Master of Science in Medical Physiology (MSMP) Program

Physiology is the basis of medicine. As such, the Master of Science in Physiology (MSMP) Program at Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Campus is designed for college graduates who are interested in strengthening their understanding of medical physiology with the intent of enhancing their academic credentials to succeed in future applications to medical schools. The MSMP Program is a non-thesis, full-time, nine month curriculum running from early September to late May. MSMP students will pursue intensive studies in graduate cell physiology, physiological biochemistry, organ system medical physiology, neurophysiology, basic human anatomy, introduction to pathophysiology and clinical bioethics.

The Program also includes a course on Professional Development to help each student with their applications to future biomedical programs. Each student in the MSMP Program will be assigned a faculty adviser to guide them throughout the program, as well as with their postgraduate applications. We also provide assistance for students interested in local volunteer community programs to further explore various medically related career paths and as part of their future applications to professional biomedical programs. Our courses are designed specifically for MSMP students and are classroom-taught by medical school faculty professors who have extensive experience teaching at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Successful completion of the MSMP Program will provide the student with a strong foundation for success in future professional biomedical programs.

  • The MSMP Program will provide students with the opportunity to engage in graduate-level medically relevant courses and thereby enhance the student’s academic credentials for applications to future professional biomedical programs.
  • Courses are classroom-taught by medical school professors with extensive experience teaching first- and second-year medical students at the Stritch School of Medicine.
  • The program will matriculate only 30 students. This small class size provides each student with a more personalized educational experience.
  • The program is unique in that we offer a Pathophysiology course taught by a board-certified hematology professor of Pathology and Medical Director of the Clinical Coagulation/Urinalysis Lab; a Professional Development course designed to enhance the students' ability to prepare résumés, develop interview skills and provide opportunities for students to interact with professionals in medical fields; and a Clinical Bioethics course that will enhance the student’s understanding and appreciation of contemporary medical ethical issues and the application of medical ethics in their future professional biomedical careers.
  • Each MSMP student is assigned a faculty adviser who will help guide them through the program and with future applications to professional programs.
  • The MSMP Program also has local, clinical volunteer opportunities for any students interested.
  • Students interested in attending medical school will be guaranteed an admissions interview at the Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine by achieving a GPA in the MSMP Program of 3.6 or higher and whose most recent MCAT score is 30 or 509 (±2) or higher. MCATs taken after completion of the MSMP Program must be taken within one year of completion of the program. The majority of guaranteed interviews occur after graduation from the MSMP Program, however in exceptional cases it may occur when the student is still enrolled in the MSMP Program.

The MSMP Program is designed for highly motivated students seeking to enhance their understanding of human physiology and improve their academic credentials for future professional biomedical programs. Candidates for the MSMP Program will be required to have the following minimum requirements:

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited U.S. college or university with an undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.
  • One year of biology, one year of general chemistry, one year of organic chemistry, one year of physics and one year of mathematics, preferably calculus.
  • Official MCAT score of at least 28 or 504±2.  All MCAT scores within the last three years must be reported.  If you have not taken the MCAT we will accept a GRE score greater than the 50th percentile (verbal plus quantitative) taken within the last three years.
  • Official transcripts from ALL undergraduate and graduate institutions attended.
  • A personal statement that expresses your motivation and future plans for a professional biomedical career as well as experiences that have contributed to your chosen career path. This would include any relevant clinical, employment, teaching or research experiences.
  • Two letters of recommendation appropriate for acceptance into a master's degree program. Premed committee letters are acceptable.
  • Applicants must agree to an Illinois State criminal background check. Self-disclosure of these types of issues is in the best interest of applicants.
  • All applicants will be required to fill out an online application to the Loyola University Chicago Graduate School.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to include a resume in their application.

Deadline for receipt of applications for Fall 2018 is July 20, 2018. Students must commit to their acceptance into the program by August 1, 2018. We use a rolling admissions process and therefore encourage applicants to apply early.  We will be accepting late applications provided there are seats still available in the class.

