Welcome to Microbiology and Immunology!
This is an exciting time in biological and medical research: profound advances are reshaping the fields of microbiology and immunology. You will find that some of the most topical of these issues are the foci of research in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.
Research within the department incorporates a wide spectrum of modern biological study and scientific approaches. Our faculty members study diverse biological questions, ranging from issues of autoimmunity and selection of immune repertoire, bacterial and viral pathogenesis, bacterial genetics, molecular virology, physiological cell death, signal transduction and gene therapy in human disease. Our graduate program provides students with a multidisciplinary and integrated approach to biological research and offers the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of research projects. The course work provides the intellectual underpinnings to fully understand the significance of the research questions.
Orientation is held during the 3rd week of August with an invitation sent out to each newly admitted student. The GEMS orientation is scheduled on a separate date and attendance will also be mandatory (you will receive notice of this orientation as well). International students should plan to arrive no later than mid August to process paperwork through the Office of International Services. International students are also advised to attend an orientation give by the Office of International Services.
After Orientation you may register for classes. Sometime after you receive your official admission letter from the Office of Admissions and Records you will receive, usually via email, information on when you may register and instructions, if not included with your admission letter.
Registration, including changes to any existing registration, begins a number of months before the term and continues through the first official ten days of the term (first official five days for summer session). During the registration period, all registration activity is done by the student using Student Self-Service, which may be accessed from UIC Web For Student. When attempting to register, if you receive an error message directly pertaining to the class or section you are requesting, consult with the department offering the course as an override may need to be input into the system to allow you to continue to register. Once the override has been added you still have to register for the course in Student Self-Service.
The i-Card is the official identification card of the University for students, staff and faculty. It is important to obtain the i-Card and carry it with you at all times. The i-Card is needed to enter certain labs and buildings, for access to certain student-related events and services, and to check material out of the library.
Once you have registered for a course you may obtain your i-Card. This should be done as soon as possible following your registration. Please go to Medical Sciences Building E704D to pick up a Building Access Authorization form. You will need to bring a print-out of your registration, the Building Access Authorization form and either a driver’s license, state ID card, or passport to the i-Card Office located at Student Center West (SCW) Room 241 828 South Wolcott Avenue Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (312) 413-5944.
Medical Immunization requirement
Illinois state law requires proof of certain immunizations for students in most situations. The Office of Medical Immunization Records requires all students to provide with documented proof of immunity against measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus and diphtheria. International students are strongly encouraged to bring their medical records from their home country. Please contact the Immunization Office and show proof of immunizations as soon as possible.
The policy and contact information are available at the Office of Medical Immunization Records. It is important that you read this information carefully as registration for future terms is not allowed if you are not in compliance at that time.
Tuition and Fees
Tuition and fees are set by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. The tuition and fee schedule at UIC is fairly elaborate so it is important to understand what your charges will be, as well as your payment obligations. This information is available from the Office of Admission and Records.
Graduate Research Assistantships
You will be provided an assistantship and will need to complete several forms to process your appointment. GEMS will be processing your appointment during your first year and the department will be processing your appointment for the remainder of your academic career at UIC.
Please make an appointment with the administrator of the GEMS program (312-355-0389) to fill out the initial paperwork for your Graduate Research Assistantship employment. During the appointment you will need to demonstrate Employment Eligibility Verification by showing a document or documents from the list of “acceptable documents” on page 3 of this url (do not fill out this form). Additionally international students will need to show current I-20 and I-94 forms. You will be asked to sign a Statement of Appointment for full time effort at a total stipend of $29,500 per year, an Assistantship Waiver Acceptance Form, Criminal Background Check, Conditional Hire Acknowledgement, Employment Eligibility Form, and a Statement of a Drug-Free Workplace. Information from these documents will be entered into a Human Resources database and that process will generate an e-mail to you that will ask you to go online to Nessie NewHire (path: UIC website, Working, Employment and Benefits, Human Resources) to continue your Human Resources registration process including but not limited to demographic, educational, and bank deposit information (direct deposit is required), and loan status. If you are an international student you must make an appointment with the Payroll Office to determine the appropriate level of withholdings for you which will reflect the tax treaty your country has with the United States. Please note that while your tuition is waived you are responsible for a portion of your fees unless you have a fellowship that covers all fees. The processing for international students on a visa allows less flexibility in regards to the start date, so it is important to complete the necessary steps in a timely fashion.
