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.

Click to read feedback from our MSMP alumni!

  • 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.
  • Applicants must agree to an Illinois State criminal background check. Self-disclosure of these types of issues is in the best interest of applicants. 
  • To apply to the MSMP program, an applicant must be a U.S. citizen, Permanent Resident or DACA recipient.

Application Checklist:

Application to MSMP program

Click here to apply.

 

When applying for the MSMP program, choose the 2018 academic year and Biomedical Sciences. Please 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.

Official Transcripts

Official transcripts from ALL undergraduate and graduate institutions attended.

Personal Statement

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.

 

*If you have already applied to medical school, we welcome you to use your med school personal statement. Please also be sure to include in the statement how many times you have applied and what the outcomes of those applications were. Also, include what you are seeking from the MSMP program.

Two Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of recommendation appropriate for acceptance into a master's degree program. Premed committee letters are acceptable.

Official MCAT or GRE Scores

Official MCAT score of at least 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.

AMCAS/AACOMAS Application

For applicants who have already applied to medical school, we require an official PDF copy of your AMCAS, AACOMAS and/or TMDSAS application.

Comprehensive CV/Resume

Please include detailed accounts of any and all relevant research, volunteer, shadowing and clinical experience. Please state the hours dedicated to each experience. 

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 gradapp@luc.edu

    Graduate and Professional Enrollment Management
    820 N. Michigan Ave.
    Lewis Towers, Suite 1200
    Chicago, IL 60611

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.

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Questions regarding the MSMP Program can be addressed to the Program Coordinator, Margaret Helwich (MSMP@luc.edu 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 (BEHL 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.

Graduation

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
epiedra@luc.edu

Michael Dauzvardis, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medical Education
Basic Human Anatomy
mdauzva@luc.edu

Jonathan Kirk, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Physiology
Function of the Human Body I 
jkirk2@luc.edu

Mark Kuczewski, Ph.D., Professor of Medical Ethics
Clinical Bioethics
mkuczew@luc.edu

Ruben Mestril, PhD, Professor of Physiology
Professional Development
rmestri@luc.edu

Gregory Mignery, Ph.D., Professor of Physiology
Biochemical Physiology
gmigner@luc.edu

Toni Pak, Ph.D., James R. DePauw Professor of Physiology, Chair

Function of the Human Body II 
tpak@luc.edu

Jeanine Wallenga, PhD, Professor of Pathology
Introduction to Human Pathophysiology
jwaleng@luc.edu 

Aleksey Zima, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Physiology
Cell Physiology
azima@luc.edu

Program Costs

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

Mandatory Fees 
Matriculation Fee: $100
Activity Fee: $60/semester
Health Services Fee: $170/semester
Fitness Center: $172/semester
Computer Lab/Technology Fee: $125/semester

Health Insurance
Proof of Health Insurance or $3,095/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 Outcomes' 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, Suite 1200
Chicago, IL 60611

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

Yes, you can email them to gradapp@luc.edu.

  • 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 holistically. 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 www.fafsa.ed.gov 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:

www.fastweb.com (for scholarships) 
www.finaid.org (for scholarships and terms of available loan programs) 
www.ed.gov (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?

Click here to read the comprehensive lists of medical schools our graduates have been accepted and/or attended.

  • 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.


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  • Who can I contact if I have more questions?

Please contact our Program Coordinator, Margaret Helwich, at msmp@luc.edu or 708-216-1017. 

The following comments are from alumni about their experiences in the MSMP program. Click here to read the full list of shared experiences.

 

Leah Krieger, Class of 2018
Michigan State University - College of Human Medicine, Class of 2022
 

"I 100% credit my successful application cycle to the MSMP program. I’d love to share the 3 biggest reasons why. First, the AMCAS application cycle has so many nuances. For example, it’s key to submit your primary and secondaries early. And what exactly is a personal statement? How should you prepare for interviews? The MSMP walks through every aspect of the process, ensuring you start off on the right foot from the second you hit “submit" on your application. Second, the MSMP program has a reputation for producing successful medical students. I didn’t necessarily understand how strong this reputation was until I started interviewing. I had interviewers telling me how much they correlate medical school success with Loyola’s MSMP. It is a rigorous program that is regarded as such, meaning a successful transcript from the MSMP could very well be the difference that earns you an interview invite or an acceptance off of the wait list. Lastly, the MSMP provides an incredible knowledge base. I can’t believe how applicable the material was, often times with only minor differences from the Stritch lectures, and with the same faculty! You are surrounded by faculty who want to help you succeed, and with classmates who are more than happy to support you. It was a fantastic experience. For only a 9-month investment, I truly believe it opened the door to a career in medicine for me."