Updated materials such as transcripts and letters of recommendation can be mailed to the address below or electronically sent to

    Graduate and Professional Enrollment Management
    820 N. Michigan Ave.
    Lewis Towers
    Room 800
    Chicago, IL 60611

When applying for the MSMP Program online, choose the 2018 academic year and Biomedical SciencesPlease note, you will need to complete the “Biographical Information” section of the application first.  Once that section is completed, you will be able to choose Medical Physiology MS in the “Application Information” section.

The graduate and medical programs at Stritch School of Medicine are separate programs. Therefore any material submitted to Stritch School of Medicine must be resubmitted to the Graduate Program.


Questions regarding the MSMP Program can be addressed to the Program Coordinator, Margaret Helwich ( or 708-216-1017).

Semester One (Fall)

  • Cell Physiology (PIOL 417; 3 credits)
  • Biochemical Physiology (PIOL 420; 3 credits)
  • Function of the Human Body I (PIOL 421; 4 credits)
  • Professional Development (PIOL 500; 1 credit)
  • Clinical Bioethics (BEHP 401; 1 credit)

Semester Two (Spring)

  • Fundamentals of Neurophysiology (PIOL 450; 3 credits)
  • Function of Human Body II (PIOL 422; 4 credits)
  • Basic Human Anatomy (PIOL 430; 2 credits)
  • Introduction to Human Pathophysiology (PIOL 460; 3 credits)

The MSMP Program consists of 8 courses (total 24 credit hours) designed specifically for MSMP students. Each course is classroom-taught by Stritch School of Medicine faculty. Function of the Human Body (I & II) is taught over two semesters. The Introduction to Pathophysiology also requires a library research paper related to a specific topic in pathophysiology. In addition to lectures, each physiology course consists of small group discussions of clinical case studies related to lecture topics, as well as scheduled review sessions with the lecturing faculty member.

Computation of Academic Grade-Point Averages

The transcript reflects a student’s actual academic record and the cumulative GPA includes all grades earned during the pursuit of the degree. Students must maintain at least a 3.0 or higher cumulative GPA for all graduate-level and undergraduate-level courses required for the degree. No more than two courses for which a student receives a final grade of C+ (2.33) or C (2.00), and no course for which a student receives a final grade of less than a C (2.00), will count toward completion of the degree or certificate requirements, although such grades will contribute to the student’s cumulative GPA. There is no remediation of individual courses.


Students must achieve an overall grade of B to successfully complete the Program and be conferred their Master’s Degree.  Students falling below a B average during the first semester of the Program will be placed on academic probation and will receive counseling from their advisor and the program director during the semester. Failure to achieve a B grade average in the first semester may result in dismissal from the program by the Academic Review Committee.  The Academic Review Committee will consist of the MSMP program director, the student’s Advisor, and a MSMP Faculty appointed by the MSMP Program Director. 

The MSMP class of 2018-2019 will have a one day orientation on Tuesday 4 September 2018 and classes will start on Wednesday 5 September 2018

Click here to read the full student handbook.

Each course in the MSMP program is run by a course director:

Erika Piedras-Renteria, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Physiology
MSMP Program Director
Fundamentals of Neurophysiology

Michael Dauzvardis, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medical Education
Basic Human Anatomy

Mark Kuczewski, Ph.D., Professor of Medical Ethics
Clinical Bioethics

Ruben Mestril, PhD, Professor of Physiology
Professional Development

Gregory Mignery, Ph.D., Professor of Physiology
Biochemical Physiology

Jonathan Kirk, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Physiology
Function of the Human Body I & II

Jeanine Wallenga, PhD, Professor of Pathology
Introduction to Human Pathophysiology 

Aleksey Zima, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Physiology
Cell Physiology

Program Costs

$1,840 per credit hour (24 credit hours) = $44,160

Mandatory Fees 
Matriculation Fee: $100
Activity Fee: $60/semester
Health Services Fee: $167/semester
Fitness Center: $172/semester
Computer Lab/Technology Fee: $125

Health Insurance
Proof of Health Insurance or $2,950/year

Optional Fee
Student Parking: $195/year

Tuition and fees are subject to change.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the difference between MSMP and MAMS at Loyola?

