Boston University School of Medicine
Division of Graduate Medical Sciences

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  • Program in Biomedical Sciences (PiBS)

    • Biochemistry
    • Biophysics
    • Genetics & Genomics
    • Immunology Training Program
    • Microbiology
    • Molecular Medicine
    • Nutrition & Metabolism
    • Oral Biology
    • Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
    • Physiology
  • Graduate Program for Neuroscience
  • Anatomy & Neurobiology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics
  • MD-PhD Combined



Graduate Medical Sciences, a recognized leader in research and graduate education in the biomedical sciences, is a division of Boston University School of Medicine. We have 900 graduate students from 40 states and 12 countries and are located on Boston University’s Medical Campus in the South End of Boston. For a quick visit to our neighborhood please watch the video. The graduate division offers three pathways for you to pursue your academic and professional goals.

The first pathway, PhD Programs, provides four options for PhD study. First and foremost, the Program in Biomedical Sciences, also known as PiBS, an interdisciplinary PhD program which integrates the foundations of biomedical research with focused investigation and preparation for career advancement. Secondly, Other PhD Programs, in which students focus on a particular scientific discipline. Thirdly, a University-wide PhD program in Neuroscience which unites graduate training faculty from Boston University’s two campuses. Finally, the combined MD-PhD program, which balances both clinical and scientific training to develop exceptional physician scientists.

The second pathway, Masters in Medical Sciences (MAMS) and Oral Health Sciences (OHS) introduces students to a broad range of topics in the medical sciences while strengthening academic credentials for admission to medical, dental or other professional school.

Our third pathway, Professional Masters, is a distinct group of medical and health-related programs to prepare students for direct entry into the workforce or further graduate study. Please watch our video tour for a snapshot of these programs.


Program in Biomedical Sciences (PiBS)
As of September 1, 2012, Boston University’s Department/ Programs in Biochemistry, Biophysics, Genetics & Genomics, Immunology, Microbiology, Molecular Medicine, Nutrition & Metabolism, Oral Biology, Pathology and Physiology will participate in a new interdisciplinary program called the Program in Biomedical Sciences (PiBS) that will incorporate didactic coursework and biomedical research to prepare our graduates for career advancement.

In the first year, PhD students will participate in Foundations in Biomedical Sciences FiBS I, a full year integrated curriculum, while rotating through a variety of research laboratories and FiBS II, a dynamic curriculum to develop professional skills of doctoral candidates with an eye toward providing both theoretical and practical training for future careers in various scientific sectors. Trainees will work closely with a faculty advisor in the development of an individual plan that will be tailored to serve specific research and professional goals. After selection of a thesis research laboratory, students will join the program/department in which the mentor is affiliated and continue advanced studies towards their PhD degree.

Department–Based PhD Programs:
Students can choose discipline-specific PhD study within one of our outstanding basic science departments:

University-Wide PhD Program:
Students can choose a cross-campus PhD program in a specific discipline.
Graduate Program for Neuroscience

MD-PhD Combined Degree Program:
Students interested in roles as Physician-Scientists, a leader who forms the link between basic biomedical science and clinical practice can apply to our competitive MD-PhD program.

Students in the pre-clinical basic sciences attend specially tailored classes that challenge them to design research programs based on clinical cases. Students in the graduate years shadow working physician-scientists to learn how to integrate laboratory and clinical work with research interests. During clinical years students participate in seminars on translational research and clinical trial design.

In regard to financial assistance, it is customary for all PhD students to receive health insurance, full tuition coverage, and a yearly stipend prior to qualifying exams. The stipend increases post-qualifying exams.


The Master of Arts in Medical Science Program (MAMS) introduces students to a broad range of topics in the medical sciences while strengthening their academic credentials for admission to medical, dental or other professional schools. In addition to coursework in the medical sciences, students may opt to pursue interests in other areas such as Public Health, Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine or Clinical Investigation by entering a dual degree or concentration program.


The Master of Arts in Medical Sciences Oral Health Sciences (OHS) Track is unique as it is one of the only programs in the US that allows students to take DMD-1 courses. The program is designed specifically for students who wish to improve their credentials for dental school admission. Since 205, 80% of program graduates have matriculated to dental school.


Professional Masters include a distinct group of medical and health related fields to prepare students for direct entry into the workforce or further graduate study.


