Master's Degree (M.S.) in Biomedical Science

FAU medical students working in laboratory

The Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine offers graduate education programs that provide students with the skills and knowledge that will enable them to engage in the forefront of basic, applied, and translational research or to continue their studies toward professional degrees in the health sciences.

Students interested in pursuing advanced studies in biomedical science may obtain a Master's Degree in Biomedical Science, taking the thesis, or non-thesis option. The degree requires 30 credits. Students may also register as non-degree seeking.

Thesis Track

The thesis option is oriented towards those students interested in pursuing biomedical research careers in industry or academia and can provide a stepping stone to the Ph.D. degree. Typical degree completion is as little as 1.5 years and as many as 3.5 years.


Non-Thesis Track

Designed for students seeking in-depth exposure to biomedical science or to solidify their knowledge base in preparation for a broad range of career options, including further study in schools. Typical degree completion is as little as 1 year and as many as 2 years.


Non-Degree Track

Students can register as non-degree seeking status which provides them the opportunity to take biomedical science graduate courses for enrichment or to meet pre-acceptance requirements for entry into a graduate degree program.

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Courses (Thesis/Non-Thesis)

Current courses listed below (Biomedical and Electives) may be used toward the M.S. in Biomedical Sciences degree (Thesis or Non-Thesis). Any course not included on this list must be approved by the college's graduate committee if it is to be used to satisfy degree requirements.

Biomedical Science Courses
Integrated Morphology 1 (BMS 6102C) 4 credits
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
This course involves the developmental, microscopic, and gross anatomical features of the organs located in the thorax and abdomen of the human. A laboratory includes a cadaveric dissection experience and examination of tissue samples using virtual microscopy.

Integrated Morphology 2 (BMS 6104C) 4 credits
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
This course involves the gross anatomical features of the structures of the back, limbs, head, and neck of the human. A laboratory includes a cadaveric dissection experience.

Autonomic Function and Diseases (BMS 6523) 3 credits
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Course covers both the physiological and clinical study of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) emphasizing the neural circuitry aspects of systemic regulation. Topics are introduced in lectures and followed up by recent journal articles.

Fundamentals of General Pathology (BMS 6601) 3 credits
Covers the basic pathophysiology of mechanisms of disease in medicine and incorporates gross pathologic, microscopic and radiologic material to assist in understanding fundamental disease.

Brain Diseases: Mechanism and Therapy (BMS 6736) 3 credits
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Discussion of the molecular and cellular basis of brain diseases and of the current status of therapeutic intervention for those diseases.

Macromolecules and Human Disease (GMS 6301) 3 credits
Prerequisite: BCH 3033 or PCB 4023 or equivalent
Explores structure and function of biological macromolecules with emphasis on DNA, RNA and proteins.

Molecular Basis of Disease and Therapy (GMS 6302) 3 credits
 Prerequisites: BCH 4035 and (PCB 4023 or PCB 4522)
Explores the molecular basis of selected viral pathogens, genetic diseases and cancer through lectures and presentations by faculty in the College of Science and Biomedical Science, Scripps Florida and private industry representatives. Discusses novel technologies aimed at developing therapeutics together with the activity of modern biotechnology in drug development.

Host Defense and Inflammation (MCB 6208) 3 credits
 Prerequisite: PCB 4233 or equivalent with a minimum grade of "B-"
Course covers the immunology emphasizing mechanisms of host defense and inflammation in chronic inflammatory diseases. Mechanisms emphasized are roles of macrophages that are heterogeneous and diverse populations regulating host defense and inflammation. Mycobacterial infections and allergic asthma are presented as disease models of chronic inflammatory diseases.

Advanced Cell Physiology (PCB 6207) 3 credits
 Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Course describes in-depth membrane physiology, intracellular signaling pathways, and cellular function, with an emphasis on neurons and human muscle cells (skeletal, smooth, and cardiac muscle cells).

Molecular Basis of Human Cancer (PCB 6235) 3 credits
 Prerequisites: Graduate standing and PCB 4023 or BCH 3033 or PCB 6207 with minimum grade of "B-"
Course covers current concepts and knowledge of cancer, exploring the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying cancer progression with an aim to understand the processes of tumorigenesis.

