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Medical Sciences Traditional Curriculum

The Master of Science in Medical Sciences Traditional program is a full-time cohort program that begins in the fall and is completed in 24-months through in-person instruction, offering 54 credit hours of graduate level science courses. Students in this program will complete two physician-designed signature courses to develop a student's clinical skills and will have the chance to participate in the MCAT, DAT or GRE test preparation course at no additional cost*.

Classes are held during the day at our campus in Decatur, Georgia. No GRE needed to apply.


Below is a sample of classes offered in this program. Please note course offerings are subject to change.

MDS-601: Social and Behavioral Determinants of Health (3.00)

This course provides an overview of select social and behavioral theories used in public health to explain and predict health behaviors, as well as to inform the design of intervention strategies and evaluation methods. The course employs an ecological framework, examining theories at the policy, community, organizational, interpersonal and individual levels. Particular emphasis is placed on the role of structural and social determinants of health in shaping health behaviors and risks.

MDS-610: Medical Cell Biology (3.00)

Because the source of all health problems ultimately originates at the cellular level, a comprehensive understanding of human disease and pathologies requires one to know the normal cell structure and function and how dysfunction translates into human pathologies. Initially, the course uses text and primary literature to establish foundational and contemporary knowledge of normal cell structure and function. Building on this foundation, students will apply their cellular knowledge to the analysis of clinical case studies of human pathologies and evaluate the use of current and prospective treatments.

MDS-611: Genetics of Human Disease (3.00)

Students will gain a mastery of linking molecular genetic changes to human disease phenotypes. This course will revisit concepts of Mendelian genetics and apply the various complex patterns of heritable traits. Students will investigate the eukaryotic gene organization, structure and function by analyzing the levels of central dogma with genomic and transcriptomic data in model organisms and humans. Students will evaluate how molecular and cellular changes can be determinants of various human diseases. Students will gain an understanding of how therapeutic interventions manipulate genetic and cellular machinery. Students will utilize a well-annotated genome browser and analyze primary literature to understand human genetic disease diagnosis, prognosis and treatment.

MDS-613: Parasitology in Health and Disease (3.00)

This course examines the biology of parasites of major medical importance. Students will learn how parasites are transmitted to their host(s) and the pathologies that are generated from host-parasite interactions. Students will also examine the epidemiology of parasitic infections, as well as the methods for diagnosis and treatment of parasitic infections.

MDS-614: Biostatistics (3.00)

This course will explore statistical methods and principles necessary for understanding and interpreting data used in medical sciences and medical policy formation. Course topics include descriptive statistics, graphical data summary, sampling, statistical comparison of groups, correlation, and regression. This course will include lecture, group discussions, critical reading of published research, analysis of data as well as case studies to discuss problems and applications of biostatistics. The course will conclude with a survey of areas of current biostatistical research approaches.

MDS-617: Immunology (3.00)

Students will learn the molecular and cellular components of the immune system. This course will examine the cells and tissues of the immune system, the function of key receptors and interactions between various immune cells. We will cover immune system development, innate and acquired immunity, diseases and treatments involving immunization, immunodeficiency, and autoimmunity. Building on this foundation, students will apply their knowledge to analyze data from scientific research and evaluate the use of current and prospective treatments and drug therapies.

MDS-620: Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab (4.00)

This course and lab covers human anatomy and physiology from an integrative perspective. Students learn the structure and function of the integument, skeletal, muscular, and nervous system during the semesters, from the cellular to the organismal level. In addition, the course covers disease pathology as it relates to these systems and bioethics.

MDS-624: Professional Success in Medicine and Health (2.00)

In this course students learn the skills, attributes and attitudes necessary to succeed in the healthcare professions. Through outside reading, small group discussion, and written reflections, students identify and cultivate the necessary strengths to excel as applicants to medical and health professions programs, as learners in rigorous professional programs, and as healthcare practitioners. Students also become familiar with healthcare delivery in the United States, including the members of the medical team and their roles. Students are introduced to the basic clinical skills used in patient interactions, including effectively interviewing the patient, examining the patient, and shared decision making.

MDS-625: Neurobiology (3.00)

This course examines foundational principles in cellular neuroscience from a microscopic to a macroscopic level. This includes the structure and function of neuronal cells, their electrophysiological nature and the various extracellular and intracellular signaling used to communicate within the nervous system. The course will cover the major systems and pathways that regulate behavior and sensation, explore modern neuroimaging techniques and utilize primary literature to understand current topics in the field.

MDS-626: Ethics in Medical Research and Practice (3.00)

In this course, students review recent medical research as well as notable research in the fields of medicine and health, as well as case-studies related to patient care. This course prepares students to identify ethical issues that arise during medical research and patient care. The course includes research-related topics such as ethical considerations for research design, conflict of interest, commercialization of results, placebos, and vulnerable populations. The course also explores ethical frameworks for navigating issues related to patient care, such as clinical judgment, resource allocation, patient privacy and confidentiality, informed consent, and considerations related to race, gender, sexuality, religion, culture, age, etc.

MDS-630: Anatomy and Physiology II with Lab (4.00)

This course is a continuation of Anatomy and Physiology I, covering human anatomy and physiology from an integrative perspective. Students learn the structure and function of the endocrine, circulatory, respiratory, lymphatic, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems, from the cellular to the organismal level during the semester. In addition, the course covers disease pathology as it relates to these systems and bioethics.

MDS-632: Medical Biochemistry (3.00)

This course covers the fundamentals of medical biochemistry with clinical significance for pre-medical students. The course examines the structure and function of biomolecules, enzyme kinetics, bioenergetics, catabolic and anabolic metabolic pathways, and regulation of biochemical processes.

MDS-660: Clinical Practicum (4.00)

Under the supervision of their instructors, students develop clinical skills such as performing a basic physical examination. In addition, students will acquire volunteer or community service experience and with the support of their instructor, delve more deeply into topics such as ethical decision making, patient-provider communication, and diversity, and equity and inclusion in healthcare.

*Certain requirements to complete 75% of the test prep course apply to students who opt-in to participating. See the Graduate Catalog for details.

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