Master of Science in Anatomy Program
The Master of Science in Anatomy (M.S.A.) program provides advanced training in anatomy and is designed to prepare students for entry into medical and allied medical professional programs, careers in academic teaching, or further study in graduate programs. The program leading to the M.S.A. degree is designed to be completed in 24 months, but can take up to five years to be completed on a part-time basis. The curriculum includes first-year medical school classes, courses specifically designed for the anatomy master’s degree program and a requirement to teach anatomy by assisting the anatomy faculty in this noble craft.
Students currently enrolled in the Doctor or Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) program or Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.) program can also apply to the Anatomy Program. The curriculum for dual degree students is designed to be completed during the first two years of their medical program. The emphasis for dual degree students is on expanding each student’s anatomic knowledge to better prepare him or her to enter medical specialties underpinned by anatomical knowledge (e.g., Surgery, Radiology).
To educate highly competent students for professional careers in teaching the anatomic sciences, in conducting interdisciplinary research in anatomy and in advancing knowledge of human health, evolution and global diversity.
The Anatomy Graduate Program aims to mentor future educators and researchers in advancing and disseminating knowledge that enhances our understanding of the anatomical sciences as they pertain to the global community.
To be considered for admission, applicants must have a Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university prior to the start of orientation.
Applicants must submit entrance exam (e.g. MCAT, GRE, DAT) scores during the application process; scores must be within three years of matriculation. Required courses must be completed before registration. The minimum grades recommended for application are a 2.8 cumulative GPA and a 2.8 science GPA on a 4.0 scale, and at least a “C” in each of the following prerequisite areas:
|Subject||Required Course(s) or Term Hours|
|Biology/Zoology||8 semester hours, with lab|
|Inorganic Chemistry||8 semester hours, with lab|
|Organic Chemistry||4 semester hours, with lab|
|Biochemistry||3 semester hours|
|Physics||8 semester hours, with lab (may substitute 3 semester hours of Statistics)|
|English: Comp/Literature/Speech||6 semester hours|
Other recommended course work includes molecular biology, genetics, humanities, behavioral sciences, anatomy and math/statistics.
Additional information can be found on the MSA Program Admissions Requirements website.
Program Application Process
Application to the Master of Science in Anatomy program is accepted through the DMU website and The Centralized Application Service for Postbaccalaureate Programs (PostBacCAS). Applicants are expected to demonstrate a superior ability in the biological and chemical sciences throughout their undergraduate and graduate course work and standardized test results. In addition, three letters of recommendation are required to complete the file prior to review by the Admission Committee.
Detailed information regarding the process can be found on the MSA Program Admissions website.
Competitive candidates for admission will be invited to Des Moines University to tour the facilities, meet faculty and graduate students, and have a formal interview.
A student may request transfer credit for previous graduate work completed at other regionally accredited (or equivalent) educational institutions. The request should be submitted in writing to the Program Director who will forward it to the faculty. Approved transfer credits will be entered on the student’s permanent record by the Registrar’s Office. No more than 10.0 hours of approved graduate work will be applied toward the 44.0 hours required for the degree.
Curriculum Overview and Outline
The Master of Science in Anatomy is a 44.0 credit hour program of study. The student must successfully complete 41.0 credit hours of required course work and three hours of elective course work.
The curriculum is designed to immerse students in the discipline of anatomy while honing their teaching and presentation skills. Through the courses, teaching hours, individual journaling, laboratory work and research, students will develop a deep knowledge of anatomy and an exceptional ability to share that knowledge.
Five program objectives guide teaching, learning and assessment within the MSA educational program. These objectives emanate from (and link back to) the DMU Learning Goals. Graduates of the program are expected:
- To demonstrate mastery of the anatomic sciences including anatomic imaging
- To effectively teach and communicate in the field of anatomy
- To demonstrate professional attributes
- To demonstrate critical thinking skills
- To demonstrate knowledge of biochemical and physiological concepts and principles.
