U2 Courses

U2 Courses

DISCLAIMER: Schedule suggestions are only a guideline to complete the Major Program and should not be thought of as the only way to complete your degree. Course insight is only a reflection of previous years experiences and may not reflect the coming year's grading scheme or the nature of the course as these fluctuate from year to year.

Suggested U2 Semester Outline


MIMM323 - Microbial Physiology and Genetics

MIMM324 - Fundamental Virology

MIMM384 - Molecular Microbiology Lab

BIOC312 - Metabolic Biochemistry



MIMM314 - Immunology

MIMM385 - Laboratory in Immunology 

MIMM301 - Scientific Communication & Skills in Microbiology & Immunology



NOTE: U1 or U2 or U3 Required class is one of BIOL373 (Biometry), MATH203 (Principles of Statistics 1) OR PSYC204 (Intro to Psychological Stats). However, Biometry is not offered for the year 2020-2021.

Summary of U2 Microbiology and Immunology Courses


MIMM 323 Microbial Physiology and Genetics (F)

  • Quizzes/assignments throughout keeps you up to date making studying for the final straightforward
  • In depth analysis of microbial physiology, useful for higher level microbial courses and papers
  • Concept based lectures rather than memorization
  • 2 profs teaching the class
  • 1 prof can be confusing at times but long answer testing suits lecture style
  • Other prof has text heavy slides but focuses on key points
  • Textbook readings not necessary unless you don’t understand concepts from class
  • Podcast essay: 18%
  • 6 in class quizzes: 24%
  • 8 online quizzes: 4%
  • Midterm: 24%
  • Final: 30%

MIMM 324 Fundamental Virology (F)

  • Online quizzes can be done together for a mark boost
  • Interesting and broad scope course covering a ton of new information
  • Each prof teaches the virus they study so they are more than capable of answering any questions
  • Virus assignment is not too much work and takes weight off the final and midterms
  • Completely memorization based midterm and final exam 
  • Many profs means there is a broad range of teaching methods and styles you have to adapt to throughout the semester 
  • Some prof’s slides are better than others in terms of they write down all the information you need to know for exams
  • Seems like a lot but now that the final is non-cumulative it is a very palatable course
  • Online quizzes (4 quizzes are 2.5% each) 10%
  • Assignments (2 parts): 15%
  • Midterm 25%
  • Final 50%

MIMM 384 Molecular Microbiology Lab (F)

  • Labs 1-6 teach you more molecular biological techniques (ex. Bradford Assay, PCR, Transforming bacterial cells) 
  • You have one TA that watches over the cubicle and helps in the lab and they are usually very helpful and willing to answer questions
  • Dr. Cousineau is super clear and always comes into the lab cubicles to answer questions
  • Labs 7-12 focus on Microbial genetics of Caulobacter (Greg’s fav and the most tedious labs of life)
  • Get ready for 1000 flagella stains and bacteria plating 
  • The TA’s marking your reports switch with each report (~6-7 reports). Each TA will provide a rubric of what they specifically want in the report
  • Midterm exam was technical and experimental oriented. Know the protocols, the objectives, etc.
  • Brendan Cordeirro, the TA, literally saved me for the midterm with his review session. Try to go to his session - it will likely be full though since he’s the best 
  • Final exam was very experimental and didn’t really make sense but final grade is usually good (Average has been A- for the past 3 years)
  • Course overall is a lot of work (because many evaluations) and tedious (lab work) but group suffering in the cubicle builds community!! L o l


BIOC 311 Biochemistry of Macromolecules (F)

  • Lectures are recorded 
  •  One lecture per unit is a problem solving lecture that is useful to get used to answering and thinking about the content in the way it is tested as well as less content in the course overall
  • Lots of different profs that ask questions in different ways
  •  Extremely content and memorization heavy
  • Midterm (50%)
  • Final exam (50%)
  • 50% performance in lab
  • 50% lab report

MIMM 301 Scientific Communication & Skills in Microbiology & Immunology (W)

  • This is generally a very easy class, which is reflected in the one credit you get from it;
  • You get to interact closely with a PI in the field of microbiology or immunology;
  • Good introduction to the type of discussion/work you would have to do if you worked in a research lab.
  • The instructions are generally unclear and inconsistent from prof to prof;
  • The grading is dependent on the severity of the prof you are assigned;
  • Many of the profs do not take this class “seriously” compared to other courses;
  • You may end up having to write about a topic for which you have little or no interest.
  • This was generally in easy A course, but there is quite a bit of uncertainty;
  • However, this is a new course so it can only improve from here (hopefully).
  • Formative quizzes: 5%
  • Participation: 10%
  • Paper Outline: 10%
  • Paper draft: 25%
  • Final Paper: 50%

MIMM 314 Immunology (W)

  • Irah King’s lectures are well done and easy to follow
  • This class forms the basis for all the immunology knowledge you need to pursue it. Great in the breadth of the topics.
  • Super dense
  • Confusing lectures
  • Professors mention that certain topics are for our own knowledge, then proceeded to test them on the exam
  • At least a little bit of suffering will happen.
  • Hardest class of the degree after BIOC311
  • 60% final
  • 30% midterm
  • 10% group presentation/case study

MIMM 385 Laboratory in Immunology (W)

  • A very modern course all things considered. 
  • The material covered are techniques that are actively used in a lab setting
  • A breath of fresh air compared to 384
  • Lack of resources hurt the lab. I.e. you share a 96 well plate between 4 groups of students…
  • Mandatory pre-lab lectures with homework
  • Poster might not be fun if you don’t like your lab partners but chances are you’ll like them.
  • A very modern course all things considered. The material covered are techniques that are actively used in a lab setting
  • Very interesting if you like Immunology, still easy even if you don’t like immunology
  • A huge variety from PBA to lab reports to a poster presentation and peer feedback
  • Outlined in the syllabus

MIMM 387 The Business of Science (W)

  • The course touches on lots of topics which aren’t covered in “normal” (required) MIMM classes
  • Final exam is much less subjective, long-answer questions from class material (need to study!)
  • Prof is nice to talk with about these topics, listens to your opinion for friendly conversation
  • Grading can be subjective, though this is clearly mentioned in the syllabus
  • Randomly paired with partner for final essay/book review assignment
  • In-class assignments can go late (~6-8PM, 5 times throughout the semester)
  • He is super subjective, but that can be used in your favour
  • After selecting a topic and writing about it, go visit him, get his opinion on the topic.. (i.e. the man HATES CRISPR tech.) then write your paper according to his beliefs and you will do well. (I wrote a paper on how trash CRISPR is.. Did well)
  • In-class written assignments (4x 10% each + practice worth 0%) 40%
  • Critical thinking essay or book review 40%
  • Final exam 20%

MIMM 396/397 Undergraduate Research Project in Microbiology and Immunology (F/W/S)

  • A great way to experience research and gain credit at the same time.
  • Professors are also much more willing to take you on in the context of a creddited class than as a summer student they might have to pay...
  • These will depend on your PI and lab setting 🙂
  • Recommended in U2 but U1s or U3s can take it
  • Should be taken before MIMM496/497
  • 50% performance in lab
  • 50% lab report