Masters in Medical Science: Degree Program Overviews

Students seeking a master's degree in medical science can choose a pre-professional track that prepares them to enter a professional school, such as medical or dental school, or a research track that helps them pursue a career in medical research.

Essential Information

Many medical science master's programs are offered with a variety of specializations directly related to positions in the medical field, such as women's health, molecular medicine, pharmacology, aging and neuroscience, medical nutrition science, behavioral medicine or clinical investigation; some specializations require completion of a dual degree.

Some are one-year programs; others add a second year of supervised research. A bachelor's degree with undergraduate courses in biology, chemistry and physics, is necessary enroll in medical science graduate programs, as well as minimum MCAT scores.

Master's Degree in Medical Science

All programs require a bachelor's degree in any field of study, as long as the applicant took enough undergraduate courses in science and math. Schools may require an overall GPA of at least 3.0 plus a grade of 3.0 for all science courses. For those students entering the pre-professional programs, admission requires the MCAT. Some schools may allow students entering the research track programs to take either the MCAT or GRE to satisfy admission criteria.

The purpose of the program dictates the courses. All of these degrees are built around a core of science courses that include most of the following classes on an advanced level:

  • Biochemistry and cell biology
  • Developmental biology
  • Neurobiology
  • Molecular biology
  • Biostatistics
  • Anatomy and physiology

Popular Career Options

Master's programs in medical science typically do not prepare students to enter a career upon graduation; rather, they prepare them to enter professional health care programs or research-oriented doctoral programs. Some careers that graduates can attain once they complete further training at the doctoral level are:

  • Medical doctor
  • Pharmacologist
  • Medical research scientist
  • Dentist

Continuing Education

Graduates of master's degree programs in medical science can choose to continue their studies with specialized doctoral programs. For example, they may focus on cell biology and pathology, immunology or cardiovascular disease in a Ph.D. program. Aspiring doctors can enter medical school to earn an M.D. degree or enter a program that offers a combination of an M.D. with a specialized Ph.D. program. Graduates could also apply to dental, veterinary, physical therapy or pharmacology programs.

Master's programs in medical science are typically designed for students who want to prepare for professional school or a Ph.D. program. Students can often choose from a variety of healthcare or science-based specializations, depending on their interests.

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