It is only after all these stages have been successfully completed that your appointment becomes official and allows you to begin your duties and receive the monthly stipend, which is paid on the 16th each month.. In addition, if the appointment comes with a tuition waiver (contact your unit to find out exactly which parts of the tuition and fees are waived and which are not), it is only at this stage that the waiver is available to be applied to your account, assuming you have also correctly registered for the total hours required to receive the waiver. If the appointment for the assistantship is offered or processed late, or any of the steps outlined above are delayed, there is a possibility of missing your first monthly stipend check. Although you will receive an adjusted payment a month later (assuming the beginning date is properly processed and assuming you worked for that period), not having the first check can cause financial issues you did not anticipate.
Definition of Full Time Study for Graduate Students
Graduate students may be required to maintain full time registration. Full time status may be required for financial aid purposes, external benefits such as insurance, and University Services such as the UPASS. As such, the Graduate College at UIC has defined full time enrollment as 9 hours each fall and spring term and 5 hours in the summer.
International Graduate Students must maintain one of the following registration options to meet SEVIS requirements and be considered full:
- 12 hours of registration during the fall and spring semester
- 8 hours of registration during the fall and spring semester and a 50% graduate assistantship
- 10 hours of registration during the fall and spring semester and a 25% graduate assistantship.
For questions regarding immigration and SEVIS requirements, please contact the Office of International Services Recipients of Graduate College Fellowships must maintain the following registration requirement to be in compliance with the fellowship: University Fellowship, Deans Scholars, Diversifying Faculty in Illinois, Abraham Lincoln Fellowships recipients must be enrolled for 12 hours in the fall and spring semester and 6 hours during the summer term.
Graduate College waiver recipients must register for a minimum of 12 hours in the fall and spring semester and 6 hours in the summer to be eligible for a tuition and fee service waiver.
Continuing Student Status
Graduate students are considered to be in good standing in the Graduate College if they:
- Have removed all limited status admission conditions;
- Have a minimum Graduate Degree GPA of 3.00/4.00; and
- Are making satisfactory progress toward degree requirements.
Academic probation is the Graduate College’s mechanism for warning students that their Degree GPA has fallen below the minimum standard of 3.00 (A=4.00). Students have two terms of enrollment (including summer, if registered) after the term in which their Degree GPA falls below 3.00 to remove themselves from probation. Departments may enforce stricter limits on probation, provided the student is informed in writing prior to being placed on probation.
Students who fail to raise their average to 3.00 or to otherwise fulfill the terms of their probation within the deadline will be dismissed from the University. The Graduate College issues probation and dismissal notices to students and their program directors. However, failure to receive notice does not change the student’s probation or dismissal status, since students are expected to monitor their own progress in light of Graduate College policies.
Students must be on good academic standing in order to graduate, even if all other requirements have been met. Students on probation (Degree Grade Point Average less than 3.0) will not be allowed to graduate unless good academic standing is achieved by raising the Degree GPA to 3.0 or greater.
New graduate students are integrated into the department in a number of ways. The department hosts a variety of weekly seminars which are listed below:
- Seminars Series – Graduate students are expected to attend the Monday Seminar Series. Speakers are usually invited experts from institutions across the country.
- Graduate Research Seminars– Graduate students are expected to present their research annually. All Graduate students are expected to attend.
- Journal Clubs – Currently there are three journal clubs in our department: Bacterial Pathogenesis Journal Club, Virology Journal Club and Immunology Journal Club. Journal articles and information are posted on a weekly basis to discuss the article during the seminar.
Questions about administrative concerns, such as submission deadlines, University policies, contact information for various campus offices, etc., can always be directed to the Microbiology staff office at 312-996-7470.