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Master of Science in Medical and Molecular Genetics

The Master of Science in Medical and Molecular Genetics is an independent degree and not required as a prerequisite for the Medical and Molecular Genetics doctoral degree. Candidates planning to apply for the MS degree program must have a bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.0 GPA. Common undergraduate degrees include biology, biochemistry and life sciences. Courses in genetics, biochemistry and biology are recommended. The GRE general exam is required; a subject test is not needed.

Pursue a MS in Genetics

Begin work on a Master’s degree in Medical and Molecular Genetics to prepare for a career in laboratory research or education. All applications are due by January 15.

Program Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of approved course work and must maintain a minimum of 3.0 GPA and a B or better in all coursework. In addition to the 30 credits hours of approved course work, students must prepare and defend a Master’s thesis; complete first authorship on a refereed publication and approval of the department; or complete an additional six hours of non-research course work.


A minimum of 30 credit hours of approved courses, including no more than seven hours of research. At least 20 hours must be taken in Medical Genetics or approved equivalents, with grades of B or better, including at least four of the following five courses: Basic Human Genetics (Q580), Clinical Genetics (Q610), Molecular and Biochemical Genetics (Q612), Human Cytogenetics (Q620) and Population Genetics (Q630).

Students who have not had an undergraduate biochemistry course are encouraged to take B500 Introductory Biochemistry before taking Q612 Molecular and Biochemical Genetics. Up to eight graduate hours of non-research credit with grades of A or B may be transferred with the approval of the Advisory Committee and the Graduate School.

Thesis optional

A student may choose to complete a thesis for their Master of Science in Medical and Molecular Genetics degree requirements. In addition to completing the course requirements, students can either: 1) prepare and defend a Master’s thesis, or 2) with the approval of the department, a first authorship in a refereed publication may substitute for a formal thesis. Helpful degree progression information.

Each student selects an advisor and an advisory committee to guide and supervise the student. The committee typically consists of at least three faculty members in the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics.

Application Process

In addition to completing the electronic application, supplemental information (GRE/TOEFL scores, transcript(s) and letters of recommendation (if the referee prefers not to complete an online recommendation) should be mailed separately to: Education Program Manager, Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, Indiana University School of Medicine, 975 W. Walnut Street, IB-130, Indianapolis, IN 46202-5251.

If unable to apply online, applicants can email the Education Program Manager.

Particularly strong applicants have explored the profession of Medical and Molecular Genetics through extracurricular experiences—such as working part-time in a research lab or taking research oriented courses. Decisions for admission are based on review of application materials and the outcome of interviews, extended to a portion of candidates. Offers for acceptance are given during the spring.

PhD Students Scaling Back to MS Degree

If a student starts in the IBMG PhD program but wishes to obtain a terminal MS degree, the following courses from that program will count toward the MS degree in Medical Genetics.

Year One

G715 Biomed I (Biochemical Basis of Biological Processes): 3 credits
G716 Biomed II (Molecular Biology and Genetics): 3 credits
G717 Biomed III (Cellular Basis of Systems Biology): 3 credits
G655 Research Communications Seminar: 1 credit
G724-727 Open admission Medical Genetics electives: 1 credit

G855 Experimental Design and Research Biostatistics: 1 credit
OR G651 Biostatistics I: 3 credits
G504 Introduction to Research Ethics: 2 credits
OR G505 Responsible Conduct of Research: 1 credit
Q625 Introduction to Clinical Genetics: 1 credit
G580 Basic Human Genetics: 3 credits
G640 Special Topics in MMGE: 1 credit

Students are required to complete the required number of total course credits for the MS degree (36 credits for non-thesis option, with at least seven credits allowed in research credits). By the time a student has decided to stop with an MS degree, if the student has taken Q625, he/she has the option to also take Q610. If the student has taken Q626, Q627 or Q628, he or she may not take Q612, Q620 and Q630. If the student has not taken Q626, Q627 or Q628, it is recommended that they take Q612, Q620 or Q630 instead. However, a student may take any combination of the one- or three-credit courses but not both of Q626 and Q612, Q627 and Q620, or Q628 and Q630. Students from the IBMG program are not required to take Q580 if they have passed Q716 with a grade of B (3.0 or better).

Financial Aid and Support

The Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics does not offer financial support for students in the Master’s program. However, students may be eligible for financial aid and should contact the IUPUI Office of Financial Services for more information.