Programs by Campus


Microbiology and Immunology
School of Medicine

Departmental E-mail: sspinola [at] iupui [dot] edu

Departmental URL:

(Please note that when conferring University Graduate School degrees, minors, certificates, and sub-plans, The University Graduate School’s staff use those requirements contained only in The University Graduate School Bulletin. Requirements may or may not be reflected identically in departmental URLs.)



Degrees Offered

Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy

Special Departmental Requirements

(See also general University Graduate School requirements.)

Admission Requirements

The Graduate Record Examination General Test is required. For the Ph.D.: see IBMS requirements. For the Master of Science degree: undergraduate courses in basic biology, including cell biology and genetics; general and organic chemistry; physics; mathematics, including calculus. Biochemistry is recommend­ed. Deficiencies should be removed during the first year of enrollment. Overall grade point average of at least 3.0 (B).

Master of Science Degree

Course Requirements At least 30 credit hours, including at least 5 credits from among these courses: G715 Biomed I – Biomedical Science I – Biochemical Basis of Biological Processes (3 cr.), G716 Biomed II – Biomedical Science II – Molecular Biology and Genetics (3 cr.), G717 Biomed III – Biomedical Science III – Cellular Basis of Systems Biology (3 cr.) or G817 Molecular Basis of Cell Structure and Function (2 cr.); at least 4 credits from these courses: G729 Introduction to Immunological Systems (1 cr.), G728 Fundamental Concepts of Infection and Pathogenesis (1 cr.), G852 Concepts of Cancer Biology (2 cr.), G720 Stem Cell Biology (2 cr.), J807 Current Topics in Immunology (2 cr.), J829 Current Topics in Microorganisms (2 cr.), J842 Neoplastic Determinants (2 cr.); plus J802 Introduction to Research (2-8 week rotations: one fall, one spring) (2 cr.), G655 Skills - Research Communications Seminar (1 cr.), G855 Skills – Experimental Design and Biostatistics (1 cr.), G505 Responsible Conduct of Research (1cr.), J810 Thesis Research (16 cr.). At least 14 non-thesis credits and 16 thesis credits. Also attend the weekly departmental seminar series, as well as attend and, in their second year present, at the weekly Departmental Research in Progress (RIP); encouraged to attend a journal club in their area of interest.


An overall average of at least a B (3.0).  Only 3 credits of C (2.0) can be counted toward the required credits of didactic coursework.

Comprehensive Examination

Required at completion of second semester of study.


Required (a minimum of 16 cr of J810.

Final Examination

Oral Defense of thesis.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

Focus Areas

The major focus areas are cellular and molecular immunology and hematology, pathogenesis, and cancer. Students entering the program may design a course of study from one of these areas through a combination of selected course work and research activities.

Course Requirements

A total of 90 credit hours, of which a minimum of 26 credit hours must be in courses other than research. In addition to 3 rotations (G718 Research in Biomedical Science, 6 cr.), each stu­dent will take at least 20 credits of coursework, including the 6 core courses (12 credits) required in the IBME curriculum (G715 Biomedical Science I – Biochemical Basis of Biological Processes [3 cr.], G716 Biomedical Science II – Molecular Biol­ogy and Genetics [3 cr.], G717 Biomedical Science III – Cellular Basis of Systems Biology [3 cr.], G655 Research Communica­tions Seminar [1 cr.], G855 Experimental Design and Research Biostatistics [1 cr.], and G505 Responsible Conduct of Research [1 cr.]), and at least 3 courses (5 cr.) chosen from courses sug­gested within a focus area of Immunology, Pathogenesis, or Cancer: G729 Introduction to Immunological Systems (1 cr.), G728 Fundamental Concepts of Infection and Pathogenesis (1 cr.), G852 Concepts of Cancer Biology (2 cr.), G720 Stem Cell Biology (1 cr.), J807 Current Topics in Immunology (2 cr.), J829 Current Topics in the Molecular Genetics of Microorganisms (2 cr.), and J842 Neoplastic Determinants (2 cr.). 


