Personalized attention. Professional growth. Community impact.

Enhance your academic record and become a competitive applicant for medical school or other graduate-level health professional programs.

Study topics found on the MCAT and complete a meaningful master’s thesis on your chosen research project. Gain valuable internship, shadowing, and direct patient care experience in a city with a robust healthcare environment.


Fall Semester: July 1

Student-led Scientific Research

Participating in a research project at Loras helps students deepen their understanding of science in ways that are not possible with purely didactic coursework. The immersion that comes with research deepens the understanding of science concepts and makes connections between biology, biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, and physics. Students need to make these connections to score well on the MCAT exam—or other standardized exams for other types of professional school applications—a critical component of a successful application.

A meaningful research experience can strengthen a student’s application portfolio and can improve critical analysis skills needed for the medical admission test (MCAT) and medical school. Conversely, the research project would also give students experience that will be valuable to them if they decide to pursue a Ph.D. program or go directly into the workforce.

Enhance Your Academic Record

This program is designed to serve as an Academic Record Enhancer (ARE) graduate program. ARE graduate programs are specifically intended for students who have taken the required undergraduate science coursework to apply to medical school—or other graduate-level health professional programs—but do not have a competitive application.

Current Student Projects

Choose your research from a variety of areas and topics related to biology and the interdisciplinary biomedical sciences field. Learn how to ask appropriate research questions, design experiments, and interpret data. 

  • Directing evolution of yeast to improve beer brewing
  • Understand how fungi can become resistant to anti-fungal drugs, understanding the structure and function of a mitochondria protein that when mutated causes human blindness
  • Investigating changes to mouse brain structure after development of deafness
  • Looking into how manipulating the stiffness of a surface affects the movement of cells, which relates to how cancer cells move through different tissues of the body.

Quick Highlights

  • On-campus daytime classes
  • 34 credits, two-year completion
  • Academic Record Enhancer program
  • Advising from a MD
  • Research resulting in a thesis

Admission Criteria & Eligibility

A holistic admission decision will be based on multiple factors, including your motivation for pursuing this degree, work history, volunteer activities, and other extracurricular involvement.

  1. Earned a bachelor’s degree with a natural sciences background by the time of enrollment.
  2. A cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0. 
  3. Completion of the following prerequisite course requirements or MCAT score above 500 with no sub-score below the thirtieth percentile or 123.
    • General Chemistry (two semesters)
    • Organic Chemistry (two semesters)
    • Biochemistry (one semester)
    • Introductory Biology (one semester)
    • Cellular/Molecular Biology (one semester)
    • Physiology or Anatomy & Physiology (one semester minimum)
  4. US citizen or permanent resident. 

International students interested in specific coursework should contact the program director.

Application Checklist

Requirements, Outcomes & Schedule

Book a chat.

Schedule a personalized visit or a video chat to learn more about the curriculum, internships, outcomes, enrollment process, and more.

Get in Touch

Megan Henderson 

Graduate Admission

Learn More


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Financial Aid

Advanced degrees are worth the investment. We have options to help you make your educational goal a reality, and financial aid helps open doors for your future.

Tuition & Fees

Understand the costs before applying. Review tuition, fees, and living expenses to create a realistic budget. Financial planning is key for advanced degree success.

Straight Talk from a Duhawk

Our program builds in a research experience to help students improve both their in-depth learning and the strength of their application to medical school.

— Dr. Kate Cooper, Ph.D., Program Director

Biomedical Science FAQ

What are the academic requirements for admission?

You can find the requirements here.

What are the application deadlines?

For students applying to begin in fall: the PostBaccCAS online application should be submitted and all supplemental application documents should be received by August 1.

For students applying to begin in summer: the PostBaccCAS online application should be submitted and all supplemental application documents should be received by May 1.

Please note that only one class is available to take in the summer. We highly encourage students to begin the program in the fall term.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until the application deadline for each term.

How long will it take to receive a decision regarding my application?

We have rolling admissions for this program; therefore, after your application file is complete and verified in PostBacCAS, we will be in touch within approximately two weeks with our admission decision.

How long does it take to complete the program?

This program is designed to be completed in two years. However, a longer, personalized schedule may be created for students who wish to take fewer credits per term.

Does the program offer online courses?

No. At this time, all courses are offered in person.

What type of internship/shadowing/research opportunities are available to MSBS students?

The Dubuque area has a robust healthcare environment with several hospitals and larger physician groups that provide opportunities for our students in the program to shadow a wide variety of healthcare professionals, including specialists. Moreover, we will connect students with direct patient care experiences (certified nurse aide, emergency medical technician, phlebotomist, scribe) as well as volunteer opportunities depending on each student’s timeline and interest. Since there are no university medical teaching hospitals in the area, our students do not have to compete for observation hours.

Does Loras have linkages to any medical schools?

