Integrated Biomedical Sciences: MS Program Progression
Year 1: Classes
The goal of course work in the first year is to expose students to the biomedical sciences in a logical progression and to provide the students with tools for approaching their future research experience. This broad-based approach to disease is the core of the Integrated Biomedical Sciences program.
Year 1: Adviser and Research Area Selection
During the first year, students will typically have one lab rotation. The laboratory rotation will expose students to a diverse research environment and allow them to assess how they fit in to a particular laboratory or mentor situation. The rotation should be undertaken with a mentor who holds a faculty appointment in the Graduate College. Students are expected to learn techniques and attend all scheduled experiments, lab meetings, mentor/student discussions, etc. Based on this rotation, students will submit the name of a potential adviser to the Academic Standards Committee for approval. The Academic Standards Committee, in consultation with the program director, will approve adviser-student matches. Specific research projects will be determined by the thesis adviser after adviser-student discussions. If a student cannot choose a thesis adviser based on the first laboratory rotation, a second flex-rotation must be approved by the Academic Standards Committee and may be taken in the spring.
Year 2: Research Experience
Year two will be determined by the research. The student’s assessment at this time is related to the following learning outcomes:
- Acquisition of research skills, collection of data and data analysis, as well as interpretation of results related to research addressing an original research question
- Capable of independent critical thinking and writing, as well as proposing, performing and effectively presenting their research
- Working collaboratively with other scientists, physicians and health care professionals, to provide and obtain feedback concerning the approach to research problems, data analysis and implications of research
The student creates an individual development plan (IDP) to better define their areas of interests, skills, and values. Career guidance is available in the Graduate College Office of Career Development and using the Rush career development IDP (rushedu-auvic.formstack.com/forms/idp).
Minimal Credit Hours Required for the Integrated Biomedical Sciences MS Degree
The program is designed to be completed in five consecutive terms and requires completion of at least 37 credits. These include 15 credits of core courses, two credits of a research area specific course and twenty credits of Thesis Research.
The core curriculum focuses on developing knowledge and skills in research theories and methodology, data analysis and statistics, laboratory applications and skills, and the molecular and cellular sciences basic to health and disease. Students will each have a research project, write a thesis and give a thesis presentation at project completion.
The core curriculum, which is common to all students, builds knowledge and skills in research theories and methodology, data analysis and statistics, laboratory applications and skills, and the molecular and cellular sciences basic to health and disease. These courses will provide systematic exposure to the contemporary process of scientific discovery and will serve as the basis for the remainder of the curriculum.
Research Adviser Selection
During the first year, the student, in consultation with the program director and with the approval of the Academic Standards Committee, students will select and complete one laboratory rotation. Based on this rotation, the student will identify an area of interest and submit the name of a potential adviser to the Academic Standards Committee for approval.
Master’s Thesis Research Committee
After the student selects a research adviser and begins to collect preliminary data, the student and adviser will select a thesis committee. The research adviser must hold a faculty appointment in the Graduate College. This committee will advise the student and evaluate their proposal and thesis documents. The committee will consist of the adviser and two additional Graduate College faculty members. Committee members should be familiar with either the research area or crucial technical aspects of the student’s project. Committee members are intended to be a resource for the student and their adviser to enhance didactic and technical knowledge towards the completion of the student’s project. The program director (or designated representative) will serve as an ex-officio non-signing member of the thesis committee to oversee the procedural aspects of the committee meetings and student progression through the program. The thesis committee will strive for consensus in all its actions; however, a majority vote of the committee’s membership is sufficient for all activities except the final approval of the thesis, in which case only one member may disagree with the final decision. The first committee meeting should take place within six months of its selection and approval.