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The Faculty of Science > Bachelor of Science > Microbiology and Immunology

The Department of Microbiology and Immunology (www.microbiology.ubc.ca) offers opportunities for study leading to doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degrees. For information on advanced degrees, see graduate Microbiology and Immunology.

The Department offers versatile major and honours specializations leading to the Bachelor of Science. All students take the same core courses but appropriate choices of selections allow students to develop foundations in diverse areas such as applied microbiology, environmental microbiology, immunology, microbial pathogenesis, microbial physiology, molecular genetics, virology, bioinformatics, computer science and oceanography. Eligible students entering second year wanting to apply to the Joint Degree Biotechnology Honours specialization and all students wanting to enter second year Microbiology and Immunology Major, Honours or second year Combined Computer Science and Microbiology and Immunology Major, Honours or Microbiology and Oceanography Major specializations must apply using the online process administered by the Faculty of Science. Eligible students finishing first year will receive an email communication regarding the process in late May or early June. Due to the similarity between the Major and Honours specializations in second year the Faculty of Science only admits students directly to the Major or the Combined Major.

Continuation to the third year of a specialization depends on the particular specialization. The MBIM specializations and the combined MBIM/OCGY specialization require MICB 322 while the combined CPSC/MIBM specializations do not. Although MICB 322 is available to students in the combined CPSC/MBIM specializations, this course is not required. Applications for space in MICB 322 are due on the second Friday in May. Late applications for MICB 322 are considered but acceptance is contingent on space availability. Students that are not offered space in MICB 322 for third year can apply after year three if they have taken four third-year courses that are core parts of a specialization and achieved a competitive average in the four courses.

Further details about these MICB 322-dependent specializations and registration in MICB 322 are found in the undergraduate section of the departmental website (www.microbiology.ubc.ca/undergraduate). Qualified students may apply to transfer to an Honours specialization in third year. Again, the application procedure differs depending on whether the specialization requires MICB 322 (see above). Details are found at the undergraduate section of the departmental website (www.microbiology.ubc.ca/undergraduate). Enrolment in any Microbiology and Immunology Honours specialization or combined Honours specialization, requires a sustained, annual academic average of at least 75% in second, third, and fourth year of these specializations.

Co-operative Education Option

This option integrates academic study with relevant supervised work experience. The work placements are arranged by mutual agreement between the students and the employing organizations. Enrolment is limited. Admission is by application to the Science Co-op Office in February prior to third year (late applicants may be considered if they contact the Life Sciences Co-op Coordinator). Selection will be based on previous academic performance and general suitability to the work environment as assessed by resumé and interview. Admissibility to a third-year Microbiology and Immunology Bachelor of Science specialization is prerequisite for admission to the Co-op Option but applicants can apply to Co-op before admission to the third-year microbiology specializations. Graduation from the Co-op program requires completion of four work terms, the normal courses required for the specialization. Detailed information is available from Microbiology and Immunology (www.microbiology.ubc.ca) or the Co-operative Education Office (www.sciencecoop.ubc.ca/home/contact).

