Medical Science Degree and Certificate Programs By Program Level

Oct 14, 2019

Medical science programs are available at the graduate certificate, master's and doctoral degree levels. Emphasizing neuroscience, human physiology and biomedical sciences, they offer hands-on laboratory experiences along with classroom instruction.

Essential Information

In graduate certificate, master's and doctorate medical science degree programs clinical rotations and specialties are included in addition to classroom work. Degree programs also require completion of a thesis or a dissertation. Career outcomes include but are not limited to medical scientist, medical researcher, and public health specialist.

All programs require students to have a bachelor's degree in a science-related field. Students are required for master's programs to possess specific scores on graduate tests, such as the Graduate Record Examination. Depending on the institution, interviews and letters of recommendation are also required. Doctoral applicants must hold master's degree in a science related field, as well as reports from standardized tests, such as the GRE. Enrollees are also required to submit three letters of recommendation and a personal statement.

Graduate Certificate in Basic Medical Sciences

Certification programs are intended for students having an interest in applying engineering concepts to the medical field, and individuals who are already working in medicine. Students are instructed in the different sciences making up human biology and medicine. They familiarize themselves with cell biology, anatomy, and physiology through classroom lectures and hands-on laboratory training.

Training is provided in molecular and cellular processes, biological techniques, medical physiology, and immunology. Students also delve into neuroscience and surgical anatomy. Courses include:

  • Cell biology
  • Medicine and society
  • Special problems in anatomy
  • Medical nutrition
  • Biochemistry

Master of Arts in Medical Sciences

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Medical Sciences program explores advanced theoretical theories in medical sciences and allows students to explore unique careers through optional coursework or specializations. Areas of concentration include behavioral medicine, clinical investigation, or nutritional sciences. Students are expected to complete a thesis project, in addition to medical themed laboratory exercises.

Graduate medical science programs utilize advance didactic coursework in medical genetics and anatomy, as well as clinical rotations in clinical specialties. Other topics covered in the curriculum include:

  • Biochemistry and biology
  • Medical histology
  • Biostatistics
  • Human physiology
  • Medical immunology

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Medical Sciences

In order to qualify for advanced research into life's basic processes and medical aliases, graduate medical science students must pursue their Ph.D. in Medical Sciences. Students focus on medical topics in anatomy, cell biology, and physiology. Throughout the program, students complete courses and research in cancer biology, immunology, and pharmacology. A majority of the program is dedicated to a research dissertation that must be presented and defended in front of a board.

Within a doctoral program, students are trained through coursework, research seminars, and directed research. Topics discussed throughout the program cover:

  • Foundation in biomedical sciences
  • Responsible conduct in research
  • Human development
  • Gross human anatomy
  • Human microscopic anatomy

Popular Career Options

Though many graduates continue on to a master's program, they may be qualified for careers in medical and biotechnology industries. Some job titles may include:

  • Clinical laboratory technologist
  • Immunology technologist
  • Medical technician

Graduates of master's degree programs possess the advanced medical expertise for a variety of scientist positions in medical industries. Other careers include:

  • Public health specialist
  • Immunology assistant
  • Medical researcher

Career and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS,, employment of medical scientists is expected to faster than average at 8% from 2018-2028. The growth is expected to stem from expansion in chronic illness-related research, such as cancer and AIDS research. In May 2018, medical scientists earned median annual wages of $84,810, stated the BLS.

Continuing Education Info

Graduates of a certificate program in medical sciences may continue on to a master's degree program in medical sciences or may choose to enroll in medical school. It typically requires either a Doctor of Medicine or a Doctor of Philosophy to conduct original research in the medical field.

Students who have earned a bachelor's degree in a science-related field and are interested in the scientific study of human biology and the biomedical sciences may pursue a graduate certificate in basic medical sciences to qualify for a job as an technician or a technologist, or work towards a master's or Ph.D. degree in medical science to pursue a more advanced research career.

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