Programs by Campus


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
School of Medicine

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

Departmental URL:



Degrees Offered

Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy; Ph.D. Minor in Diabetes and Obesity, Certificate in Biotechnology

Special Departmental Requirements

(See also general University Graduate School requirements and departmental brochure.)

Admission Requirements

Typically, a baccalaureate degree in biology, chemistry, or physics that includes calculus and organic chemistry is required for admission. The General Test of the Graduate Record Examination is required.

Master of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with Biotechnology Track

Admission Requirements

Students must complete the Biotechnology Certificate with a GPA of 3.0 or better before applying to the M.S. program. The GRE is not required for admission to the M.S. degree program.

Course Requirements

The 30-credit curriculum for the M.S. program includes the 17 credits for the Biotechnology Certificate, plus one elective graduate course in Basic Sciences (3 credits), 9 credits of research with a faculty mentor, and a 1-credit tutorial in scientific writing and communication. A research thesis is required.

Master of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

The department encourages most students to enroll in either the M.S. with Biotechnology track or the Ph.D. A minimum of 30 credit hours, including the core curriculum courses G715, G716, G655, G505; plus two of the six 2-credit Biochemistry core courses (G805, G807, G817, G848, G852, G825); and at least 9 credit hours in research. A thesis will be written and suc­cessfully defended to the thesis committee.

Final Examination

Oral, covering thesis and course work.

Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Students are admitted through the IBMG (Indiana University School of Medicine BioMedical Gateway) open enrollment pro­gram and will take a common curriculum in the first semester. They will commit to the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program after the second semester.


Year 1


  • 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.)
  • G718 Research in Biomedical Science (1st lab rotation) (2 cr.)


  • G655 Research Communication Seminar (1 cr.)
  • G718 Research in Biomedical Science Rotations 2 and 3 (4 cr.)

Students will take 6 credits from the IBMG open enrollment electives in Spring.

Students must take at least two of the six 2-credit Biochemistry “core” courses (G805, 807, 817, 848, 852, 825) shown below (offered among the Spring IBMG electives or offered in Fall 2). These may also be taken in later years.

  • G817 Molecular Basis of Cell Structure and Function (2 cr.)
  • G852 Concepts of Cancer Biology: Signaling Gone Awry (2 cr.)
  • G807 Structural and Chemical Biology (2 cr.)
  • G848 Bioinformatics, Genomics, Proteomics and Systems Biology (2 cr.)

Year 2


  • G805 Diabetes and Obesity (2 cr.)
  • G825 Advanced Topics in Molecular Biology (2 cr.)
  • G505 Responsible Conduct of Research (1 cr.)
  • G855 Experimental Design and Research Biostatistics (1 cr.)


  • B803 Advanced Biochemistry (1 cr.)

This course in grant writing will culminate in the submission and oral defense of an “NIH or NSF style” grant proposal on the students intended research topic. The assigned grade for this course is dependent on the successful defense of the proposal that will serve as a qualifying exam and be required for Advancement to Candidacy.

Years 2-5

  • Seminar B890    (2 cr./year)
  • Total credits     33
  • B855 Research Project: a minimum of 45 credit hours

Work in the field of the candidate’s thesis. Emphasis on ability to pursue research with relative independence and responsibility.


  • Students will be questioned on topics outside of their thesis work during their thesis proposal oral defense in B803. Passing of this defense (with B/3.0 grade or better) will be required for advancement to candidacy.
  • Students will be enrolled for credit in B890 in years 2–5 in which they will present a seminar each year as well as attend all student and faculty seminars. Student seminars will generally be of a “journal club” format, where current, published work in the field of biochemistry is presented. Students who have advanced to candidacy may present their own lab work upon approval of course director and thesis advisor.
  • After choosing a laboratory for thesis research, an advi­sory committee consisting of at least 3 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and 1 external faculty member will be formed with the approval of the thesis advisor and depart­mental chairperson. Upon advancement to candidacy a thesis research committee will be similarly formed that may consist of different faculty.
  • Students must score at least B– on each course and main­tain at least a B average (3.0 minimal GPA).
  • M.D./Ph.D. students will not be required to take G715-717 but will be expected to perform lab rotations (G718) during summer breaks from medical school classes. They will take B848 and at least one more of the 2-credit Biochemistry “core” courses (G805, 807, 817, 848, 852, 825) along with other courses required of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Ph.D. students (G505, G655, G855, B803 and B890) plus 2 credits from other department offerings. In the case of combined M.D./Ph.D. students, the committee may ap­prove substitution of appropriate medical school courses for the electives. The minor representative will be selected from outside the student’s major department and must be approved by the diabetes and obesity training program.


A minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B) must be maintained in all nonresearch course work.

Advancement to Candidacy

B803 Advanced Biochemistry is a course in grant writing which will culminate in the submission and oral defense of an “NIH- or NSF-style” grant proposal on the student’s intended research topic.

