Harvard Immunology PhD Acceptance Rate

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

Are you a student trying to find out about the Harvard immunology PhD acceptance rate. Find out all the information you need on right here on Collegelearners. You can also learn about the latest findings on Harvard immunology PhD stipend, Harvard immunology masters, Harvard immunology faculty and Harvard neuro immunology.

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The Immunology Program at [university name] is competitive. Most full-time PhD students are drawn from a nationwide pool of applicants who were selected by the Admissions Committee to interview after passing the preliminary application hurdle of an acceptable GRE score. The Admissions Committee typically invites about half of these applicants to interview, and out of these interviews, they accept about one-third into the program the following year.


The PhD Program in Immunology at Harvard Medical School developed in 1974 when the Medical School decided to restructure its educational program in immunology. Immunology had acquired great strength in the various teaching hospitals and institutions affiliated with the Medical School, and there was a great need to create a structure that would integrate and coordinate the educational efforts. The Committee on Immunology was created with Dr. Albert Coons as its first chairman. In 1974, the Committee on Immunology was authorized by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University to grant a Ph.D. degree in Immunology. The Committee then applied to the National Cancer Institute for a Training Grant which continues to support Immunology students today.

The strength of our Program is based on a multidisciplinary approach where students are exposed to all major areas in the expanding field of immunobiology. With the financial support of the National Institutes of Health, our Immunology Program has successfully developed with the creation of new courses and the organization of faculty efforts. The Immunology Program at Harvard Medical School became the model of an integrated educational program in a growing discipline that now spans several of the classical fields of medical biology (microbiology, genetics, pathology, clinical medicine, biochemistry, etc.). It is noteworthy that students are combining a strong training in immunobiology with an exposure to the basic aspects of biology.

The Graduate Program in Immunology now has a total of 70 students. Approximately 13 new students enter the program per year.

Over the past four decades, over 350 students have graduated from our program.

The training facilities are extensive, including the facilities of various groups doing immunology research at Harvard University, Harvard Medical School and its hospitals. The major groups involved include: Departments of Microbiology and Immunobiology at Harvard Medical School, Departments of Medicine and Pathology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, Beth Israel Hospital and the Department of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the Harvard School of Public Health. Also available are the transplantation units and various biochemistry and molecular genetic laboratories. Each of these various units contain facilities for biochemical analysis, animal handling, gene cloning, etc.

All necessary information for applying to the Immunology PhD Program is located below.

All materials, including letters of recommendation and official reports of the GRE, must be received by the application deadline. GRE tests should be taken no later than September for official scores to arrive in time.

Student Qualifications

To qualify for admission, applicants must demonstrate strong enthusiasm and ability for the vigorous pursuit of scientific knowledge. Minimal requirements include a bachelor’s degree and undergraduate preparation in the sciences. Strong consideration is given to letters of recommendation, particularly to comments from individuals who have firsthand knowledge of the applicant’s research experience.

GRE and TOEFL/IELTS Requirements

GRE Tests

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General and Subject tests are optional; if you choose to take a subject test, you can take it in the subject of your choice.

If you would like to submit GRE scores be sure to indicate the receiving institution as Harvard University, Graduate Division, Arts and Sciences code 3451. No department code is required.

We strongly recommend that applicants take the GRE General test no later than September to ensure that score reports arrive in time to be considered.

Scores are valid for five years. They are valid from 10/1/2015 onward for the 2020 – 2021 application year.

English Proficiency

Adequate command of spoken and written English is required for admission. Applicants whose native language is other than English and who do not hold the equivalent of a US Bachelor’s degree from an institution at which English is the language of instruction must prove their English proficiency by earning either a minimum score of 100 on the Internet based test (iBT) of the Test of English as a Foreign Language(TOEFL) or a minimum score of 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic test. Some programs may require a higher score. Applicants who took tests more than two years ago (i.e., before September 1, 2018, for fall 2020 admission) must retake them. No test other than the iBT TOEFL or the IELTS Academic will be accepted as proof of English proficiency; a master’s degree is not accepted as proof of English proficiency.

