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School of Medicine Columbia

Master's Program

Our students have the opportunity to work with a research mentor with access to all the resources a Tier 1 research university offers. Your research can directly impact patient care and prepare you to pursue a research position or continue on to a Ph.D.

Work With World-Class Faculty

Our student and faculty researchers are addressing current gaps in our understanding of a variety of disorders with the goal of directly impacting patient care. With your degree in hand, you’ll be prepared to pursue a variety of career paths.

Choose Your Track

Our master’s program is designed with the student in mind, allowing you to find the path which will help you achieve your ultimate career goal.

We offer three tracks:

  • Thesis

    The research-based thesis track is perfect for the student who isn’t sure if they want to pursue a doctoral degree, but knows that their career goals will require more than a bachelor’s. This track offers students the option to work with a research mentor to complete either a lab-based or a library-based thesis.
  • Non-Thesis

    When you choose the non-thesis track, you'll be able to focus on the academic aspect of the program as opposed to the research aspect. You won't be required to work in a lab environment in this track, making it a perfect option for someone interested in going on to a non-research career. 

Health Professions Concentration 

The Health Professions Concentration within the Biomedical Sciences Master’s Program at the USC School of Medicine Columbia is a one-year program designed for students that need to enhance their biomedical background, improve their professional skills, and/or their MCAT score before applying to medical school or other health professional schools. It offers students a unique opportunity to improve their credentials and build a competitive application portfolio. Graduate-level courses such as biochemistry, cell, and molecular biology, anatomy, physiology, histology, and experimental pathology, etc., are taught by an engaging and experienced faculty team that also participates in the medical curriculum at the USC SOM and are the foundation of this concentration. The course “Skills for Health Professionals: Basics and practice” is designed to provide advice on application preparation and enhance interview skills. An MCAT preparation workshop will provide students with advice on study strategies and exam preparation. Clinical experiences will be explored with the advice of the faculty.

The Health Professions Concentration is a 12-month program of 32-credit hours. Extended enrollment to 18 months will be considered upon request. No MCAT or GRE requirements.

Requirements for admission to the program: applicants should have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above from their undergraduate academic institution.

While most applicants will have majored in a discipline that would prepare them for a health professional program, our program is also appropriate for individuals with other undergraduate majors who have completed advanced scientific coursework. 

  • Applied Biotechnology Concentration   

    If you want to get a more in-depth experience with equipment and technologies, this track is for you. Instead of focusing on a single type of research that may only use a few types of equipment, you'll have the option to broaden your horizons. You'll have access to the types of equipment found in the medical school and in colleges and schools on the larger USC campus, which will give you a breadth of experience you might not be able to get elsewhere. Students interested in this track generally go on to work in industry, education or government labs. 

Choose a Mentor

Our program allows students to carry out world-class research with School of Medicine faculty in Pharmacology, Physiology and Neuroscience, Cell Biology and Anatomy and Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology. Our goal is to ensure you are matched with a faculty member and lab where you can pursue the research that matters to you. 

How to Apply

You can apply to our program through the Graduate School and by submitting your supplementary materials. The deadline for admissions is February 1 and decisions are made on a rolling basis.


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