Master's of Science in Medical Sciences              Pre-Professional Program

Fall 2018 Open House Dates:

October 29th at 4:30pm, room MDL1003B

November 13th at 12pm, room MDL1003B

December 6 at 12pm, room MDL1003B

Please join us on campus at USF’s Morsani College of Medicine this fall to hear more about our pre-professional program, also known as a special master’s program (SMP), and have all of your questions answered! No R.S.V.P. required!

MSMS Pre-Professional Program (MSP3)

The one-year Masters of Science in Medical Sciences provides a high-quality “pre-professional” program that will significantly enhance and extend the academic development of future healthcare professionals and contribute to a diverse student body. This innovative, interdisciplinary program, the first in Florida to provide an integrated approach to the subject areas that comprise the “basic” biomedical sciences, is designed to provide students with a solid academic foundation prior to continuing in a variety of healthcare-related professional programs. The program is founded on the premise that future clinicians, researchers, educators and healthcare professionals in the biomedical sciences will require extensive interdisciplinary training in order to develop novel solutions to current health care problems.


  • Provide advanced scientific training in the basic medical sciences which require greater knowledge than delivered in most undergraduate or non-degree post-baccalaureate professional programs.
  • Further develop the training of future physicians and other health-care practitioners.
  • Support the academic progress and development of students who wish to pursue future healthcare or biomedical science careers.

Prospective Applicant Profile

  • Applicant is interested in improving their academic credentials before applying to a health professional school (e.g., M.D., D.O., DDS, Pharmacy, Physician Assistant, etc).
  • Applicant wants to academically prepare themselves before entering a health professional school.
  • Applicant may have missed the deadline to apply to a health professional school.
  • Applicant wishes to experience an interdisciplinary biomedical sciences curriculum.

Advantages of the MSP3

Program: Our accelerated program is designed to be completed in one-year. The curriculum offers and interdisciplinary approach to the medical sciences, encompassing a wide range of topics. Students will complete a minimum of 32 credit hours and earn their master’s degree within this timeframe.

Location: The MSMS pre-professional program is located on the University of South Florida’s highly recognized USF Health campus. The USF Health campus is comprised of numerous professional schools, allowing master’s students to interact and learn alongside other health professional students and faculty.

Tuition: USF offers affordable graduate level tuition rates, one of the lower rates in the state of Florida.

Faculty: Our master’s students are taught by highly trained faculty from USF’s Morsani College of Medicine.

Workshops: The Graduate Affairs Office supports our students by hosting various workshops throughout the year. These workshops can range from learning how to enhance study skills or write a personal statement, to information sessions hosted by admission representatives from various professional schools.

Advising: Our students receive one-on-one advising regarding their application to professional schools, as well as academic advising throughout the program.

Teaching Assistants: We hire outstanding alumni as tutors for our current students. Tutors will host tutoring sessions for each course to reinforce course materials. Tutors also act as a liaison between faculty and students.

Partnerships: The Graduate Affairs Office has partnered with the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM) to provide interviews for our students who meet specific academic metrics.

MCAT preparation: The Graduate Affairs Office has partnered with the Princeton Review to offer and MCAT preparation course, GMS 6000 Medical Sciences Success Skills. Students will pay graduate tuition rates for this 2-credit elective course. 

Gross Anatomy Lab: Students have the option of taking a Gross Anatomy Lab elective. This course allows access to MCOM's state-of-the-art facility to enhance education through cadaver dissection. 

Service Abroad: Students have the opportunity to participate in a volunteering trip abroad in Panama.


The interdisciplinary curriculum has been designed to provide the background training that will equip students with the essential tools for a successful career in the biomedical sciences. The program requires the successful completion of a minimum of 32 credit hours, which can be accomplished in one year of accelerated study. The 11 required courses, and three optional electives, provide both foundation and advanced training while additional program activities provide students with professional development opportunities.

Fall Semester

This course is designed to examine the fundamental aspects of biochemistry that are critical to understanding the chemical and cellular mechanisms relevant to human health and disease that forms part of the foundation of modern medical practice. This course emphasizes a fundamental understanding of the principles of biochemistry and intermediary metabolism and their relationship to medicine and includes basic enzymology and the structure and function of amino acids and proteins, the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids, purines and pyrimidines. All material is presented in the context of modern medicine.

This course presents a systemic approach to the study of the human body. Presentations begin with an introduction of anatomical terminology and an overview of the classification of the cells, tissue, organs and organ systems that comprise the human body. Students then focus on a detailed study of the gross anatomy of the following organ systems: integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive. Course materials reinforce the presentation concepts through the use of narrated human cadaver dissection videos, as well as a computer-based virtual cadaver model for all organ systems. An extensive number of case studies will be included to emphasis the clinical significance of anatomical structures and their morphological relationships. *Optional lab exposure to the Gross Anatomy lab will be allowed by instructor permission

The course focuses on the fundamental aspects of immunology and medical microbiology that are critical to understanding the nature of the immune response and identify the various microbiological agents that are relevant to human health and disease. The first half of the course is devoted to human immunology and presents a concise, but clear overview or our current understanding of the innate and adaptive immune systems and their relationship to each other in combating pathogenic organisms and tumor cells. Immune deficiencies and dysfunctions such as hypersensitivity and autoimmune diseases are also studied. The second half of the course is committed to a comprehensive overview of the pathogenic organisms that are responsible for human infectious diseases. Medically important bacteria, viruses, fungi and eukaryotes are studied with regard to their ability to cause and spread disease from host to host. Virulence factors of the pathogens and the immune responses of the host and their complex relationships are reviewed. The biological and biochemical properties of pathogens are presented and form the basis of our understanding processes to detect, prevent and manage infectious disease.

