Physiology & Biophysics

Frequently Asked Questions: MSMP

Admissions

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

Please see our application page. You can apply HERE.

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

Applications will open on October 1.

For Admission for the Spring term, the online application must be submitted by November 1.  All supplemental materials are due by November 15.

For Admission for the Summer term, the online application must be submitted by April 1.  All supplemental materials are due by April 15.

For Admission for the Fall term, the online application must be submitted by July 15.  All supplemental materials are due by July 31.

Admissions are done on a rolling basis.

3. What test scores do I need to submit?

We accept GRE, MCAT, DAT, or PCAT scores.  You need to submit only one set of scores.

If you have not taken the MCAT or DAT yet, please take the GRE.  If you are not satisfied with your MCAT score, please do not retake the MCAT; take the GRE instead.

GRE scores should be sent to CWRU using the school code 1105. MCAT Score Reports, DAT, PCAT, TOEFL, and IELTS scores (if applicable) should be emailed in PDF format to msmpadmissions@case.edu using a clear version that includes the applicant’s name and date of birth on the same page as the scores. We do not require MCAT scores to be sent by AMCAS; however, we do require the verification code to be provided with your MCAT scores.

Successful candidates typically have MCAT scores totaling around 500, DAT scores totaling around 18, or GRE scores greater than the 40th percentile in Verbal, Quantative, and Analystical components.

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

You need to submit three letters of recommendation.

The names and email addresses for three references should be entered into the online system.  The letters of recommendation can then be entered into the system directly by the references. This is the preferred method. Alternatively, 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. You can submit an unoffical transcript, but it must contain your name, ID number or DOB, the name of the institution, and all courses taken. You will also need to download and submit the BCPM science grade calculator.

Transcripts for students who have not yet received an admission decision should be mailed to the Manager of Graduate Education using the contact information below.  Unofficial transcripts can be submitted along with the online application (preferred) or emailed to  msmpadmissions@case.edu to expedite the department review process and notification of decision.

Official acceptance by the School of Graduate Studies, which follows the department review, requires that all official transcripts are first received. If unofficial transcripts are used or if the transcript shows that the applicant has not yet graduated with an undergraduate degree, the student can be granted a conditional acceptance and a new transcript showing the graduation will have to be submitted at a later time directly to the School of Graduate Studies. The online application system may continue to indicate that the transcripts have not yet been received if the transcripts were unofficial or did not show a graduation date. Please make sure that all unofficial transcripts are legible and include the name of the institution and student.

If a student receives a conditional acceptance and needs to send official transcripts after receiving this conditional acceptance, students should send transcripts directly to:

Electronic transcripts: gradtranscripts@case.edu

or the old fashioned way:

Case Western Reserve University

School of Graduate Studies, Tomlinson 203

10900 Euclid Ave.

Cleveland, OH 44106-7027

If your transcript accidently gets sent to the Department of Physiology and Biophysics after conditional acceptance, there is no need to contact the office. It will be forwarded via campus mail.

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.  In addition, your personal statement should address any challenges in your academic career as well as how you plan to address those challenges in the future.

A CV or resume also needs to be submitted along with the online application.

7. What makes a competitive candidate for your program?

We have no absolute criteria for selecting applicants based on standardized exams or GPA.  Each student is evaluated holistically on the merits of the total application: standardized test scores, undergraduate and graduate grade point averages, breadth and depth of science course work, letters of recommendation (3), a resume/CV, and a personal statement describing their interest in the program and career plans.

Successful applicants typical have the following:

a cummulative undergrad GPA greater than 2.9

a solid foundation in the biological/chemical/physical sciences--please see the next question for more details

GRE scores on the Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical components of the exam greater than the 40th percentile

MCAT scores totaling around 500

DAT scores totaling around 18

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

We expect incoming students to have one year of English, one year of biology, one year of physics, and two years of chemistry (through organic chemistry) on their undergraduate record.

9. Do you accept International Students?

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

One the following is required for admission: the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE (Pearson Test of English). In order to waive the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score, an applicant must meet one of the following requirements : 1) the student speaks English as their native language, 2) the student has completed a bachelor’s or higher degree at a foreign university where the instruction was in English, or 3) the student has earned a bachelor’s or higher degree in a U.S. college or university. The waiver will not be applied until review of the official transcripts with degree verification. To be considered for admission, the minimal IELTS score is 7.0, the minimum TOEFL score is 90, and the minimum PTE score is 61. We do not give conditional admission if a language test is required and one of these scores has not been met.

The university requires international students to be enrolled in at least 9 credit hours each fall and spring term; international students do not have to be enrolled in the summer term.

