Specializations

The Department offers versatile major and honours specializations leading to the Bachelor of Science. 
  • Major in Microbiology and Immunology (MBIM) 

  • Honours in Microbiology and Immunology (MBIM) 

  • Combined Major between Computer Science, Microbiology and Immunology (CMJ CPSC – MBIM) 

  • Combined Honours between Computer Science, Microbiology and Immunology (CHN CPSC – MBIM)

  • Combined Major between Microbiology and Oceanography (CMJ MBIM – OCGY) 

  • Joint Degree Honours in Biotechnology (BIOT) 

 

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.
 
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. 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.

 

MBIM Specializations 

The two MBIM specializations include a flexible list of selections that allow students to take a wide range of courses within the field or specialize in areas of biotechnology, molecular microbiology, environmental microbiology, bioinformatics, immunology, virology or pathogenic microbiology. Both MBIM specializations can be combined with other specializations to take advantage of the opportunities for a Double Major or a Minor in Arts, Commerce, Lands and Food Systems, Human Kinetics or Science; as well as the Co-operative Education option in Microbiology and Immunology.
 

 

Combined Specializations with Computer Science 

The two Combined Specializations with Computer Science are a bit more restrictive but require less course work than the Double Specializations and provide more access to core courses than the minor. They are more specifically oriented towards bioinformatics than the other specializations. Both of the Combined Specializations can be combined with the Co-operative Education option.

 

Combined Specialization with Oceanography 

The Combined Specialization between Oceanography and Microbiology is similar to the MBIM major but it is more constrained in the choice of courses and electives. Half of the credits in the program are assigned to develop a core background in molecular and environmental microbiology. The credits for the other half are intended to provide a core background in oceanography. The combined specialization develops basic knowledge about the chemical and physical ocean environment with emphasis on microbiological processes and chemical processes. 

This combined background is important for working in emerging fields that include marine biotechnology, the impact of oceanic microbes on climates, the role of microbes in mineralization and the role of viruses in ocean productivity. It provides sufficient background for suitably qualified students for graduate school in either microbiology or oceanography or environmental science. The Combined Specialization can be combined with the Co-operative Education option.
 

 

BIOT Program 

The BIOT program is a separate co-operative education program in the field of biotechnology. It is offered as a Joint Degree Program by co-operating departments at UBC and BCIT. It combines the development of strong technical skills during studies at BCIT campus with advanced analytic development during studies at UBC campus. It develops a broad background in microbiology, immunology, virology, biochemistry, molecular biology, pharmaceutical development, tissue culture, cell biology, genetics, fermentation technology and commerce. It includes mandatory Co-operative Education.