MS in Medical Sciences

Program Description

The Master of Science in Medical Sciences Program (MAMS) is designed for students interested in pursuing a career in a health-related field. The program introduces students to a broad range of topics in the medical sciences while strengthening their academic credentials for admission to professional school. In its 35-year history, many of the 3,000 graduates of the MAMS program have gone on to pursue careers as physicians, other healthcare providers, and biomedical researchers.

The curriculum in the MS in Medical Sciences Program contains much of the same material taught in the first-year medical curriculum at BU Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine and several medical school-level courses are offered including Biochemistry and Cell Biology (BI 751), Medical Physiology (PH 730/731), and Medical Immunology (PA 510). Other graduate-level courses allow students to explore additional areas of medicine and biomedical research.

The MAMS program is a 32-credit program that can be completed in four semesters in either one or two calendar years. The curriculum and tuition for the program are identical for both the one- and two-year options. A laboratory- or literature-based thesis is required and many students elect to complete the program in two years, using the second year to gain valuable research experience.

In addition to coursework in the medical sciences, students may also opt to pursue interests in other areas, such as public health, mental health counseling & behavioral medicine, clinical investigation, or nutrition, by entering a dual degree program.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate an in-depth and integrated knowledge of the processes underlying normal and abnormal function in the human body in preparation for advanced studies in a healthcare field.
  • Demonstrate the ability to work as part of a team to integrate and apply concepts in the medical sciences and draw linkages between structure and function at the level of molecules, cells, organs, and systems.
  • Demonstrate the ability to critically read and analyze the scientific literature, propose and test a hypothesis, and communicate findings clearly, incorporating them into the existing body of knowledge.

Degree Requirements

Candidates are required to complete a minimum of 32 graduate credit hours in four semesters. At least 24 of the credits must be obtained from required and elective coursework and up to 8 credits may be obtained from thesis research. The four-semester requirement can be satisfied in 12 calendar months by registering for fall, spring, and the two summer semesters, or in 24 calendar months by registering for fall and spring semesters in two consecutive years.

The original thesis may be completed through a laboratory- or literature-based research project and is carried out under the guidance of a Graduate Medical Sciences faculty member. Research may be conducted at either the Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine or another institution of the student’s choosing.

Required Courses

The MS in Medical Sciences program features a structured set of core course requirements and a wide variety of courses in many disciplines from which electives may be chosen.

The core courses required of all students in the program are:

  • GMS BI 751* Biochemistry & Cell Biology
    (fall semester, 6 cr)
  • GMS MS 640 Introduction to Biomedical Information
    (spring semester, 2 cr)
  • GMS MS 700 Elementary Biostatistics
    (fall or spring semester, 2 cr)
    or GMS CI 670 Biostatistics with Computer
    (fall semester, 4 cr)
  • GMS PH 730* and PH 731* Human Physiology A, B
    (fall and spring semesters, 4 cr each)

Medical school equivalent coursework is indicated with an asterisk (*)

Elective Courses

Following are examples of elective courses that may be taken by students in the program.

Fall Semester Electives

  • GMS AN 722 Cellular Organization of Tissues (4 credits)
  • GMS BN 777/778/779 Beginning Basic Neuroscience (2–4 credits)
  • GMS CI 640 Regulatory & Compliance Issues (4 credits)
  • GMS CI 675 Designing Clinical Research Studies (4 credits)
  • GMS MH 703 Counseling Techniques (3 credits)
  • GMS MS 971 Related Medical Sciences (research)

Spring Semester Electives

  • GMS AN 723 Human Body Systems
  • GMS BN 777/778/779 Beginning Basic Neuroscience (2–4 credits)
  • GMS CI 631 Clinical Trials Management (4 credits)
  • GMS CI 790 Seminar in Clinical Research (2 credits)
  • GMS MS 972 Related Medical Sciences (research)
  • GMS PA 510 Medical Immunology
  • GMS PA 600 Introduction to Pathology of Disease (4 credits)
  • GMS PM 730 Introduction to Medical Pharmacology (4 credits)


In addition to the general admissions requirements for Graduate Medical Sciences, applicants to the MAMS program are expected to have completed all premedical requirements including two semesters each of chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, and biology, all with lab. A one-semester Biochemistry course may be substituted for the second semester of Organic Chemistry. Courses in Physiology, Cell Biology, Psychology, and Sociology are highly recommended.

Scores from either the GRE or MCAT examination may be submitted but are not required.