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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.

Open labs

Interested PhD applicants can explore a list of labs that are available for students.

View Open Labs

  • Category 1: Foundational Sciences

    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)

  • Category 2: Introduction to the Practice of Biomedical Sciences

    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)

  • Category 3: Experiencing Biomedical Research
    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 at events, meetings, and laboratory visits. Program retreats and research 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 credits)

  • Category 4: Modular Focused Courses

    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.

First third of semester
(first five weeks)
Second third of semester
(second five weeks)
Last third of semester
(third five weeks)  
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-G747 Principles of
Pharmacology (1 cr)
GRDM-G761 Molecular & Cellular
Physiology of Ion Transport (1 cr)

 GRDM-G724 Molecular Cancer Genetics (1 cr)  GRDM-G852 Cancer Signaling Gone Awry (2 cr)
GRDM-G749 Introduction to Structural Biology (1 cr) GRDM-G848 Bioinformatics, Genomics, Proteomics,
and Systems Biology (2 cr)
 GRDM-G748 Principles of Toxicology 1 (1 cr)  PHAR-F828 Principles of Pharmaceutical
Toxicology in the 21st Century (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)  
GRDM-G740 Translational Systems Physiology and Pharmacology (2 cr)
   GRDM-G720 Stem Cell Biology (2 cr)
   GRDM-G826  Synthetic Biology & Biologics (2cr)
GRDM-G780 Foundation in Neuroscience (6 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.

PhD minors

All PhD students select a minor to provide additional breadth and depth to the graduate curriculum. 

Explore minors