Masters in Immunology: What, Where and How
Updated on Oct 24, 2018 - 10 a.m. IST by Shraya Singh
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Masters in Immunology - Essentially, immunology is the branch of biology which covers research and study of the immune system of various organisms. In academic terms, immunology generally refers to the study of the human immune system and associated concerns. The immune system is an amalgamation of systems and processes which protect the body from infection through various lines of defence. A masters in immunology is therefore a highly innovative career pathway for individuals in the medicine domain. Specialists in this field are integral for the healthcare industry and leads to many breakthroughs in vaccination and other medicinal technologies. Immunology students and professionals work in a research-centered environment primarily in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.

Candidates from the medicine or science (biology in particular) domain can specialize in immunology by pursuing a masters in immunology also known widely as an MSc or MS in immunology. The qualification earned is a masters in science degree and the program is generally a one-year or two-year postgraduate program.


Masters in Immunology: Who is an Immunologist?

An immunologist, as the name suggests, is a scientist with a specialization in immunology. An immunologist is generally responsible for the development and improvement of various medicinal technologies towards the improvement and reinnervation of the human immune system. A career as an immunologist is generally research-centered with most professionals being employed in research and development laboratories, academia or the pharmaceutical industry. Another branch for immunologists is clinical immunology which revolves around clinical diagnosis and restoration from various immunological diseases. 

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Masters in Immunology: Eligibility

For candidates who are interested in pursuing a masters in immunology, an interest in science is essential. Although most masters in immunology programs are open to candidates from all areas of study, a candidate with a background in medicine or biology will find it easier to adapt to the subject matter of an MS in immunology. 

  • The primary eligibility requirement for a candidate who wishes to pursue a masters in immunology is that the candidate must have a four-year bachelor’s degree from a state/federal or ‘deemed’ university. The candidate must also have passed in the program of study with a first class or honors (for top MS in immunology programs). Some universities also accept three-year bachelor’s graduates from a few predefined universities. 

  • The candidate must also have had at least one science subject in the domain of medicine, veterinary science or dentistry with a passing grade in the final exam/evaluation. 

  • English language proficiency: Candidates are required to submit proof of English language proficiency which can be satisfied through satisfactory scores from any of the following exams:


    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic

    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT

    • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic

    • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE)

The minimum English language proficiency test score requirements for admission to the top universities for a masters in immunology are given below.

English Language Proficiency Test Scores for Masters in Immunology

University

IELTS Academic

TOEFL iBT

CAE

Harvard University

7.5

104

-

University of Oxford

7.5 (7.0 in each)

110

191

Stanford University 

-

100

-

Johns Hopkins University

7.0

100

-

University College London

7.0

100

185

Imperial College London

7.0

100

185

University of Toronto

7.0

93

-

University of Sydney

6.5

85

176

Masters in Immunology: Admission Requirements

A number of supporting documents and scores are required in order to complete the admission and application requirements for a masters in immunology. These requirements include the following:

  • Statement of purpose (SOP): The statement of purpose is a brief essay which lists the candidate’s motivation and expectations from the prospective course of study. It also explains why the candidate opted for the specific program of study and university in particular as well as a brief summation of the candidate’s overall academic and professional development over the past years leading up to MS in immunology. 

  • Letter of recommendation (LOR): Each university requires either two or three letters of recommendation from professional or academic referees associated with the candidate. 

  • Academic transcripts: Candidates are required to submit all prior academic records and official transcripts. If the transcripts are not in English then an official translated copy is to be submitted.

  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae: The candidate’s resume or CV must be up to date and must enlist the candidate’s professional and academic development over the past years.

  • Publications(optional): Although publications are not integral, they are highly desired for admission to competitive masters in immunology programs. 

  • GRE Scores: Most MSc or MS in immunology programs do not require a GRE score for admission although the GRE requirement is dependent upon the specific university of application. The score is still accepted regardless of the requirement and helps boost the applicant’s candidacy for the program. Additionally, a GRE Biology subject test score is an added advantage, especially for applicants from a non-medical background.

  • MCAT Scores: Some universities also require MCAT scores although the scores are generally not a prerequisite and are an optional admission requirement.

Masters in Immunology: Top Universities

For candidates who want to pursue a masters in immunology, some of the top universities in the world offer highly acclaimed programs in the domain of immunology. Admission to most of these programs is highly competitive in nature as the quality of education and instruction in unmatched by others. Additionally, candidates graduating from these programs often get exceptional placement and professional opportunities after graduation. Many of the top universities for a masters in immunology are also highly ranked on the QS World University ranking in the subject of Medicine. Some of the best programs and universities for prospective MS in immunology candidates are listed below.


Top Universities for a Masters in Immunology

University

Program

QS Rank

Country

Subject

World

Harvard University

MMSc in Immunology

1

3

United States

University of Oxford

MSc in Integrated Immunology

2

5

United Kingdom

Stanford University 

MS in Immunology

4

2

United States

Johns Hopkins University

MS in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology

5

21

United States

University College London

MSc Infection and Immunity

10

10

United Kingdom

Imperial College London

MSc Immunology

11

8

United Kingdom

University of Toronto

MSc in Applied Immunology

11

28

Canada

University of Sydney

MS in Medicine (Infection and Immunity)

18

42

Australia

Masters in Immunology: Fees and Funding

The overall tuition for a masters in immunology generally is dependent upon the country and university of study. The expenses incurred tend to be higher for the top universities especially in the United States and the United Kingdom as compared to universities in other countries like Australia. 

In order to obtain insight into the approximate tuition for MS in immunology programs around the world at some of the leading universities in medicine, the annual tuition for a few universities has been given below. Some of the masters in immunology programs are one-year programs whereas others may extend to a two-year duration.


Masters in Immunology Fees at Top Universities


University

Annual Tuition Fee

University of Oxford

£37,445

Stanford University 

USD $19,399 (quarterly)

Johns Hopkins University

USD $54,144

University College London

£25,610

Imperial College London

£34,500

University of Toronto

CAD $47,755

University of Sydney

AUD $27,500

Most universities offer a variety of postgraduate scholarships, fellowships and other funding opportunities which are both country-wide, international and/or university-specific in nature. These funding options differ from university to university as well as country to country and are often specific to the candidate’s prospective university of application. Many scholarships are also specific to the field of study i.e. masters in immunology.

Some notable funding options and scholarships for candidates applying for a masters in immunology at the top universities in the world are given below:


Notable Scholarships/Fellowships for Masters in Immunology

University

Scholarship/Fellowship

University of Oxford

Clarendon Fund

Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship plan

Johns Hopkins University

Emergent BioSolutions Fellowship

University College London

Indian Department of Education scholarships

University of Toronto

Cinader Graduate Scholarship

University of Sydney

Faculty of Health Science Postgraduate Coursework Scholarships



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