Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences

Mission and Goals

Mission Statement

The mission of the Western University of Health Sciences Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences is: “To provide fundamental principles and training in the development of highly skilled and caring biomedical researchers and practitioners.”


Under the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences there are three Master Degree programs currently available, which include the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences, (MSBS), Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (MSPS) and the Master of Sciences in Medical Science (MSMS).

The major philosophy of the MSBS program is to provide students with a strong research focus and training that enables them to enter a variety of careers in academia, the pharmaceutical industry, or public/private research institutions. Students will experience small classes that provide a mixture of lecture and participatory group discussions. This educational process will develop both an understanding of up-to-date information and the ability of students to utilize that information within a laboratory research environment.

The program emphasizes research in the Biomedical Sciences. A minimum of 40 semester credit hours is required for completion of the MSBS program. This is comprised of 28 hours of coursework that includes core and elective courses and 12 hours of Research Rotations, Directed Readings and/or Thesis credit. Courses, laboratory experiences, research and thesis activities direct students towards learning to utilize laboratory equipment, gaining problem solving skills, creating and executing experimental designs, performing data analysis, presenting research results in abstracts, publication, and an oral defense of a written thesis.

The goal of the MSPS program is to provide a program of study focused on pharmaceutical sciences with a strong research focus and the training and skills needed for a career in academia, the pharmaceutical industry, or public/private research institutions. A minimum of 40 semester credit hours are required to complete the MSPS program. This typically includes 20 hours of didactic study and 20 hours of research leading toward the thesis. (See http://www.westernu.edu/pharmacy/pharmacy-msps_curriculum)

The goal of the MSMS program is to provide pre-clinical students and clinicians with the critical evaluation skills and research awareness necessary to implement evidence-based practice–a need that is impossible to achieve exclusively within time constraints of most existing professional degree programs. To this end, the Master of Medical Science degree (MSMS) in the GCBS complements the existing programmatic offerings at WesternU and elsewhere. The MSMS program will educate students who intend to become physicians, dentists, podiatrists, physician assistants, pharmacists, optometrists and other health professionals in the research basis of medical knowledge and provide the analytic tools necessary to become well-informed, evidence-based practitioners. Qualified students who have obtained a baccalaureate science degree will be prepared in a unique, rigorous inter-professional environment for successful application to graduate professional programs, both external and internal, as well as for careers in teaching and industry.

To this end, intensive academic coursework and advising will be provided to ensure students successful admission into the professional field of their choice. For those students with strong academic backgrounds and professional interests, an early admission program is available to the Western University School of Medicine, College of Osteopathic Medicine. The majority of students will apply in the open pool for admission into their graduate health professional schools. The inaugural class is expected to begin in June of 2010 with a small starting class of 8-12 students. The program is expected to grow in the coming years to reach a class size of 25-30 students overall.