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  • The BMP requires a minimum of 32 credits to meet the graduation criteria.
  • Students must complete the core course requirements.
  • Elective credits must be approved by the student's assigned faculty advisor.
  • Elective credits can be completed through a combination of Experiential Learning, BMP Electives, Interdisciplinary Electives, or Dental Track and Electives options
  • Enrollment in Interdisciplinary Electives is limited, and up to the discretion of the faculty member teaching the course.
  • Students are required to take at least 9 credits in the Fall and Spring terms and 3 credits in the Summer term to be considered full-time.

Core Courses

Biochemistry and Physiology - MSBMS 2010 (3 credits; Fall) 

This course will introduce the basic concepts of biochemistry and organ/cell physiology. The course will cover the composition and structure of biomolecules, including proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids. The physicochemical properties of macromolecules and their major physiological functions will be examined. The principles, methods, and analysis of enzyme function will be explored. The course will also examine the major metabolic pathways and their connection to fundamental physiological processes. The course will include traditional lectures, small-group problem-based solving, and self-directed learning.

Comprehensive Analysis of Disease - MSBMS 2029  (3 credits Spring)

This course is designed to give the students the opportunity to integrate all the knowledge accumulated during the program into a comprehensive study of disease states. Small groups of students will work collaboratively to develop an in-depth analysis of a specific disease, from the diagnosis to the pathogenesis, the molecular and cellular basis, and the treatment options currently available. Each group of students will work in a web-based platform under faculty supervision to develop an interactive, knowledge-based teaching/research study.


Method and Logic in Biomedicine - MSBMS 2040 (3 credits; Fall)

This course introduces students to developing analytical and evaluative thinking skills for life-long learning for staying current with best practices throughout their careers. Good questioning as well as answering is featured as a scientific learning and teaching strategy. Topics explored include the scientific method, exploratory data analysis, statistical inference, and the anatomy and function of research articles in the generation of new biomedical knowledge. Basic science, medical, and dental articles will be critically appraised in the framework of biomedical decision-making to apply the principles learned. State-of-the-art teaching and technology engage students in individual, large group, and collaborative learning sessions featuring real-time formative assessments.


Organ Systems Physiology - MSBMS 2120 (3 credits; Fall)

This course discusses the integrative physiology of all of the major organ systems, including the cardiovascular system, respiratory system, renal system, gastrointestinal system, and reproductive system. The systems will be considered in the context of the function of the body as a whole, and how they respond during challenges (e.g. exercise) and pathological states. Current research related to the functioning of these systems will be emphasized throughout the course.
Academic Career: Graduate


Cell Signaling and Pharmacology - MSBMS 2090 (3 credits; Spring)

This course examines the principles of drug action. The course covers the basic principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Particular emphasis is placed on the concept that rational use of drugs arises from the understanding of the interaction, signaling mechanisms, and functional outcomes at the molecular and cellular level.


BMP Professional Communications Reflection - MSBMS 2102 & 2103 (1 credit Fall & 1 Spring)

The course will explore professional communication skills for interviews and written applications. The object of study will focus on a practical summation of individual student educational and experiential activities in the BMP. Large group and small group workshops will be used to analyze and evaluate student educational and experiential activities in the context of professional goals. Faculty-mentored, collaborative team-based, and self-directed learning activities will continue to develop student skills and strategies for narrative, analytic, and interpretative scholarly products including professional school application essays, research posters, and manuscripts.


Elective Courses

Human Anatomy - MSBMS 2050 (2 credits; Fall)

This course explores human structure and the organization of organ systems. Lectures are organized by anatomical regions, with the surface anatomy (surface landmarks for finding deeper structures) presented before the discussion of each region. The students will be provided learning tips to assist in retaining anatomical information and they will be introduced to the terms needed for effective communication in describing the body for understanding the anatomical basis of disease and clinical problem-solving.


Histology and Cell Function in Health and Disease - MSBMS 2030 (3 credits; Spring) 

This course provides an understanding of the human tissues is essential to the future doctor and allied health professionals. The course will provide an introduction by exploring common and distinct structural and functional themes of the major tissues, the specific cell types that build them, and the unique organs formed in each of the systems of the human body.


Cell Biology Pathways in Treatment of Disease - MSBMS 2080 (2 credits; Spring)

This course will explore how basic cell biology and genetic investigations have revealed the theoretical underpinnings of and revolutionized approaches to the understanding of, the basis of selected diseases and uncover tractable approaches to treatments or cures. A set of major cell pathways will be used to illustrate how new drug targets can be identified and can lead to dramatic advances in medical treatments. The course blends traditional lectures with self-directed student activities to prepare the students for interactive lecture discussions.


Clinical Pharmacology - MSBMS 2200 (2 credits; Summer)

This is an elective course in Clinical Pharmacology mostly based on clinical cases. These will include cases in clinical (applied) pharmacokinetics, drug-drug interactions, and evidence-based pharmacotherapy. This course uses a combination of pre-class preparation and in-class discussion and analysis of each case.


Systems Neurophysiology - MSBMS 2210 (2 credits; Summer)

This course will provide an overview of the neuroanatomy and functions of the major brain systems.  Topics covered will include neural mechanisms for motor control, sensory processing and perception, cognition and memory, and higher cerebral functions.  Major neurological diseases will also be discussed.