The MSMP program is offered at the Stritch School of Medicine (SSOM) by the Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology at the University Medical Sciences campus. It is taught by medical school professors, our curriculum is very similar to the M1 course work at the SSOM, focusing on medical cell physiology, function of the human body, introductory courses in human anatomy, neurophysiology, pathophysiology and clinical bioethics. Our Professional Development course aids students with their interview skills and AMCAS statements. Volunteering opportunities available to our medical students, including medical Spanish and Polish courses are also available to our students. We offer individual mentoring to our students.

The MAMS program is offered by the Department of Biology at the Loyola University Chicago undergraduate campus, and is taught by undergraduate professors.

  • How long will it take you to process my application and make a decision?

Incomplete applications are not reviewed until all materials have been submitted. The admissions committee meets at least once a month to review and discuss complete applications. Depending on when your application is ready to be reviewed, and when the committee is meeting, the wait time may vary from two to thirty days.

We thoroughly review each application we receive; each application is read, rated by every committee member, and discussed until a consensus is reached. The time taken from submission to decision is not an indicator of the review process.

  • What are your program statistics?

Please see the MSMP Outcome section below.

  • What is the average GPA of your alumni and how many students qualify for guaranteed interviews?

The average GPA of our alumni is 3.78 +  0.4 (S.E.M), n= 135.

86% of our graduates have a GPA of 3.6 or higher, which qualifies for an interview at Loyola SSOM if their MCAT score is 509 + 2. 

Please note that not all the students who qualify for an interview actually seek one (see Outcomes).

  • If I apply to Loyola’s SSOM before I start the MSMP program, so that I can go straight from one to the other, will I be able to take advantage of the guaranteed interview (GI)?

In order to be eligible for the GI, you will need a GPA of 3.6, this information will not be available until all courses are complete. GIs at Stritch are only possible after graduation from the MSMP program. However, if you are granted an interview independent from the program, you will be able to send an update on your performance in the MSMP program.

  •  If I were to apply for admission to medical school during this application cycle will my grades from the MSMP program be considered?

Yes, after you complete the first semester, you can access your grades to update your medical school applications. If requested, we will write a letter of recommendation based on your first semester performance.

  • Where should I send my application information?

Materials such as transcripts and letters of recommendation can be sent to:

Graduate and Professional Enrollment Management
820 N. Michigan Ave.
Lewis Towers
Room 800
Chicago, IL 60611

  • Can I have my transcripts or letters of recommendation emailed to Loyola?

Yes, you can email them to

  • Is it possible to have the admissions information I sent to Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine (SSOM) admissions forwarded to the MSMP program?

No, we are unable to access any of your admissions information from SSOM. It needs to be re-submitted to Loyola’s Graduate Program. 

  • Is there a fee to apply?

No, there is no fee to apply to the MSMP Program. 

  • How do I send in my MCAT scores?

Log into the MCAT Testing History System and send your scores to Loyola University Chicago’s Graduate Program. 

  • If I have taken the MCAT more than once, may I put the highest score from each section on the application?

Please use your highest overall MCAT score to fill out each section on the application. When you send in your official MCAT scores, we will see all your exam scores. 

  • Even though the minimum requirement for the MCAT is 28 or 504±2, will I still be eligible for the program if I scored lower?

The MSMP Admissions Committee reviews every application we receive. Given the right set of circumstances, a MCAT score lower than 28 or 504±2 may be acceptable.

  • What is the GRE Institutional Code?

The Loyola GRE Institutional Code is 1412.  

  • Do you accept DAT scores?

No, we do not accept DAT scores. 

  • Do I need 2 or 3 letters of recommendation for the MSMP program?

Although the graduate website indicates 3 letters of recommendation, the MSMP program only requires 2 letters of recommendation.