For those students planning to submit TOEFL scores, please arrange to have an official score report sent to the Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences using code 3451. If you have a copy of your Score Confirmation Report, you can upload it to your online application for consideration by the admissions committee. However, you will still need to ensure that Educational Testing Service sends an official score report.

For those students planning to submit IELTS scores, please note that we will only accept official IELTS Academic scores submitted electronically by the IELTS test center via the E-Delivery service. Scores from the IELTS General Training module are not accepted. At the time of test-taking, please specify Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences as a score recipient. We do not accept IELTS paper Test Report Forms nor do we verify Test Report Forms (TRFs).

Harvard Immunology PhD Acceptance Rate – CollegeLearners.com

PhD Immunology Admission Process

  • Most of the colleges and universities follow an entrance-based process for admission to PhD Immunology courses.
  • On cracking the entrance test, candidate’s research topic, proposal, methodology etc. are checked and an interview is held.  

Entrance Based Admission

Most of the colleges and universities offer admission to PhD Immunology on the basis of entrance exams like UGC NET, CSIR NET etc.

The step-by-step procedure for entrance-based admission is as follows: 

  • Step 1: Students have to register on the official website. 
  • Step 2: Fill the application form with correct details.
  • Step 3: After examination, a cutoff list will be released on the website. Seats will then be allotted to candidates based on their scores in the entrance exam. 
  • Step 4: Some colleges also conduct personal interviews and group discussion for admission to this course. 
  • Step 5: On meeting all the eligibility criteria, a student will then be offered admission to the course.  

What is the PhD Immunology Eligibility Criteria?

The common PhD Immunology eligibility criteria that candidates need to fulfil to be considered eligible for admission to this course is as follows:

  • Candidates must hold a Master’s degree in Immunology from a recognized university.  
  • Admission will be granted only to those candidates who will clear the cut-off marks set by the respective admission authorities in the entrance test.

Which are the popular PhD Immunology Entrance Exams?

There are many national and state-level entrance exams to appear for the admission into PhD Immunology program. Listed below are some of these popular PhD Immunology entrance exams.

  • GATE: GATE is a national-level exam conducted jointly by the Indian Institute of Science and IITs to select candidates for the award of PhD degree jobs or lectureship in Indian universities and colleges.
GATE Preparation TipsGATE Pattern and SyllabusGATE Practice Papers
  • UGC NET: The National Testing Agency conducts this exam on behalf of the University Grants Commission. Qualified candidates are granted admission to the various doctorate level courses. This test is also used for  deciding the eligibility for JRF or post of Assistant Professor in colleges and universities. 

The application dates, exam dates and the mode of the exam of the above mentioned exams are provided in the table below.

Exam NameApplication PeriodExam DateExam Mode
GATE 2021September 14, 2020February 5-7 & 12-14, 2021Online
UGC NET 2020June 30, 2020September 16 – 25, 2020Online
CSIR NETAugust 22 to September 10, 2020Second week of November, 2020Online
ICMR JRFMay 16 to June 16, 2020July 12, 2020Online
UGC NET 2020March 16 to June 30, 2020September 16-25, 2020Online

How to Prepare for a PhD Immunology Entrance Exams?

The syllabus for PhD Immunology entrance exams will vary from college to college. However, most exams concentrate on Biology and Material Science topic-oriented knowledge and skills.

  • Go through the detailed syllabus of the written test, start studying them, revise your concepts.
  • One important hack to crack entrance exams is to develop a reading habit, be it a newspaper, novel, books, biographies and case studies.
  • Time management is one of the most important aspects to crack entrance exams, this is not only applying to the study schedule but attempting the most exam as well. 
  • Practicing sample papers and mock test papers will assure you of the time management skills by the time your entrance exam starts.
  • Practice is the thumb rule for cracking entrance exams. Ensure that your concepts are clear and you are aware of all the right ways to solve questions within the time frame.
  • Start learning from the basic step and thereafter move to higher and difficult levels of concepts.
Harvard University Acceptance Rate and Admission Statistics

How to get admission to a good PhD Immunology college?

