Biomedical Sciences, Master Degree

The MS in Biomedical Sciences is a research intensive degree program for individuals seeking to improve their credentials for PhD programs or to pursue careers in the biotech industry, government agencies, or higher education.With the exception of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, thesis work will involve in person, laboratory research at the bench. To be successful and graduate on time, students should expect to devote a minimum of  40 hours per week on their coursework and research projects while in the program. 

All concentration tracks require completion of an independent laboratory research project under the direction of a mentor in their chosen field, written thesis, and oral thesis defense. Coursework requirements vary by track, but consist of at least 45 total credit hours including 12-18 hours of didactic instruction. Each student follows an individual Program of Study designed in consultation with the Thesis Advisory Committee and approved by the Graduate Training Committee. The curriculum, which must be pursued full time, is typically completed in 21-24 months. Completion of this degree offers opportunities in academic institutions, industry, government agencies and administration.


Applicants must have earned or expect to earn a bachelor's degree prior to enrolling in the MS in Biomedical Sciences program. There are no course prerequisites, but upper level biology and chemistry courses  (or mathematics for biostatistics or epidemiology)  are recommended.  No single metric is used to assess applicants, but rather a broader picture of the candidate's qualities is considered by our admissions committee. As a guideline, candidates with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater are more likely to be considered favorably. Submission of a standardized test score is not required but will be considered if submitted. Students interested in Biostatistics and/or Epidemiology are strongly encouraged to submit official GRE scores. Experience in research is desirable, although not required. Applicants are required to provide a personal statement explaining their career goals and reasons for applying to the program and a resume. Three letters of reference, preferably from college professors or supervisors in a scientific or healthcare position, are also required. Please note that for the first semester, MS students must be able to attend in-person classes and laboratory rotations Monday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm.

International Students

Before applying to this program as an international student, please note that we are unable to provide financial aid in any form to non-U.S. citizens. The estimated cost of attendance with living expenses in 2022 is $55,000 per year. Several months may be required for securing needed information for processing an application from abroad, so foreign nationals are urged to submit complete information as early as possible. In addition to other official entrance credentials, those applicants whose native language is not English must submit the official results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL or IELTS score.) The TOEFL or IELTS score must not be more than two years old. Final consideration cannot be granted to an international student’s application for admission until these official scores are received by the Office of Enrollment Management. If an international applicant has graduated or will graduate from an institution that uses English as the language of instruction, the TOEFL may be waived upon request. We are unable to provide stipend support or scholarships for international students in this program.

Application Process

Applications for the MBS degree will be considered by a committee of faculty from all tracks. Admission is granted to the MS in Biomedical Sciences program, not a specific track. Admitted students are encouraged, but not required, to rotate in at least two laboratories in their first semester before choosing a thesis mentor and discipline specific track. Students planning to study biostatistics and epidemiology are not expected to do laboratory rotations, and should indicate this interest in their essay.   

Applicants are required to submit unofficial or official transcripts for each and every post-secondary school attended even if listed as transfer credit on another transcript.  If you are submitting an unofficial transcript, it must reflect all courses, grades, degrees awarded (if applicable), and the name of the institution must be clearly visible.

If you are offered a position, you will be asked to request an official transcript from each institution listed in the Education section of your application, regardless of the number of credits earned. MUSC reserves the right to rescind any offer of admission if any discrepancies are found between your unofficial and official transcripts.  

Use of Marijuana and/or CBD Products

Marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug and is illegal to purchase in South Carolina. Apart from a narrow and limited scope of codified/documented medical exceptions, it is illegal for individuals to use marijuana/tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in South Carolina. Although cannabidiol (CBD) products may be purchased and used in South Carolina, please be aware that CBD products may contain higher levels of THC than represented on packaging and use of CBD products can result in a positive drug screen for THC/marijuana. Be aware that current drug testing methods cannot accurately ascertain the origins of THC metabolites (i.e., whether from marijuana or CBD products). Your academic program has the authority to conduct random and/or scheduled drug testing; if your test result is reported as positive for THC metabolites (even if you only used a CBD product), your ability to be accepted into the program, progress in the program, and/or successfully complete the program may be negatively impacted.

Scholarship Eligibility

MUSC offers scholarships for which you may be eligible. Some are awarded based on academic achievement; others are awarded based on community service, for example. However, the majority of scholarships awarded at MUSC are based on financial need. This means those scholarships are only awarded to students who need some financial assistance to cover the cost of tuition and fees. If you would like to be considered for a financial need-based scholarship, you must have an up-to-date Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file. Make sure you list Medical University of South Carolina on your FAFSA form, along with MUSC’s code: 003438. We encourage you to submit the FAFSA as early as possible. It is recommended to submit the FAFSA in January if you plan to enroll in the Fall.

Application Deadlines

Start Term Application Type Available Deadline
Fall 2024 Regular December 1, 2023 June 1, 2024
Fall 2025 Regular December 1, 2024 June 1, 2025