Master of Science in Medical Sciences (ScM) Curriculum

Program Goals

Through the Master in Medical Sciences program, you will gain:

  • An in-depth understanding of the biological basis of health and disease
  • A broad understanding of the complex factors affecting health and health care delivery
  • First-hand experience working in a community health care setting with underserved and vulnerable patients

Program Structure

The ScM in Medical Sciences curriculum consists of three main components:

  1. Basic Science Courses: This rigorous set of courses is almost identical to those taken by first-year Alpert Medical School students. They are completed in tandem with the medical students, and for several of the courses you will be assessed using the same exams.
  2. Patient Care in Complex Systems: This series of courses, unique to the ScM program, combines an interactive seminar structure with longitudinal experiential learning, service learning, and field work in a community healthcare site. Content will cover a broad range of topics, including the social determinants of health, health care systems, care of vulnerable patients, interdisciplinary health care teams, population health, patient advocacy, professional and ethical issues in medicine, quality improvement techniques, and fundamentals of project evaluation methods.
  3. Community Health Project (Capstone Project): You will be required to complete a focused community project of benefit to your longitudinal community healthcare site and patients. You will be able to choose from a variety of projects offered by your community site.  Projects must be approved by both the ScM program director and the site coordinator at your community healthcare site.

The ScM in Medical Sciences curriculum is comprised of 8.5 required courses. It is a one-year, full-time program, running from July to May. Since the biomedical science courses are linked to the first-year Alpert Medical School courses, all courses must be completed in a predetermined sequence. Fall semester courses are prerequisites for Spring semester courses.

Curriculum Outline and Course Sequencing

  Required Courses Course Units
Summer Session
(July: 2 weeks)
Introduction to Medical Sciences and Patient Care 0.5
Fall Semester
Human Histology 1
Human Anatomy 1
General Pathology 1
Scientific Foundations of Medicine 1
Patient Care in Complex Systems I 1
Spring Semester
Brain Science & Neurology (includes Head & Neck Anatomy) 1
Microbiology and Infectious Disease 1
Patient Care in Complex Systems II
(includes community project implementation & presentation)
Total Required Courses 8.5