To get admission in the top PhD Immunology college, the following points must be kept in mind:

  • Candidates are shortlisted by the college through respective entrance exams followed by an interview.
  • To get a good college for PhD Immunology, appearing for the UGC NET exam is the best way and for some of the colleges’ UGC NET is also considered good to approach.
  • A few private institutes are there offering the course to admit students based on their performance in a relevant entrance test followed by a round of Personal Interview.
  • Getting into a good college for the admission in PhD Immunology program, candidates need to score well in the respective entrance exams.
  • Candidates should put their time and effort into the entrance test as well as be prepared for a personal interview round.
  • They should be well versed with their research topic so that they can impress the interview panel with their research idea. 
Microbiology, Cell and Molecular Biology, PhD | Oklahoma State University

PhD in Immunology

A PhD usually involves students engaged independently in original and significant research in a specific field or subject prior to the production of a publication-worthy thesis. By undertaking a PhD, you will become an expert, possibly an international expert, in your chosen field. A doctorate is the highest academic degree that can be awarded by a university. In Germany, studying for a doctorate means working intensively on a specific subject or research project over a long period of time. The duration of the doctorate also varies. Three to five years is typical. If you decide to take a doctorate, you can choose between different forms of study.

Immunology is an area of study within the Division of Medical Sciences, an administrative unit based at Harvard Medical School that coordinates biomedical PhD activities at the Longwood Medical Area. Students who study in Immunology receive a PhD in medical sciences. Prospective students apply through GSAS; in the online application, select  “Division of Medical Sciences” as your program choice and select “Immunology” in the Area of Study menu.

The PhD Program in Immunology educates scientists in investigative and academic medicine, preparing them to contribute to immunological research with a full awareness of the potential impact of immunology. The program combines an education in basic biology, a sophisticated training in immunology, and exposure to the immunological and non-immunological problems of disease. It has become the model of an integrated educational program in a growing discipline that now spans several of the classical fields of medical biology (microbiology, genetics, pathology, clinical medicine, and biochemistry, for example).

The purpose of the Immunology Program is to provide education leading to a Ph.D. in Immunology. This Program is under the responsibility of the Committee on Immunology at Harvard. The Committee includes over 130 faculty representing a broad area of research interests including transplantation, neuro-immunology, autoimmunity, stem cell biology, infection and immunity, human translational immunology, tumor immunology, immunobiology and mucosal immunity.Our goal is to educate scientists in investigative and academic medicine, preparing them to contribute to immunological research with a full awareness of the potential impact of immunology. Our program combines an education in basic biology, a sophisticated training in immunology, and exposure to the immunological and non-immunological problems of disease.

This Program is under the responsibility of the Committee on Immunology at Harvard. The Committee includes over 135 faculty representing a broad area of research interests including transplantation, neuro-immunology, autoimmunity, stem cell biology, infection and immunity, human translational immunology, tumor immunology, immunobiology and mucosal immunity.

Our goal is to educate scientists in investigative and academic medicine, preparing them to contribute to immunological research with a full awareness of the potential impact of immunology. Our program combines an education in basic biology, a sophisticated training in immunology, and exposure to the immunological and non-immunological problems of disease.

Harvard Medical School en Twitter: "The Class of 2020 will officially be  welcomed to HMS during next week's #WhiteCoatDay https://t.co/Qpg8rBJBuX" /  Twitter

phD in immunology salary

After getting a degree in this field, a candidate can get a variety of jobs to choose from. It will be easy for them to work for the government and private organizations and many other sectors. They can also choose to teach as a professor or a lecturer in colleges or universities.

  • PhD Immunology degree holders can find employment at academic institutions and in high-level research and development positions in industry and other institutions.
  • PhD degree holders in Immunology seek positions in various sectors as a  Professor, Immunologist, Research Assistant, Researcher, Therapist etc. 