Continuous Quality Improvement
The MSA program is committed to delivering high-quality academic programming to ensure the academic and professional success of its students. Assessment and evaluation are crucial steps in the educational process that are carefully aligned with student learning objectives and instructional activities. Formative and summative assessment methods vary in format. Student assessment results are incorporated into the COM planning process on a regular basis to support continual improvement in programs and services to students.
Technical Standards for Admission, Academic Promotion and Graduation
The purpose of this document is to specify the technical standards the University deems necessary for a student to matriculate, remain in good standing and ultimately achieve all the competencies necessary for graduation within their program. The University, therefore, requires candidates to confirm their ability to comply with these standards, with or without accommodation, as a condition of admission and on an annual basis thereafter.
Fulfilment of the technical standards for graduation does not guarantee that a graduate will be able to fulfill the technical requirements of any specific residency program or employment setting.
A candidate seeking a MSA or MSBS degree at Des Moines University must be capable of completing core educational requirements and achieving the competencies in the basic and applied sciences. DMU seeks to develop candidates who have a deep and robust medical knowledge base, with the ability to appropriately apply it, effectively interpret information, and contribute to decisions across a broad spectrum of laboratory situations in all settings. The critical skills required to be successful are outlined below, and include the ability to observe, communicate, perform motor functions, as well as to understand, integrate core knowledge and skills, and to behave appropriately in varied educational and professional situations.
Reasonable accommodations may be required by otherwise qualified individual candidates to meet the technical standards specified below. Requests for University-provided accommodations will be granted if the requests are reasonable, do not cause a fundamental alteration of the medical education program, do not cause an undue hardship, are consistent with the standards of the profession, and are recommended by the Accommodations and Educational Support Specialist.
1. Observation: Candidates and students must be able to acquire required information and timely interpret demonstrations, experiments, and laboratory exercises in the basic sciences.
2. Communication: Candidates and students must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language such that they can communicate effectively in oral and written form with all members of the classroom and laboratory team. Candidates and students must be able to communicate with peers and advisors in order to elicit and share information. They must have the capacity for comfortable verbal and non-verbal communication and interpersonal skills to enable effective collaboration within a multidisciplinary team. In any case where a candidate’s ability to communicate is compromised, the candidate must demonstrate alternative means and/or abilities to communicate with teams.
3. Motor and Sensory: Candidates and students must have sufficient motor and tactile function to execute movements reasonably required to perform basic laboratory tests. Such actions may require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch. In any case where a candidate’s ability to complete and interpret laboratory findings using motor skills is compromised, the candidate must demonstrate alternative means and/or abilities to retrieve these physical findings.
4. Strength and Mobility: Candidates and students must demonstrate strength, including lower extremity and body strength, and mobility to complete laboratory dissections or experiments.
5. Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities: Candidates and students must have the ability to accurately measure, calculate, reason, analyze, synthesize, problem solve, and think critically. They must also have the ability to participate and learn through a variety of modalities including, but not limited to, classroom instruction, small groups, team and collaborative activities. In addition, candidates and students should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structures. Candidates and students must be able to concentrate, timely analyze and interpret data and make decisions within areas in which there is a reasonable amount of visual and auditory distraction.
6. Behavioral Attributes, Social Skills, and Professional Expectation: Candidates and students must be able to effectively utilize their intellectual abilities, exercise good judgment, timely complete all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and develop mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients and colleagues. Candidates and students must be able to professionally manage heavy workloads, prioritize conflicting demands, and function effectively under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments; to display flexibility, to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the process of research, and to not engage in substance abuse. Candidates and students must be able to care for all individuals in a respectful and effective manner regardless of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, creed, religion, age, disability, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or any other protected status. Professionalism, compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all qualities that are required throughout the educational process.
Des Moines University welcomes qualified candidates and students with disabilities who meet the technical standards of the program, with or without reasonable accommodations. Students with a disability who may need accommodations during their educational career at DMU will be asked to reaffirm their need for accommodations when acknowledging the ability to meet technical standards annually. The student is responsible for requesting accommodations through the Accommodations and Educational Support Specialist in the Center for Educational Enhancement in person, by phone (515-271-4452) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Accommodations and Educational Support Specialist reviews all requests for accommodations through an individualized, interactive process.
