Curriculum for Ph.D. Degree in Microbiology and Immunology

Overall Coursework Requirements

  • Total of 90 credits
  • At least 26 credits in course work other than research credits
    • at least 14 credits of course work in the major
    • at least 12 credits of course work in the minor
  • A minimum of 40 credits in research (J810)

PhD Students (entering through the IBMG program)

Year 1


  • G715 Biomed I - Biochemical Basis of Biological Processes  (3 cr) 
  • G716 Biomed II - Molecular Biology and Genetics  (3 cr)
  • G717 Biomed III - Cellular Basis of Systems Biology  (3 cr)
  • G718 Research in Biomedical Science (1st rotation)  (2 cr) 

Total: 11 credits


  • Students must take at least 3 cr from the courses shown below
    • G729 Introduction to Immune System  (1 cr)
    • G728 Fundamental Concepts of Infection and Pathogenesis  (1 cr)
    • G852 Concepts of Cancer Biology: Signaling Gone Awry  (2 cr)
    • G720 Stem Cell Biology  (2 cr)
  • Plus
    • G655 Skills - Research Communications Seminar  (1 cr)
    • G718 Research in Biomedical Science (2nd and 3rd rotations)  (4 cr)
  • Plus other modules to total 11 credits

Total after year 1:  22 credits 

Year 2

  • Students must take at least one of the following courses:
    • J807 Current Topics in Immunology  (2 cr)
    • J829 Current Topics in the Molecular Genetics of Microorganisms  (2 cr)
    • J842 Neoplastic Determinants  (2 cr)
  • Plus:
    • G855 Skills - Experimental Design and Biostatistics  (1 cr)
    • G505 Responsible Conduct of Research  (1 cr)

Total: 4 credits

In total, students must have a minimum of 12 credits in their minor and 14 credits in their major.  The required courses may count in their major or minor but not in both.

Beyond didactic coursework, students will enroll in Research credits (J810) to reach the 90 cr minimum. 

Requirements for MD/PhD students

Combined degree students can transfer credits from their medical school courses to fulfill their minor requirement.  For the major, combined degree students must take G655, G855, G505, and 3 credits of coursework from among our first year spring introductory courses and our second year advanced courses, depending upon their area of interest.  The remaining credits to fulfill the major can be transferred from their medical school courses, as approved by their advisory committee. 

PhD Minors

All PhD students must complete a minor with a minimum of 12 credits in a related field.  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.  Although any minor offered within the IUSM may be taken, the following are recommended for Microbiology and Immunology doctoral students:

  • Bioinformatics Minor
  • Business of Biomedical Sciences Minor
  • Cancer Biology Minor
  • Clinical Research Minor
  • Diabetes and Obesity Minor
  • Life Science Minor
  • Translational Sciences Minor

Note that certain minors define who may serve as the minor representative.  For more information on the minor programs, see:

Additional Requirements of all PhD students

  • attend weekly departmental seminars*
  • annually attend and present at the weekly Departmental Research in Progress (RIP) student seminar series*
  • participate in one of the departmental journal club forums*
  • teach one semester of undergraduate microbiology laboratory (J210)

* attendance is reported to mentor and committee for consideration in assigning research grades. 


Grades for research credits (J810, G901) are assigned by the student’s committee.  An overall average of at least a B (3.0 GPA) is required.  Only 3 credits of C (2.0 GPA) can be counted toward the required credits of didactic coursework.


All students should consult the IUPUI Graduate School Bulletin for general requirements of the Graduate School and for detailed requirements of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology | IU School of Medicine | 635 Barnhill Drive, MS 420 | Indianapolis, IN 46202 | (317) 274-0506