Master's Programs

The VCU School of Medicine offers a wide range of Master's degree programs in research-based and applied biomedical sciences, public health and other areas. Master's students typically train under the guidance of faculty mentors and perform research or clinical work while taking advanced courses in a specific degree program. Most Master's students complete their degrees in 2 years. Graduates of our Master's programs can be competitive for further academic training (i.e. Ph.D. or M.D. Programs), or may pursue laboratory research positions in academia or industry, more clinically-oriented careers such as Genetic Counseling and Medical Physics, or job opportunities in education as well as other fields.

Please contact the programs below for additional information.

Addiction Studies

The MS in Addiction Studies (also known as The International Programme in Addiction Studies, or IPAS) is a unique collaboration of three of the world's leading universities in the field of Addiction Science: King's College London, the University of Adelaide, and Virginia Commonwealth University. Graduates of this entirely online program learn to identify current problems in the field of addiction, evaluate the latest research, and apply it to develop and communicate solutions in the field. Students gain a global perspective from international experts in addiction science, providing them with a core foundation of knowledge that prepares them to assume leadership roles in addiction treatment and prevention and to shape local, national, and international policy. For more information, please see the program website or Contact Us. Please also Contact Us for application instructions.

Anatomy and Neurobiology

The Anatomy and Neurobiology MS Program offers a graduate curriculum of formal instructional and research training that prepares students for careers in neurobiological research in academic, private and government institutions. The Program also provides a strong foundation for students who choose to continue onto doctoral training. The structure of the program provides a framework for the progressive development of a mastery of the current state of neurobiology, and the ability to apply this foundational knowledge to the identification of key areas of investigation and experimentation. Students also will develop comprehensive skills in communicating both core neuroscience knowledge and concepts of experimental design and interpretation. For more information, please see the websites for the Anatomy & Neurobiology graduate programs and the Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology or Contact Us. Please also Contact Us for application instructions.

Biochemistry

The M.S. Program in Biochemistry is designed to prepare students for technical careers in research laboratories in academic, private, and government institutions. The core of this Program is a two-year curriculum of formal graduate course work and an independent research project under the supervision of a faculty advisor. The Program develops students’ knowledge of biochemistry and molecular biology and skills in laboratory techniques, experimental design, and data analysis. For more information, please see the program's website or Contact Us. Please also Contact Us for application instructions.

MS in Biostatistics

Data are an abundant feature in nearly all professions, from medicine and public health to business and government. As the amount of data available to us increases in both quantity and complexity, the ability to systematically manage, analyze, and interpret data are becoming increasingly important. The VCU Department of Biostatistics has trained biostatisticians for nearly 50 years and continues to help students prepare for an ever-changing landscape. In addition to training in database management and analysis, our students gain experiential training by working with VCU investigators in a collaborative environment. Our M.S. program is designed for students wishing to complement their existing skill sets as well as for those hoping to pursue further graduate study. With no thesis requirement, the program is designed to be completed in 18 months. The department also offers the M.S. with Genomics Concentration. For more information, please see the websites for the Biostatistics graduate programs and the Department of Biostatistics or Contact Us. Please also Contact Us for application instructions.

Genetic Counseling

Established in 1990, the VCU Genetic Counseling program has prepared over 130 graduates to work in all areas of Genetic counseling. Our graduates hold leadership positions in the NSGC and the ABGC and are well prepared to enter the fast paced and constantly changing world of the field of Genetics.

Our program is a full time, on-campus program spanning 21 months. Students take 60 total credits of didactic, clinical, and research activity. Upon graduation, graduates are eligible for board certification by the American Board of Genetic Counseling and are well prepared to enter the job market.

What sets us apart? At VCU you will start your clinical experience in the first semester and formal clinical rotations in the spring semester of the first year, continuing through both semesters of the second year. Our students also engage in clinical experiences during the intervening summer as well with opportunities for on campus and off campus rotations.

 

For more information, please see the websites for the program and the Department of Human & Molecular Genetics or Contact Us. Please also Contact Us for application instructions.

Human Genetics

Our M.S. program in human genetics prepares students for careers in research and teaching by developing their knowledge of human genetics and skills in oral and written communication, study design, critical thinking, data analysis and interpretation, working with large data sets, research reproducibility and open science. Many graduates from our M.S. program work in academic, governmental or industrial research laboratories or teach at the high school or college level. Additionally, many of our graduates further their training by completing doctoral or other advanced degrees at VCU or other leading research-based institutions. A concentration in Genomic Data Science is also available. For more information, please see the websites for the program and the Department of Human & Molecular Genetics or Contact Us. Please also Contact Us for application instructions.

Medical Physics

The CAMPEP-accredited Master of Science in Medical Physics at VCU provides students with the foundational knowledge and exposure to clinical research and hands-on clinical training necessary to practice as future clinical medical physicists. For more information, please see the website for the program or Contact Us. Please also Contact Us for application instructions.