Overall average of at least a B (3.0).

A minimum of 12 credit hours in a related field or in life sci­ence. These credits must be in lecture or laboratory courses other than research and must meet the requirements of the department in which the minor is taken. For the life sciences minor, a minimum of 6 credit hours must be obtained in one department.

Ph.D. Minor in Cellular and Molecular Biology of Biomedical Systems

A minimum of 12 credit hours of course work outside the student’s major department, including G865 Fundamental Mo­lecular Biology and either G817 Eukaryotic Cell Biology or F705 Molecular and Cellular Physiology (unless these are required by the major department). Since the minor is intended to expose the student to both cellular and molecular biology, at least one course (and preferably two) from each area should be taken. Courses for the minor must be selected from the following list and approved by the advisory committee, the minor repre­sentative of which will be selected from outside the student’s major department. Courses: Anatomy D863, D866; Biochemis­try B807, B810, G817, B841; Medical and Molecular Genetics Q612, Q620, Q622; Microbiology and Immunology J805, J821, J826, J828, J837, J838; Pharmacology and Toxicology F808, F832, F834, F835, F842, F843; Physiology and Biophysics F705, F710, F724, F765; Graduate G595, G865, G890.

Ph.D. Minor in Cancer Biology

A minimum of 12 credit hours outside of the student’s major department, including two courses from the following list of five: Q622 Cytogenetics of Malignancies (2-3 cr.), F819 Chemi­cal Carcinogenesis (3 cr.), J842 Neoplastic Determinants (2 cr.), G724 Molecular Cancer Genetics (1 cr.), G852 Concepts of Cancer: Signaling Gone Awry (2 cr.), G505 Responsible Conduct of Research must also be taken.

The remainder of the minor will be selected from the follow­ing courses: Graduate G715 Biomedical Science I–Biochemical Basis of Biological Processes; G716 Biomedical Science II–Molecular Biology and Genetics;  G717 Biomedical Science III–Cellular Basis of Systems Biology; G720 Stem Cell Biology; G726 Developmental Genetics; G729 Immunology I–Introduction to the Immune System; GRAD-G737/ANAT-D851 Introduction to Histology/Histology; G748 Principles of Toxi­cology 1; G848 Bioinformatics, Genomics, Proteomics, and Systems Biology; G817 Molecular Basis of Cell Structure and Function; G749 Introduction to Structural Biology; G807 Struc­tural and Chemical Biology; G837 Mammalian DNA Repair and Disease; G727 Animal Models of Human Disease; Medical and Molecular Genetics Q620 Human Cytogenetics; Q622 Cytoge­netics of Malignancies; Microbiology and Immunology J807 Current Topics in Immunology; J829 Current Topics in Molecu­lar Genetics of Microorganisms; J842 Neoplastic Determinants; Pharmacology and Toxicology F819 Chemical Carcinogenesis; F820 Cancer Chemoprevention.

The minor program must be approved by the student’s Adviso­ry Committee, which will take into consideration the student’s total didactic experience. In the case of combined M.D./Ph.D. students, the Committee may approve substitution of appropri­ate medical school courses. The minor representative on this Committee will be selected from outside the student’s major department and must be a member of the Cancer Biology Training Program.

Qualifying Examination

Within the first 25 months of studies (18 months for combined M.D./Ph.D.), the student submits a written research proposal in the form of a grant application to the advisory committee. At this time, the student has both a written examination based on course work and an oral examination based primarily on the written research proposal. The student can request an exten­sion of four months from the faculty to take the qualifying examination. Doctoral studies are continued if the qualifying examination and other work, including research, are deemed satisfactory by the majority of the advisory and research com­mittees.

Final Examination

Oral defense of the dissertation.

Other Provision

Submission of a manuscript based on the dissertation research for publication in a primary journal in the field required. Stu­dents will develop teaching skills as instructors in J210 during the first two years of graduate training, and additional teaching experiences can be arranged.

Academic Bulletins

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