Biomedical Sciences Program Length Options
The Biomedical Sciences program has been providing exceptional graduate academic enhancement opportunities for over thirty years. We are continuously assisting students directed by their undergraduate advisors to pursue additional science coursework prior to professional school (DO/MD, DDS/DMD, DPM, OD, PA, and PharmD) as well as those students disheartened by not gaining acceptance into professional school. Thriving in our master's program is a remarkable way to prove that you are more than your undergraduate performance may indicate. Given the staggering importance your success in our program can have on your future, we take great care and intention with our admission process and decisions.
Each completed application is reviewed by our faculty admissions committee. The committee's goal is to admit students who will aptly manage our rigorous curriculum, commit to scientific learning and demonstrate sound professional capacity. While the review process considers each element of an application, we place a strong focus on overall academic performance, specific science pre-requisites, upper level science coursework, academic performance trend, and analysis of any patterns of withdrawals or repeated courses.
Our faculty admissions committee determines if an accepted dental or medical student completes the program in three consecutive semesters (1-year), three non-consecutive semesters (18 months) or 4 non-consecutive semesters (2 years). All students who pursue a research curriculum are placed on the 2-year track. The committee's decision regarding track placement is final.
1-year track (three consecutive semesters)
The 1-year track is designed for students who narrowly missed admissions into professional school. These students may have earned several interviews but often remain waitlisted at best by the end of the cycle. Students offered the 1-year track generally have both cumulative and science GPAs of 3.5 or higher and do not need to take or retake their DAT/MCAT. One-year track students who start in the fall or spring term will have a load of 15 credits. One-year track students who start in the summer term will have a load of 9 credits. These students with more competitive undergraduate metrics can use their “gap” year while they are applying again to highlight their academic fortitude in our master's program. If a student reapplies to professional school and starts our program at the same time, the dental or medical school will see graduate coursework in progress and know that the student did not rest on his/her undergraduate credentials from the prior application. Professional schools may ask for progress reports or first semester BMS grades prior to making an interview decision.
Most BMS applicants desire 1-year track placement; however, we feel strongly that it is not an appropriate avenue for everyone. Please see the examples below for further understanding of how pacing your graduate education can truly put you in the best position for success.
18-month track (three non-consecutive semesters)
The 18-month track is three non-consecutive terms. Students offered the 18-month track generally have cumulative and science GPAs of 3.2-3.4 and are allotted time to take/retake their professional school exam. Students on the 18-month track who start in the fall or spring term will begin with 12 credits. Students on the 18-month track who start in the summer term will begin with 9 credits. The key for this track is timing as these applicants were likely less competitive for professional school. Many professional schools have shared with us that if a student is not admissible on his/her undergraduate merit, these schools want approximately 20 graduate credits completed before the applicant should apply again. This track allows two semesters of full-time coursework, a break to prep for and take the DAT/MCAT often while opening your application cycle, and then returning for a final semester of coursework. We absolutely do not encourage students to study for their DAT/MCAT while enrolled in BMS courses. We see a direct relationship where both the test score and class performance suffer if attempted simultaneously.
2-year track (four non-consecutive semesters)
The 2-year track is four non-consecutive terms. All research curriculum students are place on the 2-year track. Dental and medical students that we wish to admit below approximately 3.2 but at or around our preferred 3.0 minimum are offered the 2-year track. This track also allows time for students to take/retake their professional school exam. Students starting the 2-year track regardless of term will begin with 9 credits. Since these students are typically not competitive for professional school admissions based on their undergraduate credentials, a methodical approach of slow and steady has proven the best results. Many professional schools have shared with us that if a student is not admissible on his/her undergraduate merit, these schools want approximately 20 graduate credits completed before the applicant should apply again. Applying after a full-time year of study allows schools to see their graduate academic progress as part of their application. This track allows two semesters of full-time coursework, a break to prep for and take the DAT/MCAT often while opening your application cycle, and then returning for two semesters of coursework. We absolutely do not encourage students to study for their DAT/MCAT while enrolled in BMS courses. We see a direct relationship where both the test score and class performance suffer if attempted simultaneously.
Both 18-month and 2-year track students are discouraged from applying for professional school at the same time they are starting the BMS program. A strategic approach to focus on academics and apply after one year of full-time graduate coursework will allow professional schools new information to factor into their decision processes. While waiting a cycle takes time, it often saves a great deal of application effort and preserves financial resources.
Regardless of time track, all dental and medical students complete 34 credits and must pass the comprehensive exam to earn the MS degree.