Anatomy and Neurobiology-Vesalius Program:
Builds world class educators by applying principles of neurobiology to education. Graduates represent the next generation of educators who are not only skilled teachers and professors but have a thorough understanding of the application of neurological principles to education.
Trains individuals to fill a rapidly growing need for experts in imaging and allied science and technology career paths demanding a broad exposure to imaging modalities.
Clinical Investigation
Teaches students the scientific fundamentals of human research. The curriculum provides an in-depth look at all key elements in clinical investigation especially trial design, biostatistics, ethical issues and clinical research regulations.
Medical Anthropology and Cross-Cultural Practice
Trains new generations of interdisciplinary scholars and clinicians to study and engage with the growing cultural and medical pluralism that characterizes the United States, as well as other countries around the world.
Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine
Prepares individuals in mental health interventions with a complementary background in behavioral medicine and neuroscience.
Nutrition and Metabolism
Provides students with multidisciplinary knowledge in medical nutrition needed to pursue professional studies in medicine, dentistry and/or research in academia and industry.


Biomedical Forensic Sciences
Trains aspiring and mid-career professional in a variety of forensic disciplines related to crime scene investigation and evidence analysis.
Forensic Anthropology
Provides students with a variety of courses in forensic anthropological techniques and procedures. Completion of this program will prepare students to continue their graduate education in a doctoral program and/or work as a forensic anthropologist or medico-legal death investigator.
Genetic Counseling
Educates graduate students in the core concepts of human genetics and counseling. The focus is to provide students with the appropriate knowledge, experience, and mentoring to become competent, sensitive and motivated genetic counselors.
Healthcare Emergency Management
Prepares individuals to work across the spectrum of emergency and crisis management. Key areas of instruction include crisis and disaster management, risk communication, and crisis management for community based medical care, services and support systems.


University living begins with academics, but it doesn’t end there. The Boston University Medical Campus, home to Boston Medical Center, Boston University’s Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, and Public Health and the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences (GMS), is located in Boston’s historic and multicultural South End. Our students love to explore the shady streets lined with elegant Victorian brownstone buildings and homes built in the 1800s. The campus is surrounded by shops, restaurants, nightlife and a thriving arts community.

Graduate Medical Sciences Student Organization (GMSSO)
GMSSO is the student-led organization that supports our large and diverse student body. The GMSSO brings students together from all departments and programs within the graduate division, to share ideas, address concerns and pursue common student issues with a combined voice.

Community Service
GMS students volunteer for Habitat for Humanity (National Public Radio affiliate at BU), distribute food at Rosie’s Place and the Pine Street Inn, and run fundraisers for the Food Bank and other worthy causes, like the Outreach Van Project and Women’s Lunch Plan. There are also opportunities to volunteer through the Boston Medical Center, where you can gain experience in health care settings and patient contact, through CityLab Academy and on the BU Charles River Campus.

One BU
While Boston University has two campuses, linked by The BUS, we are OneBU. Students are welcome to take advantage of clubs and activities on the Charles River Campus – the list of social, athletic, artistic, and other types of clubs numbers more than 300 from Alpine Racing to Zen. In addition we offer two recreational centers for fitness, sports and wellness. FitRec is located on the Charles River Campus and connected to the Agganis Arena, a large venue for concerts and sports events. The South End Fitness Center is located near the Medical Campus.

Discovering Boston, our “walkable” city, is known for great science, sports and arts, lots of green spaces, and major employers in “MEDS”(health care) and “EDS”(colleges). The city has a population of 600,000 and approximately 250,000 are students. Living in Boston is another exciting part of of being a student in GMS.


The graduate division is exceptional in breadth and depth of programmatic options and opportunities for you to pursue your academic and career goals while enjoying a terrific college-oriented city. Below are a few reasons why other students have chosen to study with us. If you wish to know more about our application process please contact a member of our admissions office or visit our application site.

1. Professional Success: Our graduates are motivated, lifelong learners, who are prepared for challenging positions in a competitive and fast-paced global environment.

2.Networking:Our students have a unique opportunity to build professional networks with faculty who have significant research and publication experience, and who can assist with career development.


3. Degree: Graduates of our programs are awarded their M.A., M.S. or Ph.D. degree by Boston University’s School of Medicine, one of the top research schools in the United States.

4. Careers: Our students are encouraged to build scientific knowledge and soft skills (especially communication and collegiality) to become leaders in their fields.

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5. Community: Our medical campus enables shared learning with like-minded students.

6. Boston: Our college-oriented city is an academic hub, and offers rich and diverse cultural, intellectual and recreational experiences for graduate students.


7. Professional Development: Our students build proficiencies and professionalism through exposure to seminars, elective courses, conferences and special events such as “student achievement day”.

8. Service: Our students engage in personal and professional enrichment activities through campus- focused social action initiatives and community organizations.

9. Programs: We offer many one-of-a kind degree programs and concentrations uniquely based at Boston University School of Medicine.gms-10

10. Research: We are nationally recognized for research programs in neuroscience, cancer, and infectious disease. Research here at the medical school is ranked 31st according to US News and Report for 2012.