Physiology Degree Requirements

Degrees Offered1
Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy

Special Program Requirements
(See also general University Graduate School requirements.)

Admission Requirements
Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in the sciences or a substantial knowledge base in these disciplines. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test is required. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of international applicants.


Master of Science Degree

Course Requirements
A total of 30 credit hours, including 12 credit hours in physiology. At least 20 credit hours must be in courses other than research.



Doctor of Philosophy Degree

Course Requirements
A total of 90 credit hours, including dissertation, and the following courses: P513, P531, P532, M555, C580, and C583. P550 is to be taken each semester prior to admission to candidacy. Other course requirements will be determined by the student’s advisory or research committee.

Foreign Language/Research Skill Requirement
Students must demonstrate proficiency in one of the following areas, as determined by the student’s advisory committee: a foreign language, statistics, or computer skills.

Qualifying Examination
Written and oral.

Final Examination
Oral defense of dissertation.

Other Provision
One year of supervised teaching required.

Ph.D. Minor in Physiology
Students outside the department desiring to obtain a minor in physiology are required to complete a minimum of 6 credit hours in physiology courses other than research.



P416 Comparative Animal Physiology (3 cr.)
P417 Neurobiology (3 cr.)
P418 Laboratory in Comparative Animal Physiology (2 cr.)
P421 Biophysical Principles in Physiology (3 or 5 cr.)
P431 Human Physiology (4 cr.)

P509 Physiological Adaptations (3 cr.)
Mechanisms of adaptation and acclimatization of invertebrate and vertebrate animals to environmental conditions. Seminar-type course.

P510 Control Systems Theory in Biology (4 cr.)
Prerequisite: Introduction to calculus; P531 or equivalent. Predicting the properties of physiological systems from the dynamic properties of their component parts. Laboratory emphasizes analog and digital simulation techniques.

P512 Introduction to Research in Physiology (1 cr.)
Introduction to areas and methods of current faculty research. Required of all new graduate students.

P513 Introduction to Research Techniques (1 cr.)
Prerequisite: P512. Individual work on a research problem.

P530 Special Topics (cr. arr.)
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Work in advanced areas in physiology.

P531 Human Physiology I (3 cr.)2
Basic principles of homeostasis; muscle, cardiovascular, and renal physiology and metabolism relevant to humans.

P532 Human Physiology II (5 cr.)
Basic physiological principles of temperature regulation, respiration, digestion, and endocrinology relevant to humans.

P541 Advanced Physiology I: Neurophysiology (3 cr.)
Prerequisite: P531, P532 or P417, or consent of instructor. From molecular to behavioral level, with special emphasis on electrophysiology and reflexes.

P543 Neurophysiology Seminar (2 cr.)
Prerequisite: P541. May be taken more than once with consent of the department for a maximum of 6 credits.

P547 Topical Seminar in Physiology (1-5 cr.)
Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor. Discussion and review of current research and literature in physiology.

P548 Neuroethology (3 cr.)
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. The function of nerve cells in controlling the natural behavior of animals. Sensory, integrative, and motor processes underlying selected behavior patterns of invertebrate and vertebrate animals.

P550 Seminar in Physiology (1 cr.)
Prerequisite: Graduate standing in physiology. Biomedical colloquium/seminar series on current topics of interest in medical sciences.

P551 Advanced Physiology II: Circulation (3 cr.)
Prerequisite: P531, P532, or P416 or equivalent or consent of instructor. Lecture and seminar discussions of current literature, with emphasis on physical models.

P561 Advanced Comparative Animal Physiology (3 cr.)
Prerequisite: P531, P416 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Lectures and discussions of current literature on mechanisms and adaptations of respiration, temperature regulation, locomotion, and osmoregulation from a comparative approach. Topics will be covered in succeeding years on a rotating basis. May be taken more than once for different topics.

P575 Advanced Physiology: Exercise (3 cr.)
Study of the regulation and integration of metabolic, cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrinological, and biochemical functions of the human body in response to exercise of all types and durations.

P576 Advanced Physiology: Work and Environmental (3 cr.)
Mechanisms of contraction and neuromuscular control. Metabolic energy cost, efficiency and the fuels of work. Circulatory and respiratory adjustments and their regulation in exercise. The adjustments and regulation of chemical and thermal homeostasis. Effects of environmental factors, training, age, health, and disease on metabolic, cardiovascular, and respiratory adjustment to exercise. (Offered in School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation.)

P620 Renal Physiology (3 cr.)
Prerequisite: P531, A464, P551, C483. Designed for graduate students in physiology. Covers recent advances in acid-base balance, blood pressure regulation, and salt balance in relation to endocrinology. Offered alternate years in second semester.

P800 Research in Physiology (cr. arr.)**

BIOL L500 Independent Study (cr. arr.)
Prerequisite: Must have written consent of faculty member supervising research.

M555 Medical Neuroscience (5 cr.)
An interdisciplinary study of the morphological, functional, and clinical aspects of the human nervous system.

GRAD G800 Biophysics Seminar (1 cr.)
Topics of current interest in biophysics.

**These courses are eligible for a deferred grade.

1See also the Departments of Physiology and Biophysics, Indianapolis.
2 Consent of the director of the Medical Sciences Program required in order to enroll.

1001 E 3rd St, Jordan Hall 104 | Bloomington, IN 47405 | (812) 855-8118