Please note: The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio will now be called "UT Health San Antonio."

Immunology and Infection

The Master of Science in Immunology & Infection degree program is designed for those who are interested in a career that will require an elevated level of expertise and experience in evaluating and understanding immune defenses against infectious microbial pathogens.

This includes people who are already in the workforce and desire additional training, as well as students who are about to graduate from college and are in need of improved academic credentials before applying to M.D., D.D.S., or Ph.D. programs. 

For more information, click here. To read an article about the program, click here

Admission Requirements

The admission requirements for the MSI&I degree program align, in general, with the requirements of the UTHSCSA Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. All of the required application information, including official transcripts from all institutions attended must be submitted in order for an application to be considered by the MSI&I program Admissions Committee.

In general, the most successful applicants will have a significant educational background in the biological or biochemical sciences. The requirements listed below will be applied; however, although minimum grade and test score cut-offs are useful guidelines, occasional exceptions may be given under special circumstances.

1) A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university in the United States or proof of an equivalent degree and training at a foreign institution.

2) Required prior coursework: 2 years of biological or biochemical coursework for science majors with labs; Organic and inorganic chemistry with labs; 1 year physics; 1 semester calculus or statistics.

3) Recommended but not required courses:

- Analytical chemistry with lab

- Biochemistry

- Molecular biology/genetics

4) Minimal grade point average (GPA): No lower than B (e.g., 3.00 in a 4.00 system).

5) Competitive GRE scores: Acceptable scores judged on a case-by-case basis; exam scores must be from exams taken within the past 5 years.

6) Minimal TOEFL scores: For applicants from countries where English is not the native language, a minimum score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) of 560 (paper test), 220 (computer test), or 68 (internet test) is expected.

7) Letters of recommendation (minimum of three) attesting to the applicant's readiness for graduate level studies. These letters, submitted with the online application to the Graduate School, are a very important component of the application; letter writers should be chosen carefully and familiar with the candidate’s academic credentials.

8) Research experience is not required, but may be considered when evaluating applications.

Admission Procedure

Applicants must submit online applications through the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences application website. After receipt of an online application, together with all required admission materials, the MSI&I degree program Admissions Committee will review all applications by considering the minimal admission requirements listed above.

Recommendation for admission to the MSI&I program, forwarded to the Dean of the Graduate School for final approval, will be based on which applications are of the highest quality regardless of ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, nation of origin, or disability. Applicants will be formally notified of the outcome by the Graduate Dean. Before final enrollment in the MSI&I program, current vaccination records and a criminal background check will be required.

Program Overview

The Master of Science in Immunology & Infection (MSI&I) degree program is embedded in the Graduate School of the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, a component of the School of Medicine. Training in a health science campus environment with direct access and constant exposure to the biomedical community that ensures that our graduates will experience, first-hand and in ways unavailable to students at non-health campuses, how their training is relevant and applicable to the health care, biotech, and educational professions.

The Master of Science in Immunology & Infection (MSI&I) degree program offers:

- Training by world-class scientists and educators in a cutting edge environment.

- Offers classroom and laboratory training concerned with fundamental scientific principles that link immunology and microbial infection.

- Offers a curriculum that achieves two main objectives:

1. Provides (in the classroom) an extensive knowledge base of fundamental scientific principles, and

2. Provides (in the laboratory) opportunities to develop skills of problem solving and clinical application.

Thus, the curriculum and two-year progression through the MSI&I degree program are designed to integrate the fields of immunology and infectious disease (i.e., microbiology) so as to provide a big-picture multidimensional view of host pathogen relationships. 

This will produce graduates who are also multidimensional, and prepared to contribute solutions to countless challenges that face our biotechnology research and development industries, health care infrastructure, and teaching needs.The MSI&I program is not designed simply to become just another line in a student’s resume, but to offer a rigorous and full experience that will produce thinkers and problem solvers.

Curriculum and Course Overview

First Year

Students will take courses such as Introduction to Immunology, Principles of Microbial Pathogenesis, Advanced Core Concepts in Microbiology & Immunology, Special Topics in Microbiology & Immunology, Ethics in Research, and Experimental Design & Data Analysis.

Second Year

Students will have a unique research experience that culminates in a written thesis. Students will also take elective coursework to become familiar with the scientific literature and develop strong written and oral communication skills.

Part-time Students

Every effort will be made to encourage students to attend full-time in order to reduce the length of time to earn the MSI&I degree. Under certain circumstances, part-time matriculation may be allowed. In the case of part-time students, one additional year may be granted to complete all requirements of the program. The MSI&I Program Director will work with students requesting part-time status in order to tailor a program plan that guarantees completion within the third year.

Here is a list of the course descriptions and the plan of study for the Master of Science in Immunology & Infection (MSI&I) degree program.


To view a list of faculty, click here

Contact Information:

Elizabeth Spillmann, M.Ed.  
Program Coordinator
Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
7703 Floyd Curl Drive, MC 7758
San Antonio, TX 78229

Phone: (210) 567-3952
FAX: (210) 567-6612

Application Deadline:
May 31

Program Handbook:
MSII Handbook of Policies and Procedures

Want to learn more about students in the program?