Academic Programs Catalog

College of Human Medicine

Graduate Study

The graduate programs of the college provide opportunities for advanced study with emphasis in a single discipline on the departmental level. Programs leading to the degrees of Master of Public Health, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy are offered. Graduate Certificates in Leadership in Medicine for the Underserved, Leadership in Rural Medicine, Medical Partners in Public Health, and Public Health are available. 

All graduate programs of the college are designed to develop independent effort, encourage creative thinking, and educate the student in the fundamentals of basic research. Each student's program is arranged to suit his or her individual needs within the restriction that the final program must conform to one of the general patterns approved by the faculties of the department, college and the university. The college administers master’s degrees in biostatistics, epidemiology and public health. Doctor of Philosophy degrees are offered through the basic biological science departments.

Several colleges and departments within Michigan State University cooperate in offering the interdepartmental Doctor of Philosophy degree program with a major in neuroscience, which is administered by the College of Natural Science.  For additional information, refer to the statement on the doctoral program in neuroscience in the College of Natural Science section of this catalog.

Students who are enrolled in master’s or doctoral degree programs in the Department of Psychology may elect an Interdepartmental Specialization in Cognitive Science. For additional information, refer to the statement on Interdepartmental Graduate Specializations in Cognitive Science in the College of Social Science section of this catalog.

Students who are enrolled in Master of Science degree programs in the Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Microbiology and Molecular Genetics may elect a Specialization in Food Safety.  For additional information, refer to the statement on the specialization in the College of Veterinary Medicine section of this catalog. 


Master of Arts

The Master of Arts degree is offered by the college. In addition to meeting the requirements of the University as described in the Graduate Education section of this catalog, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

To be admitted to a Master of Arts degree in the College of Human Medicine on regular status, an applicant must have:

  1. a bachelor’s degree from a recognized educational institution.
  2. a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.0 in the junior and senior years of the bachelor’s degree program.

Each applicant must submit a letter directly to the academic unit that administers the program to which admission is sought, giving the applicant’s academic background and reasons for pursuing advanced study.

Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree

Candidates for the Master of Arts degree plan a program of study in consultation with a graduate advisor subject to the rules of the academic unit in which the degree is sought, the college, and the University. Two patterns of study are in general use: Plan A (with thesis) and Plan B (without thesis).

 


Master of Science

The Master of Science is the conventional degree for which programs are offered by the departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Physiology, and Surgery. 

In addition to meeting the requirements of the University as described in the Graduate Education section of this catalog, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

Any student who possesses a bachelor's degree may apply for admission to a master's degree program. Admission is determined by the academic unit responsible for the program into which admission is sought and by the dean, after consideration of the student's record, experience, personal qualifications, and proposed program of study.

With the exception of the departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Surgery, those units of the college which offer master's degree programs are shared departments responsible to the College of Human Medicine and to other colleges such as Natural Science and Veterinary Medicine. Whether a student's program is administratively associated with the College of Human Medicine depends on the character of the proposed program, the nature of the student's career aspirations, and the college of the student's mentor. A student accepted by a given department for admission to the graduate program may be identified with the College of Human Medicine upon recommendation of the chairperson of that department and the concurrence of the appropriate deans. This recommendation is contingent on the relevance of the student's program and/or career aspirations to the field of human medicine.

Requirements for the Master of Science Degree

All programs of study must include a thesis for which 4 credits in master's thesis research (course number 899) are required. A maximum of 10 credits may be authorized for thesis research. In addition, an oral examination over the thesis is required. A written examination may be required. The nature of the examination is at the discretion of the academic unit responsible for the program of study.

Academic Standards

The grades required for course credit toward the master or arts and master of science degrees are set by the academic unit responsible for the degree program. The accumulation of grades below 3.0 in more than three courses of three or more credits each removes the student from candidacy for the master of science degree. Candidates for the master of arts degree may accumulate no more than 6 credits with a grade below 3.0 in courses that are to be counted toward the degree. A student who fails to meet the standards set for any program may, on recommendation of the program director and the department chairperson, be required by the dean to withdraw at the end of any semester.

Time Limit

The time limit for completion of the master's degree is six years from the beginning of the first semester in which credit was earned toward the degree.

 


Doctor of Philosophy

The successful completion of the Doctor of Philosophy degree requires the development in the student of scholarly ability of a very high order. This degree emphasizes research in the various disciplines represented in the College of Human Medicine. The departments of the college which offer programs leading to this degree are Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Pharmacology and Toxicology, and Physiology.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the University as described in the Graduate Education section of this catalog, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

Admission may be granted to a student who has a record acceptable to the department and to the college. A master's degree in an appropriate subject–matter field may be required, but the completion of a master's degree is not a guarantee of admission. Some of the departments require applicants to submit Graduate Record Examination scores. Normally, an average of 3.00 in all previous academic work is required for admission to regular status. Admission to provisional status may be used to indicate incomplete records, incomplete interpretation of available records, grade point average below 3.00 but with additional evidence of good capacity, or minor deficiencies in subject–matter training. Those units of the college which offer Doctor of Philosophy degree programs are shared departments responsible to the College of Human Medicine and to other colleges such as Natural Science and Veterinary Medicine. Whether a student's program is administratively associated with the College of Human Medicine depends on the character of the proposed program, the nature of the student's career aspirations and the college of the student's mentor. A student accepted by a given department for admission to the graduate program may be identified with the College of Human Medicine upon recommendation of the chairperson of that department and the concurrence of the appropriate deans. This recommendation is contingent on the relevance of the student's program and/or career aspirations to the field of human medicine.

Academic Standards

In the College of Human Medicine the minimum standards of academic performance for a doctoral candidate are: 

  1. A 3.00 average in all academic work is required for graduation.
  2. Grades of 2.0 or lower in no more than three courses required for graduation.