Master of Science Degrees in Pathology

The master’s level graduate programs of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine offer considerable flexibility to accommodate students with various backgrounds and career interests. The department offers a Master’s degree in three tracks: MS laboratory science, MS experimental pathology and MS pathologists’ assistant.

The laboratory science and experimental pathology tracks are research-based programs, while the pathologists’ assistant track is a non-research based program designed for educating pathologists’ assistants.

Specialty Tracks

MS Laboratory Science

The Laboratory Science track is a research-based program that allows students to focus in a specific area of pathology, including clinical chemistry, clinical microbiology, hematopathology, transfusion medicine, diagnostic immunoserology, molecular diagnostics, cytotechnology or other area. The Laboratory Science master’s program is suggested for clinical laboratory scientists, cytotechnologists, and others who have a strong background and interest in laboratory sciences.

MS Experimental Pathology

The Experimental Pathology track is recommended for Master’s degree students who have an interest in basic research and plan careers as research scientists. The program offers opportunities for specialization in pathology, in areas such as clinical chemistry, clinical microbiology, hematopathology, transfusion medicine, diagnostic immunoserology, molecular diagnostics, cytotechnology or other area.

MS Pathologists' Assistant

The MS Pathologists’ Assistant track trains students to provide the full range of support in anatomic pathology that’s expected of a Pathologist Assistant, including gross surgical pathology, frozen section preparation, and autopsy pathology—all under the direction and supervision of a qualified anatomic pathologist. This program is not research-based, and no thesis is required. The program is designed for individuals holding baccalaureate degrees in various science-related fields (including clinical laboratory science, cytotechnology, biology and chemistry) who have an interest in pathology, particularly the anatomic aspect of pathology.

Admission Requirements

Applicants for all Master’s-level studies in pathology must have a baccalaureate degree. A science degree in clinical laboratory science (medical technology), cytotechnology, biology, microbiology, or chemistry is preferred. Other degrees are accepted if appropriate biology and chemistry courses were included in the undergraduate curriculum. A minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 (4 point system) for math/science is required.

Applicants must complete the online application form and submit scores for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test (taken within the past five years). The Medical College Aptitude Test (MCAT) may be substituted for the GRE by applicants applying for the MS pathologists’ assistant track. For applicants to whom English is not the first language, scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination are also required. Applicants must also submit a transcript of all previous undergraduate and other college course work as well as three letters of recommendation.

Details about prerequisites are available on the specific program pages.

Admission Process

The application process for all MS graduate programs in pathology is initiated through the online application service at IUPUI. Hard copy applications are not accepted. The application form, personal statement, and three letters of recommendation may be submitted through the online system. Transcripts and test scores must be sent directly to the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Graduate Program Adviser.

Questions about the Pathologists’ Assistant program offered by the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine or about the admissions process can be answered by Hollyn Mangione, Academic Coordinator, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.  Questions about the Master of Science program in Laboratory Science can be answered by Dr. Chao-Hung Lee.

Application Process

Qualified applicants who are selected for a personal interview with the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Admissions Committee will be contacted for scheduling an interview. Upon completion of the interview process, the department’s Admissions Committee makes a recommendation concerning admission.

Applicants are evaluated on 1) past performance that meets the requirements of the Graduate School and those of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (e.g., competitive GPA, acceptable level of performance on GRE), 2) letters of recommendations, 3) applicant’s background and experience, and 4) (for research-based programs) compatibility of the applicant’s needs with available departmental programs and advisors.

Applicants may not be accommodated in the department if all openings are filled, if a suitable program of study is not available, or if a suitable adviser is not available. The admission recommendation from the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine is forwarded to the IU School of Medicine Graduate Division Admissions Committee. The application is further reviewed and then forwarded to the IUPUI Graduate Office, where the final decision concerning admission is made.

Details about application deadlines are available on the specific program pages.

Fees and Financial Aid

For students pursuing a Master of Science degree in Pathology and Laboratory Science, the charge of $347.14 per credit hour for Indiana residents and $957.70 per credit hour for non-Indiana residents is in effect. There is also a $366.90 General Fee (includes activity fee, technology fee, general services fee, etc.) for each full-time semester ($213.76 for full-time summer session). The six pathologists’ assistant track professional sequence courses each have an additional lab fee of approximately $100 per course. University tuition and fees tend to increase periodically.

Current rates are available through the Office of the IUPUI Bursar. Find the listing for “All Other Graduate Programs” for all pathology graduate programs.

Students need to maintain personal health insurance throughout their graduate study at Indiana University. Costs for health insurance vary, depending on the plan chosen. Expenses for books and course materials vary widely, from $150-$600 per semester.

The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine does not offer scholarships, stipends, teaching assistantships, fee waivers, or any other form of financial support for students in M.S. programs. However, full-time MS students are eligible to apply for financial aid through the IUPUI Financial Aid Office.

Regardless of the scientific area of focus, all Master of Science students in the research-based tracks (Laboratory Science and Experimental Pathology) should plan to take the following courses: General Biochemistry: B500 or 53300 (3 credits); Research Communications Seminar G655 (1 credit); Graduate Seminar in Pathology C808 (1-2 credits); and Research in Pathology C859 (9 credits).

Recommended electives for all MS students in research-based tracks include Ethical Conduct of Research G505 (1 credit) and Applied Molecular Biology G890 (3 credits).

All Master of Science students in the MS Experimental Pathology track should plan to take the General Pathology C603 (6 credits) and Histology D502 or D851 (3-4 credits). These courses are also appropriate, but not required, for MS students in the MS Laboratory Science Track.


Suggested electives for each scientific area of focus for MS students in research-based tracks are shown below by area of interest. The total of elective credits needed vary depending on which of the required/recommended courses are completed. At least 21 course credits must be completed for research-based MS degree completion. Electives may be selected from the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and the graduate science departments within IU School of Medicine and IUPUI.

Regardless of area of interest, the following courses may be useful electives:
Biochemical Basis Biological Processes G715 (3 credits), Molecular Biology and Genetics G716 (3 credits), and Cellular Basis of Systems Biology (3 credits)

Electives include Advances in Diagnostic Microbiology C820, Diagnostic Immunopathology C803, Immunology 56100, Infectious Microbes and Host Interactions J510, Principles of Molecular Biology 50700, Introduction to Immunological Systems G729.

Electives include Immunology 56100, Morphologic Hematology C802, Diagnostic Immunopathology C803, Physiology F503 or 55600/55700, Molecular Biology of Cancer 51600, Basic Human Genetics Q580, and Stem Cell Biology 57310 or G720.

Electives include Molecular Basis of Cell Structure and Function G817, Fundamentals of Electrical Signaling and Ion Channel Biology G743, and Structural and Chemical Biology G743.

Electives include Principles of Molecular Biology 50700, Molecular Basis of Cell Structure and Function G817, and Molecular Biology of Cancer 51600.