Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences

Personalized Attention.
Professional Growth.
Community Impact.

Earn a Master’s Degree in Biomedical Sciences while taking graduate-level coursework related to topics found on the MCAT and completing a research project resulting in a Master’s thesis.

Loras is proud to offer a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences, designed to serve as an “academic record enhancer” (ARE) postbaccalaureate pre-medical/pre-health program. ARE postbaccalaureate programs are specifically intended for students who have taken the required undergraduate science coursework to apply to medical school (or other graduate-level health professional programs), but do not have a competitive application.

Students looking to enhance their previous academic history to be competitive applicants for med school, a PhD program, or a full-time job, will find that our challenging coursework allows them to show demonstrated improved academic ability, as well as continue to extend their learning on topics necessary for the MCAT and in health professional school.

Students in the M.S. in Biomedical Sciences will receive academic support and academic advising from the Director of Health Professions Advising at Loras College, Dr. Ulrike Schultz, MD, MPH. As a medical doctor, Dr. Schultz knows and understands the medical profession, as well as associated healthcare areas, and provides individualized advising to Loras students seeking admission to graduate-level health professional programs.

Additional program benefits include:

  • Application guidance to health-related professional schools, including personal statement guidance and interviewing practice.
  • Admission test guidance for health-related professional schools.
  • Assistance finding shadowing, research, and other related opportunities.
  • Regular postbaccalaureate seminars.
  • Small program size so we are able to provide personalized attention to all students in the program.
  • Beautiful Midwest location with a robust health care environment which provides opportunities for students to gain experience in the health care field.
  • Priority class registration.
  • Competitive tuition and financial aid opportunities available (federal loans).

Straight Talk from a Duhawk

We feel strongly that this two-year plan gives students more time to study for the MCAT which they will take at the end of their first year, plus gives them research experience in the second year before they would start their professional school. One-year programs leave students with a “gap year” before they can start medical school.

The research project for the program is chosen from a wide range of biomedical science areas, including
physiology, kinesiology, neuroscience, genetics, biochemistry, and cellular and molecular biology.

Straight Talk from a Duhawk

" Our program builds in a research experience to help students improve both their in-depth learning and the strength of their application to medical school."

Hear from Dr. Cooper
Requirements, Instructions & PostBacCAS Application

The following PDF covers eligibility, how to apply, and important application deadline dates

Application Checklist

 

Course Requirements and Rotation

FALL 2021 Start: (May 2023 graduation)

Classes Credits
Year 1 Fall 2021 *BIO 515-Advanced Research Seminar I 2
*BIO 520-Advanced Cellular and Molecular Biology 3
Elective option:
ATR 542-Health and Wellness Promotion
(3)
Year 1 Spring 2022 *BIO 530-Advanced Integrative Physiology 3
*CHE 548-Advanced Graduate Biochemistry 4
*BIO 516-Advanced Research Seminar II 1
Year 1 Summer 2022 Elective option:
One of the following may be chosen in conjunction with your advisor:
ATR 541-Public Health or
ATR 540-Epidemiology
(3)
Year 2 Fall 2022 *BIO 610-Research 6
*BIO 525-Bioethics 3
Year 2 Spring 2023 *BIO 611-Research 3
*ATR 580-Pathophysiology 3
Elective option: To be chosen in conjunction with your advisor (if not already finished) (3-4)
Total 34-35

*Classes with an asterisk are required classes for the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences Degree (28 credits). In addition, two elective classes (totaling at least 6 credits) are also required and can be taken in the Fall, Spring, or Summer as suggested in the timeline above. A minimum of 34 total credits is required to graduate from the program.

Course Descriptions

Coming Soon

Tuition & Fees

Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences Program Cost
Visit the Graduate section of our Tuition & Fees page for detailed cost information.

Below are additional fees associated with students enrolled in the MS in Biomedical Sciences program (subject to change):

  • CHE 540 – Advanced Graduate Biochemistry ($35 course fee)
  • BIO 610 – Research ($600 course fee)
  • BIO 611 – Research ($300 course fee)

Employer Reimbursement
The Employer Reimbursement Form must be completed.

Students are responsible for providing the course information, final grades, and billing information to their employer to obtain the reimbursement.

If the employer reimbursement criteria are not met and/or reimbursement is denied, the student must bring their account current before any future registration will be permitted.

Federal Loan Options
Students wishing to obtain a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan must complete the current year FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and take at least 3 credits per term.

The loan will disburse directly to the school to cover the cost of the term.

Graduate students are eligible for $20,500 in loan funds for each academic year.

