Graduate study in molecular physiology and biophysics provides students with fundamental knowledge of life processes at molecular, cellular, and integrative levels of biological function. It also imparts knowledge of modern research skills applicable to contemporary problems.

Students may enter the graduate program through the direct admission pathway or the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). Potential students are encouraged to directly contact individual faculty to discuss research possibilities or the appropriateness of these mechanisms to their individual circumstances.

The Doctor of Philosophy program is being revised for fall 2016 admission. Details about the program are not yet available.

The Doctor of Philosophy program in molecular physiology and biophysics requires a minimum of 72 s.h. beyond the bachelor's degree. The core curriculum includes graduate-level courses in cell biology, molecular biology, human physiology, and neurophysiology. Advanced electives, offered by the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics and other departments, cover a wide range of topics, including receptors and signal transduction, and developmental neurophysiology.

After successful completion of required course work and the comprehensive examination, students devote full time to thesis research, which culminates in preparation of a doctoral dissertation and its defense in a final oral exam.

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College. They must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, with an undergraduate major in one of the biological, chemical, physical, mathematical, or engineering sciences; one or more years of course work in biology, physics, biochemistry, and calculus; and a cumulative science g.p.a. of at least 3.00. They also must submit acceptable verbal, quantitative, and analytical scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test.

With existing support of an identified faculty mentor, students also may apply for admission to the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics. Because this program has no mechanism for performing research rotations, it is only appropriate for students who have identified a particular faculty member in the department willing and able to serve as their thesis advisor. Candidates for this mechanism typically have existing research experience with the faculty member who will be supporting them (through undergraduate research, summer research, work as a research associate, research collaborations, etc.).

To be considered, applicants must have a faculty member in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics write a letter to the director of graduate studies summarizing strengths for candidacy. The letter also must state the willingness of the faculty member to serve as the thesis advisor and acknowledge full financial responsibility for the student during the entirety of their graduate training. Applicants will subsequently be asked to submit official transcripts, GRE scores, and names of three references.

Students interested in a joint M.D. and Ph.D. degree from the University of Iowa typically start in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). Admission is extremely competitive; please refer to MSTP for specific application requirements and deadlines.

All full-time students receive financial aid in the form of tuition and stipend support from the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics. Support is renewed annually based on satisfactory progress in meeting degree requirements.