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In this program, you will join an amazing community of people who are fascinated by the intricate workings of the immune system and are passionate about digging deeper to understand how this system works in granular detail.

Immunology is an area of study within the Division of Medical Sciences, an administrative unit based at Harvard Medical School that coordinates biomedical PhD activities at the Longwood Medical Area. Students who study immunology receive a PhD in medical sciences. Prospective students apply through the Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (Harvard Griffin GSAS). In the online application, select  “Division of Medical Sciences” as your program choice and select "Immunology" in the area of study menu.

Sometimes this knowledge is translated into therapeutic advances. Discoveries about the immune system, many made at Harvard, have led to cures for cancer and therapies that have changed the lives of patients with autoimmune and allergic diseases. Research has also led to vaccines against newer pathogens, including the virus that causes COVID-19.

The Harvard immunology community is tightly knit and interactive. Our faculty are located at Harvard Medical School, the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, the Harvard teaching hospitals, and affiliated institutes such as the Broad Institute, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and the Ragon Institute. Our students and faculty participate in the program’s weekly seminar series that brings together a diverse group of faculty, students, postdocs, and alumni who listen to cutting-edge science and congregate afterward for wine, cheese, and stimulating informal discussions on immunology.

Our students are involved in exciting research that spans basic immunology, vaccine research, cancer immunology, mucosal immunity, neuroimmunology, and so much more. The research executed by our students over many decades helped shape modern immunology and led to successful new therapies.

Our graduates have consistently gone on to become leaders in academia and industry. Many are faculty members at Harvard University; Yale University; Stanford University; University of Pennsylvania; Emory University; University of California, San Francisco; and elsewhere—while others have embarked on successful careers in pharma, biotech, and investing at many organizations including Pfizer, Janssen, Genentech, and Flagship Pioneering.


Standardized Tests

GRE General: Optional
GRE Subject: Optional
iBT TOEFL minimum score: 100
IELTS minimum score: 7


See list of Immunology faculty


Degrees Offered


Questions about the Program?