Loyola University Chicago

Department of Biology

MA in Medical Sciences: Benefits



The MA in Medical Sciences degree program is designed to help students enhance their understanding of the biological disciplines that are the intellectual foundation for medical school curricula and to help them develop formal skills in analysis of the biomedical literature and of ethical questions that impact the medical profession.

The program is a good fit for students with a good overall medical school application package who need an additional opportunity to demonstrate their ability to master challenging coursework. Students benefit from instruction from faculty members who are well-respected leaders in pre-medical education. They are also supported and guided by Loyola's highly effective Office of Pre-Health Professions as they progress through the medical school application process. Courses taught for MAMS students at the Stritch School of Medicine may be offered.

Students in the MA in Medical Sciences degree program receive:

  • Rigorous graduate-level coursework in the biological sciences designed to strengthen a student’s preparation for medical school
  • An academic environment that fosters a supportive community among students. Students help each other to enhance their learning outcomes. Additionally, instead of being placed in competition with each other, students are evaluated on the merits of their individual performance
  • Assistance in securing volunteer opportunities that enhance student skills before matriculating to medical school
  • Personal attention from faculty to maximize success in their classes
  • Advising services from the Loyola Pre-Health Professions program in addition to a dedicated MAMS advisor who will work closely with students to optimize their application packages.
  • Please scroll down for detailed information regarding the SSOM guaranteed interview requirements.
  • A guaranteed interview at Stritch School of Medicine for those MAMS students who qualify (see requirements below).


Degree Requirements

To receive the MA in Medical Sciences degree, students must complete 24 credit hours in a curriculum drawn each year from the following courses:

  • BIOL 401. Medical Literature and Ethics (3 credit hours)
  • BIOL 405. Advanced Developmental Biology (3 credit hours)
  • BIOL 409. Advanced Genetics (3 credit hours)
  • BIOL 410. Advanced Cell Biology (3 credit hours)
  • BIOL 452. Human Anatomy and Physiology I (3 credit hours)
  • BIOL 453. Human Anatomy and Physiology II (3 credit hours)
  • BIOL 454. Vertebrate Reproductive Biology (3 credit hours)
  • BIOL 461. Advanced Neurobiology (3 credit hours)
  • BIOL 466. Advanced Biochemistry (3 credit hours)
  • BIOL 495. Pharmacology (3 credit hours)
  • Special Topics courses depending on availability of faculty experts
  • Please see the Class Schedule for the MAMS classes listed each year. Class Schedules (PDF)

Applicants must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and an MCAT Score of 25 for old MCAT and 500 with confidence band for new MCAT. Applicants whose qualifications do not meet both of these minimum requirements will not be considered for admission to the MAMS degree program.

Given the rigorous nature of our graduate Biology and Chemistry coursework students are strongly encouraged to have additional Biochemistry, Anatomy, Genetics, Cell Biology and/or Physiology courses as preparation for our program. One year of college level mathematics is required, the most competitive students have completed mathematics through Calculus. Each student’s individual record of academic achievement, clinical preparation, and self assessment will be evaluated by graduate faculty members, and weakness in one or a few areas of preparation will not preclude a positive admissions decision. However incomplete applications slow the review process, thus please maintain close contact with Graduate Professional Enrollment Management gradapp@luc.edu to ensure that your application is complete.

Due to our rolling admissions policy applicants are strongly encouraged to complete their application and enrollment as early in the year as possible to avoid disappointment. In most years 70% of the class is filled by the July 1st application deadline. We know many students on waiting lists for medical schools hope to delay application and enrollment into MAMS for as long as possible, however please understand that when the class fills all outstanding applications are canceled and no further action is taken on them. Only admitted applicants who have enrolled and made tuition deposits are ensured seats in the program.

Note: our final deadline for admitted applicants to accept their admission and enroll in the program is July 15. However, due to the increase of applications for this program each year leads us to strongly encourage highly qualified applicants to complete their applications much sooner than the July deadline to secure their seat.


Advice regarding a guaranteed interview at SSOM from the MAMS Program:

Graduates of the MAMS program have been accepted at more than 75 medical schools across the United States.  Our students often enter the MAMS program with a particular medical school as their first choice - other students have multiple medical schools in mind.  Whichever of the two paths you take, we work with each of our students to help them achieve their goal.  If Stritch School of Medicine is your first choice for medical school, it is important to consider the expectations of the SSOM Admissions Office about third time applicants (see the GI policy from SSOM below).  In this case, it may be a strategic decision to NOT apply to Stritch the year you enter the MAMS program if that application would be your second to SSOM. 

In any given year, about one-third of students starting the MAMS program have an active application to medical school.  Many of these students are successful in gaining admission to medical school, however these applications have been prepared without the expert advising for which the MAMS program is renowned.  The medical school application prepared under the advice of your MAMS advisor is invariably much stronger than one prepared earlier.  While we in MAMS do not have an opinion for or against entering MAMS with an active medical school application, students who apply at the end of the MAMS program often have many more offers of admission giving the student a choice of medical schools to which they can attend.  The decision is entirely yours and we support our students in each case.


SSOM GI Policy from the Dean of Admissions:

A guaranteed admission interview* will be granted, after degree conferred, at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine for students who achieve a GPA in MAMS of 3.6 or higher and whose MCAT 2015 composite scores are at least 509. MCAT scores may not be older than three years at the time of application.# Guaranteed interview offers are for one admissions cycle only, but may be deferred by one year after graduation from MAMS. If the total score is less than 509, but the confidence band includes 509 within its range, the applicant meets the requirement.

*The executive admissions committee reserves the right to deny or rescind a guaranteed interview or conditional acceptance offer if an applicant has a criminal history or a record of institutional action from an institution of higher education (college or university). Any MAMS applicant meeting the guaranteed interview academic criteria who is denied interview by the executive admissions committee due to criminal history or institutional action has the right to appeal to the Dean of the Stritch School of Medicine. The decision of the dean will be final.

Notice about third applications to SSOM

Stritch discourages third applications. Students in the MAMS program who have previously applied to medical school are strongly discouraged from re-applying prior to completing their programs. In most cases, the admissions committee will require grades and/or letters of recommendation from the MAMS program before extending an interview. Applicants who re-apply during the first semester of their programs without this information place themselves at risk of being third-time applicants during the subsequent year of potential guaranteed interviews. At large applicants granted interviews prior to completion of MAMS waive their right to a guaranteed interview in a subsequent application year.

 # The SSOM admissions office is applying the same MCAT age cut off to GI qualifiers as are applied to general applicants: "we will take any score that was reported beyond January, 2014"