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Master's Degree in Medical Science

There are various master's degree programs in medical science, and these degrees may be pursued by licensed healthcare professionals, aspiring doctors or physician assistants. Learn about your degree options, and check the prerequisites for admission. Find out if online study is available, explore typical coursework and get info on career outcomes.

What Are the Prerequisites for a Master's in Medical Science Program?

A master's in medical science (MMS) degree is an interdisciplinary graduate-level program serving a variety of purposes. It can be a degree to enhance your career in various medical fields; it can provide credentials if you're entering medical school or it can provide you with medical knowledge while you're deciding your medical career path. It's also used as a supplement for students in a physician assistant degree program.

The prerequisites for a MMS program may vary depending on the school and your current level of education. For instance, physician assistant students must be currently in the PA program or within 24 months of graduation to participate in the MMS program. Although a GPA of at least 2.5 is usually a requirement, some schools may requires 3.0 or higher.

Prerequisites Minimum GPA, varying prerequisites depending on school and applicant's education level
Online Availability Online programs are available
Common Courses Advanced pharmacology, advanced genetics, family medicine, cell biology, scientific research ethics
Mean Annual Salary (2018) $108,430 (for physician assistants)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 37% growth (for physician assistants)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Can I Earn My Degree Online?

Master's in medical science programs are offered in both on-campus and online format. As an online student, you can continue to work, participate a physician assistant program or pursue a medical program you prefer, while only spending a few hours per week on online coursework. If you're organized and self-motivated, you'll benefit from the flexibility offered in the MMS online program. This program is offered online in many colleges and universities, offering the option to choose the one that best meets your career goals.

What Courses Will I Take?

The medical science master's program is offered as a Master of Arts in Medical Science, Master of Science in Medical Science or as a Master of Medical Science program. The coursework will vary depending on the program you choose and your area of interest. Courses in a master's in medical science program often combine coursework with clinical internships. As a one or 2-year program, you'll obtain the background essentials necessary to pursue a career in the medical field of your choice.

Topics of study include:

  • Advanced pharmacology
  • Human physiology
  • Advanced genetics
  • Research methodologies
  • Family medicine
  • Internal medicine
  • Biomolecules and metabolism
  • Cell biology
  • Scientific research ethics

How Can This Degree Help My Career?

A master's in medical science degree can enhance your medical knowledge and improve your career options in your chosen field. One benefit of this program is that you don't need to be enrolled in medical school to reap its benefits because the coursework can be transferred to other graduate or professional programs. However, with the increased need for qualified medical professions, the employment outlook is very good for graduates of an MMS program.

For instance, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for physician assistants are expected to increase by 37% from 2016 to 2026 (www.bls.gov). As of the 2018 national estimates, the mean annual wage for physician assistants was $108,430. Although a large percentage of graduates of the MMS program go on to medical schools, many pursue other careers, including health care management and mental health counseling.