  • Are pre-medical committee letters accepted?

Yes, pre-medical committee letters can be used as the letters of recommendation. 

  • Is there an interview for admission into the MSMP program?

No, there is no interview process for admission into the MSMP program. Once accepted into the program, you are welcome to visit the campus.  

  • Does the MSMP program offer any financial aid?

No, the MSMP program itself does not offer any financial aid. If you plan to attend a graduate program, please complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at no later than March 1 to determine whether you are eligible to receive financial aid from one or more government programs.  Also, you may seek outside loans, scholarships, and grants by visiting a local library or searching online. Some helpful websites include: (for scholarships) (for scholarships and terms of available loan programs) (for terms of available loan programs)

  • What are the minimum requirements for graduation?

Students cannot graduate with a GPA below 3.0 (a B average); all required courses must be graded. The MSMP Program is a one-year program, therefore there is no remediation of any courses.

  • To which medical schools have your MSMP graduates been accepted?
Albany Medical College
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine
Boston University School of Medicine
Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest
Creighton University School of Medicine
Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine
Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Florida Atlantic University Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine
Frank Netter MD School of Medicine - Quinnipiac University
George Washington University School of Medicine
Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine at Florida International University
Hofstra North Shore - LIJ School of Medicine
Indiana University School of Medicine
Jagiellonian University School of Medicine (Krakow, Poland)
John A. Burns School of Medicine
Kansas City University of Medicine & Biosciences
Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine 
Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine
Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University
Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Medical College of Wisconsin
Meharry Medical College
Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Midwestern University
New York Medical College
Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
Ponce Health Sciences University
Rocky Vista College of Osteopathic Medicine
Rosalind Franklin University, Chicago Medical School
Ross University School of Medicine
Rush Medical College
Saint Louis University School of Medicine
San Juan Bautista School of Medicine
Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
St. George's University in Grenada
SUNY Downstate College of Medicine
Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine
Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences
University of Arizona College of Medicine
University of Buffalo, School of Medicine
University of Central Florida College of Medicine
University of Illinois College of Medicine
University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford
University of Illinois College of Medicine, Medical Scholars MD/PhD Program
University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
University of Kentucky School of Medicine
University of Louisville
University of Maryland School of Medicine
University of Michigan
University of Minnesota Medical School
University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine
University of Nebraska College of Medicine
University of Nebraska MD/PhD
University of Nevada School of Medicine
University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
University of New Mexico School of Medicine
University of Queensland - Ochsner Clinical School
University of Queensland School of Medicine
University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine
University of Southern Carolina School of Medicine
University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston
University of Texas Medical School at Houston
University of Vermont School of Medicine
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine
Virginia Commonwealth, School of Medicine
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Weill Medical College of Cornell University 
Western Michigan University Homer Stryker MD School of Medicine
Western University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine


  • Which medical schools are your alumni attending (or graduating from?)


  • Where are you located?

We are located in the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University Health Sciences Campus in Maywood, IL, 12 miles west of downtown Chicago and about one-half mile south of the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290) on First Avenue.

View Larger Map

  • Who can I contact if I have more questions?

Please contact our Program Coordinator at or 708-216-1017.



The following comments are from MSMP students about their experiences in the Program.

Amina Basha:
Class of 2013

“The Loyola MSMP Program has been a great experience for me and now I feel more prepared than ever to begin medical school. The small class size allowed the faculty to go out of their way to guide students individually and I learned a lot from 1:1 interactions with my professors. Each class had small group discussions that presented clinically relevant material that we will see in our professional careers. Furthermore, the unique professional development course and staff really helped me prepare in detail for my interviews. Since we were a small group, all the students got to know each other well and we often meet to go to dinner, study sessions, or different new places in Chicago. Overall, I would highly recommend this program for anyone seeking a degree in healthcare.”


