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Department of

Special Master’s Program in Physiology

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is the MS in physiology an accredited program?

Graduates of the program are awarded the MS (master of science) degree in physiology. The degree (and our institution) is fully accredited by the Ohio Board of Regents that oversees higher education in the State of Ohio.

Q: How does the UC master's program compare with similar programs at other institutions?

The master's program at UC is a one-year program that is similar to 'gap-year', 'glide-year', or special master's programs (SMPs) at several other institutions. View the program comparison table to compare costs and features. View the success rate table to view our students success rates at gaining acceptance to medical school.

Q: Can I attend this program part time?

No. The MS in physiology degree is offered only as a full-time (11-month) program.

Q: What are the costs of the master's program?

Tuition is subject to change each academic year. Tuition for academic year 2016–17 is $38,310 for in-state residents and $38,710 for out-of-state residents. Payments are due in two equal installments, at the beginning of each semester. No tuition waivers are available from the Department or the University (tuition remission is not applicable). You should also expect the following additional expenses:

  • Application Fee: UC charges a non-refundable application fee of $140.
  • Books/syllabi and required software: The estimated cost of books/syllabi and software required for specific classes is $450 for the year. All books and required software can be purchased from the University Medical Bookstore and the book list will become available one week before classes begin.
  • Lab Fees: There is a $85 microscope rental fee for Microscopic Anatomy. In addition, each student must have an Ethernet+wireless-ready laptop for the course.
  • Miscellaneous Fees: Full-time UC students are required to pay a General Fee ($398 per semester in 2016–17, subject to change) and Campus Life Fee ($257 per semester in 2016–17, subject to change) that provides, among other benefits, access to UC's award-winning Campus Recreation Center. Students are also required to pay for Student Health Insurance ($1064 per semester in 2014–15, subject to change) unless the student demonstrates adequate existing coverage. Graduating students are required to pay a $50 graduation application fee.

Q: When should I apply to the master's program?

Applications will be accepted any time from October 1, 2015 through May 20, 2016 for entry to the class starting in the fall of the same year; however, we recommend that you apply as early as possible (we open in the application site in October for entry to the program the following fall).

Q: How do I apply?

Click here:Applying to the MS Program.

Q: When applying, can I submit my GRE or DAT scores in lieu of MCAT scores?

No. MCAT scores are required for entry to the master's program at UC. (If you apply before you have taken the MCAT, please forward your scores to our program as soon as possible, see instructions.) We do not accept GRE or DAT scores in lieu of MCAT scores.

Q: Are applicants interviewed during the admissions process?

No. All admission decisions are based solely on the written materials and scores that are submitted as part of the application process.

Q: How many students are accepted to the program each year?

Our program accepts 32 students.

Q: When will I find out if I am accepted into the program?

Applications are accepted until May 20, but applying earlier is a good idea. We review our first batch of applications starting in December and, based on the quality of applicants, we will start making some early decisions for admissions. A large number of applicants will remain under active consideration until final decisions are made in late June. Movement off the waitlist can continue into late July. Finally, as the application pool increases, we will inform applicants of their position on our waitlist.

Q: What is necessary to reserve a space in the program?

The acceptance letter will include a requirement that students return both a signed agreement to join the program and a deposit of $500. This deposit will be fully applied to the student's costs of the program during the Fall Semester.

Q: What if I get accepted to medical school after I sign up for the master's program?

Prior to May 15, your deposit shall be returned in full if you withdraw from the program. After May 15, we will refund your deposit only if you provide us with written documentation that you have been accepted into medical school. Thus it is to your advantage to tell us as quickly as possible if you won't be joining the program.

Q: If accepted to UC's master's program, when do I begin school?

Orientation will be held during the second week of August. The first class (GMP I) begins the following week.

Q: Do I attend the same lectures and take the same labs as the medical students in each Block?

Yes. We limit to 32 the number of students in the master's program so that they can attend the same lectures as medical students (side-by-side) and can be assimilated into the small groups and labs that are part of those medical-school courses.

Q: How am I graded in medical school courses relative to medical students?

One of the key elements of the master's program is the ranking with the medical students matriculated in the medical courses (i.e. Fundamentals of Molecular Medicine, Fundamentals of Cellular Medicine, Surface Anatomy, and the GI/Endocrinology/Reproduction system blocks). Specifically, in letters of recommendation we provide information relating to your performance relative to the medical class (your percentage score in the course in comparison to the medical student average score). This information is obviously a very important component of your future application to medical school since it relates specifically to your potential success as a medical student.

Q: What are the minimum standards for graduation?

Students cannot graduate with a GPA below 3.0 (a B average) or with a 'fail', 'incomplete', or 'no grade' in a required course. Since this is a one-year program, there is no opportunity to re-take courses as a way of improving grades.

Q: Does the master's program provide shadowing opportunities?

Yes. We have many clinical faculty who regularly provide shadowing experiences for our MS students.

Q: When should students in the program apply to medical schools?

Students are permitted to apply to medical school while still in the master's program, and students with strong credentials should consider applying before starting classes in the fall. If you do submit an AMCAS application during the summer before starting the program, we highly recommend making every effort to complete as many secondaries as possible BEFORE school starts. Once classes begin, your workload will be substantial and writing quality secondary essays on the side will become very difficult. Secondary prompts rarely change from year to year, and can easily be found with a Google search; this lets you pre-write essays before receiving them, and even before submitting the AMCAS application itself. By the middle of the first semester (November 1), GMP I, Fundamentals of Molecular Medicine, and most of Surface Anatomy have been completed and that information can be transmitted in mid-term progress reports. It should be noted that, like most other schools, it is a UC College of Medicine policy that students in any master's program who are accepted at UC will be required to successfully complete the master's degree prior to starting medical school.

Q: How many students from UC's program are accepted into medical school?

Our success rates are similar to, or exceed, those reported by other special master's programs; please see our success rate table .

Q: What is the Mark A Snowdon Memorial Award?

The Mark A Snowdon Memorial Award is awarded annually to one or two MS in physiology students whose academic or research achievements best exemplify the scholarly efforts of our former friend and colleague.


Special Master’s Program Contacts

John N Lorenz, PhD
Program Director

Bryan Mackenzie, PhD
Program Co-Director
Director of Admissions

Jeannie Cummins
Program Manager