Experiential Learning - MSBMS 2074 (1-8 credits; Fall, Spring, and Summer)

The BMP offers experiential learning activities in the areas of community service, patient volunteering, laboratory research, and clinical shadowing. For this course, the BMP student and instructor plan onsite experiential learning activities designed to provide goal-oriented outcomes for the student. Students are expected to take the initiative to find suitable matches and schedule several experiential sessions. Available opportunities are posted on the BMP website and matches are made each term to optimize the experiential benefit for all BMP students. Students are responsible for documenting all experiential dates and hours, along with what was learned in each activity. Students are also responsible for ensuring all activities are approved by the instructor. Students will also provide a 1,000-word maximum reflection on the experiences at the end of the term and a laboratory report for any research conducted, both of which are graded. Students are also required to ensure they complete the appropriate onsite requirements for the number of credits they are registered for.


Biomedical Career Planning  1 & 2 - MSBMS 2360/2361  (1 credit Fall & 1 Spring)

Students will engage in a group coaching format. Together, we will critically examine and discuss questions pertaining to career planning and implementation. Course topics are rooted in research and practical application. The underlying theories and research stem from positive psychology, neuroscience, applied practice, and one’s own lived experience. Students will create artifacts that facilitate their career development. Common areas of interest include burnout, imposter phenomenon, sociocultural medicine, boundaries, and gap year preparation. Students will gain skills and perspectives to thrive in their career and life.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
•    Implement research and self-reflection to enhance the individual career planning process.
•    Summarize a variety of models, theories, and frameworks to achieve individual career and life satisfaction.
•    Demonstrate skills such as oral and written communication, resilience, and adaptability.
•    Sustain habits that facilitate career success and wellbeing.


Health Equity and Diversity Awareness - MSBMS 2365 (2 credit; Spring)

We will critically examine and discuss overarching questions that focus on health equity within the biomedical sciences. We will pose, examine, and discuss questions to help understand the relationship between and among health and systems. Cultivating diversity awareness is a lifelong process. This course will build on existing knowledge and lay the groundwork for further exploration and action. Student interests and relevant research will drive course topics.  

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
•    Summarize a variety of models, theories, and frameworks of health disparities and apply these in their biomedical science endeavors (research, medicine, etc).
•    Translate health disparity research into interventions that can be used in biomedical science professions.
•    Utilize discourse and dialogue skills to improve health equity.


Interdisciplinary Elective Courses

These courses are offered through partnerships with other graduate programs at the University of Pittsburgh. 

Imaging Cell Biology in Living Systems - MSCBMP 2885 (3 Credits; Spring)

The focus of this course is to study relevant problems in Cell Biology, Immunology, Developmental Biology, and Neurobiology and how they have been solved using imaging approaches. The course will follow a Lecture/Demo/Journal Club format. Lectures will be interspersed with a journal club discussion of a relevant paper on each technology.

Cell Biology of Normal and Disease States - MSCBMP 2880 (4 Credits; Spring)

This course is required for all CBMP graduate students.  It is taught through both lecture and in-class discussion of primary literature and explores the cellular basis of multiple disease states.  At the end of the course, students will have an increased understanding of normal cellular function and how research in cell biology can lead to a deeper understanding of diseases that impact millions of people each year.

Research Seminar in Molecular Physiology - MSCBMP 2855 (1 Credit; Fall & Spring)

This course is an advanced research seminar with a journal club format specializing in current aspects of molecular and cellular physiology.

Neuropharmacology - MSMPHL 3375 (3 Credits; Spring)

This course will broadly review neuropharmacology and neurobiology, study monoamine, cholinergic, and GPCR biology, and explore the blood-brain barrier and its significance to neuropharmacology.  The course will focus on the molecular mechanisms of drug action for different classes of compounds including but not limited to; antidepressants, antipsychotics, anti-epileptics, anesthetics, weight loss, stimulants, neuroprotective, addiction, pain, and migraine drugs. In addition to the formal lectures, the course will emphasize critical reading of the primary literature through journal-club style discussions and cover the most recent treatment and therapeutic avenues being developed for a broad range of neurologic and psychiatric disorders.  The course is ideally suited for Molecular Pharmacology and Neuroscience graduate students or any other graduate student with an interest in neurological diseases and their treatments.

Molecular Pharmacology - MSMPHL 3360 (2 Credits; Fall)

This course examines molecular mechanisms of drug interactions with an emphasis on drugs that modulate cell signaling, cellular responses to drugs, and drug discovery. The course will include student participation through presentations and discussion of relevant contemporary scientific literature. Topics include cell cycle checkpoints and anti-cancer drugs, therapeutic control of ion channels and blood glucose, anti-inflammatory agents and nuclear receptor signaling, and molecular mechanisms of drugs used for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

Cancer Biology and Therapeutics - MSMPHL 3310 (3 Credits; Fall)

This course presents biochemical and clinical aspects of cancer biology and therapy and is designed for graduate students training in the basic sciences or medicine. The lectures cover the biology of normal and neoplastic cells, mechanisms of neoplastic transformation, chemical and environmental carcinogenesis, viral oncogensis, breast and prostate cancer, radiotherapy, tumor immunology chemotherapy, and chemoprevention.

BMP Plan of Study:

Plan of Study

Approved courses offered by Interdisciplinary are historically offered in the academic terms listed. Please use Pitt Class Search to verify if the course is available during the academic term you wish to enroll prior to finalizing your schedule.