The use of an intermediary may be a reasonable accommodation while performing some non-essential physical maneuvers or non-technical data gathering. However, an intermediary cannot substitute for the candidates’ or student’s interpretation and judgement. Intermediaries may not perform essential skills on behalf of the candidate or student, nor can they replace technical skills related to selection and observation.
PROCESS FOR ASSESSING COMPLIANCE WITH THE TECHNICAL STANDARDS
Candidates are required to attest at the time they accept an offer to matriculate that they meet the applicable technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodation, and annually confirm they continue to meet these standards. These standards are not intended to deter any candidate or student who might be able to complete the requirements of the curriculum with reasonable accommodations.
The University will, if requested, provide reasonable accommodations to otherwise qualified students and candidates with disabilities unless: (1) such accommodations impose an undue hardship to the University; or (2) such accommodations result in a direct threat of substantial harm to the health or safety of the student or candidate, or others; or (3) such accommodations fundamentally alter the educational program or academic standards.
A student whose behavior or performance raises questions concerning his or her ability to fulfill these essential functions may be required to obtain evaluation or testing by a health care provider designated by the University, and to provide the results to the Center for Educational Enhancement to be considered as part of the interactive process to determine possible reasonable accommodations.
Technological compensation can be made with respect to certain technical standards, but candidates and students should be able to perform these standards in a reasonably independent manner.
In addition to the technical standards set forth below, candidates and students must possess the general physical health necessary for performing the duties of a student in the health sciences and a health professional in training without endangering the lives of patients and/or colleagues with whom they might have contact. A candidate or student who abuses alcohol or other substances is not qualified for admission, continuation, promotion or graduation.
|MSA 1A01||Gross Anatomy I||5.5|
|MSA 1A02||Gross Anatomy II||3|
|BIOC 1102||Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics||4.5|
|ANAT 1106||Medical Cell & Tissue Biology||4|
|PHYPM 1116||Medical Physiology||6.5|
|MPH 650||Basic Statistics||3|
|MSA 2A01||Seminar in Anatomy I||1|
|MSA 2A02||Sem in Anat II: Anatomical & Edu Resch||1|
|MSA 2A03||Human Development||2|
|MSA 2A04||Teaching in Anatomy I & II 1||4|
|MSA 2A14||Teaching in Anatomy I||2|
|MSA 2A24||Teaching in Anatomy II||2|
|MSA 2A18||Advanced Dissections in Anatomy I||1|
|MSA 2A28||Advanced Dissections in Anatomy II||1|
|MSA 2A29||Capstone Experience||2|
|Elective Courses 2||3-6|
|Total Required Courses - Dual||36|
|Total Required Courses - Primary||44|
Required for dual degree students only.
3.0 elective credit hours required for primary degree; 6.0 elective credit hours required for dual degree.
A complete list of University electives may be found on the Elective Courses page. Prior to the start of each term, students are provided a list of electives for which MSA students are eligible. Students are responsible for checking that any electives for which they have registered do not conflict with required coursework.
The University awards the degree of Master of Science in Anatomy (M.S.) upon recommendation of the faculty. The Academic Progress Committee reports annually to the college faculty the names of students that have met requirements for the master’s degree.
To graduate, a student must:
- Exhibit high standards of professional behavior and receive the graduate faculty’s recommendation for graduation.
- Pass all required and elective courses and attain a final cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater.
- Attain a cumulative GPA of 3.oo or greater in the five designated anatomy courses: Gross Anatomy I, Gross Anatomy II, Medical Cell and Tissue Biology, Neuroanatomy, and Human Development.
- Satisfactorily discharge all financial obligations to the University.
Complete all graduation requirements, including the graduation clearance process and a petition to graduate form. The petition to graduate form can be found on the website.