Specializations

Major (1153): Microbiology and Immunology

First Year
BIOL 1121 3
One of BIOL 111, 1211 3
CHEM 121 (or 111)2 4
CHEM 123 (or 113)2 4
One of MATH 100, 102, 1043 3
PHYS 100-level4 3
Communication Requirement5 6
Electives6 4
Total Credits 30
Second Year
MICB 201, 202 6
BIOL 200, 2017 6
CHEM 205, 233, 2358 7
Electives6 11
Total Credits 30
Third Year12
MICB 301, 302, 322, 323 12
At least one of MICB 325, BIOL 3359 3
Third or Fourth Year12
BIOC 30210 3
Additional MICB selections 9
Another MICB selection or a selection from BIOC 402, 410; BIOL 421; CHBE 381, MEDG 421; EOSC 475 3
Electives6 24
Fourth Year12
MICB 40111 3
One of MICB 421, 44711 3
Total Credits 30
Total Credits for Degree 120
1 Students without one of Biology 11 or Biology 12 must take BIOL 111 before taking BIOL 112 or BIOL 121 and students without Chemistry 12 must take CHEM 100 or CHEM 111 before taking BIOL 112 (See Footnote 2). Students with credit for BIOL 200 or sufficient credits of first year biology to enrol in BIOL 200 may skip BIOL 112 if they take an extra 3 credits of upper-level MICB courses in year 3 or 4. Students should be aware that BIOL 140 is a prerequisite for many upper-level BIOL courses at UBC. To maintain flexibility in their ability to study at UBC, students should consider including BIOL 140 in their first year at UBC even though this course is not required in this specialization.
2 Students who do not have BC high school Chemistry 12 (or its equivalent) must write the UBC Chemistry Basic Skills Test and may be required to take CHEM 100.
3 MATH 180 or 184 or 120 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 1 credit. MATH 110 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 3 credits. All of the differential calculus courses are suitable prerequisites for later MATH courses.
4 Chosen from 100-level PHYS courses, excluding PHYS 100. Students lacking Physics 12 must take PHYS 100 before taking any other 100-level PHYS course, using PHYS 100 as an elective. Students requiring PHYS 100 may delay other 100-level PHYS courses until second year.
5 A total of 6 credits of coursework is required to meet the Communication Requirement. For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
6 Elective credits together with required courses must fulfill the Faculty of Science’s:
a) Foundational Requirement;
b) Laboratory Science Requirement;
c) Science Breadth Requirement;
d) Science and Arts Requirements;
e) Upper-level Requirement;
f) General Degree Requirements.
7 Students may substitute BIOC 202 or BIOC 203 for BIOL 201.
8 Students with 7 credits of CHEM 203 and 213 do not need to take the combination of CHEM 233, 235 and 205.
9 If both courses are taken, MICB 325 counts as an MICB selection.
10 BIOC 303 may be substituted for BIOC 302 by using 3 credits of elective space.
11 Students concerned about taking more than one upper level laboratory course in a single term are encouraged to organize their schedule so each lab is taken in a different term if possible.
12 The normal course load for the specialization is 30 credits in each Winter Session of third or fourth year but that value depends on the combinations of selections and electives.

Honours (1154): Microbiology and Immunology (MBIM)

First Year
BIOL 1121 3
One of BIOL 111, 1211 3
CHEM 121 (or 111)2 4
CHEM 123 (or 113)2 4
One of MATH 100, 102, 1043 3
PHYS 100-level4 3
Communication Requirement5 6
Electives6,7 4
Total Credits 30
Second Year
MICB 201, 202 6
BIOL 200, 2018 6
CHEM 205, 233, 2359 7
Electives6,7 11
Total Credits 30
Third Year14
MICB 301, 302, 322, 323 12
At least one of MICB 325, BIOL 33510 3
Third or Fourth Year14
BIOC 30211 3
Additional MICB selections 9
Another MICB course or a selection from BIOC 402, 410; BIOL 421; CHBE 381, MEDG 421; EOSC 475 3
Electives6,7 24
Fourth Year14
MICB 40112 3
One of MICB 404, 406, 412, 42413 3
One of MICB 421, 44712 3
MICB 430, 44912 9
Total Credits for Degree 132
1 Students without one of Biology 11 or Biology 12 must take BIOL 111 before taking BIOL 112 or BIOL 121 and students without Chemistry 12 must take CHEM 100 or CHEM 111 before taking BIOL 112 (See Footnote 2). Students with credit for BIOL 200 or sufficient credits of first year biology to enrol in BIOL 200 may skip BIOL 112 if they take an extra 3 credits of upper-level MICB courses in year 3 or 4. Students should be aware that BIOL 140 is a prerequisite for many upper-level BIOL courses at UBC. To maintain flexibility in their ability to study at UBC, students should consider including BIOL 140 in their first year at UBC even though this course is not required in this specialization.
2 Students who do not have BC high school Chemistry 12 (or its equivalent) must write the UBC Chemistry Basic Skills Test and may be required to take CHEM 100.
3 MATH 180 or 184 or 120 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 1 credit. MATH 110 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 3 credits. All of the differential calculus courses are suitable prerequisites for later MATH courses.
4 Chosen from 100-level PHYS courses, excluding PHYS 100. Students lacking Physics 12 must take PHYS 100 before taking any other 100-level PHYS course, using PHYS 100 as an elective. Students requiring PHYS 100 may delay other 100-level PHYS courses until second year.
5 A total of 6 credits of coursework is required to meet the Communication Requirement. For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
6 Elective credits together with required courses must fulfill the Faculty of Science’s:
a) Foundational Requirement;
b) Laboratory Science Requirement;
c) Science Breadth Requirement;
d) Science and Arts Requirements;
e) Upper-level Requirement;
f) General Degree Requirements.
7 In addition to meeting the minimum Upper-level Requirement (footnote 6), students must select an additional 12 credits of upper-level courses.
8 Students may substitute BIOC 202 or BIOC 203 for BIOL 201.
9 Students with 7 credits of CHEM 203 and 213 do not need to take the combination of CHEM 233, 235 and 205.
10 If both courses are taken, MICB 325 counts as a MICB selection.
11 BIOC 303 may be substituted for BIOC 302 by using 3 credits of elective space.
12 Students concerned about taking more than one upper-level laboratory course in a single term are encouraged to organize their schedule so each lab is taken in a different term if possible.
13 Extra courses taken from this list count as MICB selections.
14 Honours students must comply with the Faculty of Science Honours Specialization requirements.

