Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences – Medical Sciences Option

The Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences - Medical Sciences option - (MSBS-MS) is an alternate degree option available to matriculated students in the Doctor of Medicine (MD) program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS). The MSBS-MS degree will be conferred as a new option under the umbrella of the existing Medical Masters in Biomedical Sciences, which is available to matriculated students in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) PhD program. The MSBS-MS degree is not available as an independent degree to students who are not currently enrolled in the MD program at UMMS.

The MSBS-MS was created to provide an alternative degree option to matriculated students in the MD program at UMMS who have completed the first two years of the MD curriculum (Foundations of Medicine 1 and 2, or FOM1 and FOM2) and who are in good academic standing, but who wish to withdraw from the MD program before completing the clinical years of training.  Students must complete a Mentored Research Project as part of this degree option.  Successful completion of the FOM1 and FOM2 curriculum and a Mentored Research Project will fulfill the criteria for conferral of the MSBS-MS degree. The Master’s degree provides a positive exit strategy for MD students with adequate preclinical and research accomplishments, who have decided, with the support of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs (ADSA), that continuation in the MD program is no longer in their best interests. Upon approval by the Clinical Science Academic Evaluation Board, the Dean of the School of Medicine and the Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the student enters into the MSBS-MS program.

Summary of eligibility requirements:

  • Applicants must be matriculated students in the UMMS School of Medicine Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree program.
  • Applicants must have completed the preclinical (FOM1 and FOM2) curriculum at the time of application to the MMS-MS degree program and must be in good academic standing, as defined in the School of Medicine Student Handbook.
  • Applicants must request withdrawal from the MD program in order to be accepted into the MSBS-MS Program, as this is not a dual degree program.
  • Students who have not been accepted into the UMMS MD program and who have not completed the preclinical years of the medical school curriculum (FOM1 and FOM2) are not eligible for the MSBS-MS degree option.
  • Students who wish to apply for readmission to the School of Medicine after withdrawing from the MD program must do so as specified in the School of Medicine Student Handbook, via the School of Medicine Admissions Committee.

Detailed Requirements for Completion of the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences Degree – Medical Sciences Option
Academic curriculum: The required curriculum for the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences - Medical Sciences Option will include all of the Core Credits that constitute the FOM1 and FOM2 years in the School of Medicine curriculum.  These credits will be transferred from the Medical School MD Degree Program Curriculum to the MSBS-MS Degree Program upon approval by the Dean of the School of Medicine and the Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, under management of the Registrar of UMMS, and following withdrawal from the MD program. The student will complete a Mentored Research Project as outlined below.  Upon satisfactory completion of the Mentored Research Project, the student will be eligible to graduate with the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences (Medical Sciences Option), upon final approval by the Dean of the School of Medicine and the Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Mentored Research Project: Research to satisfy the Mentored Research Project requirement can be undertaken in any area of biomedical science.  The student may have chosen a mentor for the proposed research project by the end of the Fall semester of the FOM2 year, through enrollment in the School of Medicine Capstone Scholarship and Discovery (CSD) course and may have identified a specific question (hypothesis) to be addressed by the research.  A student applying for the MSBS-MS degree may request to apply this prior CSD scholarly work to the Mentored Research Project requirement for the MSBS-MS degree. Upon completion of the Mentored Research Project, the student will be required to submit a summary of the scholarly work, a publication resulting from the work, or other deliverable, in order to satisfy this requirement for the Master’s degree.  The Dean of the School of Medicine will make the final determination as to whether the scholarly work submitted fulfills the requirement for the MSBS-MS degree.

Tuition and Fees: Tuition and fees are waived during the period of time that the student is completing the Mentored Research Project. There is no stipend provided during the period of completion of the requirements of the MSBS-MS degree.

Application and Admissions Process
The interested student will meet with the School of Medicine ADSA to indicate a desire to pursue the MSBS-MS degree. The student will then petition to withdraw from the School of Medicine with a statement submitted in writing to the ADSA.  The interested student will complete a MSBS-MS application and a brief Mentored Research Project proposal, which will be submitted to the ADSA and the Deans of the School of Medicine and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.  Upon review and approval by the Deans of the School of Medicine and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the application and proposal will be submitted to the CSAEB for approval.

Mentored Research Project Requirement
For many students, work on a School of Medicine Capstone Research Project will have begun in the first year of the MD program.  In this case, the student may include in their Mentored Research Project proposal a statement requesting that the existing Capstone Research Project work be applied towards the Mentored Research Project requirement of the MSBS-MS degree. 

  • If the scholarly work has been completed, the student should submit a summary of the work (published article, research paper, or summary of the completed work) to the School of Medicine ADSA together with the application for the MSBS-MS degree.  A letter of support from a faculty mentor is not required in this circumstance.
  • If the scholarly work has not yet been completed, the interested student should submit with the application a Letter of Support from the faculty mentor for their proposed Mentored Research Project. 

Components of the application packet:

  1. MSBS-MS application form
  2. Mentored Research Project proposal
  3. Letter of Support from faculty mentor for the Research Project or summary of the completed work, as noted above (published article, research paper, or summary of the completed work)

Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences – Medical Sciences option
Program Curriculum Outline

Major Required (Core) Courses* (Total # of courses required = 21)
Course Number Course Title
 101 Principles of Human Genetics (POHG)
 102 Building Working Cells and Tissues (BWCT)
 103 Integrated Case Exercises 1 (ICE1)
 104 Doctoring & Clinical Skills 1 (DCS1)
 105 Development, Structure & Function (DSF)
 106 Principles of Pharmacology (POP)
 107 Cancer Concepts (CC)
 108 Host Defense and Blood (HDB)
 109 Infections (INF)
 110 Determinants of Health 1 (DOH1)
 112 Foundations of Health & Disease (FHD)
1002 Transition to Medical School (TRANS MS)
 201 The Brain: Nervous System and Behavior (BRAIN)
 202 Patients (PATS)
 203 Integrated Case Exercises 2 (ICE2)
 204 Doctoring & Clinical Skills 2 (DCS2)
 210 Determinants of Health 2 (DOH2)
 211 Organ System Diseases (OSD)
2001 Reading Period (MISC READ)
  Transition to CCE (TRANS CCE)
  Mentored Research Project