Integrated Medical Sciences Program

The non-thesis Integrated Medical Sciences Track in the Biomedical Sciences Master’s program is designed to prepare advance students for acceptance into medical, dental, osteopathic, and/or other related professional schools of their choice by providing them with an opportunity to take two first-year medical school courses with the medical students in combination with graduate courses in biomedical sciences.

The Integrated Medical Sciences Track in the Biomedical Sciences Master’s program requires a minimum of 33 credit hours of courses that includes a capstone experience. Students take 18 credit hours of required core courses including two medical school courses (five credits each), 12 credit hours of graduate elective courses in biomedical sciences, and an oral comprehensive exam on the capstone project.

The Capstone Process

Students are encouraged to contact faculty as early as possible in order to identify a faculty whose research focus complements the student’s interest. The student and the mentor should select two additional faculty members to serve on the capstone evaluation committee.

Students must submit a signed Capstone Committee form to the Program Coordinator for approval as soon as the registration for course is complete. The form must be submitted to the Program Office.

When you are ready to defend your Capstone project, you must register for the capstone course (MCB 6026) for three credit hours. It is important that the student register for the capstone course with the intention of completing the project at the end of the semester.

The Capstone Report

Evaluation of the capstone project requires a written report (in the format of a mini-review manuscript) and a presentation (project defense) in front of the capstone committee. No visitors are allowed during the capstone defense. Students may ask for advice and guidance from the project mentor/chair. The average capstone report ranges from 10 to 15 single-space pages in a manuscript format with proper citations. The student’s Committee Chair will be responsible for checking the report for plagiarism using either Turnitin or iThenticate before the report is shared with the committee. The committee must receive the report at least one week before the time of presentation.

Note: The defense (presentation) must be held no later than one week before final exam week.

The Capstone Defense/Comprehensive Exam

The capstone defense and comprehensive exam evaluation is designed to assess the student’s knowledge and understanding of the project and other relevant subjects in the field. Questions asked by the capstone committee to evaluate the student as competent in the field will satisfy the requirement of the comprehensive exam. The oral presentation will take place in the form of a 30-40 minute seminar and will be followed by questions and discussion.

The student will be evaluated on performance in all three sections (written report, oral presentation and ability to answer questions).

Should the student fail, a second opportunity will be provided within two weeks of the first attempt. A second failure will results in an Unsatisfactory (U) grade in the course and dismissal from the program.

Comprehensive Examination

Students must pass an oral comprehensive exam to qualify for the Master’s of Science. The oral comprehensive exam tests the student’s understanding of the basic concepts in the field and relevant applications. The comprehensive exam will be conducted during the capstone defense and will be administered by the capstone committee. Should the student fail this exam, a second opportunity will be provided within two weeks of the first attempt. A second failure will result in dismissal from the program.

Teaching Requirement

Students without significant prior teaching experience, such as, but not limited to, a minimum of a year in secondary schools or college, are required to serve as Classroom Laboratory Assistants (CLA) for a minimum of one semester (one semester in at least one lab section).

Research Shadowing (Optional)

Students are encouraged to discuss with their capstone mentor the possibility of joining the lab for research shadowing of other graduate students. Acquired lab skills should assist students with the capstone project and with future endeavors.

Applications Requirements

  • 3.2 minimum overall GPA
  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended
  • A bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences or related area
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A written statement of research experience, area of interest, and immediate and long-range goals
  • Resume

Applicants who hold a Bachelor’s degree in unrelated fields are expected to have the equivalent of 16 semester hours of credit in the biological sciences including a course in general microbiology, biochemistry or molecular biology or cell biology, plus one year of organic chemistry, one year of physics, basic university mathematics and statistics, and laboratory skills equivalent to the minimum required of our own undergraduates.

View Program Handbook Here


*Non-Thesis students are not considered for departmental graduate assistantships or tuition assistance.

For more information, please visit the graduate catalog here