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Online Master’s Degree in Immunology

Usually found within a university’s microbiology department, an online master’s degree in immunology is the best suited for someone who already has an undergraduate degree in biology, microbiology, chemistry, or even a pre-medicine background. Programs like these are also a great fit for medical or scientific research or laboratory assistants who are seeking to advance their careers and research abilities. In most cases an online master’s degree in immunology takes between two and three years to complete.

Classes for an Online Masters Degree in Applied Immunology

An online immunology master’s degree program is designed to prepare students to carry out studies that can help us understand how an organism’s immune system will react to and defend itself from other microorganisms. Individuals coming from a related bachelor’s degree program or a career within the field will develop an understanding of advanced topics in microbiology and immunology needed for a career as an independent scientific researcher who specifically studies the spread of diseases, viruses, and genetic health issues. Students will study advanced topics that can include microbial pathogenesis, molecular genetics, microbial physiology, and even tumor immunology. Some courses that may be included in an online master’s degree program in immunology are:

  • Immunology
  • Molecular Pathogenesis
  • Special Topics in Virology
  • Advanced Molecular Biology
  • Experimental Therapeutics

Depending on the program, students participating in an online master’s program in immunology may be required to participate in a work-study program, or practicum experience, and almost all will need to complete a final thesis before graduating. Students should come up with a thesis topic based on original study and research during the program, and they usually must have the topic approved by an advisor or advisory board. Students must demonstrate a mastery of the subject matter in their thesis and defend its practical application in the field before an advisory board.

A Career as a Graduate with an Online Masters Degree in Immunology

The most common career for a graduate of an online master’s in immunology is microbiologist. In most cases, individuals can gain an entry-level position within the field with only a bachelor’s degree, while a doctorate is required to do any independent research at a college or university. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, microbiologists held about 20,300 jobs in 2010, with a quarter of the workforce employed by research and development facilities dealing with physical, engineering, and life sciences.

The BLS also reported that employment for microbiologists is expected to increase by 13% through the year 2020. The growth is expected to come from companies who research and develop new medicines and treatments, like vaccines and antibiotics needed to fight infectious diseases. Earning an online master’s degree in immunology can be a great way to set oneself apart in a competitive field.

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