The Hal B. Jenson MD Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences

The Master of Biomedical Sciences (MBS) degree program, established in 2016, is a one-year program designed specifically for students looking to strengthen their foundational knowledge in basic science before beginning medical school. A distinct benefit of enrolling in the master’s degree program is the linkage to the medical program. MBS students are automatically accepted to the MD program for the following year contingent upon successful completion of the MBS program.

This program supports WMed’s mission to build a diverse and inclusive healthcare workforce that will serve the medical needs of our community. Priority will be given to applicants who have overcome significant adversity, are first generation college graduates, are socio-economically disadvantaged, or who reside in or have strong ties to the Southwest Michigan area.  


A unique feature of this program is the generous gift from The Jon Stryker and Slobodan Randjelovic scholarship fund which provides a full-tuition scholarship to each student who is accepted and matriculates into the MBS program. In addition to a full-tuition scholarship, many students are awarded an additional cost of living scholarship, enabling them to remain focused solely on their learning.

  • Curriculum Calendar
    The MBS curriculum is a 1-year program, designed to provide students with a solid foundation in biomedical sciences, systems anatomy, and physiology. Courses begin in early July. MBS students participate in early classes alongside MD students, experiencing the rigors of medical education and developing the necessary study skills to thrive in medical school. Additionally, several courses were specifically created for the MBS students to prepare them for success in medical school and beyond. All instruction is provided by medical school faculty who also teach in the MD curriculum, giving students familiarity with the WMed community. Students are expected to achieve or surpass a threshold level of competency in foundational biomedical sciences and professionalism to gain admission to medical school.

    Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences Curriculum Calendar

    MBS Curriculum Calendar 2024
    Click Image to Enlarge

    Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences Curriculum Calendar

    MBS Curriculum Calendar 2024 Large
  • Courses

    Transition to Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences: During this course students are introduced to school resources that will support their success in the program.

    Professional and Learning Skills: In this course students build a foundational knowledge required to succeed in a high paced learning environment including learning strategies, time management, and test taking skills.

    Cellular Biochemistry: In this course students focus on the structure and function of cells and tissues, and how nutrition and key homeostatic hormones influence how organs metabolize carbohydrates and lipids.

    Molecular Genetics: This course provides a background in metabolism of small molecules and the genetic contributors to disease. Cellular pathways governing macromolecular precursor synthesis and breakdown are also covered.

    Principles of Immunology: This course introduces students to the immune system, while integrating microbiology, pharmacology, and pathology. Specific focus is placed on autoimmune disease, allergies, and how the immune system fights against pathogenic organisms.

    Anatomy and Physiology I, II, III, and IV: This series of courses was designed to provide students with the foundational anatomy and physiology of each organ system. This four-part course series will build from cellular processes to structure and function of organ systems.

    Disease, Disparities, and Justice: The practice of medicine is supposed to be the practice of preventing and treating disease. But whether a condition counts as a disease depends on some set of factors related to evolution, function, well-being, and social attitudes, among others. This course will survey the most common theories of disease and integrate these theories into the contemporary practice of medicine.

    Capstone I and II: The Capstone courses guide students through the process of writing a literature based thesis. In Capstone I students learn how to interpret scientific literature, prepare scientific presentations, and identify a thesis topic related to the molecular mechanism(s) of disease. Capstone II is focused on the writing of a literature review-based thesis using the skills learned in Capstone I.

