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Frequently Asked Questions: MSMP

COVID

1. Am I able to visit campus?

Yes, click here to see all of our upcoming events including campus visit dates! All visitors must adhere to Case Western's COVID-19 Visitor Policy.

Admissions

1. How do I apply to the Masters in Medical Physiology program?

Please visit our MSMP Admissions page. You can access the online application using this link

2. What is the deadline to apply? Are admissions rolling?

Please visit our MSMP Admissions page for the latest application deadline for each term - spring, summer, and fall. 

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

3. What test scores do I need to submit?

We accept GRE, MCAT, DAT, or PCAT scores. If you have not taken the MCAT or DAT yet, we recommend taking the GRE instead. If you are not satisfied with your MCAT or DAT score, you should consider sitting for the GRE rather than a retake of the MCAT or DAT. 

All test scores are required to apply.

  • All test score reports can be uploaded with your online application (unofficial is fine for admissions purposes).
  • GRE scores can be sent to CWRU using the school code 1105.
  • Official MCAT, DAT, & PCAT scores can we emailed in PDF format to msmpadmissions@case.edu using a clear version that includes applicant's name, date of birth, PIN or verification code, exam date, etc.
  • TOEFL, and IELTS scores (if applicable) - please refer to the School of Graduate Studies International Applicant Info page

4. How many letters of recommendation do I need to submit?

You need to submit at least two letters of recommendation. Applicants have a few options for submitting letters of recommendation:

  • Preferred method: Enter names and email addresses for your references into the online application system. Letter writers can then enter the letters of recommendation directly into the application system.
  • References can send letters directly to msmpadmissions@case.edu
  • Letters can also be submitted via Interfolio to msmpadmissions@case.edu.

If the letters of recommendation will arrive by any method other than the online application system, the applicant should still enter the references’ names and email addresses into the online system. Please do not submit the same letter multiple times through different methods. This delays the processing time.

5. What transcripts should I submit?

You must report ALL of your college-level coursework at ALL institutions that you have attended (including post-secondary and transfer credits). Unoffical transcript are accepted to expedite the admissions review process. Unofficial transcripts must contain your degree and degree conferral date if you have already earned your degree(s).

Unofficial transcripts should be uploaded along with the online application (preferred) to expedite the department review process.

If you are admitted and plan on attending Case Western, then you will be required to submit official transcripts.

6. What should I write about in my personal statement?

Your personal statement should address your career goals, why you are pursuing this career, and how this program can help you achieve those goals. Your personal statement should address any challenges in your academic career as well as how you plan to address those challenges in the future.

7. What makes a competitive candidate for your program?

Each applicant is evaluated holistically on the merits of the total application: standardized test scores, undergraduate, post-bacc, and/or graduate GPAs, breadth and depth of science coursework, letters of recommendation (2), a resume/CV, and a personal statement describing their interest in the program and career goals.

8. What prerequisites do you require for the Medical Physiology program?

Incoming students should have take courses that are required for their desired professional program. In general, we recommend one full academic year of the following:

  • Biology w/ lab
  • General Chemistry w/ lab
  • Organic Chemistry w/ lab
  • Physics w/ lab
  • English

9. Do you accept International Students?

Yes, Medical Physiology accepts students from all over the world. If you are not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, you are considered an international student.

Please review the School of Graduate Studies International Applicant Info webpage for more specific admissions information.

International Student Services provides a wide range of support and resources to our international student population. They assist with immigration matters, intercultural exchange opportunities, and understanding the social and academic culture on campus and in the US.

International students should be aware that not all US medical and dental schools accept international applicants. If your career goal is to attend an American professional school, please be sure that your desired institution accepts international students. 

10. What is the non-resident or online program?

This option allows students who cannot relocate to Cleveland to take their classes 100% online.

We highly recommend that all students, if possible, be physically on campus so that they can become an integral part of the academic community with the ability to attend live lectures and seminars, consult immediately with faculty/ TAs/ peer advisors, and most effectively take advantage of all the educational resources available at CWRU and its affiliated hospitals.

