Programs by Campus


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

School of Medicine


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.)



Degrees Offered

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

Special Departmental Requirements

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

Admission Requirements

Typically, a baccalaureate degree in biology, chemistry, or physics that includes calculus and organic chemistry is required for admission.

Master of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Thesis Option

A minimum of 30 credit hours, including two of the following courses – GRDM-G715, GRDM-G716, BIOC-B500, or GRDM-G865.  Each student will also take GRDM-G505 and two of the seven 2-credit Biochemistry core courses (BIOC-B811, GRDM-G805, GRDM-G807, GRDM-G817, GRDM-G848, GRDM-G852, GRDM-G825); and at least nine credit hours in research. In addition, each student will complete the research communication course BIOC-B890.  A thesis will be written and successfully defended to the thesis committee.

Final Examination

An oral examination is administered, covering thesis and course work.

Non-thesis option

In lieu of research credits (BIOC-B855, the second semester of GRDM-G828), and a thesis, students can opt to take GRDM-G865, BIOC-B811, GRDM-G910, or PBHL-B651 to fulfill the requirements for a non-thesis Masters.  Elective courses approved by the Graduate Advisor would be taken to reach a total of 30 hrs. For the non-thesis Master’s students, the Graduate Advisor will oversee students, review their progress, and provide mentoring and course advice.  These students will meet with the Graduate Advisor upon their arrival on campus and develop a plan of study.  Students will meet with the Graduate Advisor after receiving their fall semester grades to evaluate progress toward their degree and to make adjustments to their plan of study if necessary.  Students will also meet with the Graduate Advisor early in the next summer to ensure that their progress will lead to completion of the program by the end of the summer or to adjust their plan of study if necessary.

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.


Required General Courses

  • GRDM-G507: Reagent Validation as a Means of Enhancing Research Reproducibility (1 cr.)
  • GRDM-G855 Experimental Design and Research Biostatistics (1 cr.)
  • A course in “Responsible Conduct in Research”, e.g. GRDM-G504, GRDM-G505, GRDM-G506
  • A course in Science Communication: Students take one of the following: COMM-C524, COMM-C533, or ENG-W533

Required Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Courses

  • BIOC-B803: Advanced Biochemistry (1 cr.)
  • BIOC-B890: Seminar (1 cr., students must complete 4 semesters of B890 before they may advance to candidacy)

Biochemistry Major Electives
Students must take at least two of the eight 2-credit Biochemistry “core” courses (GRDM-G805, GRDM-G807, BIOC-B811, GRDM-G817, GRDM-G825, GRDM-G826, GRDM-G848, GRDM-G852,) shown below.  These classes are usually taken during the spring term of year one, year 2, or occasionally during year 3.

  • GRDM-G805 Diabetes and Obesity (2 cr.)
  • GRDM-G807 Structural and Chemical Biology (2 cr.)
  • BIOC-B811 Advanced Intermediary Metabolism (1-3 cr.)
  • GRDM-G817 Molecular Basis of Cell Structure and Function (2 cr.)
  • GRDM-G825 Advanced Topics in Molecular Biology (2 cr.)
  • GRDM-G826 Heterologous of Production of Proteins and Small Molecules (2 cr.)
  • GRDM-G848 Bioinformatics, Genomics, Proteomics and Systems Biology (2 cr.)
  • GRDM-G852 Concepts of Cancer Biology: Signaling Gone Awry (2 cr.)

Bioc-B803- 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

During years 2 through 5, the student will take didactic courses as needed to fulfill either requirements for the biochemistry major or their chosen minor. The student will typically register for a total of 10 cr. hours each fall and spring, including 1 cr. hour of BIOC-B890 for four semesters.  The student will advance to candidacy upon completion of 30 or more didactic hours of coursework and successful defense of their thesis proposal.