  • Program Co-Directors

    Laura Bauler, PhD, and Peter Vollbrecht, PhDLaura Bauler, PhD, and Peter Vollbrecht, PhD, serve as co-directors of the MS Program in Biomedical Sciences. Please contact Drs. Bauler or Vollbrecht if you wish to learn more about this unique master’s degree program. You can learn more about Drs. Bauler and Vollbrecht, including their contact information, on their WMed faculty webpages at the following links:

  • Program History
    This program, established in 2016, was renamed in 2021 in honor of Hal B. Jenson, MD. Dr. Jenson was the Founding Dean of the medical school, and was dedicated to the development of this Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences degree program. His leadership, advocacy, and dedication to the program ensured its early success.
  • Student Testimonials
    • “Students are well-supported in this program to ensure every student succeeds. There is always someone you can reach out to, such as faculty or former students, for any challenges you encounter. The program can be challenging at times, but it certainly prepares you for medical school.”
    • “The MBS program was honestly the opportunity I prayed for. It gave me the chance to prove myself. I entered my first year of medical school with not only the confidence to succeed, but the tools to hit the ground running. The professors, mentors, and friends I made during the program have been an integral component of my medical school experience. I will forever treasure the memories I made in the MBS program and how they helped shaped me into the aspiring leader I am today.”
    • “The relationships I built in the MBS program have helped me to succeed in medical school. I built strong relationships with nearly all of the WMed biomedical sciences professors which allowed me to be more comfortable asking questions and more confident in mastering the information presented in class. Additionally, the bonds I built with fellow MBS and MD students helped me to find a community of individuals who understood and supported me through all of medical school. Overall, my experience in the MBS program was invaluable and it truly set me up to succeed and to become a better medical student and future doctor.”
    • “The courses in the MBS program give students some insight into what the curriculum for medical school will look like and allows students to discover their individual styles of studying and mastering challenging content before becoming a medical student. The year-long Capstone course is especially helpful in learning how to comprehend and analyze scientific literature as well as apply these findings in a meaningful way within our thesis. These are vital skills to have throughout our journey as medical students and as future physicians, and this program provides us with an incredible foundation to build upon. I am so grateful to have been a part of the MBS program and would not be nearly as prepared or confident starting medical school as I am today.”
    • "My favorite thing about the program was being given the opportunity to improve my learning skills before taking on Medical School. After having gone through the master’s program I was able to start M1 year knowing that this was the path for me and what I need to do to take it all the way. I was also able to network without all the pressure that come with the extracurriculars medical school requires, and that has opened doors to some incredible opportunities.”

Application Process

When you’ve decided that the Hal B. Jenson MD Master of Biomedical Sciences degree program is the right fit for you and your future career goals, take the next step and apply for admission. There are two ways to apply to the MBS program:

  1. Apply directly to the MBS program. Direct applications for the 2025 entering class will open in January 2025. 
  2. You can be considered for the MBS program with a traditional MD application through AMCAS. This option enables you to be considered for both the MD and the MBS program. Applicants using this method who wish to be considered for the MBS program should inform admissions directly at

Direct applications for the 2025 entering class will open in January 2025. All applications and supporting documents should be submitted by May 15 for priority consideration. Applications may be accepted on a space-available basis after that date.

  • Minimum Application Requirements
    • MCAT score of 497, taken within the past three years.
      • If you have taken the MCAT more than one time, the most recent score will be used for consideration.
    • Undergraduate GPA of at least a 3.0.
    • Completed 90 credit-hours or three-fourths of the required credits for a degree in a college or university accredited by a regional accrediting body.
    • Earned, or anticipate earning before matriculation, a bachelor’s degree from an institution accredited by a regional accreditor that is recognized by both the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
    • U.S. citizenship or permanent residency status.
  • Required Direct Application Materials
    • A transcript (unofficial will suffice–Official copies will be required if accepted) You may send transcripts to
    • A minimum MCAT score of 497, within the last three years.
      • If you have taken the MCAT more than one time, the most recent score will be used for consideration.
    • 2 letters of recommendation (These may come from a science faculty member, physician, and/or a supervisor, etc.)
    • Descriptions of your five most impactful experiences in 250 words each or less.
    • Essay that addresses the following three questions in 750 words or less:
      1. How will this program help you obtain your goals?
      2. Describe how you add to the cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity of the medical profession.
      3. What adversity have you overcome in pursuit of your career goals?
      4. (Optional) Please explain any connection you have to Southwest Michigan.

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