Tabulation below shows some of the most common PhD Immunology job profiles and career prospects after completing the course are as follows: 

Job ProfileJob DescriptionAverage Annual Salary
Immunologist  The job of an Immunologist includes diagnosing and treating disorders and diseases of the immune system or immunologic conditions, educating patients and their family members about some of the treatment options, prognosis, performing laboratory procedures and examining tissue samples to determine the sources of allergies, conducting blood and patch tests in an effort to identify the presence of harmful allergens etc. INR 7,88,000
Cytotechnologists        The duties of Cytotechnologists are to prepare slides of cells for examination by staining and mounting specimens, to examine slides of human cells under microscopes, to classify all examined slides and prepare a preliminary diagnosis of each, to keep a daily log of specimens examined and document all findings in the log. INR 4,96,000
Researcher  Researcher’s main duty is to do research using various methodologies and sources. A  Researcher must be able to obtain recent and relevant data for the employers. INR 6,76,000
Lecturer/Teacher  The responsibilities of Lecturer/Teacher is to teach the students a particular subject and make their concepts clear. INR 5,58,000
Therapist  The duties of a Therapist are to conduct regular meetings with their clients who wish to converse with a mental health professional, to establish a positive and a trusting relationships with their clients, to maintain the strictest confidentiality of each and every client situation etc. INR 3,85,000

What are the Future Scopes of PhD Immunology?

If you’re looking for the best immunology degree in the country, it’s a good thing you’ve found us. After all, going to school with some of the brightest minds in the field is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And we want to make sure you have everything you need to get the most out of that experience!

You can find out more about your fellow students by checking out our student profile series, which will be posted every week on our blog. Be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss a single post! We’ll also be posting other helpful information, like how to apply and what life as a PhD Immunology student is like at [name of institution].

We’ll be updating our website over time to make sure it has everything you need to make an informed decision. If there’s anything else we can do to help, just let us know!

Employability is high and graduates are hired quickly upon completion of their degree in high pay job profiles. With this knowledge, there is no limit to learning and knowledge.

  • They have teaching jobs in colleges/universities after this course and then clearing the UGC-NET exam required for becoming a permanent lecturer.
  • They have many jobs in hospitals, medical equipment manufacturing units, industrial firms, educational and medical institutions, pharmaceuticals, government regulatory agencies, and so on.
  • Students can also opt for a DSc (Doctor of Science) degree in any related field. 
  • After gaining adequate experience in the related field, Immunologists can work in govt. and private hospitals. 
  • Once you finish your PhD you can also be qualified for a lecturer post in Immunology and also to teach in colleges and universities with UGC scales.

harvard immunology PhD Requirements

The requirements for obtaining the PhD degree are:

  1. Course Work in Immunology plus electives, such as biochemistry, microbiology, genetics, cell biology, and/or tumor biology. Courses are typically completed within the first year. The students take courses mostly from the curriculum of Harvard Medical School or Harvard University.
  2. Laboratory Rotations.  Each student must complete 3 laboratory rotations before selecting a dissertation lab. During rotations, the student learns different immunological methods and experimental approaches. The rotation through the laboratory also serves to orient the student in his/her choice of Dissertation project and Dissertation advisor.
  3. Teaching. During the second year of study, students receive course credit for serving as Teaching Assistants for an Immunology course in an unpaid position.
  4. Preliminary Qualifying Exam (PQE). By the end of December of the second year, students must successfully complete a proposal-based preliminary qualifying exam (PQE). The goal of the PQE is to evaluate the student’s potential and ability to think independently and creatively in laboratory experimentation. The written proposal will be presented to the exam committee in an oral presentation and defense format.
  5. Research Project and a Dissertation Defense. The Dissertation Advisory Committee (DAC), along with the Dissertation Advisor, determines when sufficient laboratory work has been completed so that the student may begin to write the dissertation. For the defense, the candidate will give a public 1-hour seminar, prior to a private defense of the dissertation with the selected Examination Committee.

Application Fee

$105.00 U.S. (subject to change) The online application fee must be paid by credit card. Your application will not be processed unless payment is submitted and received. No other form of payment is accepted.

Letters of Recommendation

DMS does not accept any paper letters of recommendation. Be sure to register your recommenders’ information in your application, as all recommendation letters must be submitted online. Paper letters of recommendation will NOT be included as part of your application.

Once your application is submitted it can no longer be altered. Please make sure you have a complete application before submitting your application.

Official Transcripts

Applicants must upload an official copy of their transcript/s to their online application by the admission deadline. Paper copies are not accepted during the admission process. An official copy is one that is prepared by the Registrar of the applicant’s home institution/s and given to the student for the purpose of applying for admission.