Microbiology and Immunology

The goal of the M.S. program in Microbiology and Immunology is to prepare students for careers in research and teaching. M.S. students complete one year of formal coursework, and then conduct an original research project under the supervision of a faculty advisor, leading to a thesis. Our M.S. program pairs an excellent curriculum with seminar programs and opportunities to present at scientific meetings, all providing students with a core foundation of knowledge and a well-rounded educational experience. Graduates from our M.S. program work in academic, industrial or government research laboratories, or as teachers at the college or high school level; others continue their graduate training by pursuing a doctoral degree. For more information, please see the websites for program and the Department of Microbiology & Immunology or Contact Us. Please also Contact Us for application instructions.

MS in Pharmacology & Toxicology

The Master of Science in Pharmacology & Toxicology is a research-oriented degree. Trainees pursue graduate course work and perform a significant supervised research project leading to a thesis. Graduates from this program are prepared for positions in research and development in academia or the pharmaceutical industry as well as positions in government or regulatory agencies. Additionally, this program provides individuals in the health professions with the ability to expand their professional efforts into research. For more information, please see the websites for the program and the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology or Contact Us. Please also Contact Us for application instructions.

Physiology & Biophysics

Master’s training in Physiology and Biophysics is an individualized enterprise that combines didactic course work, an apprenticeship in research supervised by an advisor, and the preparation and oral defense of a thesis. The goals are acquisition of a knowledge base and the development of analytical, critical thinking and scholarship skills. Students develop an original research project in one of several areas including molecular biophysics, cardiovascular physiology, gastrointestinal physiology, chemical senses and neuroscience. This program exposes students to important, modern questions addressed via physiological and biophysical approaches at the molecular, cellular, organ and system levels. Graduates from our program pursue diverse careers in academia, government, and industry. For more information, please see the website for the program or Contact Us. Please also Contact Us for application instructions.

Master of Public Health

VCU's Master of Public Health program trains students to be key players in professional public health organizations and research teams. We provide a small program feel in a large university environment, giving students direct access to program faculty for guidance in research and community engagement projects. Our location in the capital city of Richmond, a 2017 winner of the Robert Wood Johnson Culture of Health Prize, provides access to the Virginia Department of Health, the Richmond City Health District, numerous non-profit organizations working in public health, and the policy-making activities of the Virginia General Assembly. State and local public health stakeholders share their experiences and knowledge in classrooms and in the community through applied student experiences. Our program offers local to national networking experiences, including the opportunity to attend the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association. Students learn research and data analysis methods using large national databases and present two research posters during their time in the program. At least 80% of our graduates each year find employment or further higher training within six months of graduation. For more information, please see the websites for the program and the Department of Family Medicine and Population Health or Contact Us. Please also Contact Us for application instructions.

How to Apply

Each M.S. program recruits students that are uniquely qualified and therefore each program has its own admissions process. Please contact each program below for more information on how to apply.

Financial Support, Tuition & Fees

Due to limited resources, M.S. students do not typically receive direct financial support. Please see VCU Student Accounting for the most recent information on tuition and fees. U.S. citizens and permanent residents should contact the VCU School of Medicine Financial Aid Office for information on financial aid.

VCU SOM Financial Aid Office

Contacts

Please contact the individuals below for additional information about each program.

Program

Addiction Studies



Anatomy and Neurobiology



Biochemistry



Biostatistics



Genetic Counseling



Human Genetics



Medical Physics



Microbiology and Immunology



Pharmacology and Toxicology



Physiology and Biophysics



Master of Public Health



Contact

Mary Loos, Ph.D.
Program Director
804-828-8019
E-mail: meloos@vcu.edu

Raymond Colello, D.Phil.
Program Director
804-828-2262
E-mail: raymond.colello@vcuhealth.org

Tomasz Kordula, Ph.D.
Program Director
804-828-0771
E-mail: tomasz.kordula@vcuhealth.org

Russ Boyle, M.A. 
Program Director
804-828-9824
E-mail: russell.boyle@vcuhealth.org

Rachel Gannaway, M.S.
Program Director
804-628-5307
E-mail: rachel.gannaway@vcuhealth.org

Rita Shiang, Ph.D.
Program Director
804-628-4083
E-mail: rita.shiang@vcuhealth.org

William Song, Ph.D.
Program Director
804-628-3457
E-mail: william.song@vcuhealth.org

Lisa Shock, Ph.D.
Program Director
804-628-2289
E-mail: lisa.shock@vcuhealth.org

Krista Scoggins, D.V.M.
Program Director
804-828-8400
E-mail: krista.scoggins@vcuhealth.org

Christina I. Kyrus, M.B.A.
Program Coordinator
804-628-5506
E-mail: cikyrus@vcu.edu

Lisa S. Anderson, M.P.H
Director of Educational Programs
804-628-2512 
E-mail: lisa.s.anderson@vcuhealth.org