Credit Hour Requirements for all students

The School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and the Graduate School of Nursing each fulfill the federal definition of a credit hour. Each school determines the appropriate number of credit hours for each course, consistent with the federal definition. Students must be enrolled for a minimum of nine credit hours to be considered a fulltime student.

Programs Offered

The programs within the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences train students in their selected specialty area and emphasize a broad background in the basic medical sciences, in preparation for research with direct relevance to human disease. 

Doctoral Degree Programs

Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology
Bioinformatics & Computational Biology
Biomedical Engineering & Biotechnology
Cancer Biology
Cell Biology
Clinical & Population Health Research
Immunology & Microbiology
Millennium PhD
Translational Science

Master of Science Degree Program

Clinical Investigation

Preparatory Programs 

Health Sciences Preparatory Program
Pathway to Graduate Study


Degree Granting

MD Program

TThe University of Massachusetts Medical School's MD program pledges to provide students with a comprehensive and personally rewarding medical education. We aim to prepare our graduates to be caring, competent, and productive physicians serving a diversity of patients and communities. Whether a student plans to practice in primary care or pursue subspecialty training, the four-year educational program at UMass Medical School is designed to develop the foundational competencies required of all physicians. Our Learner-centered Integrated Curriculum (LInC) supports our vision that our graduates will excel in patient care, innovation, discovery leadership and service. The LInC is founded on our six core competencies, collaboratively developed by our students and faculty – physician as clinical problem solver, communicator, patient and community advocate, person, professional and scientist. Most students complete the MD degree in four years, though there are opportunities for extension for personal and professional development. Our clinical sites span the commonwealth with students rotating at our major clinical partners, UMass Memorial Medical Center as well as community-based educational partners from Cape Cod to the Berkshires. Ambulatory preceptors are equally diverse and include multispecialty community-based providers, hospital-affiliated clinics, federally qualified health centers and private providers. This diversity of sites for clinical learning supports student learning, professional development and career decision-making.

For more information on program requirements, click here

MD/PhD Program

The Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) funded MD/PhD program offers exceptional training opportunities for those interested in pursuing careers as physician/scientists. The program combines the curriculum of the School of Medicine (SOM) and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) to provide a structured foundation of diverse topics, with the flexibility necessary to meet the needs of the individual student. 

The goal of the MD/PhD program is to provide highly motivated students the opportunities to develop skills and experience in biomedical investigation and the practice of medicine. This is a rigorous and challenging program, and upon successful completion the student is awarded both the PhD in biomedical sciences and the MD. We train physician-scientists who will make significant contributions to health care and who will become the leaders of academic medicine.

In addition to the traditional biomedical sciences research training, our Medical Scientist Training Program offers a clinical/population based PhD degree for students interested in clinical research. The Clinical and Population Health Research Program offers our students an opportunity to become leaders in clinical and translational research by training them in areas including epidemiology, outcomes research, determinants of disease and biostatistics. It also addresses the national need for health research to move from the laboratory to the individual patient and health care systems.

For more information on program requirements, click here.

Track and Optional Pathways

Population-based Urban and Rural Community Health (PURCH) Track

The Population-based Urban and Rural Community Health (PURCH) Track is a state-of-the-art medical education experience, covering the gamut from basic and clinical science to immersive and experiential education. Students will participate in courses at both the UMMS campus in Worcester and our new regional campus UMMS-Baystate in Springfield, MA. The PURCH Track engages medical students in an innovative education model to meet the need of providing healthcare in our communities. Beginning in their first year, students in the PURCH Track learn in the labortories that are the diverse urban and rural communities of Western Massachusetts and the wide scope of health care activities with the Baystate Health system.

For more information on program requirements, click here.

Clinical Translational Research Pathway

The Clinical and Translational Pathway (CTRP) is a selective program that provides advanced opportunities for students to further their skills in basic, clinical or translational research in parallel with the traditional medical school curriculum.  It is designed for students enrolled in the UMMS MD degree-granting program who wish to contribute to the development of evidence-based approaches to improve clinical care, and to translate discoveries in basic science to clinical practice throughout their career.  Students accepted into this program complete longitudinal coursework throughout their School of Medicine enrollment and finalize their experience with a Senior Scholars Project. The CTRP program offers the opportunity for an additional year to complete a master's degree in clinical investigation through the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

For more information on program requirements, click here.

Global Health Pathway

The Global Health Pathway (GHP) is an elective, four-year program that trains and supports medical students to be future leaders in global health.  The GHP selects medical students through an application process at the start of their medical school training and provides them with longitudinal curriculum and opportunities to gain experience in clinical, research, public health and cultural experiences with underserved populations in two major categories: those currently living outside of the United States or those that are living inside the United States with recent international origins, such as immigrant or refugee populations.

For more information on program requirements, click here.

Rural Health Scholars Pathway

The goal of this pathway is to foster students' interest in and desire to learn about issues related to practicing in rural and small town communities as well as to help them develop contacts with rural health clinicians and leaders while learning skills useful to rural and small town practice.

To learn more about this pathway, click here


Program Design

Program design varies by program. Please explore your program of interest to learn more about its structure.



All courses of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences are listed on the GSBS website. Alternatively, you can view courses offered within each program by exploring individual Programs of Study.


Degree and Graduation Requirements

Degree and graduation requirements vary by program. Please explore your program of interest to learn more about its requirements. Additionally, you may review the Student Handbook.

Learning Objectives

In addition to the overarching learning objectives of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, each program has its own individualized objectives. To learn more about program objectives, explore your program of interest.

Grading and Assessments

For more information about grading and assessment please refer to the Student Handbook under the section entitled, Classroom Courses, Research Courses and Grades.

Student Promotion

Students of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences are promoted as outlined by their particular program of study's requirements. For more information, please review schedule information for the program of your interest. More detailed information can be found the Student Handbook.

Academic Opportunities

Students may participate in sample collection, training and research experiences, teaching opportunities and conference attendance at non-UMMS locations when approved by their thesis advisor and the GSBS dean.

International Opportunities

Students may participate in sample collection, training and research experiences, teaching opportunities and conference attendance at non UMMS locations when approved by their Thesis Advisor and the GSBS Dean.

Credit Hour Requirements in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Doctoral students must accumulate 90 credits from classroom and research courses.

Students in the Master of Science in Clinical Investigation must accumulate 36 credits.

For more detail on required courses and program schedules, explore the program of your interest.

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