Loras does not have linkages to medical schools. We strive to connect our students with schools that are the right fit for them.

Graduate Programs FAQ

What if I’m still finishing up my bachelor’s degree?

Applicants who are undergraduate students in the process of completing a bachelor’s degree may be awarded a provisional acceptance to Loras’ graduate programs based on receipt of your in-progress, unofficial transcript and all other application materials.

Full acceptance is contingent upon receipt of the final, official transcript(s) and the conferred undergraduate degree.

If a program has a minimum GPA requirement, you must meet the minimum GPA at the time the undergraduate degree is conferred for full acceptance.

Is there on-campus housing for graduate students?

Loras-owned housing is available for graduate and postbaccalaureate students in Smyth Hall. Smyth is an alternative residence hall located in the center of campus. Smyth is comprised of single and triple rooms, and is also home to the religious studies and theology faculty. Amenities include:

  • Free laundry facilities (washers and dryers)
  • Free wifi
  • Kitchen (stocked with pots, pans, baking sheets, etc.) on B level

Room Information

  • Rooms contain a bed/dresser/desk unit, desk chair, and wastebasket
  • Beds are XL Twin sized, so students are encouraged to bring extra-long sheets
  • Students may bring a mini-fridge under five cubic feet
  • Heat is included, but A/C is not, so students are welcome to bring their own window air conditioning unit (must be 5000 BTU or less) or else a portable A/C unit.
  • Basic cable is not provided, but students are welcome to bring a streaming device of their choice to use in Smyth.

View current housing costs.

Can I take some courses as a non-degree student?

Individuals who would like to take some graduate courses for professional development, continuing education credits, or just personal enrichment may take up to 9 graduate credits as a non-degree “Special” student.

Special Student Application

Special students may not enroll in practicum, clinical, or internship courses without approval from the program director.

In order to enroll in the course(s):

  1. Complete the free Loras College Special Course Application. Select “Graduate Course” as the Course Registration Type. You will need to upload copies of your unofficial transcript(s) from each college/university attended before submitting the application.
  2. The transcripts will be evaluated by the Program Director to ensure that any necessary pre-requisite course requirements have been met.
  3. After review of the transcript(s), the Registrar’s Office will be in touch with information about your next steps.
    • Please note that enrolled degree-seeking students have registration preference if a course is full.
    • After the completion of 9 non-degree credits, a student must then apply for formal admission into the graduate program in order to move forward and take additional courses.
    • Graduate courses completed by a Special student with a grade of B or better may be applied to a future graduate degree at Loras College with the approval of both the program director and the academic dean.
    • Financial aid is not available to non-degree Special students.
    • Students interested in any of Loras’ Professional Development programs should refer to the individual program webpage for application and enrollment instructions.

Is there an option for conditional admission?

A program director may require specific conditions be completed to meet the program requirements prior to full admission into a graduate program.

You may be awarded a conditional admission if the program director recommends the you complete additional undergraduate coursework to achieve a minimum GPA requirement of the program.

If you have not met all program requirements at the time of application, a student may be awarded a conditional admission per the discretion of the program director. Refer to the individual program policies and program directors for specific conditional admission policies.

What is a maximum course load per semester?

You are considered a full-time graduate student when enrolled in 6 credits per term. Please note,  you only need to take at least 3 credits per term to be eligible for federal financial aid.

May I play a sport while in graduate school?

Graduate students must be enrolled in a degree-seeking master’s program to be eligible to participate in NCAA athletics at Loras.

Student athletes enrolled in one of our degree-seeking master’s programs need to have full-time status (taking at least 6 credits per term) during the semester(s) you’re practicing or competing in the sport. You also need to be making satisfactory progress towards your degree.

If you wants to participate in athletics while being enrolled less than full-time, you will need to work with your coaches to determine if you are eligible for a waiver.

Please note that while 6 credits per term is considered full-time for graduate students at Loras, you only need to take at least 3 credits per term in order to be eligible for federal financial aid.

Meet Your Professors

Elaina Biechler  PhD

Associate Professor of Kinesiology
Coaching Leadership Program Director

Sarah Cassella PhD

Sarah Cassella  PhD

Associate Professor of Neuroscience

Kate Cooper  PhD

Professor of Biology
Biomedical Sciences Program Director

Kathryn DeShaw  PhD

Assistant Professor of Kinesiology

Andrew Kehr  PhD

Assistant Professor of Biochemistry

Christoffer Lammer-Heindel  PhD

Associate Professor of Philosophy

Molly McDonald Figgins

Molly M. McDonald Figgins  PhD ATC

Associate Professor of Athletic Training
Athletic Training Program Director

Adam Moser

Adam Moser  PhD

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Ulrike Schultz  MD MPH

Director of Postbaccalaureate Pre-Medical Program
Director of Pre-Health Advising

Keith Thraen-Borowski  PhD

Associate Professor of Kinesiology