Combined Major (1371): Computer Science & Microbiology and Immunology

First Year
BIOL 1121 3
CHEM 121 (or 111)2 4
CHEM 123 (or 113)2 4
CPSC 110 (or 103 and 107)3 4
CPSC 1214 4
One of MATH 100, 102, 104 (120, 180, 184, 110)5 3
One of MATH 101, 103, 105 (121)5 3
Communication Requirement6 6
Total Credits 31
Second Year13
CPSC 210, 2214 8
MICB 201, 202 6
BIOL 200, 2017 6
CHEM 233 3
Second or Third Year13
CPSC 213 4
One of BIOL 300, MATH 200, 221, STAT 200 3
Electives8,9,10 3
Minimum total credits for second year 30
Third Year13
MICB 301, 302 6
MICB 322 or MICB at 300-level or higher11,12 3
One of MICB 325, BIOL 335 3
CPSC 320 3
Third or Fourth Year13
CPSC 310 4
Two of CPSC 304, 313, 420, 421, 445 6
MICB 323 or MICB 401 or additional MICB at 300-level or higher11,12 3
Additional CPSC at 300-level or higher 6
Additional MICB at 300-level or higher 3
Electives8,9,10 13
Fourth Year13
MICB 405 3
Additional CPSC at 400-level 3
Total Credits for Degree 120
1 Students without one of Biology 11 or Biology 12 must take BIOL 111 before taking BIOL 112 and students without Chemistry 12 must take CHEM 100 or CHEM 111 before taking BIOL 112 (See footnote 2). Students with credit for BIOL 200 or sufficient credits of first year biology to enrol in BIOL 200 may skip BIOL 112 if they take an extra 3 credits of upper-level MICB courses in year 3 or 4.
2 Students who do not have BC high school Chemistry 12 (or its equivalent) must write the UBC Chemistry Basic Skills Test and may be required to take CHEM 100.
3 While CPSC 110 is the recommended route for students pursuing a program in Computer Science, CPSC 103, 107 may be taken in its place using 2 credits of electives.
4 Students intending to pursue Co-op may include CPSC 210 in the first year in order to use the CPSC model for Co-op that starts after first year. Alternatively they may use the MICB model for Co-op that starts in third year.
5 MATH 180 or 184 or 120 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 1 credit. MATH 110 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 3 credits. All of the differential calculus courses are suitable prerequisites for any later MATH courses. MATH 121 may substitute for any of the specified integral calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 1 credit.
6 A total of 6 credits of coursework is required to meet the Communication Requirement. For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
7 Students may substitute BIOC 202 or BIOC 203 for BIOL 201.
8 Elective credits together with required courses must fulfill the Faculty of Science’s:
a) Foundational Requirement;
b) Laboratory Science Requirement;
c) Science Breadth Requirement;
d) Science and Arts Requirements;
e) Upper-level Requirement;
f) General Degree Requirements.
9 BIOL 121 and BIOL 140 are prerequisites for many upper-level BIOL courses. Accessing upper-level BIOC courses may require CHEM 205.
10 There are 16 elective credits in the specialization. Even though they are distributed as 3 credits in second year and 13 in other years, any extra elective credit taken in first or second year can be applied to the later elective credits.
11 Space in MICB 322 is limited. Availability depends on the demand by the other specializations requiring MICB 322.
12 MICB 322, 323 and 401 are laboratory courses. MICB 322 is a prerequisite for MICB 323 and MICB 401. Students wanting a less intensive laboratory experience should consider MICB 203 as an elective at some point in the specialization.
13 The normal course load for the specialization is 30 credits in one Winter Session but that value depends on the combinations of selections and electives.

