Microbiology and Immunology (MIMM)

Microbiology and Immunology (MIMM)



  • Duff Medical Building, Room 511
  • 3775 University Street
  • Montreal QC H3A 2B4
  • Telephone: 514-398-3915
  • Email: undergrad.microimm [at] mcgill.ca
  • Website: mcgill.ca/microimm

About Microbiology and Immunology

About Microbiology and Immunology

Microbiology is the study of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, unicellular eukaryotes, and parasites. Microorganisms play an important role in human and animal disease; food production (bread, cheese, wine); decay and spoilage; and contamination and purification of water and soil. Microbiologists study these tiny, self-replicating machines to understand the basic principles of life: growth, metabolism, cell division, control of gene expression, and response to environmental stimuli. Microbiologists are also concerned with controlling or harnessing microorganisms for the benefit of people, by isolating antibiotics or producing vaccines to protect against disease, and by developing and perfecting microorganisms for industrial uses.

Immunology is the study of the molecular and cellular basis of host resistance and immunity to external agents such as pathogenic microorganisms. Immunologists study the mechanisms by which the body recognizes foreign antigens, generates appropriate antibodies to an enormously diverse spectrum of antigens, and sequesters and kills invading microorganisms. Their discoveries lead to vaccination against disease; transfusions and organ transplants; and treatments for allergies; cancer; autoimmune diseases; and immune-deficiency diseases such as AIDS. Antibodies may soon be used in conjunction with antibiotics or chemical agents as specific “magic bullets” to diagnose disease and attack microbes and cancers.

The disciplines of microbiology and immunology are natural partners in research, and both fields use the modern methods of cell biology, molecular biology, and genetics to study basic life processes. The members of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology conduct research in:

  • microbial physiology and genetics;
  • microbial pathogenesis;
  • molecular virology;
  • cellular and molecular immunology;
  • parasitology.

Students registered in the Department are therefore exposed to these related areas and receive an excellent background in basic biology and chemistry, as well as in the more applied areas of biotechnology and medicine.

Many opportunities exist for careers in basic or applied microbiology and immunology, medical microbiology, environmental microbiology, and biotechnology. They include positions in industry (pharmaceutical and biotechnology), hospitals, universities, and government (environment, public health, and energy). A degree in microbiology also provides an excellent basis for entering professional and postgraduate programs in medicine, dentistry, veterinary sciences, research, and education.

Course and program information is available on our the MIMM website.

All new students should attend a departmental orientation/advising session in August. Please check mcgill.ca/microimm/students/undergraduate-studies/advising for dates.

Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2024-2025 (last updated Mar. 15, 2024) (disclaimer)

Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) - Liberal Program - Core Science Component Microbiology and Immunology (50 credits)

Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) - Major Microbiology and Immunology (66 credits)

The Major program is designed for students who want to acquire a substantial background in microbiology and immunology and related disciplines (chemistry, biology, biochemistry) which will prepare them for professional schools, graduate education, or entry into jobs in industry or research institutes.

For more information, see Major Microbiology and Immunology (66 credits).

Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) - Honours Microbiology and Immunology (72 credits)

The Honours program is designed to offer, in addition to the substantial background given by the Major program, a significant research experience in a laboratory within the Department during the U3 year. Students are prepared for this independent research project by following an advanced laboratory course in U2. This program is intended to prepare students for...

For more information, see Honours Microbiology and Immunology (72 credits).

Microbiology and Immunology (MIMM) Related Programs

Microbiology and Immunology (MIMM) Related Programs

Interdepartmental Honours in Immunology

Interdepartmental Honours in Immunology

For more information, see Immunology.

This program is offered by the departments of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, and Physiology.

Students interested in immunology may choose between this Honours program and the Honours program of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

Details of this program may also be obtained from:

  • Department of Physiology
  • McIntyre Medical Sciences Building, Room 1136
  • Telephone: 514-398-4342


  • Department of Microbiology and Immunology
  • McGill University Health Centre, Glen Site
  • 1001 Decarie Boulevard, Bloc E, Office EM23248
  • Email: undergrad.microimm [at] mcgill.ca
Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2024-2025 (last updated Mar. 15, 2024) (disclaimer)
Faculty of Science—2024-2025 (last updated Mar. 15, 2024) (disclaimer)
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