Wake Forest University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Wake Forest University

Graduate School Home » Prospective Students » Programs of Study » MS - Biomedical Sciences Program

Master of Science in Biomedical Science Program

The Master of Science in Biomedical Science degree is a full-time, graduate degree option that is designed to help students with a bachelor’s degree, preferably with a major in the sciences, improve their academic foundation in the biomedical sciences, and augment their credentials for admission into health professional programs, Ph.D. study in the sciences, or entrance to the workforce.

The faculty of the program are graduate faculty from Track 4 (Molecular and Cellular Biosciences PhD program), Track 5 (Integrative Physiology and Pharmacology PhD program), Track 6 (Neuroscience PhD program), and Track 7 (Biomedical Engineering MS and PhD programs).

Areas of Specialization

  • Integrative Physiology and Pharmacology
  • Molecular and Cellular Biosciences
  • Neuroscience
  • Pre-medical post-baccalaureate

We are happy to announce that our master’s program now offers a pre-medical post-baccalaureate component. Applicants who wish to complete the master’s program as preparatory to medical school should select the "Biomedical Science/PB-MS” program on the on-line application. This component of our master’s program will aid students who have already completed medical school prerequisites and earned a baccalaureate degree to enhance their current science knowledge with graduate level medical science classes and MCAT preparation to increase their competitiveness for health professional school admissions or other medical science career. Additional information may be found on our "Questions and Answers" webpage.

Students enrolling in the pre-medical postbac specialization will automatically be enrolled in the non-thesis option. Prior to orientation and during the academic advising phase of orientation, students will be given information on possible research projects and summer internships.

Transitioning to a PhD Program

For current students who would like to transition to a PhD program at Wake Forest, click here for information.

In additional to the selection of an area of specialization, students will be asked to select one of four available options.

  • Thesis
  • Non-Thesis
  • Research Project
  • Summer Internship
» Thesis MS Requirement
  • Advisory committee approval for receiving the MS degree;
  • Completing a minimum of 24 course credit hours and 6 hours of research;
  • Successfully completing an original investigation, which while limited in scope, is of publishable quality;
  • Submission of a written thesis to the Dean of the Graduate School at least four weeks prior to the proposed final examination date;
  • A student is admitted to candidacy by the Dean of the Graduate School after recommendation by the advisory committee; 
  • Acceptance of the written thesis by an advisory committee composed of the student’s advisor and two additional graduate faculty members;
  • The final examination on the thesis must be passed at least ten days prior to graduation;
  • Students are required to have an overall GPA of 2.5 to be in good standing and an overall GPA of 3.0 in order to advance to candidacy and graduate.An advisory committee will determine when the student can apply for candidacy. A student is admitted to candidacy by the dean of the Graduate School. Acceptance of the written thesis requires the approval of an advisory committee composed of the advisor and two additional faculty members. The final examination on the thesis must be passed at least ten days prior to graduation.
» Non-Thesis MS Requirements

Students for the non-thesis MS must complete a “capstone” experience with a number of options for completion:

  • MS Degree with Research Internship: Complete a summer internship under an advisor consisting of 4-6 hours of research and a written document that summarizes the research. This document will be evaluated by the advisor, the Track Director, and one other faculty member.
  • MS Degree with Project: Complete a written review of a topic agreed upon by the advisor and student. This document will be evaluated by the advisor, the Track Director, and one other faculty member. Tracks or programs may develop a project course for the non-thesis major.
  • MS Degree without thesis or project: Take additional course work in the second year as a part time student to provide preparation or more advanced exposure to specialized areas of biomedical research. The additional course work will have to be completed within a year. Tracks or programs may develop course work for the non-thesis major that will be held in the summer. Students are required to complete 36 hours for graduation.

Students are required to have an overall GPA of 2.5 to be in good standing and an overall GPA of 3.0 in order to graduate. Students must fulfill one of three options for non-thesis: (1) summer internship, (2) project, or (3) additional coursework. They will complete a summer internship under an advisor which consists of 4-6 hours of research or a project course that results in a written document that summarizes the research or reviews a topic agreed upon by the advisor and student. This document will be evaluated by the advisor, the Track Director, and one other faculty member. For students who select the option of taking additional course work in the second year, they will take 4-6 graduate level hours to meet the 36 hour requirement. No final examination outside of the course requirements is required.

The Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, Integrative Physiology and Pharmacology, and the Neuroscience specializations have approved curricula. Non-thesis students may select additional courses from the approved curricula or electives through the Graduate School or other Wake Forest University graduate units such as the Schools of Business.

The pre-medical postbac program also has an approved curriculum. Please refer to the attached pdf document for a draft of the proposed curriculum. As a new master's program it is anticipated there might be minor changes to the curriculum as the program evolves to better meet the needs of our students.

Degree Requirements

The requirements for the MS are described in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Bulletin under the Requirements for the Master of Science.

All students take a minimum of 30-36 semester hour credits in the basic sciences. Courses are in disciplines including: biochemistry, molecular cell biology, neuroscience, biomedical engineering, genetics, human physiology, microbiology, immunology, pharmacology, scientific professionalism and the responsible conduct of research. A special capstone experience is available to students through the Wake Forest Certificate in Science Management program. Elective credits, offered in a variety of disciplines, include other biomedical science courses. These electives improve critical thinking skills, study skills, and enhance the student’s preparation for professional school application.

Program Forms


Competitive applicants will possess a strong undergraduate transcript in one of the following disciplines -- Molecular and Cellular Biology, Neuroscience, Biomedical Engineering or Physiology and Pharmacology or related disciplines of Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Psychology or Mathematics. Applicants who wish to pursue a thesis option should outline their involvement in undergraduate research in their personal statement.

Applicants to the masters program in biomedical science are subject to the same application process as the PhD programs. Please refer to the "Application Checklist" (right hand menu items) on the Admission webpages for information on GPA and test score requirements.

The submission of the following items are required:

  • Online Application
  • $75 Application Fee
  • Personal Statement
  • Research Statement (optional)
  • Official Transcripts
  • GRE Test Report | MCAT or GRE for Pre-Medical Postbac specialization
  • TOEFL Test Report - for international applicants educated outside the United States
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation

Additional information on the application process may be found on the 'Admissions' web pages.

Students entering the MS program will not receive a stipend and will pay tuition. Depending on the availability of funds, partial tuition scholarships are available for all 1st year students with the possibility of continued funding for the 2nd year of study.

  • Cost of Study for the 2014-2015 Academic Year —
  •   Full-time Tuition (minimum 9 hours). . . . .
      Student Health Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . .
    $269 / month
      Parking. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    $15 / month

    Books and other supplies associated with the cost of study will vary depending on the area of specialization and whether the student will be pursuing a thesis or non-thesis option.

  • Domestic Applicants —

    Domestic applicants have the option of applying for external financial aid in the form of loans or scholarships. Students are allowed to work part-time, especially those enrolled in the non-thesis option, after receiving permission from their program director and advisor.

  • International Applicants —

    International applicants will need to demonstrate their ability to pay the entire cost of study including living expenses consisting of rent, utilities, food, and travel to and from school. Verification of the minimum amount of financial support that applicants will be required to provide is $18,000 for living expenses, plus the cost of tuition.

    F-1 students may not work off-campus during the first academic year, but may accept on-campus employment subject to certain conditions and restrictions.  F-1 students may engage in three types of off-campus employment, after they have been studying for one academic year. These three types of employment are:

    • Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
    • Optional Practical Training (OPT) (pre-completion or post-completion)
    • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension (OPT)

    For F-1 students any off-campus employment must be related to their area of study and must be authorized prior to starting any work by the Designated School Official.

    On campus employment is highly competitive and difficulty to find, therefore international students should be prepared to demonstrate financial support for the entire period of their enrollment at Wake Forest. Students seeking employment must first receive permission of their program director and advisor.

    If needed, students are encouraged to apply for private loans from their country of citizenship prior to their arrival in the United States.

Questions and assistance in applying for financial aid should be directed to the Financial Aid Office at
336-716-2889 or finaid@wakehealth.edu.

Contact Information

For additional information please feel free to contact:

  Ms. Beth Whitsett
Admissions Coordinator
Graduate School Office


As a new program introduced this spring, our website is currently being developed to provide as much information for prospective students as possible. Please feel free to contact our office (bggrad@wakehealth.edu | 1-800-438-4723) for information on areas not covered at this time.

Last updated 10/25/2013