We understand that a physical presence in Cleveland is not always possible so students have the option of completing some or all of their coursework online. Those who are unable to come to Cleveland for the beginning of the program, may start taking MSMP courses as an online student and then transition to taking courses as a resident student when they arrive in Cleveland, even mid-semester. Online students take the exact same classes as resident students. A few Teaching Assistants are assigned to work specifically with our online students each year. Block exams are administered securely using an exam proctoring platform. Grading standards and degree requirements are equal for both resident and non-resident students.

Students should specify on their application for admission if they plan to enroll as a resident or online student. All MSMP core courses and most electives are available to be taken online. Students interested in taking electives outside the department must consult those departments directly to inquire about the availability of online options.

11. What is the tuition for the program?

Tuition and fees are set by the university and can be viewed on this page.

 

12. Does the Department offer financial aid to MS in Medical Physiology students?

Click here to review more information about financial aid. All financial aid is handled through the university's Office of Financial Aid.  

The department generates a Memo of Assistance (MOA) for all incoming students. This is sent to the Office of Financial Aid so that they can generate a financial aid package.

13. What housing options are available for graduate students?

There are a number of different housing options within walking distance to the university. Many of our students live in neighborhoods such as Little Italy and Coventry, as well as in a wider geographic area (Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights, downtown Cleveland, etc.)

University Housing has a page for graduate students seeking housing options. We also recommend checking out the CWRU School of Medicine Housing Guide.

14. How many students will be in the matriculating in the next fall class?

The class size varies every year, but is typically 170-175 students.

15. How do I apply for the dual MS/MBA program?

Please click here to see more information about the MSMP/ MBA dual degree program.

16. Can I ask another question that you haven't answered?

Yes, please contact us msmpadmissions@case.edu and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

Academics

1. The MSMP program is advertised as both a 12-month program and a flexible duration program. What is the average time to completion for MSMP students?

The MSMP program is designed to be flexible to accommodate each student's needs.

Students who wish to take adavantage of the extracurricular opportunities that Case Western offers typically complete the program in four (4) semesters. In addition to taking classes, many students study for the MCAT or DAT, pursue an Area of Concentration, and get involved in clinical, volunteering, and/or research opportunities. This course of action is highly recommended by the MSMP faculty and advisors.

The program can be done in 12 months. Students who perform well in the first semester of the core curriculum can request permission to take an additional elective class in the spring semester. The final nine credit hours (electives) can be taken during the summer term.

2. Can this program can be completed in two semesters?

This is NOT recommended as it would require a very heavy courseload that may jeopardize the student’s ability to perform well in the program. This course of action would require the support of the student’s MSMP Faculty Advisor and approval by the MSMP Administration Committee.

3. How are MSMP students advised?

When students officially accept our offer, we assign them an MSMP Faculty Advisor. Each advisor is a full-time faculty member in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. Advisors are integral to our students' success by helping them plan their strategy for performing well academically and providing advice on how to increase their competitiveness for professional school. Faculty advisors are also responsibile for writing their advsiees' committee letters.

We host a series of professional program information sessions focused on applying to professional school (medical school, dental school, PA programs, etc) throughout the academic year. Before the spring semester starts, students attend a daylong retreat focused on the professional school application process. Representatives from many professional schools and programs visit with the students throughout the year as well.

Students are assigned to peer advisors from the second year class. Peer advisors can provide a student’s perspective on achieving success in the MSMP program, utilizing campus and community resources, and finding fun things to do both on campus and in Cleveland.

4. How comparable are the courses offered to first-year medical or dental school courses?

Our lecture-style courses in the MSMP program are incredibly rigorous and are meant to mirror those found in a traditional medical or dental school curriculum. Our program requires a minimum of 26 hours of physiology courses which is often more than the number of hours required at the professional school level. The core curriculum is taught by many of the same faculty who teach in the CWRU School of Medicine.

5. Which faculty teach the core curriculum classes (Medical Physiology I and II and Translational Physiology I and II)?

One of the unique and distinguishing features of our program is that MSMP students are able to meet and be taught by so many content experts in various areas of physiology. Over 50 faculty members from the CWRU School of Medicine, both within and outside of our department, teach within the core curriculum. 

6. What is the textbook for the required first year courses?

The required textbook for the Medical Physiology and Translational Physiology courses is Boron and Boulpaep’s Medical Physiology (Third Edition). This text serves as the foundation for the MSMP core curriculum. It is available at the CWRU bookstore and online.