Combined Honours (1373): Computer Science & Microbiology and Immunology

First Year
BIOL 1121 3
CHEM 121 (or 111)2 4
CHEM 123 (or 113)2 4
CPSC 110 (or 103 and 107)3 4
CPSC 1214 4
One of MATH 100, 102, 104 (120, 180, 184, 110)5 3
One of MATH 101, 103, 105 (121)5 3
Communication Requirement6 6
Total Credits 31
Second Year7,15
CPSC 210, 2214 8
MICB 201, 202 6
BIOL 200, 2018,15 6
CHEM 233, 2359 4
MATH 200 3
Second or Third Year15
CPSC 213 4
Electives10,11 3
Minimum Total Credits for Second Year 30
Third Year7,15
CPSC 320 3
MICB 301, 302 6
MICB 322 or MICB at 300-level or higher12,13 3
One of MICB 325, BIOL 335 3
One of STAT 200, BIOL 300 3
Third or Fourth Year7,15
CPSC 310 4
Two of CPSC 304, 313, 420, 421, 4458 6
CPSC courses numbered 300 or higher 3
MICB 323 or MICB 401 or additional MICB at 300-level or higher13 3
MICB courses numbered 300 or higher 3
One of MATH 302, STAT 302 3
Electives10,11 18
Fourth Year7,15
MICB 405 3
One of CPSC 449, MICB 44914 6
Minimum Credits for Degree 132
1 Students without one of Biology 11 or Biology 12 must take BIOL 111 before taking BIOL 112 and students without Chemistry 12 must take CHEM 100 or CHEM 111 before taking BIOL 112 (See Footnote 2). Students with credit for BIOL 200 or sufficient credits of first year biology to enrol in BIOL 200 may skip BIOL 112 if they take an extra 3 credits of upper-level MICB courses in year 3 or 4.
2 Students who do not have BC high school Chemistry 12 (or its equivalent) must write the UBC Chemistry Basic Skills Test and may be required to take CHEM 100.
3 While CPSC 110 is the recommended route for students pursuing a program in Computer Science, CPSC 103, 107 may be taken in its place using 2 credits of electives.
4 Students intending to pursue Co-op may include CPSC 210 in the first year in order to use the CPSC model for Co-op that starts after first year. Alternatively they may use the MICB model for Co-op that starts in third year.
5 MATH 180 or 184 or 120 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the later electives by 1 credit. MATH 110 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the later electives by 3 credits. All of the differential calculus courses are suitable prerequisites for later MATH courses. MATH 121 may substitute for any of the specified integral calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 1 credit.
6 A total of 6 credits of coursework is required to meet the Communication Requirement. For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
7 To continue in the specialization students must maintain at least 75% average in the second, third and fourth year.
8 Students may substitute BIOC 202 or BIOC 203 for BIOL 201.
9 Transfer students with credit for CHEM 203 and either CHEM 204 or 213 are exempted from the requirement for CHEM 233 and 235.
10 Elective credits together with required courses must fulfill the Faculty of Science’s:
a) Foundational Requirement;
b) Laboratory Science Requirement;
c) Science Breadth Requirement;
d) Science and Arts Requirements;
e) Upper-level Requirement;
f) General Degree Requirements.
11 There are 21 elective credits in the specialization. Even though they are distributed as 3 credits in second year and 18 in other years, any extra elective credit taken in first or second year can be applied to the later elective credits.
12 Space in MICB 322 is limited. Availability depends on the demand by the other specializations requiring MICB 322.
13 MICB 322, 323 and 401 are laboratory courses. MICB 322 is a prerequisite for MICB 323 and MICB 401. Students wanting a less intensive laboratory experience should consider MICB 203 as an elective at some point in the specialization.
14 The thesis topic must be related to bioinformatics. Students intending to take CPSC 449 should take CPSC 349 in their third year.
15 Honours students must comply with the Faculty of Science Honours Specialization requirement.