 

Stephanie Miljkovic, Class of 2018
Creighton University School of Medicine, Class of 2022
 

"Without a doubt, my acceptance to medical school was a consequence of my time in MSMP. Besides their extensive support through the exhausting application process, MSMP opened the doors to so many worthwhile experiences on campus that I find not many masters programs have to offer. From volunteering in Maywood, creating friendships with my own classmates and medical students, and even going on a mission trip with Stritch students and faculty during spring break, I could not have made a better decision for my post-graduate studies. What’s more, the school's mission is exactly the physician I want to embody, someone committed to serving disadvantaged populations and being socially aware of crucial issues surrounding a patient's emotional, physical, and mental well-being. As I would learn on campus, there was always the chance to fulfill this mission during MSMP. Also, I found that the Functions of the Human Body (FHB) course was the best part and most applicable. It was well taught and directly related to my medical school preparation. In just 9 months, MSMP has defined my medical career for the better, and I look forward to its direct application in medical school!"

 

‌Isabela Lorenzo, Class of 2018

"From the close-knit environment to all the opportunities to be involved on Stritch’s campus, I could not have asked for more from an SMP. The small class size was at first a huge change, but I found it’s nice to be surrounded by people you admire and who are also going through the same process. It helped me thrive, and now the friends I’ve made in the MSMP program are some of my closest. Here, you become a real part of the medical learning community. You can take electives like Med Polish or Med Spanish, use campus resources like the Health Sciences library or the Fitness Center, and maybe even witness your first Match Day -- all alongside med students. In the MSMP program, it isn’t just your mentor who looks out for you -- all the faculty do. Study spaces are reserved for students in the CTRE and teachers make themselves available for review sessions or individual questions. Professors have been genuine sources of encouragement, and they will not hesitate to take the time to review a difficult exam with you one-on-one. You can really tell that everyone wants to see you succeed, and cares about your journey to get there. Although demanding, the MSMP program is truly a testament to what you’re capable of as an applicant. Moving forward, I do believe others will feel the same. While there are many things to consider when researching and applying to graduate schools, I think the most important thing a program like this can bring you is a sense of confidence in your own abilities as a future medical student. Ultimately, I am very happy that I came to Loyola, and am very grateful to the MSMP program for providing a support system of faculty and friends I know I can turn to at any time during this journey.“

  
Kevin Grudzinski, Class of 2017
Rush Medical College, Class of 2022
 
"My experience in the MSMP program was everything that I hoped it would be. The curriculum was challenging and required hard work, but, as a result, I developed more effective study techniques and feel confident as I head into my M1 year. I found the small class size to be advantageous for developing relationships with both faculty and classmates. It was comforting to be surrounded in such a supportive learning environment where the faculty and students are rooting for your success. Also, being in small groups provides an immediate resource to help work through the material together. I found being on the medical campus to be a unique advantage for extracurriculars and building relationships with physicians and current medical students. I would recommend this program for anyone looking to challenge themselves academically to prove that they can handle a medical school-like curriculum. You will leave more confident as you head into the application process and, more importantly, as you begin medical school."
 
Amina Basha, Class of 2013

University of Illinois - College of Medicine, Class of 2017

  “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
Wayne State University College of Medicine, Class of 2017
  
  "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." ‌

 

Marcus Wong, Class of 2013
Medical College of Wisconsin, Class of 2017
 

“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.”

 

Miysha Shaw, Class of 2012
Weill Cornell Medicine, Class of 2017
 

“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
Loyola University Chicago - Stritch School of Medicine, Class of 2017
 

“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.”

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 (*).

MSMP

2011-2012

2012-2013

2013-2014

2014-2015*

2015-2016*

Total number of students

13

17

27

31

21

Applied to Med School

12

17

25

29

20*

Accepted in Med School

12

17

25

28*

19*

Percentage

100%

100%

100%

98%*

95%*

Allopathic

9

15

23

25*

17*

Osteopathic

3

1

2

2*

2*

Foreign

1

1

1

2*

0*

Interviewed at Loyola after the MSMP prgm

7

 

6

12

16

7

Accepted to Loyola

6

3

7

6

6*

Percentage

86%

50%

58%

38%

86%

Mean U GPA

3.5

3.6

3.5

3.6

3.5

Mean MCAT

31

31.2

31.9

31.6/

510

30.6/

506.5

Mean GRE

1202

N/A

321.3

N/A

327

 * Incomplete. Applications in progress.

Click here to read the comprehensive lists of medical schools our graduates have been accepted and/or attended.