College of Health Sciences

Downers Grove, IL Campus

Course Descriptions

Master of Biomedical Sciences Program

Prerequisites are listed for those courses with such requirements. When no prerequisite is listed in a course description, it is implied that there is no prerequisite.

Course Name

BIOCD 0560

Biochemistry I

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This course emphasizes principles and concepts of structure-function relationships in major biomolecules and human metabolism. This course includes lectures and workshops which utilize small group discussions focusing on clinical case studies to illustrate principles of clinical biochemistry.

Credits: 2.5

BIOCD 0570

Biochemistry II

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This course emphasizes concepts in cell and molecular biology and human nutrition. This course includes lectures and workshops which utilize small group discussions focusing on clinical case studies to illustrate principles of clinical biochemistry.

Credits: 3.5

BISCD 0550

Professional Development

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The purpose of this required pass/fail course is to provide students with skills that are necessary for professional development. The course will feature professionals from different disciplines who will discuss their professions and career paths. The course will also provide students training in interviewing, writing resumes/CVs, writing cover letters and personal statements.

Credits: 1

BISCD 0552

Fundamentals of Research

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The purpose of this required course is to provide students with basic training in common laboratory techniques. The course will also introduce students to issues related to biosafety, radiation safety, and good practices in research.

Credits: 3

BISCD 0556

Research Design and Methodology

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This course overviews the uses, values, and limitations of the scientific method. Quantitative, conceptual and model analysis, in-depth research techniques, current research of the literature, research design methods, and theory construction are presented. This is the foundational course for the Master's Project.

Credits: 3

BISCD 0557

Principles of Biostatistics

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This course covers elementary statistical techniques, introduction to probability, measurement theory, correlation and regression analysis, sampling, significance tests, and statistical inference.

Credits: 3

BISCD 0558

Literature Review

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The purpose of this required course is to teach students how to access and search the scientific literature for the purpose of writing a comprehensive literature review related to their thesis topic.

Credits: 2

BISCD 0560, 0660, 0661, 0662, 0663

Laboratory Research for Thesis

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This required independent laboratory research project is the main objective of the Master of Biomedical Sciences degree program. The project entails original research on a current basic science question. The intent of the project is to develop an appropriate research question, design the proper laboratory methodology to answer the question, and collect the appropriate data.

Credits: Each course 1-6


BISCD 0552 Fundamentals of Research

BISCD 0570

Ethics of Research and Experimentation

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This class is intended to give students a broad overview of research ethics and regulation, especially as it relates to human research. Students develop an understanding of the moral basis of research ethics including scientific integrity, research with human subjects, informed consent, vulnerable populations, privacy and confidentiality of records, conflicts of interest, and research on animals.

Credits: 2

BISCD 0650

Journal Club

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The Advanced Topic Series is an opportunity for students to receive individualized or small group instruction on selected advanced topics in any of the basic science disciplines. Format for instruction includes mentoring by individual faculty, case study discussion, review of landmark publications, and class presentations. Students are expected to master major concepts specific to the discipline selected. The mentoring faculty individualize evaluation of the student.

Credits: 3

BISCD 0655, 0656

Seminar in the Biomedical Sciences for Dual Degree

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These courses are designed to expose the student to a variety of scientific topics. This is accomplished by attendance at the research seminar series. The student is also expected to present a seminar on their thesis research and a seminar on a Biomedical Sciences topic of their choice.

Credits: Each course 1

BISCD 0665

Thesis Proposal

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This course is an independent study course designed to give students the opportunity to perform literature research and develop a thesis proposal necessary for completion of the Master of Biomedical Sciences degree.

Credits: 3

BISCD 0680


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The research project culminates with the analysis of experimental data, development of appropriate conclusions based on the information gathered, and summarizing the research findings in publication format. The student will also make a public presentation of his/her work to the Midwestern University community. The Thesis Committee approves the proposal, oversees the research project, and approves the final research thesis. Students who do not complete all thesis requirements will be enrolled in thesis continuation for subsequent quarters.

Credits: 4

BISCD 0690, 0691, 0692, 0693, 0694, 0695, 0696, 0697, 0698, 0699

Thesis Continuation

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These courses are reserved for students needing additional quarters beyond the spring quarter of Year 2 for completion of the research project and thesis. A fee is assessed with enrollment in these courses.

Credits: Each course 0.5

MICRD 0583

Medical Microbiology

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This didactic course covers the physiology and molecular mechanisms of medically important microbes and their disease processes. The course includes experiential laboratory sessions that provide a hands-on experience in diagnostic, molecular laboratory procedures and experimental design.

Credits: 4

MICRD 0599

Molecular Immunology

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This didactic course will introduce students to the fundamental principles of immunology and delve into the molecular mechanisms behind these principles. It will focus on the innate and adaptive immune responses, detailing signal transduction mechanisms responsible for leukocyte activation, epigenetic remodeling involved in leukocyte differentiation, and the molecular biology behind immune responses. Additionally, it will detail recent advances in immunoprophylaxis, and therapies.

Credits: 3

PHARD 0994, 0995, 0996

Pharmacology I, II, III

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This course sequence introduces students to the general principles of drug action and the therapeutic uses and toxicities of drugs commonly used in humans. A drug's action is considered on an organ-system basis. Specific topics include drugs acting on the: autonomic and central nervous systems, cardiovascular and renal systems, gastrointestinal and genitourinary systems. In addition, discussions on chemotherapy of microbial and parasitic organisms, chemotherapy of neoplastic diseases, drugs acting on blood-forming organs, and hormones are presented. This course also includes discussions of environmental toxic agents and antidotes.

Credits: Each course 3

PHYSD 0550, 0551

Human Physiology I, II

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Students are introduced to the physiological principles and regulatory processes that underlie the normal function of the human body, and develop an understanding of the physiologic responses to perturbation of homeostasis and of pathophysiologic alterations that occur in disease. Didactic lectures are supplemented with workshops that focus on application of physiological concepts. Topics include the properties of excitable cells and the functions of the neuromuscular, cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal, digestive, endocrine and reproductive systems.

Credits: Each course 3.5