Master of Science in Pathology Laboratory Sciences
A unique blend of comprehensive biomedical science education with pragmatic, hands-on skill acquisition.
The Master of Science in Pathology Laboratory Sciences Program focuses on the basic science and laboratory techniques of pathology and related disciplines. The Masters Program was founded in 2003 by Dr Adrianne Rogers, Emeritus Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and former Associate Chair of the department. Graduates will be prepared to work in basic science, biotechnology and other biomedical research laboratories designing, performing, and evaluating research using methods based on morphology. Students learn to prepare and evaluate animal or human cells and tissues for the effects of test compounds, devices or procedures using morphologic methods.
Techniques include gross, microscopic and ultrastructural techniques for examination of cells and tissues, including histochemical staining and immunohistochemical, immunofluorescence and radioisotopic methods; certain clinical chemistry, hematological, immunological and radioisotopic methods for examination of blood and tissue fluids or extracts. Offerings include some or all of the following specialized techniques in the basic laboratory rotations or in the student’s laboratory research project: laser capture techniques, in situ hybridization including fluorescence detection (FISH) and confocal or electron microscopy, image analysis & virtual pathology. Students learn and rotate in modern, well equipped laboratories on the BU Medical Campus.
The Master of Science in Pathology and Laboratory Sciences is a two year program that can help prepare you for a future career path in:
- Biotech/Pharmaceutical Industry
- Medical School
- PhD Program
Main Features of the program
1.) The first year strengthens and expands your knowledge of the biosciences.
2.) The second year focuses on research in the lab. You will cover the following:
- Hypothesis Generation
- Experimental Design
- Data Interpretation
- Gain Deeper Insights Into Disease Processes.
3.) Laboratory rotations start in the first year, and you have the opportunity to learn the following techniques:
- Laser Capture Microdissection
- In Situ hybridization Including Fluorescence Detection (FISH)
- Confocal or Electron Microscopy
- Image Analysis
- Virtual Pathology
- Clinical Chemistry
- Hematological, and Immunological Methods for Examination of Blood and Tissue
- Animal husbandry
4.) You will have the opportunity to:
- Shadow a Pathologist During Clinical Service.
- Observe Autopsies
Learning Goals & Outcomes of the Master’s Program
Upon completion of our Master of Science Program students will be able to:
- Prepare and evaluate human and animal biospecimens and cell lines for the effects of test compounds, devices, surgeries or other interventions using morphologic, biochemical and molecular methods
- Understand and apply different techniques to dissect, document, preserve, process and archive biospecimens
- Describe major characteristics of diseased tissue using multiple methodologies including but not limited to histopathology, immunohistochemistry and molecular techniques
- Apply the knowledge they have accumulated from didactic core course work, seminars, study groups and journal clubs to develop and test research hypotheses
- Develop hypotheses and perform new or existing assays to generate experimental results
- Integrate quality management tools and other standards into their work
- Evaluate and test results using statistical and other analysis and write a scientific document that is approved by at least two faculty readers
- Work safely in a BSL-2 laboratory environment
Candidates are required to complete a minimum of 8 semester courses (32 credit hours) at the graduate level, including an original laboratory based thesis. The degree program is usually completed within two years.
|Requirement by Topic||Updated Curriculum consistent with the currently-approved program||Alternatives|
|Introductory Pathology||GMS PA 932, Histopathology, 4 cr Fall|
|Pathology||GMS PA 700 Basic and Experimental Pathology, 4 cr Spring|
|Biochemistry||GMS BI 751 Biochemistry and Morphology, 6 cr Fall|
|Biostatistics||GMS MS750 Biostatistics, 2 cr Fall||MA 700A1 Elementary Biostatistics, 2 cr Fall or GMS MS 700 & AN704 Elementary Biostatistics, 2 cr Spring|
|Immunology||GMS PA 510 Medical Immunology, 2 cr Spring||GMS PA 610 OL Biomedical Immunology (online course), 2 cr Fall or Spring, with consent of the Program Director and if offered.
