Frequently Asked Questions

For quick answers to your questions, check out the following FAQs. These have the answers to commonly asked questions from students about application, enrollment, courses, and graduation.
Admission to MSMS

ABOUT MSMS

The Master of Science (MS) in Medical Sciences is a broad, interdisciplinary degree program that draws on the academic and research expertise of the College of Medicine Basic Science Departments. The MS in Medical Sciences may be used as a stand-alone degree by students seeking career enhancement in fields such as basic biomedical research, the pharmaceutical industry, or the health science professions; by students seeking credentials in the biomedical sciences as a preliminary to applying for medical school or other health sciences professional programs; or by students seeking to enhance their knowledge base prior to choosing a career direction. The MS in Medical Sciences curriculum is not designed for students interested in the fields of medical/clinical technology or medical physics.

ADMISSION

Students may apply for entry into the MS in Medical Sciences program in either the Fall or Spring semesters. For the best chance of gaining admission to the program, an applicant should have one year of general or inorganic chemistry, one year of organic chemistry (or one semester of organic chemistry and one semester of biochemistry) and at least one year of biology.

Applicants should meet the following requirements for admission into the Graduate School and the MS in Medical Sciences program:

  • A baccalaureate degree from a fully accredited institution of higher learning.
  • A minimum undergraduate grade point average of 2.9 and graduate GPA of 3.0.
  • An average GRE score on the verbal, quantitative and analytical sections greater than the 40th percentile. Use Institution code 1837 for submitting GRE scores to the Graduate School from the reporting agency.
  • The MSMS program also accepts MCAT or DAT scores in lieu of the GRE to serve as the entrance exam. In such cases, it is recommended that applicants have a minimum score of 497 on the MCAT, or an academic and science minimal average of 16 on the DAT.
  • For international applicants, a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based TOEFL (maximum 667) and a minimum score of 213 on the computer-based TOEFL (maximum 300) or a minimum score of 80 on the internet-based TOEFL (maximum 120); all applicants must demonstrate proficiency in verbal and written English.
  • Personal Statement Instructions: Briefly describe any research experience you have had, list academic honors, including fellowships, publications, etc. List any courses in biology, chemistry, or physics that are not on your transcripts and which you expect to complete before enrolling at the University of Kentucky. Please answer the following questions in your personal statement:
    • In one paragraph, describe your educational and career goals for attending graduate school.
    • In one paragraph, describe why you have chosen to apply to this program.
    • If you have already obtained your degree, describe in one paragraph your activities since graduation.
    • Do you consider your academic record is an accurate reflection of your academic potential? If not, please comment.

All applications must be submitted directly to the Graduate School. The online application form for the Graduate School may be accessed here. Three (3) letters of recommendation will be requested when you apply to the Graduate School. You will be asked to provide the names and contact information of three faculty members who are familiar with your undergraduate and graduate coursework, research, etc. Please note that applying to the Graduate School is required for official admission to the University.

Application deadline for Fall semester: June 1st for domestic applications, and March 15th for international applications.

Application deadline for Spring semester: November 1st for domestic applications, and August 15th for international applicants.

Once an application file is complete, it is scheduled for review by the MSMS Admissions Committee. At this point, the Committee will decide whether to offer admission and submit the decision to Apply Yourself. Each applicant will receive an email from the Graduate School indicating that a decision has been made and for the applicant to check the acceptance status in Apply Yourself. This will serve as the official notification that you have been accepted by the Graduate School.

GRE SCORES

An average GRE score on each section of the test (verbal, quantitative and analytical) equal to or greater than the 40th percentile. 

The MSMS program also accepts MCAT or DAT scores in lieu of the GRE to serve as the entrance exam. In such cases, it is recommended that applicants have a minimum score of 497 on the MCAT, or an academic and science minimal average of 16 on the DAT.

When uploading MCAT or DAT scores to your application, please use the "supplemental material" section.

Use Institution code 1837 for submitting official GRE scores to the Graduate School from the reporting agency.

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

Choose your recommenders wisely. It is important to choose recommenders who are sufficiently familiar with you to address your academic preparation, abilities, and accomplishments.

