Program Goal

The goal of the Graduate Program is to prepare research scientists for productive careers at the most competitive level. The supporting facility is equipped with all requisite tools for conducting contemporary molecular science and the expertise to implement them. However, our greatest resource is the quality of the research faculty and its commitment to productivity. Thus, the Department a) offers didactic coursework sufficient for rapid mastery of concepts central to the discipline, while emphasizing active student involvement in the laboratory as quickly as possible, b) provides varied forums to enhance communication/teaching skills, c) actively encourages ongoing education beyond formal coursework throughout predoctoral training, and d) expects training to be completed in 4-5 years with graduates poised to compete successfully for their next position.

Recognizing that the discipline of Microbiology and Immunology had grown to encompass many areas, we developed the concept of focus areas to allow students to specialize within the discipline in Immunology, Pathogenesis, or Cancer. This allows us to have a flexible program tailored to the needs of the individual student. Timely progression through the graduate program is assured through regular interactions with the student's Advisory or Research Committee.

For the Ph.D., a minimum of 26 credits and 9 non-thesis courses is required.  Each student completes the required courses in the Indiana University School of Medicine Biomedical Gateway Program (IBMG) and four courses chosen from within a focus area of Immunology, Pathogenesis, or Cancer. Courses in the major (i.e., within the focus area) are complemented by those in a minor (outside of the department). Grad (G) courses can count in the major or minor.  Please see curriculum for more complete information.  In addition, the student rotates in three laboratories.  All of our students are teaching assistants for at least one semester in a medically-oriented undergraduate microbiology course, and as such, gain both teaching experience and further breadth in their training.

We train our students in such a way that they will be competitive in the ever changing market place. Since our emphasis is on training excellent biomedical researchers, our first responsibility is to instill in them a pattern of life-long learning on their own and to be independent, creative investigators.  Thus, the breadth of knowledge the student receives is not limited to didactic coursework.  Rather the student is engaged in ongoing accrual of knowledge and accomplishments in Microbiology and Immunology through attendance at the weekly departmental seminar, participation in the weekly departmental Research in Progress meeting, participation in other journal clubs and research meetings, and attendance and presentations at national and international meetings. Financial support includes an annual stipend, currently $24,000, and full tuition.

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