Program Overview

The Master of Biomedical Sciences is a full-time 10-month master’s degree program at the Duke University School of Medicine that prepares students to be highly competitive candidates for medical schools, related health professions, and other biomedical careers. The curriculum integrates graduate level human biological sciences with skill development in critical thinking, communication and teamwork.

The degree requires a total of 38 credits: eleven courses comprise a required core curriculum of 34 credits. The remaining four credits are earned by completing one of two options for an individualized concentration: five credits of approved elective coursework, or a mentored research/focused study project resulting in a written capstone paper.

Program goals will be modeled and reinforced through instructional modalities shown to promote academic achievement, critical thinking, scientific inquiry, team skills, capacity for improvement, and cultural competence.  These include team-based learning, co-mentored small group proseminars, service learning experiences, simulations, critical reflection, and narrative writing.  In addition, through training, certification, and service as Emergency Medical Technicians, the program embeds pre-professional students within health care teams as care providers rather than observers.

Student time commitment is estimated to be, an average, 20-25 hours per week of “programmed” activity and 30-40 hours per week of preparation, study, and co-curricular requirements for a total effort approximating 60-65 hours per week.

Program completion requires two semesters plus one summer term, starting with University Summer II term start date and ending the following May.

Each student will be assigned to a faculty adviser who will participate in the student’s onboarding activities and intake assessment process, guide the development of the student’s required Action Plan, and in partnership with an Office of Health Professions Advising counselor, provide academic guidance throughout the program, including approval of the student’s elective options.

Students accepted into the MBS program who plan to apply to medical or another health professions school concurrently with their MBS year will be offered post-matriculation/pre-orientation advising.

Special note from Assistant Dean of Premedical Education, Dr. Kathryn Andolsek:

After spring break, following the directives of the University and The School of Medicine,  MBS went “virtual” for lectures, TBL activities, seminars, selectives, advising, student and faculty meetings, and exams.  Faculty made changes in the delivery of the curricula and assessments.  We believe students should be able to fulfill all semester requirements and graduate.  I appreciate the creativity, flexibility  and commitment of the students and faculty which has allowed everyone to prioritize personal safety while continuing a robust academic schedule.

Kathryn Andolsek, MD, MPH