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University of Cincinnati

Immunology Graduate Program

Cincinnati, OH


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Graduate program within a large hospital and research community

The Department of Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, in conjunction with Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, offers several graduate degrees. The Department of Pediatrics consists entirely of staff members from Cincinnati Children's, which hosts one of the largest pediatric training programs within a single institution in the United States.

The Immunology Graduate Program (IGP) is jointly supported by the University of Cincinnati (UC) and Cincinnati Children's Hospital. The IGP is housed within the Cincinnati Children's Research Foundation (CCHRF). The 48 training Faculty are drawn from 11 Divisions at CCHMC and 5 Departments at UC-College of Medicine. Areas of research include: asthma/allergy; autoimmunity; infectious disease; inflammatory diseases (obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; premature birth); immune cell development and function; immune cell homeostasis and tolerance; tumor immunology; immunodeficiences. The Hospital has over 20 outstanding research cores; including (i) Research Flow Cytometry Core; (ii) DNA targeting core; (iii) Genomic analysis core (exome sequencing; RNAseq; Fluidigm cell separation, single cell RNAseq); (iv) laser capture microdissection core; (v) inducible pluripotent stem cell core; (vi) humanized mouse core facility; and many others.

Active research partnerships

The partnership between the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children's Research Foundation enables students to experience a wide range of learning activities with some of the world's top immunologists.

The central focus of research is on immunologically mediated disorders in children on the molecular, cellular and genetic levels, as understood by the molecular mechanisms underlying innate immunity and the interface between innate and adaptive immunity.

Multi-faceted PhD degree program

During the first year, PhD degree program students complete required courses on immunology, immunological mechanisms of disease, molecular biology and molecular genetics. The first year also includes at least three laboratory rotations that help them select dissertation topics by the end of the year. In the second through fourth years, students will focus entirely on their dissertation research. Highly accomplished faculty members provide a wide variety of research experiences for the student to choose, ranging from basic immunological mechanisms to the study of immune dysfunction in human disease. At the completion of this program, the student will have a solid foundation in state-of-the-art immunologic, molecular, genetic, and genomics approaches to conducting medical research. All students accepted to the PhD degree program receive full tuition remission, a nationally competitive stipend and a health insurance plan. Program graduates have attained post-doctoral fellowships at institutions such as Stanford University, Harvard University, University of North Carolina, Duke University, and the National Institutes of Health. They have also gained positions at corporations like Novartis, Janssen, Medpace, and Abbvie

Full-time and part-time Master of Science degree programs

The Immunology Graduate Program also offers full-time and part-time Master of Science degree programs.

Both MS degree program tracks require core coursework in "Immunology," "Molecular Genetics," "Cell Biology and Biochemistry." The full-time MS degree program track is a thesis based research track, while the part-time MS degree program track is a comprehensive literature review based track.

These programs prepare students for careers in academic institutions, industry and government in the expanding field of immunology.

Accomplished faculty members

University of Cincinnati College of Medicine is home to many accomplished faculty members. Dr. David A. Hildeman, for example, is the director of the Immunology Graduate Program and explores the molecular factors that control the decision between tolerance and immunity within T lymphocytes. Using genetic mouse models, viruses, and MHC tetrameric reagents, his lab is focused on the molecular regulation of antigen-specific T cell responses.

Dr. Stephen N. Waggoner is a viral immunologist whose lab studies immune regulatory mechanisms that control pathogenesis of disease. This lab uses viruses and bacteria to probe immune functions associated with disease in mice. Interests currently focus on a novel regulatory role of natural killer (NK) cells that influences vaccine efficacy, autoimmune disease, chronic viral infections, and immune dysfunction in the elderly.

Extensive facilities with state-of-the-art technology

Cincinnati Children's is one of the world's largest centers devoted to pediatric medical research. The hospital provides 1 million square feet of research laboratory space to investigators working to improve child health, with plans under way to build an additional 300,000 square feet.

Capabilities include sophisticated biomedical informatics, expertise in developing transgenic mouse models, unique cleanroom facilities for viral vector development and cell manipulation, a new pluripotent stem cell facility, high-throughput DNA analysis, advanced pathology services and more.

Students in the Immunology Graduate Program have access to outstanding core-facilities including state-of-the-art flow cytometry and cell sorting, 2-photon imaging, gene targeting and transgenic mouse core, bioinformatics core, gene expression core, pluripotent stem cell facility, laser capture microdissection core, viral vector core, and many others.

International and domestic opportunities for collaboration

An international research training group has been established between the Immunology Graduate Program and the University of Lübeck/Research Center Borstel in Lübeck, Germany. The research focuses on two areas: humoral and cellular pathways of allergic inflammation, and immuno-regulation of infection-driven inflammation. Students may study and perform research for a three to six month period.

Each year the Division of Immunobiology and the Immunology Graduate Program host a 2-day research retreat to showcase research projects. This venue offers an opportunity for students to engage with faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and their peers, giving them a broad overview of available research opportunities.

Pleasant midwestern metro location

Cincinnati is one of America's most picturesque and multi-cultural Midwest cities, with an attractive cost of living. More than 2 million people live in the Tristate hub of Southwest Ohio, Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana. Cincinnati has a very active arts culture.

Cincinnati enjoys a growing biomedical industry, as well as outstanding airline service. Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center is centrally located and has easy access to local transportation.

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Master of Science (MS)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degrees Awarded

Degree Number Awarded
Master's Degrees 4
Doctoral Degrees 7

Earning Your Degree

Part-time study available? Yes
Evening/weekend programs available? No
Distance learning programs available? No
Terminal master's degree available? Yes

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirement
Master's Degrees Thesis Required
Seminar, thesis with oral defense
Doctoral Degrees Thesis Required
Seminar, dissertation with oral defense, written and oral candidacy exams


Acceptance Rate



Application Fee - Domestic
Application Fee - International
applications accepted?

Application Deadlines

Type Domestic International Priority date
Fall deadline December 1st December 1st No

Entrance Requirements

Exam Details
Master's Degree Requirements Bachelor's degree in biology-related field or bachelor's degree in any field and work experience in biology-related field
Doctoral Degree Requirements 3.0 minimum in a bachelor's degree in biology-related field, some research experience

International Students

Exam Details
TOEFL: Required TOEFL Paper score: 100
TOEFL IBT score: 100

Tuition & Fees

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Financial Support

Financial award applicants must submit: FAFSA
Types of financial support available

Student Body

Total Graduate Students
International Breakout (representing other countries)


Hispanic/Latino 16.28%
Black or African American 13.95%
White or Caucasian 44%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 4.65%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 0%
Unknown 0%


Male (30%)
Female (69%)


Total faculty
Full-time - 51
Part-time - 0
Male (38)
Female (13)


Focus of faculty research: Allergy and asthma, cancer, organ transplantation, immunodeficiences: Lupus and AIDS, diabetes
Externally sponsored research expenditures last year: 0

Location & Contact

Address 3333 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
MLC 7038 Room S. 5.609
Cincinnati, OH  45229
United States
Contact Dr. David Hildeman
Phone: 513-636-0254

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University of Cincinnati
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