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Academics:

MS in Biomedical Sciences

For more information about the MS in Biomedical Sciences degree program, please contact:

Wassim Chehab, PhD
Program Manager

Students enrolled in MS degree programs are provided the opportunity to gain mastery of the scientific background of their discipline and their specific research problem. Such mastery is acquired from didactic instruction and individual study of the scientific literature. Laboratory studies provide opportunities to gain technical facility with the methods required for investigation. In view of the wide range of fields of knowledge in which the MS degree is awarded, it is not feasible to set specific requirements for this degree.

The preparation of the MS thesis provides:

  • In depth understanding of the field of study,
  • experience in stating a research problem within the framework of contemporary knowledge,
  • presenting the rationale for the technical approach to be taken in solving the problem,
  • presenting valid and reproducible results obtained by the application of methodology appropriate to the problem,
  • and providing a coherent analysis of the results and the conclusions drawn from this analysis.

The acquisition of technical expertise should be the major objective of students at the MS degree level, and the MS thesis should provide evidence the student’s mastery of the knowledge and technology required for the solution of the research problem. While studies at the MS level may place less emphasis than those at the PhD level on the scope and magnitude of the intellectual contribution, the MS thesis should demonstrate the student’s creativity and critical thinking in the solution of a scientific problem. The thesis should be an original document written by the student.

  • Thesis Expectations

    Students enrolled in MS degree programs are provided the opportunity to gain mastery of the scientific background of their discipline and their specific research problem. Such mastery is acquired from didactic instruction and individual study of the scientific literature. Laboratory studies provide opportunities to gain technical facility with the methods required for investigation. In view of the wide range of fields of knowledge in which the MS degree is awarded, it is not feasible to set specific requirements for this degree.

    The preparation of the MS thesis provides:

    • In depth understanding of the field of study,
    • experience in stating a research problem within the framework of contemporary knowledge,
    • presenting the rationale for the technical approach to be taken in solving the problem,
    • presenting valid and reproducible results obtained by the application of methodology appropriate to the problem,
    • and providing a coherent analysis of the results and the conclusions drawn from this analysis.

    The acquisition of technical expertise should be the major objective of students at the MS degree level, and the MS thesis should provide evidence the student’s mastery of the knowledge and technology required for the solution of the research problem. While studies at the MS level may place less emphasis than those at the PhD level on the scope and magnitude of the intellectual contribution, the MS thesis should demonstrate the student’s creativity and critical thinking in the solution of a scientific problem. The thesis should be an original document written by the student.

  • Curriculum

    The specific course requirements for an MS degree in Biomedical Sciences are a minimum of 36 semester credit hours of pertinent coursework to be completed over a period of 2 - 3 years to include the following: 

    Specific course requirements for an MS degree

    Required Coursework

    Credit Hours

    GS21 1051 The Ethical Dimensions of Biomedical Sciences

    1

    Data Acquisition and Management (Online Ethics Module)

    -

    Responsible Authorship and Publication (Online Ethics Module)

    -

    Didactic courses (graded A-F)

    12

    GS00 1520 Research in Biomedical Sciences

    6

    GS00 1910 Thesis for Master of Science

    6

    Additional courses

    11       

    The majority (i.e. over 50%) of the 12 credit hours of graded didactic coursework and the 36 total credit hours of coursework, plus the majority of any additional coursework required by the Academic Standards Committee or the student's Advisory Committee, must be GSBS courses. Courses with GSBS inter-institutional course codes may be taken at other UTHealth schools, or at an institution with which we have consortium arrangements (e.g., Rice University, University of Houston, or Baylor College of Medicine, etc.).

  • Program Course Requirements

    Students admitted to the Individualized MS Program in Biomedical Sciences may choose to select an area of research concentration by associating with one of the following Programs. Each program has a specific set of requirements for MS students in addition to the general curriculum requirements. 

    If you have any questions regarding associating with a program please contact Nicolle Patterson.
    Current Program Directors/Program Managers.

    Program Course Requirements for MS Students

    Biochemistry and Cell Biology

    GS03 1023 Current Methods in Biochemistry and Cell Biology
    GS13 1024 Molecular Basis of Cell Signaling

    Cancer Biology

    GS04 1235 Basic and Translational Cancer Biology

    Genetics and Epigenetics

    GS04 1253 Principles of Genetics & Epigenetics

    Not required but suggested:

    G&E Oral Scientific Presentations (GS04 1821) or equivalent
    G&E Scientific Writing (GS04 1811) or equivalent

    Immunology

    GS06 1013 Fundamental Immunology
    GS06 1003 Emerging Concepts in Immunology

    Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

    GS07 1015 Microbial Genetics and Physiology

    Neuroscience

    Two neuroscience courses (earning a grade of B or higher)

    Quantitative Science

    GS01 1143 Introduction to Bioinformatics
    GS14 1612 Biostatistics for Life Sciences
    GS01 1031 Quantitative Sciences Student Seminar

    Therapeutics and Pharmacology

    GS04 1103 Principles of Therapeutics
    One elective course (approved by the program director)

  • FAQ

    CURRICULUM

    What if I have not chosen an MS advisor? Is there a course that I can take for the research credit?

    Students who have not chosen their advisor may register for Research in Biomedical Sciences under Dr. Eric Swindell. Once you join a lab, your registration can be switched to your advisor.


    STUDENT ENROLLMENT REQUIREMENTS 

    What is the difference in full-time versus part-time enrollment?

