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Undergraduate Program in Medical Sciences

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

Q: What degree is earned upon completion of the major?

A: Bachelor of Science (BS) in Medical Sciences

Q: What is the length of the program?

A: The major is designed and intended to be completed in four years (8 semesters) as a full-time undergraduate student.

Q: Is the Medical Sciences Program only for prospective medical students?

A: No. While the Undergraduate Program in Medical Sciences prepares students to be competitive for admission to professional schools such as medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy, it is also designed to better prepare students for master's and doctoral programs in the life sciences, as well as master's or other post-baccalaureate training programs for any of the many health professions.

Q: Should I decide not to pursue a career in medicine, what other options are there for me after graduating from the Medical Sciences major?

A: The Medical Sciences major is not solely for students interested in going to medical school. We have structured the curriculum so that students may also pursue other avenues after graduation; these areas include biomedical research as a graduate student or technician, physician assistant, occupational or physical therapist, or dentistry. Our goal is to help each student find the career path that they are most interested in and help them achieve that goal.

Q: Are there any additional costs associated with being in the major ?

A: No, there are no additional costs associated with being in the Medical Sciences major at UC compared with any other program (standard costs include tuition, room & board, general fees, vaccinations, and health insurance, if applicable). There is an additional fee associated with Human Anatomy: Art & Medicine (MEDS 4057C); however, this course is an elective and not required. Students should also budget for the costs of textbooks, a personal computer, and software (licensed software is available at deeply-discounted prices through UC Bookstores).

Q: If I am not affiliated with UC Honors Program, am I at a disadvantage in the Medical Sciences major?

A: Entry into the Honors Program is determined university-wide and is very limited. Given the rigorous requirements we have for admission into the Medical Sciences major and the small size of the program, we have found that a substantial number of outstanding students accepted into the major in Medical Sciences are not admitted into the Honors Program. Not being selected into the Honors Program does not affect a student’s standing, or the selection of classes or activities, in the Medical Sciences Program in any way.

Q: Can I participate in both research and service activities?

A: Yes. In fact, you are strongly encouraged to participate in both research and service activities. In addition to a required course (MEDS 2030C) that introduces students to modern research techniques in several disciplines, we offer one-semester elective courses both in research (MEDS 3030, MEDS 4042) and service learning (MEDS 3050). Students in the major participate in a senior research or service capstone project that will be formally written and presented to the faculty and students.

Q: How soon can I start in a research lab?

A: There are many opportunities to become involved in research from your freshman year through your senior year at UC. These opportunities include research for credit, volunteering, part-time work (including work–study if eligible), and summer programs. If you are serious about conducting research, then we would encourage you to begin early in your college career. During your senior year, you will participate in either a research or service capstone project. Most research experiences will occur in laboratories located either at the UC College of Medicine or at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Q: How can I find out about summer research opportunities?

A: If you plan to enroll in classes during the summer semester and would like to participate in part-time summer research, consider the MEDS 3030: Biomedical Research Rotation course. Full-time summer research opportunities are available too. Visit the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) website for information on SURF programs at UC College of Medicine and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. The SURF programs are very competitive—apply early!

Q: Are classes canceled if the University announces a campus closure?

A: Yes. Whenever the University announces a campus closure (such as due to winter weather or public emergency), all classes are canceled. You may have heard that the College of Medicine never closes; however, all undergraduate and graduate classes at the College of Medicine are canceled during a University campus closure. This not only applies to lectures and workshops but also laboratory-based classes such as MEDS 3030. Undergraduate students should not attempt to come to campus if a campus closure has been announced or should leave by the time the university is to close as indicated in the announcement.


Q: How do I apply for admission to the major in Medical Sciences?

A: Information on admissions can be found on the program Overview page for the major.

Q: I want to visit campus and learn more about Medical Sciences. How can I do that?

A: All prospective students and families should contact UC Undergraduate Admissions to sign up for a preview day when you can visit UC and hear a presentation about Medical Sciences from our staff.

Q: If I am part of the Medical Sciences Program, do I pay undergraduate tuition or College of Medicine (MD) tuition? 

A: Although Medical Sciences is housed in the College of Medicine, it is still an undergraduate program; students in Medical Sciences will pay undergraduate tuition ("UC Uptown" rates). For up-to-date tuition costs, please visit the Admissions website.


Q: How can I support the mission of the Medical Sciences Program financially?

A: Parents, faculty, staff, and friends of the program can support the mission of the program by giving to the Medical Sciences Program Excellence Fund. More information

Further Information

Q: My question is not answered here. Whom should I contact?

A: If you do not find the answer to your question within the program website, or if you have a comment, question or idea regarding the program website, please contact one of the Medical Sciences staff members listed below.

Rachel Shah, MEd
Academic Advisor
Beth Shelton, MEd
Program Coordinator
Beth Shelton, MEd
Program Coordinator
Beth Shelton, MEd
Program Coordinator
Students spend their first two years taking classes on west campus