International students should also be aware that only 57 of 168 US medical schools accept international applicants.  If your career goal is to attend an American medical school, please be sure that your desired institution accepts international students. 

10. The MSMP program is advertised as both a 12 month program and a flexible duration program.  What is the recommended time in which a student should complete the program?

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

The program is designed as a two year program.  Most students pursue this option in order to optimize their chances of gaining admission to professional medical programs. Many students will study for the MCAT, others will pursue an area of concentration, clinical shadowing, volunteering, or research opportunities during this time.  This course of action is highly recommended by the faculty and the advisors.

The program can be done in 12 months.  Students who do 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 can be taken in the summer.

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

Yes, the program can be completed in two semesters.

However, this is NOT recommended. A student would have to take 16 credit hours of course (10 hours of core physiology courses and 6 hours of electives) these two semesters. This is a very heavy load that may jeopardize the student’s ability to perform well in the program. To complete the program in two semesters requires the support of the student’s MSMP Faculty Advisor and approval by the MS in Medical Physiology Administration Committee. The full benefit of this program in applying to a professional program can only be realized AFTER the first year of study. Therefore, it is recommended that students apply to professional school only after the first two semesters have been successfully completed.

12. What is the non-resident program?

The non-resident program is an option where non-resident students can take courses in the program via online classes.

The Department of Physiology and Biophysics highly recommends that all students, if possible, be physically on campus so that they can attend live lectures and seminars, consult with the faculty, and be involved in the Enrichment Curriculum In this way, they can most effectively become an integral part of the academic community and take advantage of all the educational resources available at CWRU and its affiliated hospitals (The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, University Hospital, Metro Health Hospital, and The Cleveland Veterans Association Hospital) . However, we understand that physical attendance and a physical presence in Cleveland is not always possible. Therefore, we offer students who live outside of the Cleveland area or who must work during the times when the courses are offered the option of completing our program as a non-resident student via the internet.

When a student applies to our program, they should specify on their electronic application form if they want to take the program as a non-resident student and in their personal statement they should explain why. When a student is accepted into our program, they may take courses as either a resident or non-resident student. For example, some students cannot come to Cleveland for the beginning of the program so they start taking the courses as a non-resident student that semester. When they do come to Cleveland, they continue taking the courses but as a resident student, even if this is mid-semester. The program makes no distinction between resident and non-resident students except that non-resident students are assigned a specific Teaching Assistant to work with them and their Block Exams are administered securely through ProctorU. The requirements for graduation and the grading standards in all courses are equal for both resident and non-resident students.

All lectures and seminars of the core physiology courses (PHOL 481, 482, 483, 484, 498C, and 498D) are streamed live simultaneously over the Internet. Moreover, we make available the recording of the presentations as archived videos on Canvas, the Course Management System used by the University. In this way, the presentations can be viewed asynchronously at the student’s convenience. Monday quizzes in PHOL 481 and 482 are taken online through Canvas. Block exams are administered under secure conditions on the student's individual computers using proctoring software through a private vendor, ProctorU. There are no extra charges for the use of these Internet resources.

The requirement of 12 credit hours of graduate electives (at the 400 level or above) can be satisfied by non-resident students in a number of ways. Firstly, there are enough elective courses offered over the Internet by the Department of Physiology and Biophysics that the requirement can be met by taking these courses. Secondly, as more and more graduate-level Internet courses are being offered by the basic science departments in the School of Medicine and other departments throughout the university, the requirement can be met by taking some of these courses. Thirdly, non-resident students can always come to Cleveland and physically take any graduate level courses offered by the university. Fourthly, the University has a policy of accepting (upon approval by the department and the School of Graduate Studies) up to 6 graduate credit hours of course work from universities other than CWRU and outside the Cleveland area if these courses have not been used to satisfy the requirements for another degree. Therefore, the student can take up to 6 credit hours of approved courses at a university close to where they live and have the credits transferred to CWRU.

Students with questions about in the non-resident program can contact Dr. Andrea Romani, Director of Admissions (Andrea.Romani@case.edu, 216-368-1625) , Dr. Julian Stelzer, Co-Director of the program (Julian.Stelzer@case.edu, 216-368-8636), or Dr. Thomas M. Nosek, Co-Director of the program (Thomas.Nosek@case.edu, 216-256-3726)

13. What is the tuition for the program?

Tuition and fees are set by the university.  You can see tuition for each semester here.

 

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

The Department of Physiology and Biophysics is unable to offer financial aid to students.

All financial aid is handled through the university's Office of Financial Aid.  

