Medical Research (M.S.)

Office: 1128 Scott Hall; 313-577-1455
Program Director: George S. Brush, Ph.D.

The Master of Science in Medical Research (M.S.M.D.R) program provides a broadly based, multi-disciplinary, human biology-oriented master's level education and requires basic and/or clinical biomedical research training. Admission to the program is available to individuals who have a professional medical (M.D., D.O.), dental (D.D.S.), pharmaceutical (Pharm.D.), or equivalent degree in human health care and who are actively participating in Wayne State University School of Medicine affiliated post-graduate clinical medicine training, or are affiliated faculty members. The M.S.M.D.R program enables individuals to obtain research credentials for entry into an academic medical, dental, or pharmacologic research career, or for individuals already in an academic medical, dental, or pharmacologic career to change their research emphasis.

An additional MSMDR program has been developed for students enrolled in the M.D. program at Wayne State University School of Medicine. The master's portion of this joint M.S.-M.D. program is designed to provide a multi-disciplinary, human biology-oriented education with basic and/or clinical research training. The program will be of value to medical students who wish to include research in their future careers, and will prepare them to understand how concepts, therapies, and technologies are translated from the laboratory to the clinic. Inquiries should be sent to the Program Director.

Admission Requirements

Admission to this program is contingent upon admission to the Graduate School. Applications must be submitted online which allows submission of the applicant's information, statement of purpose, and the three required references. One of the references must be from the prospective thesis advisor who must be a WSU School of Medicine Graduate Faculty member. For application review, a professional applicant must provide the M.S.M.D.R Program transcripts with proof of a degree from a professional degree-granting institution, either medical (M.D., D.O.), dental (D.D.S.), pharmaceutical (Pharm.D.) or equivalent. Copies of transcripts may be submitted for application review; however, the Graduate School will require submission of an official transcript showing degree awarded prior to enrollment. International medical graduates must provide a valid certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates. A medical school applicant must be in good standing in the second or third year of the M.D. program at Wayne State University School of Medicine. Students who have completed the Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship are encouraged to apply. 


The Master of Science in Medical Research is offered only as a Plan A master's program requiring completion of thirty credits, including an eight-credit thesis.  


For students with professional degrees, a minimum of two courses, each one reflecting a different discipline/subject area (as reflected in the different two or three-letter course prefixes) must be chosen from the following:

BMB 7010General Biochemistry Lecture4
BMS 6010Responsible Conduct in Biomedical Research1
CB 7210Fundamentals of Cancer Biology3
FPH 7015Biostatistics I4
FPH 7210Research Methods for Health Professionals4
IM 7010Fundamentals of Immunology2
IM 7030Molecular Biology of Viruses2
IM 7520Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Pathogenesis2
MGG 7010Molecular Biology and Genetics4
MGG 7091Scientific Communication2
PHC 6500Drugs and the Addictive Process3
PHC 7010Pharmacology Lecture4
PHC 7410Principles of Toxicology3
PSL 7010Basic Graduate Physiology Lecture I4
PSL 7030Basic Graduate Physiology Lecture II4
PTH 7500Systemic Pathophysiology3
PYC 7010Neurobiology I3

For medical students, 12 credits from the M.D. program will be counted towards the M.S. degree:

MD1 5200Biochemistry6
MD1 5300Physiology6
The following courses are required:
BMS 6010Responsible Conduct in Biomedical Research1
MGG 7091Scientific Communication2
or MDR 7090 Fellowship Writing

In addition, a minimum of two courses must be chosen, upon consultation with the thesis advisor and program director, that complement the research activities.

Elective Courses

Elective credits sufficient to complete the degree requirements must be approved by written consent of the Program Director.

The Plan of Work is developed by the student in consultation with the prospective thesis advisor and filed with the Program Director. The deadline is specified by the Graduate School and enforced by the Registrar. With the Program Director's approval the student is advanced to candidacy status.

Thesis Requirement: Completion of MDR 8999, Master’s Thesis Research and Direction, Cr. 8; prereq: M.S. in Medical Research candidacy status, approved thesis outline, consent of advisor, and authorization by M.S.M.D.R Program Director.

Thesis Advisor: The advisor is selected with the advice and consent of the Program Director. The Thesis Committee, selected with the advice and consent of the Thesis advisor, must be composed of three graduate faculty members, including the thesis advisor who also serves as the student's academic advisor for the remainder of his/her program. The candidate must prepare an outline of the thesis, obtain signatures of approval from all Committee members, and file with Program Director for approval.

Thesis and Defense: The thesis document must be provided to the Thesis Committee for review prior to the oral defense. The Committee evaluates the thesis document and following the subsequent oral defense determines the MDR 8999 final grade.

MDR 7090 Fellowship Writing Cr. 2

Preparation and submission of fellowship applications to national funding agencies such as the NIH. Advanced scientific communication, including bibliographic and online resources, organization of federal funding agencies, composition and function of study sections, NIH grant application process, fellowship writing, Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). Students work with faculty and research mentors to prepare and submit applications. Offered Fall.

MDR 7100 Clinical Research Design Cr. 2

Design and implementation of authorized clinical research projects, with exposure to such topics as drug discovery, study design, obtaining FDA approval, subject recruitment and retention, data management, translational and biotechnological aspects, GCRC, and bioinformatics; preparation for establishment of career in clinical and translational research. Offered Fall, Winter.

MDR 7110 Clinical Field Experience Cr. 2

Complexity of the disease process from initial presentation of patient in a clinic, to understanding the pathophysiological basis of the disease, to diagnosis, treatment, and patient management; application of clinical and laboratory research training and current technology. Topics may include: diabetes, sickle cell anemia, asthma, seizures, hypertension, congestive heart failure, chronic myeloid leukemia, genetics of cancer, stroke, lupus. Offered Fall, Winter.

Repeatable for 2 Credits

MDR 7420 Topics in International Health Medicine Cr. 2

Clinical trainees are exposed to topics in understanding and managing health care and other needs of children involved in international travel, as well as of children adopted locally from other countries. One-hour biweekly lectures by experts in various areas of international health. Offered Biannually.

MDR 7990 Directed Study in Pediatric Global Health Cr. 4

Clinical trainees develop and execute research projects in international settings, using international and culturally sensitive protocols and regulations. Conducting research in clinical areas at partnering sites in India and China. Offered Biannually.

MDR 8999 Master's Thesis Research and Direction Cr. 1-8

Offered Every Term.

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students with a class of Candidate Masters, enrollment is limited to students with a major in Medical Research, enrollment is limited to Graduate level students, enrollment limited to students in a MS in Medical Research degree.