The Loras College academic year runs from Summer – Spring (i.e. Summer 2021 – Spring 2022)

Contact us if you have additional Billing and Financial Aid Questions
Carrie Jones, Director of Student Accounts 563.588.7232 or carrie.jones@loras.edu

Financial Planning Office 563.588.7136 or financial.planning@loras.edu

Tuition and Fees are subject to change at any time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Application and Admission

What are the academic requirements for admission into the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences?
A minimum cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. Pre-requisite courses include two semesters of General Chemistry, two semesters of Organic Chemistry, at least one semester of Biochemistry, Introductory Biology and Cellular/Molecular biology. Physiology or Anatomy/physiology is recommended, but not required. In place of the pre-requisite courses, students may be eligible for admission with an MCAT score above 500 with no sub-score below 123 (30th percentile) [as an indication they have some background in all those areas].

How do I apply for admission?
Please see the Application Requirements and Checklist section of this webpage. The entire application process is completed through the PostBacCas website.

What are the application deadlines?
For students applying to begin in Fall: the PostBacCAS online application should be submitted and all supplemental application documents should be received by August 1.

For students applying to begin in Summer: the PostBacCAS online application should be submitted and all supplemental application documents should be received by May 1. (Please note that only one class is available to take in the Summer. We highly encourage students to begin the program in the Fall term).

*Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until the application deadline for each term.

Does the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences program require an undergraduate degree in a specific program? What are preferred undergraduate majors for admission into the program?
The Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences program requires a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in a science-related major.

How long will it take to receive a decision regarding my application?
We have rolling admissions for this program; therefore, after your application file is complete and verified in PostBacCAS, we will be in touch within approximately two weeks with our admission decision.

How will I be notified of the admission decision?
You will be contacted by email once a decision has been made.

Can I take some courses as a non-degree student?
Individuals who would like to take graduate classes for professional development, continuing education credits, or personal enrichment may take up to 9 graduate credits as a non-degree special student. Special students may not enroll in courses without approval from the program director.

In order to enroll in the course(s), students must complete the standard online application (select “Graduate Non-Degree or Licensure Student” as the Admit Type), and email unofficial copies of transcripts from each institution attended to the Director of Admission for Graduate and Postbaccalaureate Programs. The transcripts will then be evaluated by the program director to ensure that any necessary pre-requisite course requirements have been met. Please note that degree-seeking students have registration preference.

After the completion of 9 non-degree credits, a student must then apply for formal admission into the program in order to move forward and take additional courses.

Financial aid is not available to non-degree special students.

Is there an option for conditional admission?
Candidates can discuss deficiencies in the admissions criteria with the Program Director for possible admission. Exceptions to the admission requirements would be made by the Director in consultation with the Postbac/Prehealth Admission Committee. Interviews via Zoom/Skype may be required in borderline cases or if program capacity is exceeded.

How can I receive more information about the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences program?
For more information about the application and admission process, please contact Megan Henderson: Director of Admission for Graduate and Postbaccalaureate Programs, at megan.henderson@loras.edu or 563.588.7140. For more information about the Biomedical Sciences curriculum, please contact Dr. Kate Cooper: Program Director, at kate.cooper@loras.edu.

Curriculum and Class Format

How many credits are required in the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences degree?
A minimum of 34 credits are required to complete the degree. However, due to the credit load of some of the elective courses, students may take up to 36 credits to complete the degree.

What is the format of the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences classes?
The format of the courses are face-to-face instruction.

Is there a preferred entry point into the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences program?
Students are highly encouraged to begin the program in the Fall term; however, one class is offered in the Summer if students would like to get a head start and begin early.

Does the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences program accept transfer credits?
Students can transfer a maximum of 9 graduate credits into the program from a previous institution. The courses must be similar in content to coursework offered at Loras and approved by the Program Director.

How long does it take to complete the program?
This program is designed to be completed in two years. However, a longer, personalized schedule may be created for students who wish to take fewer credits per term.

What is a maximum course load per semester?
Typically 9 credits, however students are allowed to take up to 12 depending on their program plan of study that they set up with their advisor.

What is the time commitment outside of class?
Time commitments vary depending on the course and individual’s specific skill set. As a general rule, students will spend 4 – 6 hours per week outside of classroom instruction on class-related work for each class.

Where are classes held?
Classes are held in several buildings across the beautiful Loras College Campus.

When do classes meet?
Each face-to-face class meets during the day. For specific times and dates, see the course schedule prior to each academic semester.

Will there be an orientation prior to the first class?
Yes, students are required to attend the Graduate Student Orientation prior to beginning coursework so they can become familiar with the faculty, campus, services and their peers.

