Program Requirements

Medical & Molecular Genetics (MMGE) Ph.D. Requirements 


1.    The dissertation involves a research project in the area of Human/ Medical and Molecular Genetics.


2.    All Ph.D. students in Medical & Molecular Genetics are required to take a minimum of 30 hours of course work (of that, 6 hours will be G718 rotations), and the remaining hours will be of research and seminar credits, for a total of 90 credit hours.


3.    All Ph.D. students will be required to take at least 12 coursework hours in Medical and Molecular Genetics.  This includes:


a.  Required:  Medical Genetics Core Courses:  Q625 Introduction to Clinical Genetics (1cr), Q580 Basic Human Genetics (3cr), Q640 Special Topics in MMGE (1cr), and Q660 Medical and Molecular Genetics Seminar presentation (1cr counts towards genetics requirements).


b.  Any of the five MMGE-related open admission elective modules [G724 Molecular Cancer Genetics, G725 Gene Therapy, G726 Developmental Genetics, G727 Animal Models of Human Disease, G746 Chromosome Instability and Disease (currently inactive); 1 credit each] or any other advanced course offerings in the department (with a “Q” prefix in the course number).  See MMGE Course Descriptions, p 19-22.


c.  Other acceptable courses for the MMGE requirement include: G716 Molecular Biology and Genetics (3 cr), G720 Stem Cell Biology (2 cr), G848 Bioinformatics, Genomics, and Proteomics (2 cr), G651 and G652 (Biostatistics I and II, 3 cr each), G788 Next Generation Sequencing, and G890 Methods in Molecular Biology and Pathology (3 cr). 


Note: Students who take the Life Sciences minor using the core open admission curriculum may not count G716 Molecular Biology and Genetics towards their 12 hours of required coursework.  They would need to take an additional three credits to replace G716 used in the Life Sciences minor.


4.    A student must maintain an average 3.0 GPA for all coursework (courses with less than a B- will not be counted towards major requirements). 


5.    Each Ph.D. student who declares Medical and Molecular Genetics as their departmental choice will have chosen a major advisor (and advisory committee) by the end of their first year in open admission (by July).


6.    All Ph.D. students must give two departmental seminars.  The first seminar will be taken for credit as Q660 Medical and Molecular Genetics Seminar, and evaluated and graded by a seminar review committee (Dr. Dlouhy is course director).  However, student attendance is recorded for each departmental seminar and every student must register for Q660 each semester. The second seminar for Ph.D. students is a seminar to coincide with their dissertation defense.  The dissertation defense seminar will be held during the departmental seminar series time (Wednesday at noon).  The defense seminar will not be for credit.


7.    The Qualifying Examination consists of two parts: Part I, Written Comprehensive Exam and Part II, Written Research Proposal and Defense of Proposal.  All parts of the qualifying examination must be passed before candidacy status is awarded, preferably by the end of the third year of graduate school.


8.    A research committee is formed after admission to candidacy to supervise the progress of the student’s research toward the dissertation, evaluate the thesis, and administer the doctoral defense.       


9.    Continual Enrollment:  Ph.D. students must be continually registered each semester until the degree is conferred and also for the semester in which the degree will be conferred.  For Ph.D. students, continual enrollment will mean registration for the summer session as well.  Currently, we recommend that all MMGE PhD students register for at least four (4) credit hours in the summer, and at least eight (8) credit hours for the fall and spring semesters, to maintain full-time enrollment status at the graduate school.  Failure to observe the registration requirements may lead to non-payment of stipend checks for students on fellowships or withholding social security taxes from checks of student assistantships (who are viewed as “employees” for tax purposes if not enrolled as a full-time student). The total number of credit hours above the minimum can be decided upon between the mentor and student (and fellowship director if applicable). 


10.  Vacation/time-off policy:  The IUSM Graduate School has established official vacation/personal/medical/time-off policy for graduate students. It is expected that students follow professional standards of employment.  The amount of time off and vacations are left at the discretion of the student’s mentor; the program advisor or departmental chair may be consulted if necessary (note: an institutional policy for maternity/paternity leave, which is six weeks, is available on the human resources website as a guide).


11.  Required Forms: Please contact the graduate coordinator for required forms: Committee meeting report, Appointment of Advisory committee, PhD Qualifying Exam Report, Nomination to Candidacy for the PhD degree, Nomination of Research Committee for the PhD, change in Advisory or Research committee forms, and the defense announcement. 


12.  Credit Transfer:

a.    A student with prior graduate training may transfer up to 30 hours of non-research courses with a grade of “A” or “B” with approval of the Advisory Committee and the Graduate School. 


b.    In the case of combined M.D./Ph.D. students, up to 30 hours of non-clinical medical courses may apply toward the Ph.D. degree with approval of the student’s committee and the Graduate School.  The courses typically include General Pathology (C603; 6 cr.) and Cell and Molecular Biology (X804; 3 cr.).


Note:  M.D./M.S. combined degree students may apply 10 hours of Medical school course credits towards the M.S. degree.


13.  Special Circumstances:


If a student starts in the IBMG Ph.D. Program but wishes to obtain a terminal M.S. degree, the following courses from that program will count towards the M.S. degree in Medical Genetics.


      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.

                              G655 Research Communications Seminar                                 1 cr.

                              G724-727 Open admission Medical Genetics electives              1cr. ea

      Year 2: G855 Experimental Design and Research Biostatistics                           1 cr.  

                                    (or G651 Biostatistics I                                                            3 cr.)

                              G504 Introduction to Research Ethics                                         2 cr.

                                    (or G505 Responsible Conduct of Research                         1 cr.)

                              Q625 Introduction to Clinical Genetics                                         1 cr.

                              G580 Basic Human Genetics                                                       3 cr.

                              G640 Special Topics in MMGE                                                    1 cr.


            Note:  Students will have to complete the required number of total course credits for the M.S. degree (36 credits for non-thesis option, with ≤7 credits allowed in research credits).  By the time a student has decided to stop with an M.S. degree, if the student has taken Q625, he/she has the option to also take Q610.  If the student has taken Q626, Q627, or Q628, they may not take Q612, Q620, and Q630, respectively.  If the student has not taken Q626, Q627, or Q628, it is recommended that they take Q612, Q620, or Q630 instead.  However, they may take any combination of the one       (1) or three (3) credit courses but not both of (Q626 and Q612), (Q627 and Q620), or (Q628 and Q630).  Students from the IBMG program are not required to take Q580 if they have passed Q716 with a grade of B (3.0 or better).

975 West Walnut Street | Medical Research and Library Building, IB 130 | Indianapolis, IN 46202 | (317) 944-3966