The course examines fundamental aspects of genetics critical to understanding the mechanisms and inheritance patterns of genetic diseases relevant to human health including clinical, biochemical and molecular genetics, cytogenetics and genetic counseling. Topics include a discussion of the genetics of metabolic disorders, cancer, hematologic and neuromuscular disorders and organ based disorders. Overall students will acquire a fundamental understanding of genetics basic to pathophysiological processes and the molecular mechanisms that underlie the cellular aberrations of these relevant clinical disorders.

Spring Semester

The course is designed to provide a basic understanding of the structural organization of cells, tissues and organ systems at the microscopic level. It emphasizes the dynamic relationships between structure and function. Students directly observe micro-anatomical structures using demonstration slides and begin using their knowledge of normal structure and function in clinical problem solving. An important goal of the course is to help students acquire the knowledge and skills that will be needed to understand normal function and pathophysiology. The course begins with a study of the sub-cellular structure of the cell then proceeds through an examination of the basic tissues. The knowledge gained from these studies is then utilized to examine the organ and cellular components of each of the systems of the human body: cardiovascular, nervous, digestive, urinary, and reproductive tissues leading to an understanding of the structure and basic function of all components of the human body.

The course presents a concise introduction to the study of human physiology from a perspective of the function of various human organ systems with an emphasis on understanding important concepts and their correlation to the practice of clinical medicine. Major topics include an introduction of basic physiological principles in homeostasis, concepts of cell transport and membrane signaling processes, followed by cell-to-system physiological principles for the musculoskeletal system, cardiovascular system, pulmonary system, renal system, and endocrine and reproductive systems. Discussions are primarily focused on normal physiological function, with introductory topics covering selected clinical dysfunction to emphasis fundamentals.

The course presents a concise introduction to human pharmacology, emphasizing an understanding of the pharmacology principles that govern interaction between drugs, xenobiotics and humans and the relationship to modern medical diagnostics and therapy. The course focuses on topics that are designed to familiarize students with the basic principles of pharmacology and therapeutics and will feature discussions of topics that include classical concepts of pharmacology such as mechanisms and factors involved in drug adsorption, distribution and elimination, drug-receptor interactions, drug-drug interactions, genetic factors in drug metabolism, toxicology and nutrition. In addition, the course will also feature pharmacogenomics and the pharmacotherapeutics of selected drug classes such as antibiotics, anti-virals, Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) and antihistamines.

The course is designed to aid understanding the human nervous system’s function through the study of nervous system structure at both the microscopic and macroscopic levels. Topics include the nature of the environment in which the brain resides, neurotransmitters, neuron structure and function, energy requirements of nerve cells, techniques for imaging the nervous system and the functional organization of major motor and sensory systems including those that sub-serve emotion, memory and intellect. The course focuses on information important in understanding both normal neurological function and selected commonly encountered neurological disorders. Students will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge in solving clinical problems in which the primary task is to localize the lesion or determine the nature of the disease process.

Summer Semester

This course presents a concise introduction to the basic pathophysiologic principles that are characteristic of the diseased state and that are vital to human health and comprise part of the foundation of modern medical practice. The course emphasizes a fundamental understanding of the principles of pathology and focuses on both basic pathophysiology and important pathologic processes in specific organ systems. The course features topics such as cell injury and cell death, inflammation, tissue damage and repair, neoplasia, cardiovascular pathology, endocrine pathology, hematopoietic pathology and the nervous system. The course develops a broad and thorough understanding of the principles of human pathology and identifies the major pathological conditions that perturb the functioning of normal cells, tissues and organs.

Includes topics extending from gametogenesis to parturition. The focus of the course includes discussions of the early stages of fertilization and implantation, proceeds through the early pre-embryo stages of development, and then covers both normal and abnormal development of each of the organ systems of the body.

The course examines fundamental ethical issues, such as informed consent, that are important components of the practice of the biomedical sciences and represent important considerations that must be addressed in both the “basic” and “clinical” sciences. The course focuses on topics that include oversight and study design in clinical trials, informed consent, the selection of subjects for clinical trials, conflicts of interest in the biomedical sciences, the social effects of research, the ethics of embryos, fetuses and children, genetic research, the use of animals in research, ethics in authorship and publication. The course features various discussion topics to actively engage students in examining course concepts.


Human Gross Anatomy provides graduate students with an in depth anatomical training using a combination of traditional and modern methods. Cadaver dissection is the primary teaching method and is the focal point of all teaching activities.
*Offered in Spring
permit required (prerequisite is Basic Medical Anatomy)

The Princeton Review, a leader in test preparation, will provide an optional elective course to help students prepare for the MCAT. During this course, students will review content and test-taking strategies through Princeton Review course materials (HL Physical Sciences Review, HL Biological Sciences Review, HL Science Workbook, HL Verbal Reasoning, and Writing Review, and HL Verbal Workshop, In-class Compendium, MCAT Science Review Q&S) and online computer-based MCAT practice exams (17 practice exams including 8 AAMC tests.) Throughout the course, students will cover the following subjects: Biology, Physics, Chemistry (Organic and General Chemistry), and Verbal Reasoning. Books and practice exams are included in the tuition.
*Offered in Summer C and Fall
permit required

*All electives are optional and not required for degree completion.

Admissions and general information, please email: