Graduate Degrees

PhD Curriculum

All IBMG program students are advised to take common courses as part of a shared first-year learning experience. This experience consists of courses that fall into four categories and takes place over three semesters.  During this time, emphasis is placed on the advising and mentoring of all first-year students.

Fall Semester (Year 1)

GRDM-G700 Translating Foundational Science to Contemporary Knowledge (1 credit): There are four different sections of this course based on potential student research interests and students choose one:

  • Section 1: “Shields and Swords: Diseases and Host Defense”
  • Section 2: “The Metabolic Nexus to Health and Disease”
  • Section 3: “Genes and Heredity in Biomedical Sciences”
  • Section 4: “Development, Degeneration, and Regeneration”

GRDM-G715 Biomedical Science I. Biochemical Basis of Biological Processes (3 credits)
GRDM-G716 Biomedical Science II. Molecular Biology and Genetics (3 credits)
GRDM-G717 Biomedical Science III. Cellular Basis of Systems Biology (3 credits)

Fall Semester (Year 1)

GRDM-G505 Responsible Conduct of Research (1 credit)
GRDM-G702 Entering Biomedical Research (1 credit)

Spring Semester (Year 1)

GRDM-G507 Reagent Validation as a Means for Enhanced Research Reproducibility (1 credit)
Science Communication Experience – Take one of the following:

  • COMM-C534 Distilling Your Message (1 credit)
  • COMM-C533 Improvisation for Scientists (1 credit)
  • ENG-W533 Science Writing (1 credit)

Fall Semester (Year 2)

GRDM-G855 Experimental Design and Biostatistics (1 credit)

Students will have the opportunity to take courses of their choice in this category during the Spring semester of their first year. These courses may be required by an eventual major or minor.

All first-year PhD students complete three, eight-week rotations (GRDM-G718). During these rotations, students have the opportunity to explore research areas in the IU School of Medicine’s world-class research laboratories and the school’s many research centers and institutes.

Before choosing the first rotation laboratory, students learn about research opportunities available through a variety of programs, including GRDM-G702 during the fall semester and interactions with the PhD program directors and graduate research faculty meetings, laboratory visits. Program research retreats and open days also provide insight to specific labs.

  • G718 Research in Biomedical Science (1st rotation) (2 credits)
  • G718 Research in Biomedical Science (2nd rotation) (2 credits)
  • G718 Research in Biomedical Science (3rd rotation) (2 credit2)

First third of semester
(first five weeks)

Second third of semester
(second five weeks)

Last third of semester
(third five weeks)

GRDM-G724 Molecular Cancer Genetics (1 cr)GRDM-G852 Concepts of Cancer Biology (2 cr)
GRDM-G749 Introduction to Structural Biology (1 cr)GRDM-G848 Bioinformatics, Genomics, Proteomics,
and Systems Biology (2 cr)
GRDM-G807 Structural and Chemical Biology (2 cr)GRDM-G725 Gene Therapy (1 cr)
GRDM-G817 Molecular Basis of Cell Structure and Function (2 cr)PHAR-G751 Advanced Concepts in Cytosolic and Nuclear Signal Transduction (2 cr)
GRDM-G729 Introduction to Immunological Systems (1 cr)GRDM-G727 Animal Models of
Human Disease (1 cr)
GRDM-G728 Fundamental Concepts of Infection and Pathogenesis (1 cr)
GRDM-G780 Foundation in Neuroscience (6 cr)
GRDM-G747 Principles of
Pharmacology (1 cr)
GRDM-G745 Intracellular Signal Transduction (2 cr)GRDM-G761 Molecular & Cellular
Physiology of Ion Transport (1 cr)
GRDM-G748 Principles of Toxicology 1 (1 cr)PHAR-F828 Principles of Pharmaceutical
Toxicology in the 21st Century (2 cr)

Choosing a Lab and Program

At the end of the first year, laboratory assignments are made and PhD students choose a lab and program offered by the biomedical program. Students complete a research project along with the requirements of the selected degree program. View the current list of open labs.

Second Year

After joining a program, all PhD students are required to complete two additional courses as part of the IBMG program. In the fall of the second year, all IBMG students take a research ethics course and an experimental design/biostatistics course: GRDM-G855 Experimental Design and Biostatistics (1 credit) and GRDM-G505 Responsible Conduct of Research (1 credit). All courses that begin with “G” are in the GRDM department code (Graduate Medicine.

PhD Minors

All PhD students  at IU School of Medicine must select a minor. The requirement is intended to provide additional breadth and depth to the graduate curriculum. The minor consists of courses outside of the major department and may be in one of the other basic medical science departments or from one of a number of interdisciplinary minors, including diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular sciences and bioinformatics. Most minors require 12 credit hours of course work. In cases where less than 12 credit hours are required, students take additional elective courses from the department of focus.

A bioinformatics minor through the School of Informatics and Computing provides interdisciplinary training for doctoral students to conduct cutting-edge research in biomedical disciplines. The minor imparts knowledge of bioinformatics methods for solving genomic, proteomic and other biomedical and health-related problems.

Enhancing analytic and data-based management skills, the biostatistics minor addresses the growing discipline of biostatistics.

The Cancer/Cancer Biology minor is available through the IU Simon Cancer Center and joins credits outside a student’s major department.

Giving students with a comprehensive background in integrative cardiac, vascular, renal and pulmonary (patho)biology, the Cardiovascular Sciences PhD minor is offered by the Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology.

Providing students with an overview of clinical research by introducing them to core research concepts and skills, the Clinical Research PhD minor is offered by the Indiana CTSI.

Connecting scientists and health professionals to policy makers, funders, students, professionals and the public, the Communicating Science PhD minor is a program of the IUPUI Department of Communication Studies.

The Diabetes and Obesity PhD minor was developed to increase the number of scientists conducting basic research relevant to diabetes and obesity in order to address the severe and growing impact of diabetes in the United States. This education program is offered by

the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

The Health Informatics PhD minor is offered through the School of Informatics and Computing to enable doctoral students in other disciplines to learn and use health informatics approaches to solve problems that arise in their academic careers.

The Life Sciences PhD minor requires 12 credits of advanced graduate-level courses taken outside a student’s major department; six of these credits must be in a single department. Interested students should speak with advisory committee for information on this minor.

This minor is designed to explore the fundamentals of policy analysis for those pursuing a career in science policy. The program blends classroom learning and a practicum. View the Policy Analysis for Biomedical Sciences description sheet for information on this minor and how to apply.