Anatomy and Cell Biology

Education Track in Anatomy PhD

The Department of Anatomy, Cell Biology & Physiology’s Education Track PhD Program trains doctoral-level anatomy educators to teach anatomy (gross anatomy, histology, embryology, and neuroanatomy) and physiology to undergraduate, graduate, medical, and other healthcare professional students and to produce high-quality educational research. The Education Track PhD is offered in two separate programs at two IU School of Medicine locations: Indianapolis (Dept. of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Physiology) and Bloomington (Dept. of Medical Sciences). The curriculum is virtually identical at both locations, but training can be tailored to leverage the unique educational opportunities available at each campus. The information here refers specifically to the PhD program at the IU School of Medicine—Indianapolis. Find details on the Education Track in Anatomy PhD program offered by IU School of Medicine–Bloomington on the Bloomington campus pages of this site.

Degree Requirements

Designed as a five-year program, the Education Track PhD requires a minimum of 90 credit hours, which includes 70 credits in required coursework and 20 credits in research. The coursework curriculum is divided into two core areas and also includes statistics courses and electives.

Admissions Process

The online application must be submitted by January 1 for fall semester admission.

A complete application contains an online admissions application, application fee ($70 non-refundable), personal statement, three letters of recommendation, CV/Resume, and official transcripts.
All correspondence should be sent to Jessica N. Byram, PhD.

For details on the research interests of current faculty, please visit the lab websites:

McNulty Lab

McNulty Lab

The basic science research in this lab focuses on bone and joint pathology.
Deane Lab

Deane Lab

The Deane Lab addresses questions related to ape and human evolution.
Organ Lab

Organ Lab

This lab studies the relationship between bone and muscle mechanics at the whole-organ level.

Official transcripts from all previous colleges and university are required. Electronic or hard copy transcripts are acceptable. Hard copies of transcripts must be mailed directly to:
Jessica N. Byram, PhD
Anatomy, Cell Biology & Physiology
Medical Science Building, Room 5035
635 Barnhill Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46202-5120

GRE Scores are recommended but not required. Submit GRE scores using Institutional Code 1325 (IUPUI) and Department Code 0609 (Medical Sciences). For MCAT scores, applicants may attach a verifiable copy of scores to the program application.

International applicants should arrange for TOEFL test scores to be sent to Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis from the testing service company. Submit TOEFL Scores (required of international applicants from non-English speaking countries) using Institutional Code 1325 (IUPUI) and Department Code 45.

A personal statement questionnaire will be completed as a part of the online application. Four questions will stand in lieu of a personal statement. The questions will address background, interests, and describe why the Education Track PhD Program will meet the applicant’s career goals. Each response should be written in essay format, and each response should be 5000 characters or less.

A CV/Resume must be submitted as a part of the online application. The CV typically includes the following sections: Education History, Research Experience, Teaching Experience, Publications, Presentations, and Awards. Additional sections may be added at the discretion of the applicant.

Recommendation letters should address the applicant’s suitability for a career in teaching, intellectual potential, motivation for graduate study, and the potential of independent educational scholarship. Referees may either utilize the electronic submission option generated from the online application or email recommendations directly to Jessica N. Byram at

Once an electronic recommendation is saved, an email request will automatically be sent to the recommender on your behalf. Please advise your recommender to look for this email in their inbox, as well as their spam or junk-mail folder, as emails do occasionally get filtered out.

Prior to the application deadline of January 1, applicants should contact the Indianapolis Education Track PhD program director, Jessica N. Byram (, to ensure all application materials have been received.

The Functional and Comparative Anatomy PhD Concentration within the Department of Anatomy, Cell Biology & Physiology provides students with discipline-specific research training along with extensive experience in teaching of the anatomical sciences to professional and undergraduate students. The mission of the program is to produce outstanding graduates who are prepared for careers as independent investigators and educators.
In addition to the traditional areas of study (including gross anatomy, microscopic anatomy, neuroanatomy and embryology), the curriculum includes core courses in cell biology and statistics and a wide selection of elective courses. Students are required to complete coursework in a chosen minor, which then allows personalization of coursework to fit the students’ chosen research interests. A wide selection of established minors are available, including anthropology, clinical research, communicating science, life sciences and translational science.

Each student conducts original scientific research under the supervision of a faculty member culminating in the oral defense of a written thesis. Topics cover a wide range of fields, including comparative and functional anatomy, musculoskeletal biology, neuroscience, paleoanthropology, and renal biology. Doctoral students also gain teaching experience in discipline-specific fields of gross anatomy, embryology, histology and neuroanatomy.

Students engage in all areas of didactic, team-based learning, and cadaver-laboratories for professional and undergraduate students. For more information and program requirements, email Dr. Margaret McNulty:

Financial Aid and Support

Financial aid is available to qualified PhD program applicants on a competitive basis in the form of Departmental Stipends and Fee Scholarship (fee remission) Awards. Qualified PhD program applicants are funded through Associate Instructor (AI) teaching positions that include a 12-month stipend and fee remission awards. Associate Instructor positions are offered all three semesters if the student remains in good academic standing and demonstrates sufficient progress toward degree completion.