Applied Medical Sciences

MS in Applied Medical Sciences

Chair: Ah-Kau Ng, Ph.D.

Professors: Ng, Thompson, Wise; Associate Professors: Duboise, Pelsue; Assistant Research Professors: Holmes, Huston, Lichter, Paulu, Xie; Adjunct Professors: Friesel, Liaw, Lindner, Rice, Vary; Adjunct Associate Professors: Allan, Chandler, Craig, Davidoff, Fletcher, Follansbee

Program Description

The M.S. program in applied medical sciences (http://usm.maine.edu/ams) is designed to prepare students for careers in basic research, clinical diagnosis, industrial research, and teaching. Graduates of the applied medical science program are competitive for further graduate studies at the doctoral level (Ph.D., M.D., D.O., D.V.M., and D.D.S.) as well as for research positions in biotechnology companies and academic or private research laboratories. The program is an interdisciplinary biomedical graduate program with coursework and research opportunities in diverse disciplines such as: immunology, microbiology, toxicology, virology, cancer biology, epidemiology, and applied biostatistics. The program is a combination of challenging coursework, specialized readings, and research. Students will be given the opportunity to tailor their program of study to specific interests by choosing a concentration in toxicology and cancer biology, immunology and infectious disease, epidemiology, or biotechnology. In addition, students will learn general skills required of all scientists, namely: critical evaluation and presentation of the current scientific literature, reading and writing of technical material, problem solving, experimental design, logic, and ethics.

Forty credits are required for the M.S. degree in applied medical sciences: 30 credits of coursework (lectures, labs, and readings), 4 credits of Journal Club and Seminar, and 6 credits of thesis or externship research. Students will have to enroll in a specific concentration by the completion of their first year. The four concentrations are: toxicology and cancer biology, immunology and infectious disease, epidemiology, and biotechnology. Each student will be assigned an academic committee that will be responsible for ensuring that the student fulfills all requirements for the program.

All students will be required to take the following core courses (16 credits):
     AMS 530 Molecular Biology
     AMS 531 Molecular Biology Lab
     AMS 535 Introduction to Epidemiologic Research
     AMS 545 Applied Biostatistical Analysis
     AMS 595 Seminar: Journal Club
     AMS 691 Seminar: Advanced Seminar in Biomedical Sciences

In addition students must complete the requirements for their chosen concentration:

  1. Toxicology and Cancer Biology Concentration

         AMS 590 Introduction to Toxicology
         AMS 593 Molecular Techniques in Toxicology
         AMS 698 Thesis

         Electives (6 credits to be approved by the advisory committee)

         and at least two of the following:
         AMS 674 Neurotoxicology
         AMS 675 Developmental Toxicology
         AMS 694 Genetic Toxicology
         AMS 695 Chemical Carcinogenesis
         AMS 696 Metal Toxicology
  2. Immunology and Infectious Disease Concentration

         AMS 551 Immunology Lab
         AMS 552 Immunology
         AMS 560 Virology
              Or AMS 565 Molecular Microbiology
         AMS 698 Thesis

         Electives (6 credits to be approved by the advisory committee)

         One of the following:
         AMS 692 Advanced Readings in Biomedical Sciences
         AMS 693 Advanced Research Techniques in Biomedical Sciences
  3. Epidemiology

         AMS 578 Epidemiology of Infectious Disease
         AMS 579 Epidemiology of Chronic Disease
         AMS 677 Regression Models in the Health Sciences
         AMS 698 Thesis

         Electives (6 credits to be approved by the advisory committee)

         One of the following:
         AMS 635 Applications of Epidemiology in Public Health Agencies
         AMS 636 Environmental Epidemiology
         AMS 638 Practicum in Epidemiologic Research
         AMS 673 Epidemiology and Prevention of Cancer
  4. Biotechnology

         AMS 551 Immunology Lab
         AMS 552 Immunology
         AMS 540 Interdisciplinary Biomedical Science and Biotechnology
         AMS 541 Independent Study in Biotechnology Strategies
         AMS 698 Thesis
               or AMS 697 Externship

         Electives (6 credits to be approved by the advisory committee)

         One of the following:
         AMS 560 Virology
         AMS 565 Molecular Microbiology
         AMS 680 Molecular Basis of Disease
Laboratory fees

Laboratory fees are assessed in all AMS laboratory courses to cover the cost of supplies.

Additional Information

Program Policies

In addition to the general policies described in the Academic Policies chapter, this program also has the following policies:

  • Transfer Credits: Students may transfer a maximum of 9 credits earned within the past 5 years with a grade of B- or better. Approval of transfer credits must be requested at the time of application and approval is at the discretion of the applied medical sciences graduate admissions committee.
  • Time Limit: All courses for the M.S. degree must be completed within six years from the time of matriculation. Students may apply for an extension through the program coordinator and must be approved by Department faculty.
  • Grade Policy: Students must earn a C or better for courses to count towards the M.S. degree. If the cumulative GPA drops below 3.0, the student will be placed on probation; the terms and conditions of the probation will be determined by the student's advisory committee.
Eligibility for Financial Aid During Thesis Completion Stage

To be eligible for federal financial aid (including deferment of student loans), a student must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 graduate credits in the master's degree program. However, a student who has completed coursework and is engaged in finishing his/her thesis will be considered eligible if he/she meets one of the following conditions:

  • Is enrolled in at least 6 graduate credits
  • Or is enrolled in less than 6 graduate credits, has obtained certification of satisfactory progress from the chair of his/her thesis committee, indicating that the student is actively progressing in the work leading to completion of the master's degree, and is registered for GRS 602.

GRS 602 is a 1-credit course that permits students to retain eligibility for financial aid including University-funded fellowships, scholarships, and graduate assistantship, and access to University services, including USM Libraries and Internet. Please see Graduate Students Continuous Enrollment for more information.

Applicants for admission to the M.S. program in applied medical sciences should have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, preferably in biology or chemistry, with a minimum GPA of 3.0. It is highly recommended that the applicant have completed courses in the following subjects: organic chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, genetics, and cell biology.

The applied medical sciences graduate admissions committee is responsible for evaluating applicants and recommending candidates for admission. Interviews by members of this committee may be required of applicants. Qualified applicants who have deficiencies in background courses that the committee considers essential for success in the program may be conditionally admitted, with full admission dependent on satisfactory completion of recommended courses.

Application Materials

In addition to materials described in the Admissions chapter of this catalog, applicants must submit the following information:

  • Test scores: Official scores from the general test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are required. Official scores from the GRE subject test in biology or chemistry are recommended but not required.
  • Transcripts: Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts are required from all colleges or universities attended.
  • Essay: The essay should discuss your academic and professional goals as well as identify research interests in the applied medical sciences program.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendation are required for all applicants. Each letter must address the applicant's academic and/or professional record and potential for success in a master's graduate program in biomedical science.
Application Deadline

Application and supporting materials may be submitted at any time but should be received by March 1 for maximum consideration for fall semester admission and consideration for financial support. Applications and supporting materials should be received by October 15 for spring semester admission. Spring semester applicants are unlikely to obtain financial support in their first semester.