The department will provide a Memo of Assistance for all incoming students which lets the financial aid office know how many hours each student will take so that they can generate a financial aid package.

15. Is there housing for graduate students on campus or close to campus?

Yes, there is a wide diversity of housing options within walking distance to the university.  Housing is available in Little Italy and Coventry, as well as in a wider geographic area. Graduate Studies has a page for housing options.  You should also review the Campus Living page. Please see the Housing Guide in the Applicant Resources  Box Share.

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

The class size varies every year.  For the resident program, the largest class size would be 180 students, the maximum capacity of the lecture hall.

17. 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.

18. How do I apply for the Dual MS/MBA program?

The Department of Physiology & Biophysics at Case Western Reserve University offers the MS in Medical Physiology program that caters to college graduates that strengthens their academic backgrounds prior to applying to medical school, dental school, graduate school, or other health pro fessions programs and/or to enrich their credentials for the job market. The Weatherhead School of Management offers its MBA program which is recognized as an innovative approach to Management education and builds on a foundation of core skills to prepare graduates for what's happening in business right now.

The dual degree program prepares students to participate in the fields of medical research and management, health care management, as well as give students an opportunity to develop expertise in areas of substantive interest. Moreover, dual degree students are more likely to have greater job opportunities that are at the intersection of translational science and business/health care.

Students interested in this Dual Degree program apply to the MSMP program and take the first year of required core physiology courses. If a student is in good standing after their first two semesters in the program (earned a GPA of at least 3.0 and passed the comprehensive exam), they may petition the MSMP Administration Committee by the first of May to enter the dual degree program. Upon the recommendation of the MSMP Administration Committee, the student can then apply to the MBA program through the Weatherhead School of Management admissions process.

Students in the MS/MBA program should take the GMAT exam the summer after their first two semesters in the MS part of the program in order to be eligible for financial aid through the Weatherhead School of Management.

See the following link for more information:
https://weatherhead.case.edu/degrees/masters/dual-degree/mba-ms-medical-physiology/

Academics

1. How are Master's 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. The Advisor will also help the student plan their strategy for getting into a professional program.

In addition, we have a series of professional program information sessions focused on applying to professional school (medical school, dental school, PA programs, etc) through the course of each semester.  We also have a day long retreat before the start of the spring semester focused on career paths and how to achieve them.  In addition, we have representatives from many professional schools and programs visit with the students throughout the year.

Students also have a Peer Advisor from the second year MSMP students who will provide the student with a student’s perspective as to how to best succeed in our program and enjoy their time at CWRU and in Cleveland.

2. How comparable are the courses offered to first - year medical school courses?

CWRU’s medical program is primarily problem based without any “courses” in the classical sense of the term. Our lecture style courses in the MS in Medical Physiology program are far MORE vigorous than those found in a traditional medical curriculum where courses in physiology are taught. Our program requires at least 20 hours of physiology courses; this is far more than any medical school requires of their students.

The Core Curriculum is taught by many of the same faculty who teach in the School of Medicine.  Likewise, it is similiar in that all students attend the Core Curriculum together as a single large class, just like medical school.

3. Who are the faculty who will be teaching the Medical Physiology I and II and Translational Physiology I and II courses?

Our philosophy for these courses is to have experts in the lecture content give each lecture. Therefore, a large number of faculty from the CWRU School of Medicine, both inside and outside the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, teach these courses. During the current academic year, more than 50 different faculty members will gave lectures in these two courses. We consider this to be a unique and distinguishing feature of our program – that as a student you are able to meet and be taught by so many experts in various areas of physiology.

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

The required textbook for the Medical Physiology I and II and Translational Physiology I and II courses is Boron and Boulpaep’s Medical Physiology Third Edition. It is available at the CWRU bookstore and online. I recommend that you read the first chapter of each of the ten sections of the book before classes begins. It will help you to appreciate the full scope of the courses. We will begin at Chapter 1 in this textbook and work our way to the end of Chapter 62. A detailed syllabus will be provided on our course management system ( Canvas ) a couple of weeks before classes begin. Through Canvas you will be able to access for each lecture: the name of the lecturer, the Chapter in the required textbook that will be covered, Learning Objectives, the PowerPoint files for that lecture, streaming video of the lecture, and any supplemental reading material.

5. Do I need a computer?

Yes, you will need a laptop computer in order to take quizzes through Canvas and exams through Examplify.

6. Are there opportunities for clinical experience or other health related experiences made available to students through the university?