Upon acceptance of the offer of admission and prior to enrollment, Harvard will require submission of a hard copy of official transcript/s sent to Harvard directly from their home institution/s. This transcript is considered official when it is sent directly from an institution to the Graduate School Admissions Office at Harvard University or when a copy is given to an applicant in a sealed envelope which has been signed on the back flap, and then mailed directly to Harvard University.  Once opened, the transcript is no longer considered official.  It must remain sealed when mailed to Harvard for the purpose of enrollment.

Financial Aid

Applicants to the Immunology Program should NOT complete the Statement of Financial Resources for Graduate Study. These students receive full tuition and stipend support while they are enrolled.

The cost of a Ph.D. in an Immunology program can vary based on various factors. The duration of the program and financial aid alternatives depend on where the university is based and may affect the cost of the degree. Is it worth it for graduates?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that as of May 2015, physicians specializing in a specific discipline, including immunologists, may earn a mean annual salary of $197,700. Those working in physician’s offices may earn an average of $228,830, while those teaching in universities and colleges earn approximately $99,450.

The salaries of immunologists usually range from $50,000 to more than $200,000 a year, depending on specialization, workplace, and area of residence. There are cases wherein immunologists, and those working in hospitals and private companies earn higher wages, especially those who are going to pursue medicine instead of a Ph.D. Generally, immunologists who work for the private sector or in hospitals earn at least $100,000 a year.

how to get a PhD in immunology

Earning a Ph.D., or doctoral degree, in immunology allows you to explore the fascinating world of the immune system and how it protects the body from inflammation and disease. This degree prepares you to work for academic institutions or in research jobs for government, nonprofit organizations and industry — for example, in biopharmaceutical research labs. The path to a doctorate in immunology typically takes at least five years after the bachelor’s degree and includes lab research as a major component.

1. Applying for a Ph.D. Program

The Peterson’s Grad School Bound website recommends considering what concentrations are available when choosing an immunology program. For example, you may wish to focus on cellular immunology or clinical immunology. A list of doctoral programs is available on the American Association of Immunologists website. The minimum admissions requirement is a bachelor’s degree with significant coursework in biology. You must also supply scores on the general Graduate Record Examination, and non-native speakers of English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language. Admissions offices also require college transcripts and letters of recommendation with the application.

2. Beginning Your Ph.D. Program

Ph.D. programs vary, but you’ll typically complete much of the required coursework during the first year of the program. Required classes may include advanced immunology and immunological methods, and possible electives include tumor biology, genetics and microbiology. Grad programs also require you to complete rotations in immunology labs. Use these rotations as an opportunity to discover a topic for your dissertation research. Early in your program, you must select a faculty member knowledgeable in your area of focus to be your thesis adviser.

3. Advancing to Candidacy and Beginning Your Research

The specific timeline for your Ph.D. in immunology varies with the particular program and your own progress. During the second year, you may take additional classes or seminars. Once you’ve mastered the subject matter, you must pass written and oral qualifying exams to advance to candidacy status. Many universities also require Ph.D. candidates to work as teaching assistants for a number of terms. Sometime during the second or third year, you’ll prepare and submit a proposal for your dissertation research to your adviser and select a thesis committee.

4. Completing Your Degree

During the third year and beyond, you’ll spend much of your time working on your original research in a specialty of immunology. When your committee approves, you’ll begin writing your dissertation. You must meet with the committee at least once or twice a year to discuss your progress and make any changes committee members may recommend. This is a crucial stage, because failure to work effectively on your dissertation can significantly delay the completion of your degree. When your dissertation is finished, you must present your thesis in a public seminar and defend it orally to your committee to receive your Ph.D.

Best Doctor of Immunology Schools

1. Medical College of Wisconsin

medical college of wisconsin


School Highlights: The Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology & Immunology (Ph.D. MI) program at the Medical College of Wisconsin retains instructors from a vast number of relevant fields such as microbial genetics, bacteriology, immunology, virology, and more. Students benefit from invaluable educational relationships with their professors and complete enriching research projects alongside some of the most brilliant minds in science. The curriculum seeks to train the next generation of cellular and molecular biologists through a wide variety of departmental activities. Students receive an incredibly broad education that draws from numerous biomedical sciences.