Problem-Based Immunology (PCB 6238) 3 credits
 Prerequisites: Graduate standing and PCB 4233 or equivalent with a minimum grade of "B-"
Course provides an up-to-date understanding of the basic science of immunology and how that science applies to the realities of patient care. The fundamental mechanisms of immunity are illustrated by cases of genetic defects in the immune system, immune complex diseases, immune mediated hypersensitivity reactions and autoimmune and alloimmune diseases.

Tumor Immunology (PCB 6239) 3 credits
 Prerequisites: Graduate standing and PCB 4233 or equivalent with a minimum grade of "B-"
Explores the role of the immune system in cancer and the implications for the host. The effect of the tumor-host interactions on the developing neoplasm are studied by considering related topics, such as angiogenesis, MMPs, chemokines, and metastasis. Additionally, the course explores the role of the immune system in defense against the tumors and the mechanism by which cancer cells escape the surveillance system.

RNA Biology and Diseases (PCB 6525) 3 credits
 Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Course provides advanced-level training in molecular biology of RNA. Topics covered include principles of RNA structure, function, and metabolism; methodologies for studying RNA; diseases related to RNA deficiencies; and applications of RNA technologies in research and clinical development.

Molecular Biology of the Cardiovascular System and Cardiac Disease (PCB 6705) 3 credits
 Prerequisites: BCH 3034, PCB 4023, or permission of instructor
Examination of the molecular biology of cellular function focused on tissue adaptation in cardiovascular disease. Investigation of survival responses to cellular stress in atherosclerosis, cardiac hypertrophy, myocardial ischemia and hypertension.

Adult Neurogenesis (PCB 6848) 3 credits
Prerequisites: Graduate standing and PSB 6037 or PSB 6345 or equivalent
The background of stem cells and neuroscience is covered followed by several aspects of neurogenesis, including where neurogenesis happens in the brain, how it happens, why it happens, and, more importantly, how it might help the brain heal itself.

Physiology of the Heart (PCB 6885) 3 credits
 Prerequisites: BCH 3034, PCB 4023, or permission of instructor
Course emphasizes the relationship between the biochemical properties of the individual constituents of the heart cell (myocardium), the biophysics of cardiac muscle function, and the performance of the intact heart. The course format will involve lectures, journal club presentations, round table discussions, invited speakers as well as special projects

Directed Independent Study (PCB 6905) 1-3 credits
 Prerequisite: Permission of instructor and department
Independent research.

Special Topics (PCB 6933) 1-8 credits
 Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Topics of interest to students in Biomedical Science, such as protein misfolding and disease, molecular biology laboratory techniques and clinical microbiology.

Master's Thesis (PCB 6971) 1-12 credits
 Grading: S/U

Thesis-Related Research (PCB 6974) 2-3 credits
 Prerequisite: Biomedical Science master's thesis students only
This course is a vehicle allowing students to conduct research for their master's thesis prior to writing and defending their proposal.

Developmental Neurobiology (PSB 6515) 3 credits
 Prerequisites: PSY 1012 and PSB 3002
In-depth coverage of the principles and recent advances in the development of the brain and nervous system, including nerve cell migration, axon outgrowth, specificity, plasticity, neurotrophism, nerve cell death, and the influence of experience on the nervous system.

Human Genetics (PCB 6665) 3 credits
 Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Designed to provide students with a functional understanding of the field of human genetics as it applies to progressive research and medicine. Emphasizes the integrated understanding and application of Genetic Analysis, Diagnosis and Mechanisms in human disease.

Biomedical Writing (PCB 6933) 3 credits
 Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Biomedical Science is a broad field comprising many applied sciences geared toward the development of new approaches in healthcare or public health. This course is designed for graduate students headed toward a broad array of post-graduate vocational opportunities to enhance their writing, professional and organizational skills in order to excel in areas ranging from professional education, health care and scientific fields through business. Students will be instructed in basic writing skills, argument formation, debate and presentation skills.