Official transcripts from all the universities you attended must be sent to the Graduate School. Note that you may download unofficial copies of your transcript when completing your application. The MSMS Admissions Committee will use these unofficial copies for evaluating your application. However, the Graduate School will require official copies for admission to the University of Kentucky.

APPLICATION FEE

Currently, the application fee for the Graduate School application is $65 for domestic students and $75 for international students. There is no additional application fee for the MSMS program application.

Since the application fee is a part of the Graduate School application, we are unable to waive the fee.

The Graduate School application fee must be paid before the Graduate School application will be finalized and available for review.

MISCELLANEOUS

At the present time, there is no set number of students who are admitted to the program.

Current Students

REGISTRATION

All students should consult the Academic Calendar in the registrar's office to determine their specific registration window.

http://www.uky.edu/Registrar/AcademicCalendar.htm

Students will register via MyUK: http://myuk.uky.edu/

Students currently enrolled in the MSMS program have a priority registration window that is different from incoming students, who register approximately 1-2 weeks prior to the start of the semester in which they begin their studies. Failure to register during the priority registration window will require late registration and a late fee.

You should contact the Office of Biomedical Education and make sure to include your student id number.

FINANCIAL AID

The MSMS program does not provide stipends or tuition at the present time. However. the Office of Student Financial Aid assists students in obtaining work-study opportunities and loans. In addition, the Graduate School provides some awards/fellowships for study on a competitive basis. 

http://www.uky.edu/financialaid/

STUDENTS

https://www.uky.edu/seeblueU/content/your-wildcard-student-id

This ID may be used for a variety of services on campus (copying services, athletic events, library use, etc.) and provides other discounts in Lexington.

Students engaged in research may be required to access various restricted areas. In this case, they should contact the Administrator or DGS of the Department/Center in which the research is being conducted for obtaining a Medical Center ID badge.

Students are considered both trainees and employees. Most departments consider that students have approximately four (4) weeks total vacation time each calendar year, consistent with vacation allocations for other employees. Any vacation time taken during the holiday break for Christmas and New Year's, during spring break, and vacation days away from campus at other times are included in this four-week allocation. Generally, students following the Plan A thesis option will need to commit more time to their research efforts and are expected to keep a schedule similar to the UK staff calendar (and not the academic calendar), and to be on campus on a continuing basis during regular work hours throughout the year. Plan A students should also be aware that the demands of research protocols or presentations may require work on holidays, weekends, or evenings.

Laboratory accidents should be reported immediately to the faculty mentor or appropriate lab personnel to determine a course of action. Non-life threatening accidents requiring medical attention need to be reported first to Worker's Care (1-800-440-6285). The injured employee (including graduate students) must go to UK Employee Health (part of University Health Services on Limestone) in the Kentucky Clinic for medical treatment.

CAMPUS

The K tag (student) is $272/year for the stadium parking lot, with a shuttle to the Medical Center. Additional information, including summer parking rates, can be found at the UKY Parking and Transportation office website.

http://www.uky.edu/pts/

https://ukhealthcare.uky.edu/uhs/

University Health Services provides medical treatment for full and part-time students.

The university also has a student health insurance plan (voluntary) that provides benefits for illness and injury. The University of Kentucky requires all international students and their dependents to have health insurance.

RESEARCH MENTOR

Typically, the research mentor serves as the chair of your master's final exam committee. The best approach is to look for a faculty member who has research/teaching expertise in an area of your interest. You should set up a meeting to talk with the faculty member and discuss their potential role as a mentor for your research project. You should plan to do your research project during the summer when you are able to dedicate time – this is for your benefit and that of the mentor's research program.

FINAL EXAMS

The make-up of your committee is based, in part, on the research area of interest. You need a minimum of three (3) faculty members on your committee and should consult with your research mentor to identify at least two additional faculty members. At least two of the three committee members (including the chair or co-chair) must be members of the graduate faculty, and at least one must have full-member status.

https://ris.uky.edu/cfdocs/gs/dgsgradfac/

Although faculty outside of the College of Medicine are able to serve on your committee (when appropriate), at least one committee member must be from the College of Medicine.