Coursework Sample:

  • Advanced Molecular Genetics
  • Mucosal Pathogenesis
  • Tumor Immunology

Campus Location: Milwaukee, WI


  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois 60604
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7440

Acceptance Rate: –% Retention Rate: –% Graduation Rate: –%


2. University of Iowa

university of iowa


School Highlights: The University of Iowa supplies a 72-credit terminal degree in immunology, a comprehensive, interdisciplinary training program approaching basic and applied concepts. The curriculum involves extensive laboratory research, and the coursework allows students to pursue personal areas of interest aligning with career goals. There is also an exciting option for undergrads to earn a combined M.D./Ph.D., which puts them in an excellent educational and professional position. Still, applicants must gain acceptance to both degrees individually before entering the integrated curricula.

Coursework Sample:

  • Basic Biostatistics and Experimental Design
  • Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Graduate Immunology and Human Disease

Campus Location: Iowa City, IA


  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois 60604
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7440

Acceptance Rate: 83% Retention Rate: 86% Graduation Rate: 72%


3. Harvard University



School Highlights: Aside from its notability as one of the most distinguished schools in the entire world, the excellence of Harvard University is easily measured by its near-perfect retention and graduation rates. It is also a highly competitive school, as are its individual degrees, such as the doctor of philosophy degree in Immunology. Applicants who are lucky enough to gain acceptance into this program engage in research projects with the most brilliant immunologists in academia with paramount global results. These individuals go on to change the entire industry with their findings and refine and develop all of the necessary skills to do so at Harvard University.

Coursework Sample:

  • Advances in Immunology
  • Critical Reading for Immunology
  • Applied Statistics and High Throughput Data Analysis for Immunologists

Campus Location: Cambridge, MA


  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges
    3 Burlington Woods Drive, Suite 100
    Burlington, MA 01803
    www.neasc.org, (781) 425-7700

Acceptance Rate: 5% Retention Rate: 97% Graduation Rate: 97%

FAQ - HMX | Harvard Medical School

4. Yale University



School Highlights: Yet another of America’s most prestigious schools, Yale University, also offers a Ph.D. in Immunology that is renowned across the globe. The curriculum draws from coursework in the master’s and doctoral programs in biological and biomedical sciences and provides a specialized track in Immunology. The major-specific coursework emphasizes collaborative interdisciplinary training and interactive research. It is specifically designed for individuals seeking future employment in either teaching or research. The program itself is highly diverse and attracts students from a huge variety of different research areas.

Coursework Sample:

  • Biology of the Immune System
  • Advance Immunology
  • Advanced Seminar in Immunology

Campus Location: New Haven, CT


  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges
    3 Burlington Woods Drive, Suite 100
    Burlington, MA 01803
    www.neasc.org, (781) 425-7700

Acceptance Rate: 6% Retention Rate: 99% Graduation Rate: 94%


5. Stanford University



School Highlights: Stanford University is well-known internationally as an absolutely phenomenal American school that provides the highest quality education available. The Doctor of Philosophy in Immunology supplies two exciting concentration options in either Molecular, Cellular, and Translational Immunology or Computational and Systems Immunology. The former includes a strong emphasis on the molecular applications of clinical and cellular immunology, with coursework in biology, genetics, biochemistry, and more. The latter is geared toward training a new generation of scientists to develop integrated experimental/computational solutions to global immunology problems.

Coursework Sample:

  • Molecular, Cellular, and Translational Immunology
  • Computational and Systems Immunology

Campus Location: Stanford, CA


  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges
    533 Airport Boulevard, Suite 200
    Burlingame, California 94010
    www.ascwasc.org, (650) 696-1060

Acceptance Rate: 4% Retention Rate: 98% Graduation Rate: 94%


6. University of Pennsylvania



School Highlights: As the first to offer a stand-alone degree in the field of Immunology, the University of Pennsylvania is a pioneer school for its Ph.D. The Immunology Graduate Group supplies an incredibly broad and far-reaching doctoral program that pulls from eight distinct areas. These include the School of Medicine, The College of Arts and Science, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, the School of Dental Medicine, the Wistar Institute, the School of Veterinary Medicine, and, finally, the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute. As such, at UPenn, students receive one of the most in-depth terminal curricula in Immunology in the nation.