Students meet once every six months with an advisory com­mittee to review progress in course work. Continuation in the program depends upon satisfactory performance and progress in each phase of the program. The final examination in the series is an oral defense of a written research proposal, which constitutes the written examination.


A minimum of 45 credit hours in research, completed with a grade point average of 3.0 (B) or above. It is expected that the dissertation will qualify for publication in a recognized journal.

Final Examination

Oral, covering dissertation, major, and minor.

Ph.D. Minor in Cancer Biology

The Ph.D. Minor in Cancer Biology is administered by the Department of Microbiology & Immunology. Cancer Biol­ogy Training Program (CBTP) faculty are members of the Indiana University Cancer Center, the matrix organization for an extensive range of cancer efforts and activities. Ongoing NIH- and ACS-funded research programs focus on regulation of cell growth, hematopoiesis, experimental therapeutics, adult oncology, and pediatric oncology. CBTP students will fulfill the requirements of their individual basic science departments and complete the cancer biology minor.

Ph.D. Minor in Diabetes and Obesity

Preceptors with diabetes-related projects are selected from the basic science department graduate programs or interdis­ciplinary programs. A minimum of 12 credit hours outside of the student’s major department including G805 Diabetes and Obesity. At least one credit of G504 Introduction to Research Ethics must also be taken. Other courses are selected from the following list:

  • B800 Medical Biochemistry (3 cr.)
  • B810 Cellular Biochemistry and Regulation (3 cr.)
  • C603 General Pathology (6 cr.)
  • F598 Drugs, Diseases, and Poisons (3 cr.)
  • F804 Introduction to Pharmacology and Toxicology I (3 cr.)
  • F809 Neuropharmacology (3 cr.)
  • F810 Pharmacology of Autonomic Cardiovascular Control (3 cr.)
  • F814 Introduction to Pharmacology and Toxicology II (3 cr.)
  • G706 Cell-Cell Communication (3 cr.)
  • G804 Cellular and Molecular Biology (3 cr.)
  • G807 Structural and Chemical Biology (2 cr.)
  • G817 Molecular Basis of Cell Structure and Function (2 cr.)
  • G818 Cellular and Integrative Physiology (3 cr.)
  • G865 Fundamental Molecular Biology (3 cr.)
  • G910 Advanced Molecular Biology Methods (3 cr.)
  • J805 Molecular Immunology (3 cr.)
  • J807 Seminar in Immunology (2 cr.)
  • J840 Mechanisms of Immune Regulation (3 cr.)
  • L564 Molecular Genetics of Development (3 cr.)
  • Q580 Basic Human Genetics (3 cr.)

More information is available on the Diabetes and Obesity Research Training Program at the Center for Diabetes Research website:

Certificate in Biotechnology

Admission Requirements

A baccalaureate degree in a scientific field with a minimum sci­ence GPA of 3.0/4.0. Proficiency in English is required, and must be demonstrated either by obtaining a degree from a cer­tified U.S. university or a minimum score of 550 on the TOEFL. 

Specific Requirements

A fixed curriculum of 17 credits. This will include one intro­ductory course in biochemistry, such as B500 Introductory Biochemistry. This course should be completed before enroll­ing in the laboratory courses. If a student has taken a recent biochemistry survey course, the student must substitute an advanced graduate lecture course that is relevant to biotech­nology. Such courses may include G807 Structural and Chemical Biology, G817 Molecular Basis of Cell Structure and Function, K540 Topics in Biotechnology, or C636 Biochemistry Structural Aspects.

Students may take the remaining courses in any order. Three laboratory courses in biotechnology: G841 Methods in Pro­teomics (3 credits), G890 Methods in Molecular Biology and Pathology (3 credits), G823 Methods Cell Biology (3 credits). An ethics course, G505 Responsible Conduct in Research (1 credit), is required, as well as two semesters of a problem-based learn­ing course in biotechnology, G828 Concepts in Biotechnology (2 credits).

Students will be required to have an overall GPA of 3.0 or high­er and a minimum grade of B– in each of the required courses for the certificate, except for the B500 Introductory Biochemis­try, which may be completed with a C+. Students who receive a grade of C in B500 will be required to do additional work in an advanced biochemistry tutorial course (e.g., B803) to bring them up to an acceptable level in basic biochemistry and bio­technology.

Advisory Committee

The program and student advisory committee will include the program director, directors of the core courses, laboratory di­rector for the program, and one or more representatives from a biotechnology-related company.

Competency Requirements

In the laboratory and problem-based learning courses, students will be required to demonstrate basic competencies necessary for success as a researcher in industry or academia. These com­petencies include general skills in communication, problem-solving, and lifelong learning, as well as specific biotechnology skills in good laboratory conduct, laboratory units of measure, computational and statistical analysis, and biotechnology instrumentation.

Academic Bulletins

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