Academics

Master of Science in Preclinical Sciences Curriculum

The Master of Science in Preclinical Sciences (MSPCS) Program is a 32-week curriculum composed of 31 credit hours of biomedical sciences that are foundational to the practice of clinical medicine and the development of biomedical research.  The MSPCS prepares its graduates for careers in science teaching, academic laboratory research, publishing or policy-making and for the pursuit of advanced research degrees in biomedical sciences or professional degrees in healthcare. The MSPCS competencies for its graduates are their ability to demonstrate an understanding of fundamental scientific knowledge that is the basis for medicine and research and to display critical thinking skills in the application of that knowledge.

Required Courses - 31 credit hours

Fall Semester (15 credit hours)

  • BMS 610 - Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics
  • BMS 612 - Molecular Cell Biology
  • BMS 622 - Microbial Pathogenesis

Spring Semester (16 credit hours)

  • BMS 611 - Human Immunity
  • BMS 620 - Human Physiology
  • BMS 621 - Human Development
  • BMS 623 - Preclinical Sciences Capstone

Course Descriptions

BMS 610:  Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics (5 credit hours)

The goal for the instruction in biochemistry and molecular genetics is for students to understand the chemical and biomolecular composition of the human body, the importance of buffering and solute concentrations in physiological function, the metabolic processes that provide energy to sustain tissue viability, the structure and dynamics of genetic material, the regulation of gene expression, and the principles of genetic inheritance. This learning goal will be achieved by students through problem-solving in the classroom, discussion of medical cases and research literature, and analysis of the biochemistry and genetics research literature.

BMS 611:  Human Immunity (5 credit hours)

The goal for the instruction in the human immune system is for students to understand the development and organization of the human immune system, the genetic and molecular mechanisms of immunity, the role of inflammation in immunity, the initiation and detection of immune responses, and the use of vaccines to support human immunity. This learning goal will be achieved by students through problem-solving in the classroom, discussion of medical cases and research literature, and analysis of the immunology research literature.

BMS 612:  Molecular Cell Biology (5 credit hours)

The goal for the instruction in molecular cellular biology is for students to understand the fundamental structure of human cells, the function of intracellular organelles, the dynamics of organelles in different cell types, the cellular interactions within tissues to support tissue function, and the biomolecular interactions required for cellular function. This learning goal will be achieved by students through problem-solving in the classroom, discussion of medical cases and research literature, and analysis of the cellular and molecular biology research literature.

BMS 620:  Human Physiology (5 credit hours)

The goal for the instruction in human physiology is for students to develop an understanding of the function of the human body, building upon their prior knowledge of human biology, physics, chemistry and mathematics. This course deals with body fluid compartments and body systems organization and function, including the nervous, muscular, cardiovascular, respiratory, urinary, digestive, and endocrine systems. Students will examine the concepts of homeostasis and regulatory mechanisms as they are applied in the various body functions. The learning goal will be achieved through a combination of interactive lectures, group discussions, problem-solving exercises, and medical case-based activities. (prerequisites – BMS 610 and 612)

 BMS 621:  Human Development (5 credit hours)

The goal for the instruction in human development is for students to understand the process of human development, the determinants of embryonic development, the differentiation and organization of cells into functional tissues and organs, the maternal contribution to embryonic and fetal development, the environmental and physiological risks to human development, and the basic functional anatomy of the human body. This learning goal will be achieved by students through classroom discussion, interaction with animated programs depicting developmental processes, histological analysis of human tissues, and interaction with animated programs and with plastinated models of human anatomy. (prerequisites – BMS 610 and 612)

BMS 622: Microbial Pathogenesis (5 credit hours)

The goal for the instruction in microbial pathogenesis is for students to understand the structural and genetic differences between human cells, bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses, the variations in structure among members of pathogenic species, the metabolic and genetic properties of microbes that facilitate their adaptation to different environments, the commensal relationship between humans and microbes, the mechanisms of microbial and viral pathogenesis, and the basic laboratory culture conditions and tests for human microbial pathogens. This learning goal will be achieved by students through problem-solving in the classroom and discussion of medical cases and research literature that illustrate clinical application of microbiology principles.

BMS 623: Preclinical Sciences Capstone (1 credit hour)

The goal for the capstone course is for students to apply their scientific knowledge in critical thinking through composition and oral presentation.Students will select a topic in biotechnology or scientific research, review current literature, and author a dissertation that surveys the current knowledge of the topic and expounds on questions that could lead to scientific advancement and medical application of the research. The instructional time will provide students with information on how to format their composition, how to search the scientific literature and databases, how to analyze scientific papers, and how to properly cite resources in their compositions. Independent work is expected. Students in the course will be expected to prepare an oral presentation to be delivered during the latter half of the course. Oral presentations and compositions will be evaluated by a panel of faculty and peers who will utilize a rubric to determine student achievement of the course objective and the program competencies. (prerequisites – BMS 610, 612 and 622)