Coursework Sample:

  • Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics
  • Elective Tutorials In Immunology
  • Molecular Immunology

Campus Location: Philadelphia, PA


  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
    3624 Market Street, Suite 2 West
    Philadelphia, PA 19104
    www.msche.org, (267) 284-5000

Acceptance Rate: 8% Retention Rate: 98% Graduation Rate: 95%


7. Duke University



School Highlights: Duke University is a massively well-respected institution of higher education that not only has an excellent football team, but a tremendously esteemed Department of Immunology, as well, which is now celebrating its 25th anniversary. The Doctor of Philosophy program has eight concentrations available, far and away more options than any other university listed here. Duke also operates five affiliated centers on campus that provide further educational resources and research tools to immunology doctorate students. These centers include the Vaccine Institute, the Center for AIDS Research, the Cancer Institute, the Center for Host-Microbial Interactions, and the Center for Research in Autoimmunity and Multiple Sclerosis.

Concentration Options:

  • Immune System Development
  • Immune Signaling Pathways and Networks
  • Autoimmune and Inflammatory Diseases
  • Adaptive Immune Function and Infectious Disease
  • Innate Immune Function and Infectious Disease
  • Mucosal Immunology
  • Transplant Immunology
  • Cancer Immunology

Campus Location: Durham, NC


  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois 60604
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7440

Acceptance Rate: % Retention Rate: % Graduation Rate: %


8. University of Chicago



School Highlights: With a 99% retention rate, the University of Chicago is one of the most academically successful schools in the country where students are massively satisfied with their educations. The Doctor of Philosophy in Immunology curriculum offers fascinating classes that can be found at very few other higher education institutions and give students a comprehensive approach to the discipline. It is a multidisciplinary program with training in all of the fundamental components of immunology with select specialization topics, as well. Applicants can expect to work closely with departmental faculty members and cohorts from related programs.

Coursework Sample:

  • Protein Fundamentals
  • Structure and FunMOction of Membrane Proteins
  • Genetic Analysis of Model Organisms

Campus Location: Chicago, IL


  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois 60604
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7440

Acceptance Rate: 6% Retention Rate: 99% Graduation Rate: 94%


9. Tufts University

tufts university


School Highlights: Provided through the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Tufts University Ph.D. Program in Immunology has an interdisciplinary approach to the field, with coursework drawn from numerous departments, such as Medicine, Molecular Biology & Microbiology, and Developmental, Molecular, & Chemical Biology. At the outset of the program, students engage in clinical aspects of the curriculum that maximize time spent between students and their personal faculty mentors through real-world encounters with patients. The program strongly emphasizes interactive training in pathogenic analysis, and graduates leave this fabulous university with enormous practical experience.

Coursework Sample:

  • System Approaches to Immunology
  • Inflammatory & Chronic Inflammation Diseases
  • Applied Ethics for Scientists

Campus Location: Medford, MA


  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges
    3 Burlington Woods Drive, Suite 100
    Burlington, MA 01803
    www.neasc.org, (781) 425-7700

Acceptance Rate: 15% Retention Rate: 96% Graduation Rate: 92%


10. University of Washington



School Highlights: The University of Washington’s Ph.D. Program in Immunology is a comprehensive approach to a multidisciplinary curriculum emphasizing the connection between biological systems in health and the immune system. The coursework provides excellent opportunities for students to concentrate their coursework in various areas of study, such as cellular, systems biology, and molecular immune perspectives. Doctoral enrollees can expect to participate in one-on-one hands-on research undertakings alongside faculty mentors in an environment that allows them to contribute fundamental research findings to the field.

Coursework Sample:

  • Immunological Based Diseases and Treatment
  • Immunology Research in Progress
  • Intersection of Innate and Adaptive Immunity in Disease

Campus Location: Seattle, WA


  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois 60604
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7440

Acceptance Rate: 52% Retention Rate: 94% Graduation Rate: 84%


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