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PhD Degrees in Pathology

The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine offers a research-based PhD program in pathology. The Indiana BioMedical Gateway (IBMG) Program is the expected route for entry into the PhD program in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

Admitted students take a common curriculum of didactic courses and rotate in various research laboratories. Selection of a research laboratory at the end of the first academic year determines the student’s degree department.

Sample Curriculum

Recent Thesis and Dissertation Titles


Applications for PhD programs in pathology are processed through the IU School of Medicine BioMedical Gateway (IBMG) program online application system.

Major Program Requirements

  • C963 General and Clinical Pathology (4 cr) (must have prior histology and microbiology background in order to take this course)
  • C808 Graduate Student Seminar (2 – 4 cr)
  • C859 Research in Pathology (45 cr. minimum)

Minor program requirements: 12 credits in a related discipline; 6 of which must be obtained from a single department or program.

A total of 90 credits are needed for degree completion; this total includes at least 35 credits of didactic course work and at least 45 credits of C859 Research in Pathology. Electives chosen from other IU School of Medicine basic science departments and other IUPUI basic science departments vary depending on the research interests of the individual student.

Academic Advising

An IBMG adviser guides each student to make decisions about course work to ensure that he or she is familiar with the department, the faculty, and the research opportunities available. The student, with the adviser and with involved faculty members, selects a major adviser based on the premise that the student will complete the PhD research project under the guidance of that adviser. The major adviser assists the student in selecting additional faculty as needed to make up the PhD advisory committee.

The advisory committee is responsible for preparing and administering the doctoral qualifying examination. After the doctoral qualifying examination has been completed, the research committee is selected. The research committee guides the student to completion of the PhD.

The research project is the focus of the PhD program; research opportunities are available in many areas of pathology. The Graduate Faculty of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine works to match students with projects that are appropriate to their individual areas of interest and expertise.

PhD Experimental Pathology Track

The PhD Experimental Pathology program provides the basis for a career of teaching and performing pathology research in academic medicine or in science-related industries.

Program Requirements

To earn a PhD in experimental pathology, students must complete a minimum of 90 credits hours, of which at least 35 are course credits and at least 45 are research credits.

Other requirements include a PhD minor consisting of the IBMG core curriculum or at least 12 course credits in a related discipline or life science; Pathology C693 or equivalent (grade of B or higher); and Graduate Student Seminar C808 (1- 4 credits).

Students must successfully complete the doctoral qualifying examination as well as a research project resulting in a doctoral dissertation.

Graduate Program Advisor

Karen Sanburn
635 Barnhill Drive, MS A128
Indianapolis, IN 46202 -5120
317-278-2018 (fax)
Email Karen Sanburn