Please Note: to receive 3 hours of research credit, you are expected to be in the lab approximately 9 hours per week. You may conduct your research project in a lab that you are getting paid to work in as a technician only if the project is separate from your regular work duties. You can only be paid for hours above and beyond those counted toward research credit.

Plan A requires defense of a written formal master's thesis according to the guidelines established by the Graduate School.

The complete thesis must be provided to the committee at least two weeks prior to the defense date. The defense follows an oral presentation of the thesis research and is conducted by a committee of at least three faculty members. Typically the student's advisor chairs the committee.

At least 2 weeks prior to the examination date that has been approved by your committee, submit a final copy of the thesis to your committee and the DGS of the MSMS program.

https://ris.uky.edu/cfdocs/gs/MastersCommittee/Student/Selection_Screen.cfm

Conduct a review of your transcript to assure you don't have any missing or "I" grades and that your GPA is 3.00 or higher. Graduate School policy will not allow you to sit for the exam if you have unresolved academic issues.

The final examination must take place no later than eight days prior to the last day of classes of the semester in which the student expects to graduate. Final examinations may not be scheduled during the period between semesters.

Consult the Academic Calendar for specific deadlines: http://www.uky.edu/Registrar/AcademicCalendar.htm 

The final, accepted thesis document must be submitted to the Graduate School no later than 60 days following the date of your defense. You will not have the entire 60 days if you defend late in the semester and need to graduate in the same semester.

Check the http://www.uky.edu/Registrar/AcademicCalendar.htm for deadlines. Prior to the final submission, you must have your thesis reviewed by the Graduate School to check for correct formatting. This process takes about 48 hours and may take longer during peak periods, especially towards the end of the semester. Follow this link for instructions on preparation and formatting of electronic theses:

http://gradschool.uky.edu/electronic-thesis-preparation

Plan B does not have a formal written thesis but does require a final master's exam that involves a written document covering a research project or, if no research is conducted, a research paper based on a student's area of specialization. The report should be at least 12-15 double spaced pages in length (not including title page, figures, and references).

The general format of the actual Plan B final master's exam is up to the student's advisory committee. For example, most students generate a PowerPoint presentation that will serve as the basis for questioning about the research report. The research report must be provided to the committee at least two weeks prior to the date of the exam. The presentation would include the hypothesis to be tested, the methodology used, the results of the study, interpretation of the results, and future directions.

Students who do not conduct any research would be asked to write a research proposal in an area of interest and their final exam would follow the same guidelines and format as above.

To prepare for your final examination, please complete the following: 

At least 2 weeks prior to the examination date that has been approved by your committee, submit a final draft of your report to each committee member and to the DGS of the MSMS program.

https://ris.uky.edu/cfdocs/gs/MastersCommittee/Student/Selection_Screen.cfm

Conduct a review of your transcript to assure you don't have any missing or "I" grades and that your GPA is 3.00 or higher. Graduate School policy will not allow you to sit for the exam if you have unresolved academic issues. The final examination must take place no later than eight days prior to the last day of classes of the semester in which the student expects to graduate. Final examinations may not be scheduled during the period between semesters.

Consult the Academic Calendar for specific deadlines: http://www.uky.edu/Registrar/AcademicCalendar.htm

You may still take your final exam, but are unable to receive your degree until your GPA is above 3.0 and/or you are no longer on academic probation.

At the present time, you are not required to be enrolled in the semester in which you take your final exam. For example, you may schedule your final exam during the semester following completion of your 30 credit hours. This requires that you contact the DGS to 1) ensure your application for a degree is carried forward and 2) that you fill out a hard copy request to schedule a master's final exam.

APPLYING FOR YOUR DEGREE

Early in the semester in which you intend to graduate, log on to MyUK:

http://myuk.uky.edu/

Click on Student Services / myRecords / Graduate Degree Application

Applications are due 30 days after the beginning of the semester.

Please see http://www.uky.edu/Registrar/AcademicCalendar.htm for specific deadlines.

MISCELLANEOUS

No