What supervisors look for in a student:

“Students with relevant research experience, strong interest in the research area of the group, good communication skills, and the ability to work in a team.”

- Dr. Michael Murphy

"I look for enthusiasm and the drive to succeed."

- Dr. Robert Hancock

"Scientific curiosity, highly motivated, and eager to learn."

- Dr. Pauline Johnson

"Students who have strong motivation, are mature, have good hands, and are smart."

- Dr. Ninan Abraham

"Enthusiastic, ambitious, hard-working, independent thinking, adventurous..."

- Dr. Marc Horwitz

"Outstanding all around, with a love of science."

- Dr. Brett Finlay

"Graduate students should be self-motivated and fearless."

- Dr. James Kronstad


What students should consider when choosing a lab:

Faculty web pages aren’t always up to date. Review their recent publications to discover some current research projects.

  • Clarify a supervisor’s expectations to see if a lab is the right fit for you. Students often develop close mentoring relationships with their supervisors and it is important to have good communication from the start.
  • Speak with Graduate students in their lab! Communicating with current graduate students is invaluable. M&I graduate students are very welcoming and friendly and can help you obtain a better sense of the lab, UBC, and Vancouver.
  • MSc vs PhD? Explore your degree program interests. Many students that plan on doing a PhD begin in the MSc program


Q: Can my references email you directly with their reference letter attached to the email?

A: Reference letters must be confidential. We currently require all references to be submitted via the online application system or your Referee needs to post a letter in a sealed envelope with his or her signature across the seal.

Q: How will I know if I will be accepted into the Faculty of Graduate Studies (G+PS)?

A: Once a Faulty member has agreed to supervise you as a Graduate student your file is reviewed by the Graduate advisory committee and conditionally offered admission. Final admission is confirmed by (G+PS) email.

Q: Can I drop off my documents and references to the Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC)?

A: Yes you can. Please make sure they are unopened and sealed in their original envelopes.

Q: Is there anyone who can review my transcripts to confirm I am eligible for Graduate Studies?

A: Please review the criteria posted here. If you still have questions please submit an electronic transcript to the Graduate program coordinator.

Q: I am not sure all my references can submit by the deadline? If necessary can the deadline be extended?

A: In some instances a deadline extension is possible. Please send an email to the Graduate Program Coordinator.

Q: Can I apply to M&I without finding a supervisor first?

A: Yes you can apply! However acceptance to the program requires a commitment from a Research Supervisor.

Q: Does M&I participate in the Conditional Admission Program for English Language School.

A: The Department of Microbiology and Immunology does not participate in the Conditional Admission Program for English Language School.

Q: Is it true that PhD students do not have to pay tuition?

A: Yes, that is correct! PhD students will receive PhD tuition rebates for the first four years of their PhD program. Tuition is covered by the Faculty of Science and UBC's Graduate Student Initiative. The PhD Tuition rebate is equivalent to the regular tuition fee assessment. PhD students in their 5th year receive tuition support from their supervisors. The PhD tuition rebate does not cover student fees.

For “MSc → PhD” student transfer, you will also receive this rebate starting on the term that your transfer becomes effective on.

Q: Do Master students receive an equivalent tuition break?

A: Master students must pay their tuition. However, they receive a supplement on each paycheque up to the value of their tuition and fees to compensate for the cost of tuition.