The Department of Microbiology and Immunology at IU School of Medicine offers a PhD program that is typically completed in about five years. The curriculum is designed to move students into the laboratory and their prospective dissertation project as quickly as possible. Following the first year of course work, through the IBMG program, students usually take four credits of course work in their second year and begin to focus on their research. After passing the qualifying examination at the end of their second year, students advance to PhD candidacy and devote their time primarily to their dissertation research projects. The program prepares students for productive careers as research scientists, as faculty, or in other leadership positions in their chosen fields. Opportunities to gain teaching experience with introduction to modern teaching theory are available for students interested in academic careers.