Biochemistry, microbiology and immunology examines the processes regulating DNA, RNA and proteins within cells and the world of viruses, bacteria and how infections occur and are combatted by the immune system. Mutations, metabolic disorders, cancer and determination of protein structure are of particular importance to humans in how we advance modern medicine. Studies of the immune system and microbial processes allow the development of protective solutions such as antibiotics and vaccines.

Quick facts
  • Four-year degree
  • Full- or part-time program
  • You can enter this program directly from high school
  • You can begin this program off-campus

What you will learn

This program will help you develop a strong foundation in biomedical sciences and research skills, as well as provide you with experiential learning opportunities that will be essential to a broad spectrum of science-based careers and further education. You will learn about molecular and cellular approaches to the study of microbial physiology and pathogenesis, protein structure and function, molecular biology, microbial genetics, virology, tumour biology and cancer, immunology and immunopathogenesis.

A first-year schedule sample

This degree program is flexible and offers you the opportunity to take courses in many different subject areas. Here’s what a typical first-year schedule might look like:

Course Description

Fall Term
CHEM 112a General Chemistry I Structure Bonding and Properties of Materials
BIOL 120a The Nature of Life
PHYS 115a Physics and the Universe
MATH 125b Mathematics for the Life Sciences
ENG 114c or INDG 107d Literature and Composition Reading Culture or Introduction to Canadian Indigenous Studies

Winter Term
CHEM 115a General Chemistry II Chemical Processes
PHYS 117a Physics for the Life Sciences
PLSC 214b Statistical Methods
BMSC 200a Biomolecules
PHIL 140a Critical Thinking

a Required or eligible course for the major.
b One of the course options to complete the Quantitative Reasoning Requirement
c One of the course options to complete the English Language Writing Requirement
d One of the course options to complete the Indigenous Learning Requirement

The Course and Program Catalogue has the complete and official listing of required classes and their descriptions for this program.

BMSC 210: Microbiology
An introduction to the structure, physiology, genetics and pathogenicity of microorganisms. Topics include the structure and composition of bacteria and viruses, bacterial growth, genetics, and regulation, the role of microorganisms in disease, and an introduction to the immune system.

MCIM 390: Experimental Microbiology and Immunology
The principles and applications of techniques used in microbiology and immunology are covered with an emphasis on problem solving by experimentation. Included are methods relating to safe handling, growth and identification of microbes and methods for studying virology and immunology.

MCIM 423: Immunopathogenesis
Considers how the activation of innate and adaptive immune mechanisms contribute to pathology. Topics include basic mechanisms of immune-cell migration and inflammation, functions of cytokines, antibody and cell-mediated hypersensitivity reactions and their role in disease processes as seen in allergies, transplantation and autoimmunity.

This program provides an excellent foundation of knowledge in the biomedical sciences if you are seeking subsequent admission into health science professional schools such as Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Nutrition or Veterinary Medicine.

The Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology has faculty members with expertise in nucleic acids, lipids, carbohydrates, enzymology, metabolism, cell biochemistry, plant biochemistry and structural biology. Their research interests encompass topics such as cancer, obesity, diabetes, infectious diseases as well as, bioethanol, nanotechnology, structural studies of proteins by NMR and X-ray crystallography, and cell cycle in plants.

The wealth of expertise in the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology is enriched by the affiliation of professors who are members of other colleges and departments (e.g. Chemistry and Plant Sciences), centres (e.g. Saskatchewan Cancer Centre) and research agencies (e.g. Canadian Light Source (CLS), the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO), and Plant Biotechnology Institute (PBI)) located on the university campus.

Our research laboratories are located in the newly renovated Health Sciences Building with state-of-the-art research facilities. We are home to several high-impact research centers that include the VIDO, PBI, Saskatchewan Cancer Center, Saskatchewan Structural Science Center, Agricultural and Ag-Food Canada and dozens of biotechnology firms within Innovation Place.

The city of Saskatoon is the proud home of two of Canada's largest investments in science infrastructure, the CLS and the International Vaccine Center (InterVac).

Saskatoon is at the cutting edge of medical and agricultural research. Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology is a core discipline within all these pursuits. The concentration of these research institutions on the campus, together with our own university laboratories provide our students unique research opportunities and advantages.


Research: A variety of technical positions are available in academia (e.g. universities), industry (e.g. biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies), government laboratories (e.g. agricultural and food agencies and police forensic laboratories) and healthcare system (e.g. hospitals).

Teaching: Biochemists, microbiologists and immunologists are involved in teaching at high schools, universities and technical colleges.

Communications: Some biochemists, microbiologists and immunologists work as science writers for textbooks and prepare technical reports for industry.

Business: Biochemists, microbiologists and immunologists play an important role in the management, sales and marketing in science-based companies, such as pharmaceutical firms.

Regulatory/Law: Many biochemists, microbiologists and immunologists are employed by regulatory bodies such as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and the Food and Drug Administration, to develop government policies and patent law.

Tuition estimates

Canadian students International students
Tuition $7,615 $31,983
Student fees $1,089 $1,089
Books $1,500 $1,500
Total $10,204 $34,572

Tuition will vary depending on the type and number of classes you take in a year. This estimate reflects a typical amount you could expect to pay in your first year if you enroll in a full course load, the maximum number of courses allowed (2023-2024 Canadian dollar rates).
Student fees are used to fund specific student benefits, including health, vision and dental coverage, a bus pass, recreational programs and fitness centre access.
The cost of books and supplies varies widely depending on the courses you choose. It is recommended that you budget between $1,500-$2,500 per year.

Program options

These degrees are offered jointly by the University of Saskatchewan's College of Arts and Science and College of Medicine:

You should consult with an academic advisor in the college when you begin your studies to decide if you want a four-year or honours degree.

Admission requirements and deadlines


Start term Application DeadlineInternational Deadline
January 2024
Dec 1, 2023
Documents due: Dec 15, 2023
Sep 1, 2023
Documents due: Oct 1, 2023
May 2024
Apr 1, 2024
Documents due: May 1, 2024
Feb 1, 2024
Documents due: Mar 1, 2024
July 2024
May 1, 2024
Documents due: Jun 1, 2024
Mar 1, 2024
Documents due: Apr 1, 2024
September 2024
Aug 15, 2024
Documents due: Aug 15, 2024
May 1, 2024
Documents due: Jun 1, 2024
January 2025
Dec 1, 2024
Documents due: Dec 15, 2024
Sep 1, 2024
Documents due: Oct 1, 2024

Ready to apply?

A non-refundable application fee of $90 CAD is required before your application will be processed.

Explore related programs

If you are looking for graduate level (Master or Ph.D.) programs please consult our graduate students' website.

Stay connected

Do you want us to send you important reminders, information about our programs or notifications about USask events?