in Immunology at UC San Diego can apply to one of the two umbrella programs currently open on campus. These programs are housed in the School of Biological Sciences and the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program (sponsored by UC San Diego Health Sciences). Immunology students enrolled under the School of Biological Sciences Graduate Program will follow the Cell, Molecular, Genetics track (Primary Track), while students enrolled under the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program will follow the Immunology Training Area.

Admitted students will have satisfied the requirements for admission specified for the BMS or BS programs depending on the target of their application. As such, we expect students commencing graduate studies in immunology will have completed an undergraduate degree in any field related to biology, chemistry or engineering that also includes basic molecular and cell biology courses. 

Specific application availability, deadlines, and requirements can be found on the following application sites: 


Specialization in Immunology

Students who elect the “Specialization in Immunology” must meet the requirements of their respective degree programs plus several elective courses (see below). Additionally, students accepted to the program will receive additional mentoring opportunities, such as meetings with faculty members, and attendance at Immunology seminars and conferences. Their PhD will be recorded as a degree in Biological Sciences or Biomedical Sciences with a Specialization in Immunology.  

A. Complete three out of the four recommended courses:

BGGN 225 Graduate Immunology

BIOM 253 Immunology and Immune regulation 

BGGN 232 Innate Immunity

BGGN 239 Bioinformatics for Immunologists (new course offered Spring 2023)

B. Participate in at least three quarters of BGJC 204 - Journal club in Immunology. Students may fulfill this requirement by documented participation in an alternative journal club. 

**Students may petition for credit if other immune/host pathogen related coursework is desired.  Some of these courses may be used as the electives to satisfy departmental degree requirements**

Students in the Specialization are recommended to participate in the following:

Annual La Jolla Immunology Conference

Quarterly mentorship sessions with Immunology Program Faculty

For matriculation in the Specialization, start the application process by completing the form.