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Summer Undergraduate Research Experience



UMDNJ- School of Osteopathic Medicine has established cooperative and collaborative educational efforts with other UMDNJ schools, as well as other New Jersey schools of higher education, promoting the integration of the multiple health professions in order to provide comprehensive primary care health services to the residents of New Jersey. The dual degree program leading to the D.O. and M.S. degrees represents a merging of the separate and distinct academic programs of the School of Osteopathic Medicine (SOM) and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the Stratford Division. It is recognized that the core coursework of both programs will need to be mastered to the satisfaction of each academic unit. A student interested in a dual degree must apply and be accepted to each of the schools independently.


The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey consists of eight schools located throughout the state. The D.O./M.S. Program is co-sponsored by two of these schools, School of Osteopathic Medicine (SOM) and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS). SOM provides a superb clinical education experience through its facilities at Kennedy Memorial Hospital, Our Lady of Lourdes and other affiliated hospitals in the surrounding area. In addition, SOM is associated with a variety of state-of-the-art treatment and research facilities. These include The Center for Aging, The University Headache Center, The New Jersey CARES Institute, and The University Pain Care Center. GSBS provides a thorough foundation in the theoretical and practical aspects of biomedical research through its two basic science departments. Research opportunities are available in a wide range of fields including molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, molecular genetics, physiology, pharmacology and neurosciences. The research programs are supported by numerous core facilities, including animal care, molecular resource, microscopic imaging and computing services, as well as the Health Sciences Library at Stratford.

The Program

The Interdisciplinary D.O./M.S. Program is designed as a five year integrated experience. However, the program may be longer depending on the M.S. thesis project. The first two years consist primarily of pre-clinical medical school courses. One mandatory laboratory rotation (8 weeks in length) must be performed in the summer following the first year as part of the SOM Summer Medical Research Fellowship program. Students would then apply to the D.O./M.S. dual degree program in the Fall of Year 2 in the D.O. Program. A letter of recommendation from the GSBS faculty member/mentor is among the application requirements. Students will complete the first two years of the medical school curriculum and successfully pass COMLEX part I, BEFORE beginning the graduate program. Therefore, a student MUST take the COMLEX, Part I no later than the end of June so that the GSBS is aware that they have passed prior to starting the M.S. phase. Afterwards, they will choose a thesis mentor and start their thesis research. Year 3 will involve full time research towards the M.S. degree in a laboratory of mutual agreement. During Year 3, the student will successfully complete the graduate course work, complete their thesis work and write their thesis. A public defense of their thesis is required. The final two years of the program focus on clinical experience. Coordination between the clinical and research years is designed to facilitate a smooth transition between aspects of the Program.

The Curriculum

Students will be enrolled in the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences program and adhere to all applicable GSBS requirements for that degree. A Thesis Advisor and Thesis Advisory Committee will be established during the first semester of the graduate phase.

Students must complete a total of 30 credit hours. A maximum of 20 credits will be awarded for completing relevant basic science courses with an average of High Pass during the first two years of the D.O. program and passing the first part of the COMLEX. With approval of the Thesis Advisory Committee, students may be required to take an additional GSBS elective course if needed for their research area. The research phase will be accorded 5 credit hours and shall include a written thesis based on the research project and an oral defense of the thesis. Award of the master’s degree is contingent upon satisfactorily completing all requirements.

The curriculum is expected to be completed according to the following time-frame:

2 years D.O. program -- (Year 1 and 2 within SOM)
1 year M.S. program -- (Thesis research and courses within the GSBS)
2 years D.O. program -- (Year 3 and 4 within SOM)

The following are designated as required courses. Students must take each of these courses earning an academic average of “B” or better.

MBIO 5202 Laboratory Rotation –D.O./M.S. (Fall; 1 credit)
MSBS 5000 Thesis Research/M.S.B.S. (Fall; 5 credits)
MBIO 5050 Department Seminar Series (Fall & Spring; 1 credit)
MBIO 5001 Ethics in Science, Research and Scholarship (Spring; 2 credits)

Chart of the D.O./M.S. Curriculum 

Financial Assistance

There are no D.O./M.S. stipends available to accepted applicants to the Program. Students are responsible for paying GSBS tuition and fees as well as health insurance while they are enrolled in the GSBS. Tuition and fees are consistent with UMDNJ- Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences per-credit tuition and fee rate.

Admission Requirements

Requirements for admission to the D.O./M.S. Program include a strong academic record, letters of recommendation, evidence of ability to succeed in a research environment, and competitive MCAT scores (no GRE scores are required). Students must be enrolled in the D.O. program at the School of Osteopathic Medicine at the time of application and have obtained an average of High Pass or better in medical school courses. Applicants also must have participated in the SOM Summer Medical Research Fellowship program with a GSBS faculty member/mentor during the Summer of the 1st year of the D.O. program; one letter of recommendation must be from the SOM Summer Medical Research Fellowship program mentor. Final entry into the D.O./M.S. dual degree program is contingent upon the student obtaining an average of High Pass or better in the first two years of the D.O. program and passing the first part of the COMLEX.

For further information, please contact the SOM-Admissions Office at (856) 566-7050 or go their website at

Notes of Interest

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