Interdepartmental Medical Science Program
The Interdepartmental Medical Science curriculum requires a full-time commitment to rigorous coursework. Considered a "special master's" program, the Interdepartmental Medical Science program affords students the opportunity to take actual first-year medical school courses.
Six major medical school courses are taken simultaneously with Drexel University College of Medicine first-year classes. These include:
- Medical Biochemistry I and II
- Cell biology & Microanatomy I and II
- Medical Physiology I and II
- Medical Nutrition
- Medical Immunology
- Medical Neuroscience
Interdepartmental Medical Science (IMS) Certificate Program
Grades are based on the performance of the medical school class. A letter grade of "B" on tests, quizzes and assignments signifies the mean grade of the medical school class. Thus, Interdepartmental Medical Science students receiving A's and B's are performing at the top 50% of the medical school class and can therefore present themselves with strong academic credentials before a medical school admissions committee. This permits admissions committees to directly evaluate the student's competence compared with their own first-year medical school class. In addition to the medical school courses, students take a graduate-level medical ethics course each semester.
The medical school lectures are digitally recorded and are transmitted via streaming video on the web to the Sacramento campus. Course conferences and laboratory components for Interdepartmental Medical Science students are held live by the medical school faculty via video conference.
A benefit of the Interdepartmental Medical Science program is that it is a one-year certificate program beginning in August and ending by the end of May. This allows students to apply to medical schools while in the program and matriculate into medical school following completion of the certificate. The tuition associated with the Interdepartmental Medical Science certificate program is less than the tuition for a typical one-year special master's program. Since many students are accepted into medical school after only one year of the program, financing one year of tuition is another significant benefit.
It is not prudent for every student admitted into the Interdepartmental Medical Science program to apply to medical school while attending the program. Some students need two years of strong academic performance, beyond their incoming coursework, prior to applying to become a competitive applicant to medical schools. During the admissions process, admission officers will counsel applicants regarding the benefits of enrolling in the one-year certificate or the two-year special master's program.