Accelerated Master's Programs in Biomedical Science
Accelerated master's degree programs in biomedical science offer thorough instruction that can be completed in about a year. Students in these programs can expect to learn about topics ranging from immunology to biostatistics.
How to Earn an Accelerated Master's Degree in Biomedical Science
Motivated students looking to launch their medical careers can use an accelerated degree in biomedical science to prepare for an MD program or other course of graduate study. These programs can be completed in a year or less, as opposed to the more traditional two-year time span that most master's degrees use. The pace may be more rapid, but these programs offer a thorough and well-rounded education that touches on a variety of medical topics. Certain schools even allow students to pursue a concentration in a subject such as neuroscience or immunology. Common courses in these programs are outlined below.
Physiology courses may take a holistic approach and examine how the body's organ systems work together to carry out essential functions. These offerings typically include a hybrid of theoretical discussion and practical study in the lab. Other courses might focus on the human cardiovascular system and cover topics such as vascular systems, responses to stress, the heart's electrical activity, and regulation of blood pressure.
In these course offerings, students learn about the role of the immune system. Specific topics of discussion include antibody formation, diseased cells, and immunologic reactions. In the lab, students conduct experiments using serological and antibody-based methods to learn more about health and disease.
Basic Research Methodology
This course focuses on fundamental principles of biomedical research and teaches students how to analyze and understand current biomedical literature. Students also learn the fundamentals of publication in preparation for sharing their findings. Additional topics of study often include statistical analysis and experimental design.
Biomedical science is a math-heavy field, thus master's degree programs offer courses that introduce students to the use of statistical methods in a biological context. These courses typically cover inferential statistics, with attention being paid to the management, collection, and sharing of data. Biostatistics courses may also focus on more theoretical concepts, such as choosing research methods.
Medical biochemistry courses focus on cellular components and their composition and reactions. Students can get an overview of core concepts such as hormonal control mechanisms, nutrition, and nucleic acids. This offering also details introductory topics related to pathological and physiological conditions that become studied in later, more advanced courses.
Molecular and Cell Biology
These courses help students understand the fundamentals of cell structure. Among the many topics covered in this course are: genetics, DNA structure, intracellular organelles, and regulatory mechanisms. Depending on the program, the course may also cover RNA, protein, and the difference between Mendelian and non-Mendelian bases of genetics.
This course observes genetic influences as they appear at every stage of the human life cycle, starting with prenatal and eventually leading to the adult period. In studying each of these phases, students might learn about treatment modalities, early intervention, and screening protocols. They might also focus on the gene transcription and translation process.
Neuroanatomy courses focus on the nervous systems' morphologic and physiologic aspects. Students can examine pathological imaging studies, prosections, anatomical models, and histological preparations. Similar to physiology courses, these courses typically consist of a blend of both the theoretical and clinical aspects of the field, with coursework taking place both in the lab and the lecture hall.
Admissions Requirements for An Accelerated Master's Degree in Biomedical Science
Admission into a biomedical science degree does not come easy. As with any graduate program, prospective students will need to have a bachelor's degree. A particular major is not always required, but it is common for schools to require prior coursework in related subjects, such as biology and chemistry. Students should ideally have a GPA of at least 3.0, although this is not always mandatory.
In addition to transcripts, students may need to provide some or all of the following items:
- Professional resume
- Statement of purpose
- Personal statement detailing future goals
- Letters of recommendation
- GRE/GMAT scores
Students who earned their undergraduate degree outside the U.S. may also be required to take an English proficiency exam, such as the TOEFL or IELTS. Specific requirements vary for each school. Prior to applying, consult your chosen program's website for more detailed information on the exact prerequisites.
Accelerated master's degree programs in biomedical science offer a means of quickly earning a degree without sacrificing quality. In a year or less, students learn about a variety of medical topics and graduate with a bevy of skills and training that can help start a medical career.