Certificate in Medical Sciences Curriculum

Program Goals and Structure

Through the certificate program, you will gain an in-depth knowledge of the biological basis of health and disease as you follow a basic science curriculum almost identical to that of first-year Alpert medical students. You will take all four of the basic science courses and two of the three organ system courses, in tandem with medical students. For most courses you will be assessed using the same examinations.

The certificate curriculum is comprised of 6 required courses. It is a one-year program running from August to May. Since the basic science courses are linked to the first-year Alpert Medical School courses, all courses must be completed in a predetermined sequence.

Since the overall course load for the Certificate in Medical Sciences is less than that of the medical students, you will have the option to pursue independent volunteer or research opportunities throughout the year. We recommend that you commit no more than 10 hrs per week for independent activities while classes are in progress. In the spring semester, certificate students have a free 6-week block during which they can pursue full-time independent volunteer or research activities (see below).

Curriculum Outline and Course Sequencing

  Required Courses Course Units
Fall Semester
(August-December)
Human Histology 1
Human Anatomy 1
General Pathology 1
Scientific Foundations of Medicine 1
Spring Semester
(January-May)
Brain Science & Neurology (includes Head & Neck Anatomy) 1
Microbiology and Infectious Disease 1
Total Required Courses 6

Optional Independent Study

In the Spring semester, you may choose to pursue a six-week independent internship or immersion experience, such as an in-depth exploration of research opportunities, community health project, global health activity, advocacy initiative, or internship in a biotech or pharmaceutical company.

If you wish to translate this optional experience into a scholarly poster presentation during the Spring semester, you will be eligible to earn a “Citation for Scholarship” on your Certificate in Medical Science at the completion of the program.