Graduate research at the University of Kansas Medical Center covers a rich and diverse range of topics in both basic and translational research. Basic research is geared toward understanding the basic biological systems that control life. By understanding these systems, rationale treatments to treat disease can be devised. The discovery and refinement of these rationale treatments is translational research. With such a range of research topics, it is often difficult to choose the best lab. The interdisciplinary program allows the student to make an informed choice of labs to enter. IGPBS students hear from every researcher who is able to take a new student into their lab during the Faculty Research Series. The student then selects 3 research rotations. At the end of the 3 rotations the student will choose the lab that is the best fit for their research goals. Once a lab is chosen, the student enters the chosen mentor’s department to complete the Ph.D.

The interdisciplinary program covers the first 2 semesters of graduate study. Students take a core group of courses that cover all aspects of cell biology, biochemistry, and cell signaling. Courses are both lecture based and discussion based. Students receive introductions to critical research techniques, work on problem sets, and critically evaluate our current knowledge base. In addition, students take courses in scientific ethics and scientific communication. Scientific communication covers graphic presentation of data and both written and oral communication.

At the end of the first year, students have built a considerable knowledge base and have skills in scientific communication, critical thinking, and problem solving. Students expand their knowledge base and skills by taking advanced courses in their chosen departments or programs. Our graduate program prepares students for successful careers in research.

The application process is an online process. Application to this graduate program is facilitated through the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences (IGPBS). Detailed instructions on how to apply and the application deadlines are posted on the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences website

Admission requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution documented by submission of official transcript indicating the degree has been conferred before entering the program. Official transcripts from institutions attended post-baccalaureate are also required.
    Students with degrees from outside the U.S. may be subject to transcript evaluation indicating the degree is equivalent to a U.S. degree and meets the minimum cumulative GPA requirements.
  • A cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the bachelor’s degree.
  • Applicants who are not native speakers of English, whether domestic or international, must demonstrate they meet the Minimum English Proficiency Requirement.
  • A background check is required during the admission process; it may affect the student's eligibility to enter the program.
  • An official copy of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score sent from Educational Testing Service (ETS) to University of Kansas Medical Center - ETS institutional code 6895.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Prerequisite coursework:
    • One year of general chemistry
    • One year of organic chemistry or one semester of organic chemistry and one semester of biochemistry
    • One year of biological sciences
    • One semester of calculus
    • One semester of physics
  • Research experience (beyond labs associated with lecture courses) is strongly suggested.
  • Interview - the most qualified applicants will receive an invitation for an interview.

Applicants will be assessed based on a combination of GPA, research experience, interview and GRE scores. Students not meeting the above requirements may be eligible for provisional admission.  After an applicant has been admitted, a program may defer an applicant's admission for one year after which time the applicant must submit a new application.

Admission requirements are subject to change. In most cases, use the catalog of the year student entered the program. Other years’ catalogs».

GSMC 850Proteins and Metabolism2
GSMC 851Molecular Genetics2
GSMC 852Introduction to Biomedical Research I2
GSMC 853Cellular Structure2
GSMC 854Cell Communication2
GSMC 855Introduction to Biomedical Research II2
GSMC 856Introduction to Research Ethics1
GSMC 857Biographics1
GSMC 858Introduction to Faculty Research1
GSMC 859Research Rotations1-4

Typical Plan of Study

Year 1
GSMC 8502GSMC 8532GSMC 8591-4
GSMC 8512GSMC 8542May take an elective course from the student's chosen degree program in consultation with the student's advisor.1-3
GSMC 8522GSMC 8552 
GSMC 8561GSMC 8591-4 
GSMC 8571  
GSMC 8581  
GSMC 8591-4  
 10-13 7-10 2-7
Total Hours: 19-30

Beginning with the Fall semester of year two, the student enters the Ph.D. program their faculty mentor is associated with and completes the degree requirements listed in the catalog for that specific program.