CWRU has a HUGE medical complex. The university is affiliated with 4 hospitals and we have faculty at all of them: The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, University Hospitals of Cleveland, The Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Metro Health Hospital and the Rammelkamp Center for Education and Research. One of the reasons we recommend that students take two years to complete the program is so that they can take advantage of all the opportunities that are available on campus. Each department in each affiliated hospital holds a Grand Rounds each week that is 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 are welcomed to shadow faculty and observe procedures and, when possible, become engaged in either basic science or clinical research. Many students take research courses as one or more of their electives.

7. Are there laboratory research opportunities available to MS students?

Yes. Many students become involved in basic and clinical research projects , including involvement in Clinical Trials . This research experience can range from informally observing in a lab or clinic, to being paid to work part time on a Clinical Trial, to taking 1 or more PHOL 601 Research in Physiology courses, to switching to the Plan A where students take their 12 hours of electives as PHOL 451, Thesis research. In this option, students conduct original research in a faculty’s laboratory and write and defend a thesis during their second year in the program .

8. 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, visit the departmental website at: http://physiology.case.edu/

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

For more information about the School of Medicine, consult the School of Medicine’s website: http://case.edu/medicine/ or Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Case_Western_Reserve_University_School_of_Medicine

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

For more information about the School of Dental Medicine, consult the School of Dental Medicine’s website: https://dental.case.edu/

11. How do I find more information about the CWRU Physician Assistant Program?

For more information about the Physician Assistant Program, consult the Physician Assistant Program’s website: https://case.edu/medicine/physician-assistant/

Successes

1. Do the students that come through the program reach their professional goals (medicine, dentistry, or other professional school) after completing their coursework?

Students who perform well in the program achieve their goals. When students initially meet with their advisors, they should begin forming a plan to work toward their professional goal.  Students who follow their plan developed in conjunction with their advisor and take two years in the program to establish a strong academic track record and engage the enrichment curriculum go onto professional school.

The MSMP program in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics matriculated its first class in 2011 with the goal of helping students with less than optimal undergraduate academic records achieve their career goal of being accepted into a biomedical profe ssional program (MD, DO, Podiatric, Dental, Physician Assistant, Nursing, Optometry, Pharmacy, Anesthesiology Assistant, or Ph.D.) or to gain entry into the Biomedical/Biotechnology Industry.

If students do well in our rigorous, specialized, Physiology post-baccalaureate experience (earn a CWRU graduate GPA of between 3.5 and 4, pass the comprehensive exam at the 50th percentile or better, take advantage of the “Hidden Curriculum”, and receive a strong letter of recommendation from the MSMP Administration Committee), they will have demonstrated that they can master a fast - paced curriculum similar in rigor to what they would experience in professional school.

Because Physiology forms the basis of Medicine, we believe that our Master’s Degree program best prepares students for careers in biomedical professional programs and the Biomedical/Biotechnology Industry.

Approximately 90% of matriculating students earn the MS degree in Medical Physiology within 2 years. Over 50% of the students earn A’s in the first year core physiology courses and a final CWRU Graduate GPA greater than 3.5.

Students typically apply to professional programs after their first or second year in the program. Data on the outcomes of the students from a matriculating class is not established until 2 years after graduation. Therefore, we have the most accurate outcomes data for the classes matriculating in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

 

Class Matriculating in 2011
We have outcomes data on 100% of the 43 students matriculating in 2011. Of these students, 86% were admitted to MD/DO Schools, 9% to Dental Schools (constituting 100% of all students wishing to go to Dental School), and 5% to other medical programs (Podiatry, Physician Assistant, Anesthesiol ogy Assistant, Pharmacy, Optometry, and Naturopathic Medicine).

Class Matriculating in 2012
We have outcomes data on 80% of the 82 students matriculating in 2011. Of these students, 76% were admitted to MD/DO Schools, 10% to Dental Schools, 9% to other medical programs, and 5% to Ph.D. programs.

Class Matriculating in 2013
We have outcomes data on 66% of the 82 students matriculating in 2013. Of these students, 82% were admitted to MD/DO Schools, 9% to Dental Schools (constituting 100% of all students wishing to go to Dental School), 7% to other medical programs, and 2% to Ph.D. programs.

2. Is there any linkage between this program and the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve?

Medical Physiology masters students are guaranteed an interview with School of Medicine if they have the following: an undergraduate GPA > 3.4; a graduate GPA  in our program > 3.5; an MCAT score 512; and a passing score on the NBME exam > 50th percentile.

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

In addition, we are the faculty who teach in the MD and PA programs and many are involved in the admissions process for these programs. A number of our graduates have been successful gaining admittance to the CWRU Medical, Dental, and PA programs.