Tom Bolig:
Class of 2013

"Choosing the MSMP program is one of the best career decisions that I have made.
I believe that the curriculum is very effective in preparing a future health care professional. For example, the small group sessions are especially helpful because they force the student to think critically and work out scenarios of clinical relevance with his or her peers. The overall small class size is truly an advantage of the program due to its conduciveness to a more interactive learning experience among the faculty and the students. Also, the faculty are extremely knowledgeable and helpful. I learned so much during the two semesters I spent at Loyola, and many opportunities were made available to me because of the MSMP program. I enjoyed my experience at Loyola and would strongly recommend the program to anyone who may be considering it."

Omar Faruque:
Class of 2012

“I really like the MSMP program because the professors and administrators are very supportive. I've learned a lot and am getting a solid foundation for medical school. The small class size is a big plus. Everyone in the program gets along and we work together to succeed in our courses. We've also established a tradition of holding monthly "family dinners" where everyone prepares a dish from a chosen culture and shares it with the others. This is a great time to relax and bond with fellow classmates. I hope future MSMP students will continue on with this tradition.”



Ravi Nakrani:
Class of 2012

“The MSMP program at Loyola has given me many tools and resources to help prepare me for medical school, but more importantly I am taking away renewed enthusiasm about my goals and the new challenges ahead. The program creates an environment similar to their medical school by sharing faculty and curricula content with the medical school, and with the small class size we are better able to take advantage of these resources. This experience has been tremendously valuable and I would recommend it to anyone seeking a professional career in medicine.”



 Miysha Shaw:
Class of 2012

“The MSMP program at Loyola University Chicago has been an excellent experience for me. Being a non-traditional student, I was cautious that I would have difficulty succeeding in advanced-level courses; however, the small class size paired with dedicated and supportive professors ensure that I get a thorough and intense education. The professors present clinically relevant information throughout each lecture, and are driven to ensure students understand the content with full confidence. Additionally, the Loyola faculty members have made themselves available to discuss my personal goals, and have given me resources and guidance to help me reach them. I am very appreciative to be challenged and supported equivocally by the MSMP faculty and Loyola University Chicago. I feel very secure that the program is preparing me for a successful career upon graduation.”


Dinah Thibeault:
Class of 2012

“From day one, I have been impressed not only with how friendly and helpful the professors and staff are, but also with how committed and dedicated my classmates are. I love how targeted the curriculum is to what we will be learning in medical school. Since we have most of the same professors as the medical students, the lectures are tailored to understanding the clinical relevance of the topics covered. In addition, having a small class of people with similar goals creates a focused and supportive atmosphere where I find my desire to pursue medicine constantly renewed.”



Solomon Tong:
Class of 2012

“When I decided to pursue a career in medicine, I needed a transition from my background in business and economics.  The MSMP program has been more than I could have asked for.  The curriculum has supplemented my undergraduate studies with both challenging and valuable classes.  In addition, this program has done an excellent job replicating the culture and environment of medical school.  Most importantly, the caring faculty has been very intentional about helping me get to the next step in my career.”



Marcus Wong:
Class of 2013

“I came to the MSMP Program to strengthen my applications to medical school. The professors are dedicated to helping us succeed, and I am thankful for their invaluable advice through mock interviews, essay critiques, and general discussions about my reapplication process. Our classes are very similar to medical school courses which allowed me to test and demonstrate my academic ability for the rigors of medical school.  The Program also provided me with the opportunity to volunteer at Loyola’s Emergency Department where I was able to apply some of our coursework (e.g. reading EKGs) while interacting with medical students and residents. Overall, I think the biggest advantage of the MSMP Program is that it’s located at an academic medical center, where there are opportunities to seek out interactions with researchers, physicians, administrators, and medical students in preparation for a medical career.”



The MSMP Program has a proven history of our graduates gaining admission into Medical school.  The statistics for our first three classes are completed, and can be seen below. The average admittance to medical school is 98%. Our last two classes have not completed the process (*).







Total number of students






Applied to Med School






Accepted in Med School






























Interviewed at Loyola after the MSMP prgm







Accepted to Loyola












Mean U GPA














Mean GRE






 * Incomplete. Applications in progress.