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.
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
GS21 1051 The Ethical Dimensions of Biomedical Sciences
Data Acquisition and Management (Online Ethics Module)
Responsible Authorship and Publication (Online Ethics Module)
Didactic courses (graded A-F)
GS00 1520 Research in Biomedical Sciences
GS00 1910 Thesis for Master of Science
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.).
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 Dr. Wassim Chehab or 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
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
GS06 1013 Fundamental Immunology
GS06 1003 Emerging Concepts in Immunology
Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
GS07 1015 Microbial Genetics and Physiology
Two neuroscience courses (earning a grade of B or higher)
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)
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. William Mattox. 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.
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
- 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.
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 email@example.com in Academic Affairs AS WELL AS members of the student’s Advisory Committee within 10 days of the meeting.
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.
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.
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 2022-2023 Seminar Dates and Student Presenters
October 7 - Presenters: Johnathan Jia & Pragya Sinha / Hosts: Muchen Liu & Sydney Lac
November 4 - Presenters: Brittany Morrow & Anna Vang / Hosts: Madison O'Hara & Brianne Wharton
December 2 - Presenters: Madison O'Hara & Brianne Wharton / Hosts: Brittany Morrow & Maxsam Donta
January 13 - Presenters: Dexin Yang & Luis Segarra / Hosts: Lanxin Bei & Anna Vang
February 3 - Presenters: Alexandra Flegle & Maison Grefe & Sergey Egranov / Hosts: Yi June Kim & Luis Segarra
March 3 - Presenters: Maxsam Donta & Erin Simpson / Hosts: Patrick Mooz & Maria T. Grimaldo
April 7 - Presenters: Patrick Mooz & Maria T. Grimaldo / Hosts: Johnathan Jia & Alexandra Flegle
May 5 - Presenters: Drew Boagni & Avantika Krishna / Hosts: Erin Simpson & Maison Grefe
June 2 - Presenters: Sydney Lac & Lanxin Bei / Hosts: Drew Boagni & Dexin Yang
July 7 - Presenters: Parnaz Merikhian & Yi June Kim / Hosts: Avantika Krishna & Mason Ruiz
August 4 - Presenters: Muchen Liu & Mason Ruiz / Hosts: Pragya Sinha & Parnaz Merikhian