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K-State Today

March 20, 2024

One-year master’s program springboards biomedical science students toward professional school

Submitted by Joe Montgomery

The one-year master's degree program in biomedical science helps students navigate a path from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University to a variety of professional schools that offer advanced curriculums.

"After reviewing the metrics, we have observed that 96% of our graduates end up being placed in either a D.V.M., M.D., D.D.S. or Ph.D. program," said Hans Coetzee, university distinguished professor, head of the department of anatomy and physiology, and associate dean for research and graduate programs in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

One of the program's advantages is that it requires only a yearlong commitment for the completion of a master's degree.

"Often students are not sure what their future holds," says Matthew Basel, assistant professor and associate director of the program. "The pre-professional one-year master's program is designed to introduce students to the biomedical field and prepare them for professional school. During the program, students are able to take advanced courses in a wide range of biomedical sciences, including anatomy, physiology, histology and pharmacology."

"During my time in the one-year master's program, I have learned to adapt my study skills to help boost my grade point average," said Mya Croy, a current student who has received an offer to study for her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at K-State. "This helped me become a more competitive applicant for veterinary school. I love that the classes we are taught are similar to the classes I will be taking in vet school in the fall. I also feel more confident in my anatomy and physiology knowledge going into veterinary school."

Hosted in the department of anatomy and physiology, the pre-professional one-year master's program in biomedical science is a non-thesis, coursework-based master's degree designed to be completed in 12 months. Typically, a master's degree program takes about two years to complete. This program starts during the summer session and is completed at the end of the following spring semester. The 2024 program starts May 22. Applications for summer admission are being accepted through May 5.

"The one-year master's program provided me with a thorough foundation in clinically relevant topics including anatomy, histology and physiology," said Tyler McCoach, a current student in the program who has been accepted to the KU Medical school. "The program not only teaches science, but also efficient study habits and how to implement them effectively. Outside of the classroom, I was assisted in navigating through the professional school application process, putting me in position to be a successful applicant."

Along with Basel, program coordinators include Pradeep Malreddy, Peying Fong and Bruce Schultz, who teach courses in the veterinary college.

"There are no specific admission requirements for this program, as we would like to serve a wide range of potential students," Malreddy said. "We do have some suggested guidelines for students that we think will help them be more likely to succeed. We recommend a bachelor's degree in a biomedical science-related field, a minimum 2.8 or higher overall grade point average, and at least a 3.0 grade point average in their higher-level science courses or the last 45 hours of bachelor's degree studies."

All students earning a master's degree at Kansas State University must complete a "culminating experience" that will be determined by the student in concert with his or her graduate committee. Culminating experiences include either an intellectually creative project, a final report or a culminating examination.

"We believe the best place to prepare for professional school is at a professional school where students can interact with professors who understand the program," Basel said. "Students take courses designed to have the same rigor as any other professional health school and have access to world-class facilities. Classes begin in the summer semester with an intensive introduction to anatomy and physiology, followed by a mix of required and elective courses in the fall and spring."

While the current class nears graduation in May, the program is currently taking applications for the next school year. Classes are scheduled to start in May. Applications are made through the Graduate School at Kansas State University, while the one-year master's program in biomedical science is administered through the College of Veterinary Medicine.

For a full description of the program, admission requirements and application procedures, visit the website