The new Masters of Science in Biomedical Sciences offered through NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine-Arkansas (NYITCOM-Arkansas) is geared toward students interested in improving their candidacy for medical school or propelling their aspirations of a career in biomedical science.
The one-year program begins in the summer and culminates in the spring. Students are required to complete 33 credits to earn their degree. The didactic portion of the curriculum mirrors the first year of NYITCOM’s Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) program while also providing participants with significant research opportunities.
“This program is preparing students for a scientific career, whether that’s as a physician or researcher or some other avenue,” said Associate Professor Tony Slieman, Ph.D., director of the program and director of academic affairs at NYITCOM-Arkansas. “A lot of post-baccalaureate programs are designed to simply prepare students for medical school. Research is what separates this program.”
Students work alongside NYITCOM faculty researchers at the Arkansas Biosciences Institute, where they gain invaluable laboratory experience. The research opportunities provided by the new degree will help boost students’ candidacy for residency programs.
“Many residency programs are requiring research, and more and more that’s going to happen,” said Slieman. “To get that experience while in medical school, it’s very difficult. The program allows students to enter medical school with a year of research, and that is really valuable.”
According to Kristin Cohen, Ph.D., assistant dean of student administration at NYITCOM-Arkansas, successful candidates for the M.S. in biomedical sciences are those that have a significant science background.
“They should have the prerequisites like they’re applying to medical school, whether that’s the path they plan to take or not,” Cohen said. “This is a challenging program, so candidates must be willing to work really hard. If the student is successful in this, we know they’ll do well in our D.O. program because they’ve actually gone through much of the first-year curriculum.”
The program can accept approximately 30 students per year, which creates a positive student-to-faculty ratio.
“Students receive a lot of one-on-one time, which allows them to develop very strong relationships with the faculty,” Slieman said. “That’s another huge benefit of this program.”
By Casey Pearce