Combined Major (3144): Microbiology and Oceanography

First Year
Communication Requirement1 3
PHYS 100-level2 3
CHEM 121 (or 111)3 4
CHEM 123 (or 113)3 4
EOSC 1124 3
BIOL 1125 3
One of MATH 100, 102, 1046 3
One of MATH 101, 103, 1056 3
Electives7,8 4
Total Credits 30
Second Year
Communication Requirement1 3
BIOL 200, 2019 6
MICB 201, 202 6
EOSC 211, 270 6
CHEM 233 3
Electives7,8 6
Total Credits 30
Second or Third Year10
EOSC 372, 373 6
Third Year10
MICB 301 3
MICB 322 3
Electives7,8 12
Third or Fourth Year10
MICB 306 3
One of MICB 325, BIOL 335 3
Fourth Year10
MICB 401, 425 6
Two of MICB 405, 418, 424 6
EOSC 472, 475 6
One of EOSC 470, 478, 426 3
One of EOSC 448, 473 3
Electives7,8 6
Total credits for degree 120
1 A total of 6 credits of coursework is required to meet the Communication Requirement. For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
2 Chosen from 100-level PHYS courses, excluding PHYS 100. Students lacking Physics 12 must take PHYS 100 before taking any other 100-level PHYS course, using PHYS 100 as an elective. Students requiring PHYS 100 or MATH 110 may delay other 100-level PHYS courses until second year. Qualified students are encouraged to take PHYS 107.
3 Students who do not have BC high school Chemistry 12 (or its equivalent) must write the UBC Chemistry Basic Skills Test and may be required to take CHEM 100.
4 Students who enter the specialization after second year may substitute EOSC 340.
5 Students without one of Biology 11 or Biology 12 must take BIOL 111 before taking BIOL 112 and students without Chemistry 12 must take CHEM 100 or CHEM 111 before taking BIOL 112 (See footnote 3). Students with credit for BIOL 200 or sufficient credits of first year biology to enrol in BIOL 200 may skip BIOL 112 if they take an extra 3 credits of upper-level MICB courses in year 3 or 4.
6 MATH 180 or 184 or 120 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 1 credit. MATH 110 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 3 credits. MATH 121 may substitute for any of the specified integral calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 1 credit.
7 Suggested electives are EOSC 111 (1 credit) or BIOL 140 (2 credits). The combination of BIOL 121 and BIOL 140 provide the prerequisites to have the flexibility to take upper-level BIOL courses.
8 Elective credits together with required courses must fulfill the Faculty of Science’s:
a) Foundational Requirement;
b) Laboratory Science Requirement;
c) Science Breadth Requirement;
d) Science and Arts Requirements;
e) Upper-level Requirement;
f) General Degree Requirements.
9 Students may substitute BIOC 202 or BIOC 203 for BIOL 201.
10 The normal course load for the specialization is 30 credits in one Winter Session but that value depends on the combinations of selections and electives. Be careful to plan out choices to have the prerequisites for desired courses at the appropriate time.

Specialization Objectives:

Students completing this specialization will be able to:

  1. demonstrate mastery in microbiology/oceanography that will qualify them for graduate school in either microbiology or oceanography or environmental science (given a sufficient level of accomplishment)
  2. demonstrate basic laboratory skills useful for technician-level jobs in environmental sciences

Learning Goals:

Students completing this specialization will be able to:

  1. demonstrate basic knowledge about the chemical and physical ocean environment with emphasis on microbiological processes and chemical processes
  2. use mathematical knowledge including calculus and statistical techniques for experimental set-up and data analysis
  3. use numerical problem solving (using computer programming skills) both with models and with real data
  4. use basic field/laboratory skills for observation and experimentation in microbiological oceanography
  5. illustrate the distinction between data, experiment, theory, and model
  6. integrate concepts across multiple levels of microbiological complexity
  7. conduct independent study on a topic of their choosing
  8. write reports and communicate through oral presentations

Page last updated: May 21, 2019


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