Indiana University

Graduate Programs

Degrees Offered

Master of Science Degree 

Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Anatomy & Cell Biology 

Master of Science degree in Anatomy & Cell Biology

The master degree in Anatomy & Cell Biology is offered as an independent degree, and is not required as a prerequisite for the doctoral degrees. This degree is offered in three tracks, The Traditional Track, the Research Track, and the Clinical Anatomy Track.

*Traditional Track (Brief Description):

Medical Courses D850 (Gross Anatomy), D851 (Histology), and D852 (Neuroscience and Clinical Neurology), along with two years of D861 (Seminar), at least 3 hours of D860 (Research), electives and paper (thesis optional)

*Research Track (Brief Description):

A first-semester series on the fundamentals of modern research biology (G715, G716, and G717), does not require the traditional anatomical courses, at least 12 hours of D860 (Research), and thesis normally required.

1-year MS in Clinical Anatomy Track (Brief Description):

This 1-year non-thesis MS degree program is comprised of didactic classic anatomical courses including D501 Gross Anatomy, D502 Histology, D527 Neuroanatomy, D861 Seminar, and electives. Students are required to take 30 credit hours over 12 months.

All Tracks require a total of 30 credit hours for the degree, but the Research Track requires more time in research. Students in the Research Track are expected to begin their investigational work during their first semester, and overall it is expected that the Research Track students will complete a larger research project, which is fitting with their focus on entering a Ph.D. program after completing their master degree.

*Applications for the Traditional or Research tracks will be considered only after the potential student has reached a mentoring agreement with the faculty member which whom the research work will be done. Both tracks are two-year, full-time programs. 

click here for the comparison of all three MS Tracks

Admission Requirements:

  • Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in the sciences or a substantial knowledge base in these disciplines
  • Student Personal Statement
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores; Test of English as a Foreign language

(TOEFL) is required of international applicants.

  • Science grades
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • Letter from an identified mentor with the IUSM Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
  • Official Student Transcripts

Please have transcripts forwarded to:

Kate McMillan
Indiana University School of Medicine
Medical Science Building, Room 5035
635 Barnhill Dr.
Indianapolis, IN 46202 

Application can be made at this site

Application deadline Master Degree Program: May 15th of each year (Special considerations may apply)

For Further information on the Master Degree Program, contact:

Joseph Bidwell, PhD
Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology
Indiana University School of Medicine
Medical Science Building, Room 5035
635 Barnhill Drive
Indianapolis, IN
Phone: 317-278-1142

Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Anatomy & Cell Biology

The Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology offers two pathways leading to the PhD degree: The Biomedical Research Track that prepares students for careers in cutting-edge biomedical research, and the Education Track that prepares students for careers in anatomical teaching and educational research.

Biomedical Research Track PhD

Students enter the track in August through the Indiana University School of Medicine BioMedical Gateway Program (IBMG) and take the IBMG core courses and complete three lab rotations before selecting the program and lab they will ultimately join. During the second year, students take the major anatomy core courses plus foundation courses of a minor discipline (such as physiology, biochemistry, etc). Students establish an Advisory Committee, headed by the Research Advisor at the end of their first year. This committee aids the student in preparation for the Qualifying Examination (given at the end of the second year), which typically includes the writing and presentation of a Dissertation Research Proposal (extramural grant format). The Qualifying Examination has two aims: 1> to assess the student's competency in the Anatomical subdisciplines and chosen minor, and 2> to determine if the student is prepared to begin thesis research. Upon passing the Qualifying Examination, the student is admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. The student's Committee advises the student throughout the conduct and completion of the doctoral research project, including the writing and defense of a Dissertation.

For further information about the Biomedical Research Track, contact:

Joseph Bidwell, PhD
Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology
Indiana University School of Medicine
Medical Science Building, Room 5035
635 Barnhill Drive
Indianapolis, IN
Phone: 317-278-1142

Education Track PhD

The goal of this track is to produce a cadre of doctoral-level anatomy educators who are capable of teaching all of the anatomical disciplines to undergraduate, graduate, or professional students, and who are capable of producing the high-quality educational research and other scholarly work necessary for promotion and tenure.


Designed as a five-year program, the Education Track requires a minimum of 90 credit hours, which includes 71 credits in required coursework and 19 credits in research. The coursework is divided into two "core" areas, as well as statistics courses and electives:

  • Biomedical Core (36 hours) - will provide rigorous training in the major biomedical disciplines of Gross Anatomy, Histology, Neuroscience, Cell Biology, and Physiology, as well as supervised and mentored teaching experiences with medical students and graduate students.
  • Education Core (18 hours) - will provide fundamentals of pedagogy and assessment, including educational research and scholarship.
  • Statistics (8 hours) - will provide the statistical tools needed to properly design and evaluate educational research projects.
  • Electives (9 hours) - will provide the opportunity for further training in the biomedical sciences, education, or statistics.

After completing the coursework, students will be required to pass a Qualifying Examination that tests their knowledge of anatomy, grasp of relevant literature, and the ability to form educational research hypotheses and design studies to test these hypotheses. Students must successfully complete a doctoral research project, including the writing and defense of a Dissertation.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the Education Track should possess a bachelor’s degree, preferably in biology or a related scientific field. The successful applicant will ordinarily have an undergraduate GPA above 3.4 and score above the 50th percentile overall on the GRE, with strong scores on the writing portion of the test. Students with prior graduate or professional school training e.g., a master's degree will be given special consideration.

Applications should be submitted through the School's website ( Under the section "Intended Program and Plan", make the following selections from the drop-down menus:

What type of degree do you intend to pursue?


Academic Program


Academic Plan

Anatomy PhD Education Track

Are you applying to a dual degree program?



Applicants should arrange for test scores to be sent to Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis from the testing service company:

GRE Scores

  • Institution Code: 1325 (Indiana Univ. - Purdue Univ.: Indianapolis)
  • Department Code: 0609 (Medical Sciences)

MCAT Scores

  • MCAS Code: 129 (Indiana University School of Medicine)

Application materials should include:

  • A personal statement that describes the applicant's background and interests, and explains why this program meets his or her career goals
  • Three letters of recommendation that address the applicant's suitability for a career in teaching and the potential of independent educational scholarship

Letters of recommendation may be submitted through the online application system or mailed directly to the address below.

College transcripts must be mailed directly to:

James J. Brokaw, PhD, MPH
Associate Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology
Indiana University School of Medicine
Medical Science Building , Room 5035
635 Barnhill Drive
Indianapolis , IN 46202-5120
Phone: 317-274-7495

Application Deadline for Education Track: January 15, 2015

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available to qualified Ph.D. applicants, on a competitive basis, in the form of Departmental Stipends and Fee Scholarship (fee remission) Awards.

Application can be made at this site: