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Graduate Degrees

PhD Admissions

The Indiana BioMedical Gateway (IBMG) Program is the umbrella program for entry into one of the nine biomedical science doctoral programs at Indiana University School of Medicine — Anatomy, Cell Biology and Physiology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Medical and Molecular Genetics, Medical Neuroscience, Microbiology and Immunology, Musculoskeletal Health, Pathology, Pharmacology and Toxicology.

These programs cover thematic research in areas such as behavioral neuroscience, bioengineering, cancer biology, cell and developmental biology, computational biology and bioinformatics, diabetes and metabolic disorders, environmental health, gene transfer and gene therapy, genomic medicine, immunology and hematology, infectious disease, inflammation and infection, musculoskeletal biology, neurodegeneration, neuroimaging, ophthalmology, pain, renal biology, signal transduction, stem cell biology, structural biology, tissue injury, vascular biology and viral and bacterial pathogenesis.

PhD Admissions FAQ


Apply online for the Indiana BioMedical Gateway (IBMG) Program for PhD Study at IU School of Medicine. Search for IBMG after creating an account.

Early Deadline: December 1

Final Deadline: December 31

Admissions Process

IU School of Medicine considers all complete applications, and admission decisions are made based on an applicant’s ability to demonstrate likelihood of having a successful and productive graduate school experience at IU School of Medicine.

The IBMG Admissions Committee reviews, interviews and admits on a rolling basis. Video interviews begin in January and are offered for all applicants during the pandemic, with in-person visits scheduled if University policy allows. 

Admissions decisions are based on individualized review of qualifications and experience. Factors considered may include personal statement, supplemental questions, CV/resume, research and overall knowledge and experience, research accomplishments, resiliency and contribution to diversity, maturity, leadership and persistence, quality and nature of coursework, undergraduate and graduate degrees held, undergraduate and graduate GPA(s), letters of recommendation, scores on standardized tests (TOEFL, IELTS, or other proof of English Proficiency) and interview(s). 

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the PhD program must have relevant research experience. An example of a robust research experience would be a project outside of a class lasting six weeks or longer in which the applicant thinks about the project, asks questions, designs and conducts experiments, interprets data, and formally presents the results.

PhD applicants are expected to have a strong background in the sciences; however, there are no formal course requirements for the Indiana BioMedical Gateway Program for PhD Study at IU School of Medicine. A bachelor’s degree in the sciences is strongly recommended. Courses and associated lab experiences that provide the required background for graduate coursework include, but are not limited to, biology, physics, chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, cell biology and genetics that fulfill the requirements for a science major curriculum. Applicants must address any grade lower than a “B” in the Personal Statement.

How to Apply

Prospective students can complete the application process by submitting the following:

The application includes personal information, academic history, achievements, and required documents. 

The application fee for all applicants is $70. 

The personal statement must be brief, between 1-2 pages. The statement should emphasize the applicant’s research experience, specifically, the hypotheses underlying the experimental work and the broader significance of the results. Briefly describe the experimental approach and avoid simply listing laboratory techniques employed. Indicate fields of research that you would like to pursue at IUSM including faculty whose work interest you. Briefly explain any gaps, problems or inconsistencies in your academic or professional records, e.g. grade(s) lower than a “B”, time away from studies or employment, etc.

Please be sure to answer all questions even if not required. Supplemental questions are questions created by the admissions committee to create a more holistic review of the applicant including research interests and your preparation for graduate school outside of coursework and research experience. 

The CV/resume should include the following sections, if available: Education, Research Experience, Teaching Experience, Peer-reviewed Publications*, Abstracts, Presentations, Patents, and Awards. Applicants may add additional sections. 

*Regarding Publications: 

Peer-reviewed/In Press- include all peer-reviewed publications, must provide a link to the publication. 

In Submission/In Review- include only if expected to be peer-reviewed, but do not include journal name. Optional, will support your overall publication record. 

In Progress/Preparation- include only if expected to be peer-reviewed. Optional, will support your overall publication record. 


Abstracts, articles, book chapters, etc. are not considered peer-reviewed publications. You may list them separately from your publication list. 

Copies of your education documents should be attached to this application in the Academic History, Colleges Attended section. 

    • Institutions in the U.S. 
      We need a scanned copy of the transcript only. 
      They are loaded in the Academic History, Colleges Attended section of the application.
    • Institutions outside the U.S.
      We will need a scanned copy of the transcript, degree certificate, marksheets (if applicable), and diploma (if applicable). Please package these into one PDF for each reported institution and program. They are loaded in the Academic History, Colleges Attended section of the application.

If you are selected for an interview, you will be asked to submit official education documents. You may submit official education documents at any time, but we must have them on file in order to admit an applicant.

Letters of recommendation from a lab mentor, PI or senior lab researcher with direct knowledge of the applicant should address the applicant’s professional characteristics. Current or recent academic instructors and/or employers with direct knowledge of the qualities of the applicant that are relevant for graduate training are also accepted. Letters of recommendation should NOT come from family or friends. All letters of recommendation are due by the application deadline. 

Letters of recommendation should address: 

  • How long and in what capacity does the recommender know the applicant? 
  • How many students the recommender has known at this level? 
  • What is the candidate’s intellectual potential; ability to plan and conduct research; creativity and originality; knowledge in the chosen field; ability to work independently and with a team; maturity; motivation for graduate study; writing ability; oral expression; integrity; and overall potential for graduate work in biomedical sciences? 
  • Applicant's potential for research and an evaluation of the applicant's expertise in research.

Once you have saved an electronic recommendation, 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.

All applicants, including US citizens, are required to show English proficiency. This can be completed a number of ways, including TOEFL exam, IELTS exam, a degree issued from within the United States, or a few more ways.

Test Scores & GPA

Average test scores from applicants to the IU School of Medicine IBMG Program for PhD study are provided in the table below.

 - Domestic students International students
GPA 3.56 Varies depending on institution










GRE* - NOT Required












*Institution Code: 1325