7. Do I need a computer and Internet access?

Yes, all students need a laptop computer in order to sit for their quizzes and exams. All devices should include a web camera and microphone for video conferencing and remote learning. Check out UTech's recommended minimum and recommended computer specifications

Online students must also have access to a stable Internet connection in order to be successful in the program.

8. Are there opportunities for MSMP students to engage in clinical experiences or other health related experiences?

CWRU has a HUGE medical complex. The university is affiliated with 4 hospitals and we have faculty at all of them: Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, and the MetroHealth system. We generally recommend that students complete the program in two years so that they can take advantage of all the opportunities that are available on campus and throughout Cleveland.

Each department in the affiliated hospitals hold weekly Grand Rounds that are open to our students. We recommend students find an area that they are interested in and attend these Grand Rounds to learn of the latest research and clinical treatments in these areas and to meet the clinical faculty. Students can find opportunities to shadow faculty and observe procedures. Many students become engaged in either basic science or clinical research. There are many non-profit and volunteer organizations in Cleveland and surrounding areas that welcome our students each year.

9. Are there laboratory research opportunities available to MSMP students?

Yes, many students become involved in basic and clinical research projects. Opportunities our students have sought out in the past include:

  • Informally observing or volunteering in a lab or clinic,
  • Securing employment as a research assistant or clinical research coordinator (including Clinical Trials and campus labs),
  • Taking one or more PHOL 601 Research in Physiology courses, 
  • Switching to Plan A which allows students to conduct original research in a faculty’s laboratory and write and defend a thesis during their second year in the program.

10. How do I find more information about what is going on in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at CWRU?

For up-to-date information about our department and upcoming events, visit the department website.

11. How do I find more information about the CWRU School of Medicine?

Click here for more information about the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

12. How do I find more information about the CWRU School of Dental Medicine?

Click here for more information about the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine.

13. What other professional healthcare programs are offered at Case Western?

Successes

1. Do MSMP graduates reach their professional goals (medicine, dentistry, or other professional school)?

Students who perform well in the program achieve their goals. Nearly 90% of those applying to medical school are accepted and close to 100% of those applying to dental programs are accepted. When students initially meet with their advisors, they should begin forming a plan to work toward their professional goal. Generally, we recommend completing the program in two years to establish a strong academic track record, engaging in the enrichment curriculum, and seeking out clinical, research, and volunteer activities to bolster professional school applications.

The MSMP program matriculated its first class in 2011 with the goal of helping students with less than optimal undergraduate academic records gain admission into biomedical professional programs (MD, DO, Podiatric, Dental, Physician Assistant, Nursing, Optometry, Pharmacy, Anesthesiology Assistant, or PhD). Students who do well in our rigorous curriculum (MSMP GPA between 3.5 and 4), take advantage of the enrichment opportunities, and receive a strong letter of recommendation from the MSMP Administration Committee, have demonstrated that they have the qualities needed for success in professional school.

2. Are there any linkage programs between MSMP and MD/DO programs?

Yes! MSMP students are guaranteed an interview with the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine if they meet the following criteria:

  • Undergraduate GPA > 3.4;
  • MSMP GPA  > 3.5; 
  • and an MCAT score > the 90th percentile.

Each year, we have students who receive an interview invitation from the School of Medicine who did not meet the above criteria.

We have also established an admissions agreement with the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (with campuses in Athens, Cleveland, and Dublin). MSMP students are guaranteed an interview with OU-HCOM if they meet the following criteria:

  • Be currently enrolled in MSMP program OR have graduated on or after January 1, 2020;
  • AND, be a US citizen or permanent resident;
  • AND, identify as at least one of the following;
    • Underrepresented in medicine (black/ African American, Hispanic/ Latinx, Native American/ Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander),
    • OR first generation college student, 
    • OR Southeast Ohio resident (Counties: Adams, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Carroll, Clermont, Cochocton, Galia, Guernsey, Harrison, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Tuscarawas, Vinton, Washington).
  • Academic criteria:
    • 2.8+ cumulative undergraduate science GPA as calculated by AACOMAS,
    • AND, 3.5+ GPA in MSMP core curriculum (20 credits),
    • AND 501+ MCAT score.