Biomedical Data & Informatics (BSC 6459) 3 credits
 Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
This course teaches essential concepts and methodology for biomedical data acquisition and analysis with an emphasis on the analysis of massive data. The course sets up the foundation for students' careers in biomedical informatics in a wide range of fields including biomedical academia, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

Advanced Molecular & Cell Biology (PCB 5532) 3 credits
 Prerequisites: CHM 2210, PCB 4023, BCH 3033 and permission of instructor
Course is designed to provide students with a basic background and advanced topics in cell and molecular biology. Emphasis is placed on human physiology and disease.

Neurobiology of Addiction (PCB 5844) 3 credits
 Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
This course provides graduate students with fundamental information on molecular, cellular and neurocircuitry systems in the brain that are responsible for drug addiction. Common neurobiological elements are emphasized that provide novel insights into how the brain mediates the acute rewarding effects of drugs of abuse and how it changes during the transition from initial drug use to compulsive drug use and addiction.

Clinical Microbiology (BMS 6303) 3 credits
 Prerequisite: MCB 3020
Students learn the relevant facts and principles underlying bacteria, parasites, pathogenicity and host resistance. Armed with this fundamental information, students will then be capable of understanding and utilizing contemporary modes of treatment and prevention.

Pharmacology (PCB 6933) 3 credits  
 Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
This course introduces the study of the properties, effects, and therapeutic value of the primary agents in the major drug categories. Topics include cholinergic drugs, adrenergic drugs, hormones, diuretics, cardiovascular agents, respiratory drugs, and gastrointestinal agents.

Biomedical Concepts and Translational Applications  (PCB 6933) 3 credits  
 Prerequisite: Permission of instructor  
This course is a comprehensive one semester fundamental course intended for biomedical majors. It is designed to provide cutting-edge, high-interest topics in the field of human health.

Biomedical Sciences Core Technologies Laboratory   (PCB 6933) 3 credits
 Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
The aim of this course is to provide students with the introductory skills required for research success in the biomedical sciences. The course will combine traditional classroom-based learning with hands-on practical laboratory experience and instruction
Elective Science Courses
Elective science courses are offered through the College of Science:

Biology: Graduate Courses

Advanced Immunology (PCB 6236) 3 credits  
Prerequisite: PCB 4233 
A study of the chemical and biological natures of antigens and antibodies: their preparation and reactions in vivo and in vitro, their applications in basic science and therapy, and the immunochemical and experimental methods involved with tagged or free immunologic products. It is a lecture course.

Bioinformatics (BSC 6458C) 4 credits 
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor 
A practical approach to accessing nucleic/protein databases, management of databases, identification of genes, and electronic expression profiling.

Psychology: Graduate Courses

Biological Vision (PSB 5117) 3 credits  
Visual perception is studied through its basis in retinal and cortical neurophysiology, with emphasis on the Fourier domain in early processing and co-operative neural interactions in pattern formation.

Principles of Neuroscience (PSB 6037) 3 credits  
A survey of principles of neuroscience as they relate to behavior. Topics include morphology and connectivity of neural cells, biological potentials, gross structure of the central and peripheral nervous system, and sensory, motor, and higher-order integrative functions.

Neuroscience 1 (PSB 6345) 3 credits  
A course of in-depth coverage of the principles of neural science, including functional neuroanatomy, sensory processes, higher brain function, and development of the nervous system.

Neuroscience 2 (PSB 6346) 3 credits  
A course of in-depth coverage of the principles of neural science, including functional neuroanatomy, sensory processes, higher brain function, and development of the nervous system.

Complex Systems: Graduate Courses

Cognitive Neuroscience (ISC 5465) 3 credits 
An interdisciplinary survey of the neural basis of cognitive functions such as perception, attention, memory, and language.

Program Contacts

Dr. Marc Kantorow
Associate Dean for Graduate Programs
Professor of Biomedical Science

Dr. Bridget Smith
Associate Director of Graduate Programs

Additional Information
The Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine offers students a variety of educational programs and degrees.
Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road, BC-71
Boca Raton, FL 33431