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Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Thesis-based program

Program overview

Creating independent scientists and critical thinkers is one of the goals of the Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (PhD Thesis) program. Students work with faculty in conducting diverse research, ranging from lung infections in cystic fibrosis and systemic infections such as sepsis, to molecular diagnostics and therapeutics and vaccine development. The program is associated with several research groups, including the Immunology, Bacterial Pathogenesis and Gastrointestinal Research Group, as well as the Inflammation Research Network. Ambitious students will find many opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration, and will enjoy studying in the heart of a vibrant, young city that is one of the cleanest in the world and on the doorstep of Alberta's Rocky Mountains.

Completing this program

  • Courses: Topics may include medical microbiology and microbial diseases, gene expression in bacteria and others.

  • Research Ethics: Students are required to attend Research Integrity Day sessions in the first year of their program.

  • Sex & Gender Module: Students are required to complete one of the CIHR sex and gender online training modules found at discoversexandgender.ca in the first year of their program.
  • Seminar: Students will present a public seminar based on the results of their thesis research.

  • Research proposal: Students must defend a written research proposal to their supervisory committee.

  • Candidacy: Students will complete both oral and written candidacy exams.

  • Thesis: Students will be required to submit and defend an original research thesis.


Pharmaceutical industry – researcher, project manager; academia, including post-doctoral research; government, clinical microbiology, consulting, public health.

A PhD in microbiology and infectious disease is usually considered a final degree; many graduates pursue post-doctoral research.

Thesis-based program

Students are required to prepare a thesis and successfully defend in an open oral defense.

Classroom delivery

Time commitment

Four years full-time; six years maximum


A supervisor is required, and must agree to oversee the student's research before the student applies for admission

Fees and funding

See the Graduate Calendar for information on fees and fee regulations, and for information on awards and financial assistance.

Virtual Tour

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Learn about faculty available to supervise this degree.

  1. George Chaconas

    George Chaconas

    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Lyme Disease
  2. Eduardo Cobo

    Eduardo Cobo

    Accepting Inquiries
    Innate immunity in the gut
  3. Carla Coffin

    Carla Coffin

    Accepting Inquiries
    Hepatitis B Virus Infection
  4. Placeholder Profile Image

    Jennifer Corcoran

    Accepting Inquiries
    Chronic Virus Infections and Cancer
  5. Placeholder Profile Image

    Jeroen De Buck

    Accepting Inquiries
  6. Rebekah DeVinney

    Rebekah DeVinney

    Extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli ST131 (ExPEc ST131) pathogenesis and ecology., E. coli and acute hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE) in dogs, Vibrio parahaemolyticus interactions with molluscan and mammalian hosts
  7. Markus Geuking

    Markus Geuking

    Microbiota Immune Crosstalk
  8. Mark Gillrie, Assistant Professor, University of Calgary

    Mark Gillrie

    Accepting Inquiries
    Infectious Diseases, Tissue Engineering, Innate Immunology
  9. Craig Jenne

    Craig Jenne

    Accepting Inquiries
    Infectious Disease
  10. NK

    Nargis Khan

    Accepting Inquiries
    Immunology, Infectious Diseases, Innate Immunity, Trained Immunity

Admission Requirements


A minimum of 3.3 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.

Minimum education

An MSc or equivalent.

Work samples




Reference letters


Test scores


English language proficiency

An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:


For admission on May 1:

  • Canadians and permanent residents: Mar. 1 application deadline
  • International students: Dec. 1 application deadline

For admission on September 1:

  • Canadians and permanent residents: June 1 application deadline
  • International students: Apr. 1 application deadline

For admission on January 1:

  • Canadians and permanent residents: Oct. 1 application deadline
  • International students: Aug. 1 application deadline

If you're not a Canadian or permanent resident, or if you have international credentials, make sure to learn about international requirements

Learn more about this program

Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases

HSC G345A, Health Sciences Centre
3330 Hospital Drive NW
Calgary, AB T2N 4N1

Contact the Graduate Program Administrator

Visit the departmental website

Cumming School of Medicine

Health Sciences Centre
Foothills Campus, University of Calgary
Calgary, AB T2N 4N1

Visit the Cumming School of Medicine website

Learn more about UCalgary by taking a virtual tour