Master of Science in Cell & Molecular Physiology - Research Program (MS CaMP)

The Master of Science in Cellular and Molecular Physiology-Research Program is a two-year, research-intensive, thesis-required MS degree that trains students to perform basic research and provides them with the tools to acquire, analyze and integrate the data into a physiological context.  The Department offers opportunities in cardiovascular research, neurosciences, cancer cell biology, metabolism, etc. for students to receive a solid integrated training in basic medical sciences including biochemistry, biophysics, cell biology, molecular biology, stem cell biology, physiology and pathophysiology. 

The MS CaMP program will require two years to complete. The curriculum consists of 30 credits of supervised research and didactic coursework (see tab below). Students are expected to fulfill the general program obligations throughout the entire year and concentrate on research during the summer.

CaMP alumni are qualified to pursue further education in various fields, such as medical school, PhD programs, Patent Law, Physician Assistance programs, etc. Our degree also prepares our students for direct employment as Research Staff (Laboratory Technician, Lab Manager, QC Technician, etc.) either in academic or industry settings.

  • Students with STEM career bachelor’s degrees conferred by the time of matriculation are encouraged to apply.
  • Successful applicants take at least one (but usually two) semesters or the equivalent of the following courses and laboratories (when applicable): Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Biology.
  • Minimum GPA of 3.2
  • Submission of official GRE or MCAT scores. If you don’t have any of these tests you may still apply, just contact to let us know.
  • Two letters of recommendation from individuals with direct knowledge of the student’s academic performance and/or their research experience in a laboratory setting or in silico.
  • Applicants must agree to an Illinois State criminal background check. Self-disclosure of these types of issues is in the best interest of applicants.

The MS CaMP requires 30 semester credit hours and thesis research supervision. The time limit to complete all the work towards the degree is generally two years.    

Total credit requirements for the MS degree are 30, with 16 didactic courses and 14 research credits.  Students will take courses in Molecular Biochemistry (BMSC 410; 4 credits), Cell Biology (BMSC 412; 4 credits), Introduction to Research (PIOL 410; 2 credits), Ethics in Biomedical Sciences (BMSC 405, 1 credit) in the first semester, and Systems Biology (BMSC 414; 3 credits) and Research (PIOL 412, 4 non-didactic credits) for a total of 18 credits during Year 1.  The remainder (12 credits) will be taken in Year 2. These include Methods/Techniques in Physiological Research (PIOL 420, 2 credits), and Research (PIOL 412, 5 credits per semester) and Thesis Supervision (PIOL 595, no credit).  Students will be expected to attend the Departmental Research Seminar series.

The director of the Physiology Graduate Programs will advise first-year students in choosing a lab after completion of the Introduction to Research course. 

Students are required to participate in the Student Journal Club during their time in the program, and also required to participate in all departmental activities, such as research seminars, journal clubs, research retreats and dissertation and thesis defenses. Attendance at these functions is mandatory, and thus the student is expected to schedule research or other activities accordingly. Additionally, students must present one research seminar to the Physiology Department during their time in the program.

Within the first few weeks upon entering the program, and no later than the end of the semester, students will select a preceptor/advisor for their M.S. research. This selection process will be made based on the advice of the Graduate Program Director, the student’s area of research interest and consultation with faculty during the Introduction to Research course. Students will begin limited research work soon after selection of their advisor.

Students will develop their research project with significant guidance from their advisor and will choose two other Graduate Faculty to form their Thesis Committee. Students will formulate a Thesis Proposal and become knowledgeable with appropriate basic background information relevant to their research. During the spring semester of Year 1, students will present and defend the Thesis Proposal to their Thesis Committee, demonstrating adequate factual knowledge and competent understanding of appropriate background information. Upon approval by the committee, students will submit their Thesis Proposal to the Graduate School and proceed with their research. At least two committee members must be primary faculty at the Cell and Molecular Physiology Department. Students should complete their research by February/March of Year 2 to be able to write and defend their thesis by April/May, providing time for revisions to be made by the end of the semester in mid-May or June. All required documents for completing the M.S. degree must be completed before July of Year 2.

Please consult the MS CAMP Handbook for more detailed information.

Program Costs

Information regarding tuition and fees for the Graduate Programs at the Loyola University Medical Center can be found at: Tuition and Fees

The outcomes statistics (current placement) for alumni from our research-intensive MS program are:

  • 46% MD or in medical school
  • 15% University Faculty
  • 8% PA
  • 8% Research Staff in Academia
  • 15% Research Staff in Industry
  • 8% Patent Law

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the difference between this MS and the MSMP?

The MS-CaMP is a thesis-requiring, research-intensive track that will prepare you for a variety of jobs. The MSMP is a special master’s degree focused solely on preparing students to gain entrance into medical school. The following table summarizes the differences between these degrees.  





Demonstrate academic ability by succeeding in a curriculum with challenges similar to year 1 of medical school

Train in Physiological research

Students’ areas of improvement


Volunteering (medical and community)

Medical shadowing


Goals after degree

Acceptance into Medical School

Acceptance into Medical school

PhD, Patent Law , PA

Research Staff (Laboratory Technician, Manager, etc.), Industry work

Alumni Statistics

99% accepted, in, or graduated from medical school

46% MD or in medical school

15% University Faculty

8% PA, 8% Research Staff

15% Industry, 8% Patent Law

Academic training

Curriculum very similar to M1

Graduate MS curriculum

Medical shadowing available?



Community volunteering available?



Medical volunteering available?



Guaranteed interview at Stritch School of Medicine?


(with GPA> 3.6 and

509 MCAT score) 


Professional development available?



MCAT practice exams available



Thesis requirement



Possibility of attendance to scientific meetings, abstract presentations and/or paper publications





  • I think I want to get a PhD, but I am not sure yet. Will this program help me?

Yes, our MS program will not only teach you the basic tools and emerging state-of the art techniques and concepts in physiology, but by performing your research project under the mentoring of one of our faculty members you will experience and learn how to do rigorous research first-hand to decide if a doctoral degree is for you.


  • If I like the research track, can I stay on for my PhD?

Enrolling in our PhD after completion of your MS is an option, however, acceptance into the program is NOT automatic. You will have to apply for our IPBS PhD track for evaluation (specify Physiology as your desired track in the application), and you must have finished all the requirements for the MS degree by the time of enrollment in the PhD program. You will receive credit for the courses you already completed during your MS studies that are required for the Physiology track PhD (all except Introduction to Research).


  •  Are you in the city? 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 or 708-216-1017. 

MS CaMP Students in the Biomedical Sciences will be able to demonstrate ability in:

1. Gaining a general knowledge base in the biomedical sciences
2. Acquisition of deeper knowledge of past and current scientific literature in a more
specific field within physiology (i.e., in the chosen track of study)
3. Ability to form hypotheses, and to design and perform appropriate experiments to test
these hypothesis
4. Acquisition of oral and written communication skills for scientific peers and the
general public.