Does the program offer online courses?
No. At this time, all courses are offered in-person.

Is Loras College accredited?
Yes, Loras College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

If I’m interested in playing a sport at Loras while in graduate school, how many credits do I have to take?
Graduate students must be enrolled in a degree-seeking master’s program to be eligible to participate in NCAA athletics at Loras (please note that the Graduate Certificate in Applied Analytics does not qualify as a degree-seeking master’s program).

Student athletes enrolled in one of our degree-seeking master’s programs need to have full-time status (taking at least 6 credits per term) during the semester(s) they’re practicing or competing in the sport. Students also need to be making satisfactory progress towards their degree (as determined by Loras). If a student wants to participate in athletics while being enrolled less than full-time, they will need to work with their coaches to determine if they are eligible for a waiver.

Please note that while 6 credits per term is considered full-time for graduate students at Loras, students only need to take at least 3 credits per term in order to be eligible for federal financial aid.

Financial

What are current tuition rates for the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences?
Visit the Graduate section of our Tuition & Fees page for detailed cost information.

Tuition and Fees are subject to change at any time.

Is financial aid available?
Students wishing to obtain a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan must complete the current year FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and take at least 3 credits per term. Please contact our Financial Planning Office at 563.588.7136 or financial.planning@loras.edu for more information.

Loras College does not offer institutional scholarships for graduate students at this time.

Loras College has a rich liberal arts tradition and a strong history of educating students for various health care professions. We strive to develop active learners, reflective thinkers, ethical decision makers, and responsible contributors – all key attributes for success in your chosen career in medical/ health care and for a satisfying life. We are interested in people joining our graduate program for whom medicine will not be just a job, but rather the vocation they are choosing to use their talents to best serve humanity.

A master’s degree program is beneficial to students seeking an “academic record enhancer” (ARE). Among ARE programs, some offer a graduate degree, others a certificate of completion. Loras believes ARE programs that award a master’s degree serve students best.

Not only does the credential of a master’s degree reflect the amount of work students will put into the program, but it will serve them best should they not be accepted to a health professional program or change their mind.  This rationale is consistent with the advice given on the AAMC’s Considering a Postbaccalaureate Program website. Our program includes research that culminates in a thesis.

Experiential Learning

Participation in a scientific research project helps students deepen their understanding of science in ways that are not possible with purely didactic coursework. The immersion that comes with research deepens the understanding of science concepts and makes connections between biology, biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, and physics.

Students need to make these connections to score well on the MCAT exam (or other standardized exams for other types of professional school applications) – a critical component of a successful application. A meaningful research experience can strengthen a student’s application portfolio, and can improve critical analysis skills needed for the medical admission test (MCAT) and medical school.

Conversely, the research project would also give students experience that will be valuable to them if they decide to pursue a Ph.D. program or go directly into the workforce.

Loras College Biomedical Sciences Staff

Kate Cooper, Ph.D.
Division of Molecular, Life & Health Sciences Chair
Biomedical Sciences Program Director
Professor of Biology
563.588.7956 | Kate.Cooper@loras.edu
Full Profile

Elaina Biechler, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor of Kinesiology
Kinesiology Program Coordinator
563.588.7020| elaina.biechler@loras.edu
Full Profile

Sarah Cassella, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Neuroscience
563-588-7184 | sarah.cassella@loras.edu
Full Profile

Thomas Davis, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
563.588.7767 | Thomas.Davis@loras.edu
Full Profile

Kathryn DeShaw, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Kinesiology
563.588.7088 | kathryn.deshaw@loras.edu
Full Profile

Molly M. McDonald Figgins, MS, ATC
Athletic Training Program Director
Associate Professor of Athletic Training
563.588.7995 | molly.figgins@loras.edu
Full Profile

Andrew Kehr, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biochemistry
563-588-7133 | andrew.kehr@loras.edu
Full Profile

Christoffer Lammer-Heindel, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Division Chair of Philosophical, Theological, Social, & Cultural Studies
563.588.7733 | Christoffer.Lammer-Heindel@loras.edu
Full Profile

Adam Moser, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Chemistry
563.588.7920 | Adam.Moser@loras.edu
Full Profile

Keith Thraen-Borowski, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Kinesiology
563.588.7475 | keith.thraenborowski@loras.edu
Full Profile

Questions? Let’s get in touch.

Kate Cooper, Ph.D.
Biomedical Sciences Director
Division of Molecular, Life & Health Sciences Chair

Professor of Biology
Kate.Cooper@loras.edu
563.588.7956

Megan Henderson
Loras College Graduate Admissions
megan.henderson@loras.edu
563.588.7140

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