    Full-time registration is:

    • Fall and Spring Semesters = 9 hours +
    • Summer Semester = 6 hours +  

    Part-time registration is:

    • Fall and Spring Semesters = <6 hours
    • Summer Semesters = <5 hours

    Please note: if you are funded by Faculty, Financial Aid, or are an International Student you MUST be registered as a full-time student. However, if you are a domestic, self-funded student you may register as a part-time student.


    CANDIDACY PETITION

    What is the difference between good academic standing and academic probation?

    Good academic standing is maintained when the student’s overall Grade Point Average (G.P.A.) is 3.0 or better and the student has been meeting his/her MS milestones in a timely fashion.

    Academic probation - any of the following actions or conditions can cause the student to be placed on academic probation by the Dean:

    • Failure of any course
    • Cumulative G.P.A. falls below 3.0
    • Failure to meet with his or her Advisory Committee within a six-month period
    • Failure to meet the particular requirements for the MS degree in the time periods specified by the School
    • Failure to make satisfactory progress toward the degree 

    Consequences 

    • Any student on probation is ineligible to apply for GSBS scholarships, fellowships, or travel awards and will not be allowed to stand for the MS final oral thesis examination.
    • More severe actions, up to and including dismissal may be considered by the Academic Standards Committee for a student's failure to make satisfactory progress toward the degree.

    ADVISORY COMMITTEE

    Are there any additional requirements regarding Advisory Committee meetings?

    • To remain in good academic standing, students are required to meet with their Advisory Committee soon after it is approved (within 1-2 months) and at least once every six months after.
    • Students are expected to provide their committee with a pre-meeting progress update at least 5 days before their meeting
    • After the meeting, the student and the Advisor complete the committee meeting report
    • Both the student's progress update and the committee meeting report are to be submitted to gsbs.reports@uth.tmc.edu in Academic Affairs AS WELL AS members of the student’s Advisory Committee within 10 days of the meeting.

    DEFENSE

    Are there additional details I should know about the MS Defense?

    • If a member of the Advisory Committee is unable to attend the defense, a substitute who meets the same criteria (e.g., outside the student's major interest or from another department) must be added.  The individual must be a GSBS faculty member.  The student should send an email to Dr. Swindell and copy the Advisor as well as the substitute member to request approval of the substitution.  The substitute member will sign the Results of the Defense form, but will not sign the student's thesis.  The committee member who was unable to attend the defense shouldn't sign the defense results form, but will still be required to approve and sign off on the thesis.
    • Any member of the GSBS Faculty who attends the public presentation may participate in the examination to the extent described below. Others wishing to attend must be approved by the Advisory Committee.
    • Within one week after the defense, Academic Affairs will communicate the results to the Dean and the ASC for their information and approval.
    • Also within one week of the defense, any GSBS faculty member who has read the student's thesis and has attended the defense may write directly to the Dean to provide an evaluation of the student's performance.
    • In reaching a final decision on whether to award the MS or require further work and/or another defense, the Dean will take into consideration the recommendation of the Advisory Committee and other comments received from GSBS Faculty. In particular cases, the Dean may solicit additional evaluations of the thesis from experts in the field either within or outside the GSBS Faculty.
    • The decision of the Dean will be communicated to the student and the Advisory Committee within one month of the defense.

    MS GRADUATION

    What if I am not able to complete all of the necessary paperwork following my MS defense before the semester deadline?

    • If all of the MS Thesis and Defense paperwork is not submitted by the semester deadline, the student must enroll for an additional semester of coursework and graduation will be delayed until all requirements are fulfilled.

    APPLICATION TO THE GSBS PHD PROGRAM

    MS Students can not transfer to the PhD program, but are welcome to apply for acceptance to the PhD program. All applicants (including GSBS MS students) will be evaluated using the same criteria. MS students must complete all of the requirements for their degree prior to beginning their PhD work. In the event that the student is unable to complete the elements of their MS degree prior to the first semester of the PhD program, the student must defer until completion of their MS degree requirements.

  • MS Monthly Seminar Series

    The goal of this monthly seminar is to strengthen our MS community by creating a space where all MS students can come together to hear a research presentation from senior MS trainees, as well as hear just in time information from the GSBS about meeting program milestones, and be able to network with other students in the program. 

    First Friday of every month, 3:00-4:00 p.m. 

    Upcoming 2021-2022 Seminar Dates and Student Presenters

    September 3 - Dr. Wassim Chehab and Dr. Bill Mattox
    October 1 - Jamie Tran & Sara Kelley
    November 5 - Ran Zhao & Brittany Morrow
    December 3 - Anna Vang & Xiaoyun Cheng
    January 7 - Shannon Erhardt & Meredith Frank
    February 4 - Nicole Stephens & Charmelle Williams
    March 4 - Mason Ruiz & Pragya Sinha
    April 1 - Deanna GlassmanMaxsam Donta
    May 6 - Lana Al HasaniRussell Irwin
    June 3 - Brandy Walker & Luis Segarra
    July 1 -  Johnathan Jia 
    August 5 - Dr. Wassim Chehab and Dr. Bill Mattox


Related Links

MS/SMS Programs
        Overview
        FAQs
        Alumni

MS in Biomedical Sciences
        Overview
        Degree Requirements/Milestones
        Curriculum Requirements
        Program Course Requirements

Questions?

For more information about the MS program or for current MS student academic advising, please contact Nicolle Patterson or Dr. Wassim Chehab.