The program of study in the IPN typically follows a set progression. The first year consists of a set of core courses and laboratory rotations. Thesis research is begun in the second year along with elective courses focusing on material important to the research topic. By the end of this period, a thesis mentor and an area of thesis research is identified. Throughout the program, students present their current research to the program in the Student Seminar Series. Upon completion of the research project, a thesis is written and defended, and a Ph.D. degree is awarded.

The training of Ph.D. students in the IPN involves a multi-faceted approach to learning. In addition to course work and thesis research, formal and informal learning situations are integrated into the course of study in the form of journal clubs, seminars, and other student-student and student-faculty interactions.

The basic requirements of the program are:

A detailed Timeline is also available.