Work will begin 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 the oral defense of their thesis proposal. Passing of this defense (with B/3.0 grade or better) will be required for advancement to candidacy.
  • Students will present a seminar twice while enrolled in B890 as well as attend all student and faculty seminars. Students will present one of the following: a research seminar , a proposal seminar (3rd year students preparing for their qualifying exams are encouraged to consider this type of presentation), or a "literature club" type of seminar (open to students at any level), where the student presents a paper from the literature. Students enrolled in BIOC-G901 are encouraged to consider giving a research presentation in BIOC-B890, even though they are not enrolled in the course.
  • After choosing a laboratory for thesis research, an advisory committee consisting of at least two Biochemistry and Molecular Biology faculty members and one 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. The Research Committee must consist of at least three Biochemistry and Molecular Biology faculty members and one external faculty member.
  • Students must score at least B– on each course and maintain at least a B average (3.0 minimal GPA).
  • The minor representative will be selected from outside the student’s major department.


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

Advancement to Candidacy

BIOC-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 at least 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 coursework.

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

A minimum of 12 credit hours beyond the requirements of the student's major Ph.D. program. The minor must include GRDM-G805 Diabetes and Obesity and GRDM-G505 Responsible Conduct of Research.  If G805 has been taken to fulfill other requirements, it may be substituted by elective course(s) from the list below with the approval of the student's advisory committee.

The remainder of the Minor will be selected from the following courses:

GRDM-G655 Research Communication Seminar (1 cr.)
GRDM-G855 Experimental Design and Research Biostatistics (1 cr.)
GRDM-G715 Biomedical Science I; Biochemical Basis of Biological Processes (3 cr.)
GRDM-G716 Biomedical Science II; Molecular Biology and Genetics (3 cr.)
GRDM-G717 Biomedical Science III; Cellular Basis of Systems Biology (3 cr.)
GRDM-G805 Structural and Chemical Biology (2 cr.)
GRDM-G817 Molecular Basis of Cell Structure and Function (2 cr.)
GRDM-G825 Advanced Topics in Molecular Biology (2 cr.)
GRDM-G848 Bioinformatics, Genomics, Proteomics and Systems Biology (2 cr.)
GRDM-G852 Concepts of Cancer Biology: Signaling gone awry (2 cr.)
GRDM-F782 Physiology and Pathology of Lipid Rafts (1 cr.)
GRDM-G640 Epithelial Cell Biology (1 cr.)
GRDM-G703 Physiology of the Coronary Circulation (1 cr.)
GRDM-G704 Physiological Proteomics (1 cr.)
GRDM-G706 Designer Mice (1 cr.)
GRDM-G707 Physiology of Smooth Muscle (1 cr.)
GRDM-G708 Cardiac and Coronary Physiology of Exercise (1 cr.)
GRDM-G712 In Vivo Microcirculatory Physiology (1 cr.)
GRDM-G713 Angiogenesis (1 cr.)
GRDM-G736 Endocrine and Gastrointestinal Function in Health and Disease (1 cr.)
GRDM-G761 Molecular and Cellular Physiology of Ion Channels
MGEN-Q580 Basic Human Genetics (3 cr.)
MGEN-Q612 Molecular and Biochemical Genetics (3 cr.)
MGEN-Q620 Human Cytogenetics (3 cr.)
MGEN-Q630 Population Genetics (3 cr.)
GRDM-G725 Gene Transfer Approaches to Clinical and Basic Research (Gene Therapy) (1 cr.)
GRDM-G727 Animal Models of Human Disease (1 cr.)
MICR-J807 Current Topics in Immunity (2 cr.)
MICR-J829 Current Topics in Molecular Genetics of Microorganisms (2 cr.)
GRDM-G720 Stem Cell Biology (2 cr.)
GRDM-G728 Fundamentals of Infection and Pathogenesis (1 cr.)
GRDM-G729 Immunology I: Introduction to the Immune System (1 cr.)
GRDM-G747 Principle of Pharmacology (1 cr.)
GRDM-G748 Principles of Toxicology 1 (1 cr.)
GRDM-G748 Principles of Toxicology 2 (1 cr.)
GRDM-G748 Principles of Toxicology 3 (1 cr.)
GRDM-G745 Fundamentals of Intracellular Signal Transduction (2 cr.)
GRDM-G751 Advanced Concepts in Cytosolic and Nuclear Signal Transduction (2 cr.)

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 Diabetes and Obesity Training Program.

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

Academic Bulletins

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