About the Program

The Master of Science in Anatomy & Neurobiology: Vesalius Program is a full time (32 credit) two year degree program comprised of three main components:

  • Graduate courses in biomedical sciences
  • Advanced teaching courses coupled with a one-on-one mentored teaching experience
  • Primary biomedical research

A brief overview of the program is provided below. The full list of program course requirements and electives may be found in the “MS Program Guidelines” link on the right side of this page.

Year 1

The first year is devoted to establishing an advanced understanding of the biomedical sciences and an introduction to research and teaching.  Students take Medical Gross Anatomy and Medical Neurosciences alongside first year Boston University medical students. In addition to various electives students also take Teaching in the Biomedical Sciences, a Departmental course in which students are exposed to the theory and practice of education. This course forms the foundation for the active teaching experiences of the second year.

Year 2

The second year of the program is focused on research and teaching. Students join a research laboratory at the end of their first year and spend most of their second year participating in the research endeavors of that lab. This work, mentored by a faculty member, will teach the student how to perform primary biomedical research and culminates in an unique and independent research thesis.


Also during this year our students have the valuable opportunity to develop as educators by applying the techniques and theories of effective educational practices in the rigorous medical school setting. Vesalius complete a Structured Teaching Practicum and a Mentored Teaching Practicum.  In the Structured Teaching Practicum our students gain hands-on teaching experience by serving as a Teaching Assistant in one of the medical school courses they took their first year. In the Mentored Teaching Practicum, Vesalius students work closely with faculty to refine their teaching skills and to develop and present an original topic to a medical or graduate school classroom. Courses that students typically teach in include: