Loyola University Chicago

Department of Biology



The MA in Medical Sciences degree program grounds students in the biological disciplines that represent the intellectual foundations of medical school curricula. Students develop formal skills in analysis of biomedical literature and engage 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. 

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.
  • A guaranteed admission interview at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine for students who achieve a GPA in MAMS of 3.6 or higher and whose most recent MCAT score of 509 (with the confidence band) or 30 or higher for the old MCAT. This statement applies to all students matriculating to the MAMS program for fall 2016 and later years.

Advice regarding your application to 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 NOT to 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.

Another important factor to consider if you enter MAMS with an active medical school application is that the MAMS program will not support your reapplication to medical school following an acceptance.  That is, if you are accepted to a medical school during your MAMS year, or later, but wish to reapply in order to gain admission to a different medical school, MAMS will not provide a letter for that new application.  This is to maintain our program's credibility with US medical schools.  It would be disingenuous for our faculty to write letters of recommendation to medical schools knowing that the applicant has already been accepted somewhere and has deferred admission in order to reapply.  Thus, it is important to be absolutely sure that you wish to apply prior to starting the MAMS program, and that you are absolutely sure you wish to matriculate to any of the schools on your list.  

SSOM GI Policy (from Assistant Dean for Admissions and Recruitment Student Affairs):

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. 

Once you have finished the MAMS program with a GPA of 3.6 or higher and have an MCAT score of 509, you MUST send an email to Dr. Franks (dfranks@luc.edu) to formally request your GI.  Without this formal request, you will not be placed on the SSOM interview schedule and may not receive an interview, even if your grades and test scores qualify.  In this case, your guaranteed interview will be forfeited. Note: neither the SSOM staff nor the MAMS staff will “search” your application to determine whether you qualify for a GI - notification to Dr. Franks by you is required.  Attempting to gain an interview at SSOM by contacting the office directly or by other routes may result in a request for a written explanation for why you did not follow protocol.