Program Description

The Graduate Group in Immunology (GGI) at the University of California, Davis, offers a broad, flexible program in an exciting field of biology and medicine. It is a university-wide interdepartmental graduate program that comprises a group of about 50 faculty and 40 students. Participating faculty are located in multiple departments within the Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, the College of Biological Sciences, Agriculture and Engineering, as well as the Centers for Comparative Medicine and Vector-borne Diseases. The emphasis of the Graduate Group in Immunology is on the PhD program, although in very special circumstances the program offers a Master's degree in Immunology.

The PhD program begins with classwork and laboratory rotations. All students are assigned a Graduate Advisor, who will provide help in selecting courses, identifying potential labs for rotation, selecting faculty to serve on qualifying and thesis committees, and with general aspects of career development. After rotations in three different laboratories, students identify a faculty mentor (referred to as Major Professor), whose lab they will conduct their dissertation research. Students then continue their required classwork and conduct experimental research in their Major Professor's laboratory. After successful completion of all required coursework (described in the Study Plan) students advance to PhD candidacy by passing a comprehensive Qualifying Examination, usually in the summer of their second year. This Qualifying Examination includes defense of a research proposal, and demonstration of knowledge in general immunology, two sub-specialties of immunology, and an outside research related to their dissertation research. Some students may choose to further specialize by taking a Designated Emphasis in either Biotechnology, Host-Microbe Interaction or Vector-borne Diseases. A PhD is awarded after successful completion of a written dissertation approved by their Thesis Committee. Students usually receive their degree within 5 - 6 years.

Additional information about the graduate group can be obtained from the program coordinator, Jessica Drushell.