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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  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.

  • Bioinformatics
    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.
  • Biomedical and Life Science Teaching and Learning
    This interdisciplinary minor is designed to provide PhD students engaged in basic and translational biomedical research and associated studies an essential foundation related to teaching, curriculum, and pedagogy with a focus on inclusive teaching rooted in practices of scientific research.
  • Biostatistics
    Enhancing analytic and data-based management skills, the biostatistics minor addresses the growing discipline of biostatistics.
  • Cancer/Cancer Biology
    The Cancer/Cancer Biology minor is available through the IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center and joins credits outside a student’s major department.
  • Cardiovascular Sciences
    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.
  • Clinical Research
    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.
  • Communicating Science
    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.
  • Diabetes and Obesity
    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.
  • Health Informatics
    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.
  • Life Sciences
    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.
  • Medical and Molecular Genetics

    The Genetics PhD minor involves completing 12 credit hours across a variety of courses focused on aspects of medical and molecular genetics. The required Basic Human Genetics course for this minor will cover basic genetic concepts with the student expanding their knowledge in either a life science path or informatics path.

  • Medical Neuroscience

    The Medical Neuroscience PhD minor is designed for IUSM/IUPUI students in other PhD degree programs who are working on neuroscience-related research projects.  The minor is offered by the Medical Neuroscience Graduate Program, and provides knowledge in both basic neuroscience concepts and specialty topics.    

  • Microbiology and Immunology
    Microbiology and Immunology are at the core of human health and disease, from emerging infectious diseases and the human microbiome to immunotherapy and personalized medicine.  This minor will provide students with a background in Microbiology and Immunology, with an emphasis on the human immune system and microbial pathogens causing human disease.  
  • Policy Analysis for Biomedical Sciences
    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.
  • Therapeutic Development and Translation
    The Therapeutic Development and Translation Doctoral Minor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Clinical Pharmacology prepares students for careers in biomedical science through learning about how new medicines are discovered, developed and approved for human use.