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 or complete the requirements for a degree before enrollment. The degree is preferred to be in the biological or physical sciences; however, applicants with non-science degrees but with a strong science background will be considered. The bachelor’s degree must be from a regionally accredited institution.
Applicants must submit entrance exam (e.g. MCAT, GRE, DAT) scores during the application process; scores more than three years old will not be accepted. A science GPA and cumulative GPA of 2.8 or higher are recommended 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 online application system on the DMU website. 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. Three letters of recommendation are required and are used to assess a candidate’s potential for graduate study.
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
A candidate for the Master of Science in Anatomy degree must have abilities and skills (referred to as “technical standards”) in five areas: unimpaired observation; communication; motor; intellectual, conceptual, integrative, and quantitative; and behavioral and social. The University is committed to complying with the terms of the Americans with Disabilities Act, recognizing that certain minimum technical standards must be present in all students seeking a Master of Science. Reasonable accommodations will be provided when supported with appropriate documentation, but in all cases, candidates and students must be able to demonstrate performance in a reasonably independent manner.
- Unimpaired Observation: Candidates and students must have sufficient vision to be able to observe and timely interpret demonstrations, experiments, and laboratory exercises in the basic sciences.
- Communication: Candidates and students must be able to speak, hear, observe, and understand the English language in classroom and laboratory settings. They must also be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written formats.
- Motor: Candidates and students must have sufficient fine motor and gross motor function to execute movements reasonably required in a classroom instruction and/or laboratory dissection setting, including handling and manipulating biological material and laboratory equipment safely.
- 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 and 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, analyze and timely interpret data and make decisions within areas in which there is a reasonable amount of visual and auditory distraction. They must also perform these functions in a timely manner.
- Behavioral and Social Attributes: Candidates and students must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, prompt execution of laboratory processes, and the timely completion of all responsibilities. Candidates and students must be able to interface well with a healthcare team; tolerate physically taxing and stressful workloads; adapt to changing environments; display flexibility and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in graduate research; be free of impairment due to substance abuse; and avoid jeopardizing the safety of the laboratory personnel with unsafe laboratory practices. Integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities that will be assessed during the admissions and educational processes. Students must be accepting and non-judgmental of individuals whose spiritual beliefs, culture, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, or sexual orientation differ from their background.
The University encourages application by qualified individuals with disabilities who meet these technical standards either with or without reasonable accommodations. Requests from candidates and students for reasonable accommodations in meeting the technical standards will be reviewed and considered by the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). CTL is the University department that reviews requests for student accommodations. For additional information about the process for assessing an applicant’s compliance with the Technical Standards, contact the CTL.
Use of an intermediary may be permissible in performing some physical maneuvers or data gathering, but must not substitute for the candidate or student’s interpretation and judgment. The use of a trained intermediary, a person trained to perform essential skills on behalf of the candidate, or a person used such that a candidate’s judgment must be mediated by someone else’s power of selection and observation, is not permitted.
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.
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, and thereafter must attest on an annual basis, as a student, that they continue to meet the 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.
|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 O650||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 credit hours required for primary degree; 6.0 credit hours required for dual degree.
3.0 credit hours required for primary degree; 6.0 credit hours required for dual degree.
|ANAT 2003||Cranial Nerves - A Case-Based Approach||1|
|ANAT 2026||Problem-Based Anatomy||1|
|ANAT 2065||Coronary Circulation||1|
|ANAT 2071||Community Health Immersion Project||1|
|ELECT 2080||Special Topics Elective||0.5-6|
|MSA 2A11||Tools for Teaching||1|
|MBS 1B12A||Frontiers in Biomedical Research A||1.5|
|MBS 1B12B||Frontiers in Biomedical Research B||1|
|MICR 1103||Microbiology & Immunology||5.5|
|MICR 1109||General Pathology||2.5|
|SPMED 2115||Basic Surgical and Medical Skills||1|
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.
- Be in attendance at the College of Osteopathic Medicine for at least the final 30.0 credit hours of graduate study.
- 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.