Skip to content
/ Education Programs  /   Scholarly Concentrations

Scholarly Concentrations


IU School of Medicine is confident that the curriculum prepares all future healers to transform health across the state and beyond. Many students come into medical school with varied interests related to medicine. Maybe they worked in an underserved rural clinic or still reflect on bioethics discussions from one of their favorite undergraduate courses. The Scholarly Concentrations Program offers medical students the opportunity to pursue their passions through coursework and scholarship in an academic setting that runs throughout medical school yet doesn’t extend the time it takes to complete a medical degree.

Learn why Paul Wallach, MD, is excited about Scholarly Concentrations.


  • Concentrations are completely optional and empower students to pursue a focused area of study that expands upon the school’s core curriculum.
  • Concentrations allow students to customize their education and engage in experiences that lead to multidisciplinary scholarship, research and community engagement.
  • Each concentration exposes students to world-class experts and resources at sponsoring campuses and communities.
  • Throughout each concentration students receive mentorship and develop skills and products that will help them stand out in residency and professional opportunities.
  • Completing a Scholarly Concentration does not add time or tuition to the traditional four-year medical curriculum.
  • Students completing a concentration earn 8 weeks non-clinical elective credits towards MD graduation requirements, a Scholarly Concentration designation on their transcripts that’s suitable to include on their curriculum vitae and other professional documentation. They will also be recognized at Graduation.

The Scholarly Concentration (has) strengthened my desire to serve those in my small community and afforded me the skills to be able to do so with confidence and greater knowledge of the needs around me. It is preparing me to come home and care for those who took such good care of me.


Emma Eckrote

Resident in Pediatrics/Psychiatry/Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, IU School of Medicine

The Urban Medicine and Health Care Disparities Scholarly Concentration offered an unparalleled pathway to gain greater understanding of health disparities in an urban setting through research and clinical experiences with the diverse patient population I hope to serve in the future.

Maryam Sabir

Maryam Sabir

MS4, Urban Medicine and Health Care Disparities

“The Business of Medicine concentration was the most asked about topic during residency interviews as my interviewers were intrigues and felt that it brought a lot of value to their program.”

Stephen Avila, MD

Neurology Resident, Cedars Sinai Medical Center

“Having the opportunity to work with doctors and other health care professionals who have taken up additional quality improvement roles within their hospital systems has provided me with a better understanding of how I can pursue quality innovation in health care as a medical professional.”

Christopher Blanco

Christopher Blanco, MD

Internal Medicine Resident, Tufts Medical Center

Topics and Locations

There are a wide range of Scholarly Concentration topics offered at IU School of Medicine campuses. Each concentration highlights an area of expertise on its home campus. Typically, some concentrations require students to be on its campus, while others are more flexible and available statewide. See each concentration descriptions for requirements.

Requirements and Timeline

Concentrations have required or recommended pathways toward completion that fit well with the medical school curriculum and calendar. Students typically begin their concentration between the first and second years of medical school, or during the first year, and continue into their fourth year. There may be opportunities to begin a concentration during the second year of medical school; however, this can be very difficult. It is critical that students talk with the concentration co-directors and their lead advisor to determine if a concentration plan of study will work in their schedule before applying. Scholarly Concentrations are composed of a core curriculum and typically two or three topic-specific courses, which allow for exploration. A scholarly project and product (a manuscript submitted for publication and a poster at IUSM Education Day) are also required. See concentrations for details. A bit about the core:

  • Fundamentals of Research and Scholarship
    • This introductory course is online and asynchronous and provides students with a broad understanding of translational science, the types of research that are conducted under the translational science umbrella, and how this research impacts the public at large. Content includes terminology and key concepts related to clinical and translational science, and key research methods, including designing research studies, identifying ethical issues, and communicating findings. Students learn about the role of community engagement in promoting health equity and develop an understanding of social determinants of health and how to examine root causes of health inequity. Basic processes of writing a manuscript and submitting it for publication are also covered.
  • Scholarly project
    • Students will gain firsthand experience by developing and conducting scholarly inquiry appropriate to their concentration. They can come up with their own project of join an existing project. Projects can be individual or done as part of a group. Completion of the project will form the basis of the scholarly concentration product.
  • Scholarly product
    • Students are required to produce a manuscript that they submit to a peer-reviewed journal. Publication is not required. An abstract does not meet the program’s requirement. Students also produce a poster for presentation at IU School of Medicine Education Day.

See Where a Scholarly Concentration Can Take You

Questions? Check out the FAQs