Other courses (toxicology, forensics, etc)
|Pathology Seminar||GMS PA 800 A1 Pathology Seminar, 2 cr Fall|
Optimized sequence of courses within the current requirements:
Fall: Biochemistry (6 cr), Histopathology (4 cr), Laboratory Rotations(2 cr), and Biostatistics (2 cr). Total credits 12-14 depending on the choice of courses.
Spring: Pathology (4 cr), Special Topics (2 cr), Immunology (2 cr), and Pathology Research (4 cr). Total credits 12, or more depending on the choice of courses.
Fall (2nd year): Business of Science (2cr), Pathology Seminar (2cr)
Spring (2nd year): Pathology Research (2cr); Presentation of thesis research at seminar series
Other: Histology and Molecular Biology courses are highly recommended but not mandatory.
Attendance at Friday departmental seminars (PA800, fall and PA900, spring) is required throughout the program in Fall and Spring semester.
- The rotations teach basic histomorphologic techniques and their applications.
- Each rotation lasts 6-8 weeks part time (at least 15 hours per week) or 3 weeks full time (e.g., in summer or intersession).
- Rotations can take place anywhere within the medical campus and is not restricted to the Department of Pathology. Rotations or thesis work outside BUMC must be approved by the director.
Laboratory Thesis Research
- The mentor’s laboratory is chosen from student’s interest and availability in the mentor’s lab. The Director of Graduate Studies and members of the Graduate Studies Committee of the department will advise students on their choice of thesis research laboratory. The decision is made by mutual agreement between the student and the mentor. The research project usually takes 1 year to complete. A thesis documenting the student’s research is read and approved by the laboratory mentor and one additional faculty member of the admission committee who is knowledgeable in the area of the student’s research. Fourteen (14) research credits are awarded for the required Master of Science thesis work.
Students must have received a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, with recommend courses in general biology, chemistry, physics and calculus. Applications can be submitted starting in the Fall, however, generally applications are reviewed from January 1st. International students need to have been accepted by July 25th in order to have enough time for paperwork to be cleared through ISSO. To be considered for any scholarships, applications must be submitted before April 30th.
Additional criteria considered by the admissions committee include:
- A good academic record/GPA
- TOEFL for International students (set at 600 by the University)
- Personal statement stating reason for choosing this program and highlighting why you would be an asset to the program
- Minimum 2 Letters of references on official institutional letterhead
- Interview evaluation (if invited)
- Interest level in pathology research
- All aspects of an applicant , including research experience and publications are considered in the decision process
For details on how to apply, please visit the GMS website here.
Tuition and Financial Ad
Please find the official tuition and fee rates here. The department has a limited number of scholarships that we invite accepted students to apply for. These scholarships are modest in amount, up to $10,000, and are only available for one year, broken up equally between two semesters.
One scholarship in the amount of $10,000 is named for Adrianne Rogers, MD, the founder of the Masters in Pathology Laboratory Sciences program. This merit based scholarship is available to full-time graduate students who are from a population underrepresented in science, and demonstrate financial need.
Additionally, we can award two provost scholarships, up to $10,000 to help students in financial need.
In order to fairly determine recipients, we invite you to write a one page essay telling us how would receiving this scholarship of up to $10,000 would assist you in achieving your goals in the program and future? Please have essays in to the director by 5pm on April 30th.
Boston University and Boston Medical Center employees may be eligible for tuition remission. (Those receiving this benefit cannot combine it with a Provost’s Scholarship.)
With the growing use and development of highly sophisticated morphologic techniques, the demand for well-trained technical personnel in academic and biotechnological laboratories is growing. Students interested in careers that involve technical work using morphologic techniques to examine tissues from patients or laboratory animals will benefit from this program and, upon its completion, will likely find attractive employment opportunities. Our graduates will also be well prepared to enter a doctoral degree program in biomedical sciences or apply to medical school.
Our graduates are currently employed in diagnostic and research laboratories and we make every effort to facilitate job opportunities for them.