Biomedical Sciences, M.S. (Non-thesis) Area of Emphasis: Medical Sciences

Medical Sciences Brochure



It’s a surprisingly common story: Each year there are bright, highly motivated students who dream of being physicians but unexpectedly find a roadblock on their path to medical school. Some have a high grade point average, but a borderline Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) score, or vice versa.

Dr. Sean Loudin participated in Marshall’s Medical Sciences program as a stepping stone into medical school. He is now a well-respected member of the Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, is Pediatric Clerkship Director, and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Marshall’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

Often students are advised to enter a graduate-level science program to enhance their skills then reapply to medical or other health-related professional schools. Marshall’s program is the ideal choice: it is specifically designed to maximize your chance of gaining entry into these schools.

Marshall University’s Medical Sciences area of emphasis is a two-year, non-thesis degree in Biomedical Sciences. Through offering science courses basic to medicine, this degree is designed to provide you with the background required to pursue a variety of careers in health professions. This could include careers in the allied health sciences, such as public health and health care administration, or in non-research positions including managerial and biotechnology patent law. More commonly, Marshall University’s Medical Sciences area of emphasis is selected for its goal to improve the science foundation of students seeking admission into doctoral programs in medicine or other health-related professional schools.


Matthew Snyder, Heather Saffel, Ross DeChant, and Brittany Wall, former medical sciences students joining the class of 2016.

Pictured from left to right are: Matthew Snyder, Heather Saffel, Ross DeChant, and Brittany Wall. All four were Medical Sciences’ students who graduated with the M.S. degree and recently entered Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine (MUSOM).

“The BMS program at Marshall University was hands down the best preparation I could have had prior to entering medical school. Looking back, I can not imagine beginning medical school without the knowledge and experience the BMS program provided me. The first hand exposure to life as a medical student, which is unique to the BMS program here at Marshall, is invaluable and provided me the confidence to know that I can succeed.”

~ Matthew Snyder, M.S., MUSOM Class of 2016, BMS Medical Sciences Graduate

Marshall Advantages

  • Marshall’s Medical Sciences area of emphasis is tailored especially to meet  the needs of future medical students or other professional schools.
  • In fact, you take many of the same courses medical students take!
  • We pay half of the registration fee for you to take an MCAT review course!*
  • This program is not research-oriented, whereas many traditional graduate programs in the sciences give heavy preference to Ph.D.-bound applicants.
  • Facilities! You will be taught by School of Medicine faculty in high-tech, multimedia, and state-of-the-art rooms where both medical  students and medical sciences students come together.
  • Should you choose not to attend medical school, our two-year, non-thesis M.S. degree gives you valuable credentials to enter a career in the pharmaceutical industry, public health, or biotechnology.

*The BMS program will pay for half of an MCAT review course registration fee for students who are registered to attend the second year of the Medical Sciences program.

Application Information, Review Timeline, and Assistantships

Please visit our Master’s of Science (Non-thesis) Application Information, Review Timeline, and Assistantships Page.

Duration of Program

It is not uncommon for students enrolled in the Medical Sciences area of emphasis to be accepted into medical school prior to completion of the degree. In such cases, students are welcome to leave the program to pursue what we knew to be their ultimate goal: medical school.

Students choosing to complete the degree will find that it typically takes two years.

Core Curriculum

A minimum of 36 credit hours is required to qualify for this non-thesis Master of Science degree.

Fall, Year I

Course title Course number Credit hours
Introduction to Nucleic Acids and Proteins BMS 601 3
Introduction to Cell Structure and Metabolism BMS 602 3
Seminar BMS 680 1
Neurophysiology PHS 628 2

Spring, Year I

Regulation of Cell Function BMS 603 2
Cellular Basis of Disease BMS 604 1
Seminar BMS 680 1
Introduction to Research* BMS 785 1-6
Mammalian Physiology (recommended elective) PHS 629 6
Students returning for the second year of the program may take an MCAT Prep course over the summer that will be partially subsidized by the BMS Graduate Program.

Fall, Year II

Course title Course number Credit hours
Medical Microbiology I MCB 631 3
Seminar BMS 680 1
Medical Pharmacology I (recommended elective) PMC 621 6

Spring, Year II

Course title Course number Credit hours
Medical Microbiology II MCB 632 3
Medical Pharmacology II (recommended elective) PMC 622 2
Seminar BMS 680 1
Biostatistics MTH 518 or equivalent 3

Successful completion of this area of emphasis will require a 3.0 grade point average and acceptable performance on the final comprehensive assessment (pass/fail), which will be administered to all degree candidates during the final exam week in the spring semester of the second year. This degree will not guarantee admission into Marshall University School of Medicine or any other medical school.

* This course emphasizes literature research in diseases of high incidence in the Appalachian Region.

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