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  Academic Programs

Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences

Course Sequence & Descriptions -- Phila Campus

First Year

Foundation Courses

BIOM 501 Molecular Basis of Medicine 7
BIOM 502 The Infectious Process 3
Total Term Credits 10
BIOM 503 Human Anatomy 6
BIOM 504 Histology 4
Total Term Credits 10
BIOM 505 Neurosciences 3
BIOM 506 Medical Pharmacology 3
BIOM 507 Physiology 3
Total Term Credits 9
Total Credits First Year 29

Second Year

Biomedical Research Concentration

TERM 1 (FALL) Credits
BIOM 681 Research Proposal 1
BIOM 690 Research Methods 1
BIOM 691 Thesis Research I 5
Total Term Credits 7
BIOM 682 Journal Club 1
BIOM 692  Thesis Research II 6
Total Term Credits 7
BIOM 683 Manuscript Development 1
BIOM 693 Thesis Research III 6
Total Term Credits 7
TERM 4  
BIOM 685 Thesis Defense 2
BIOM 687 Thesis Submission 1
Total Term Credits 3
Total Credits Required Beyond Certificate for Degree Completion 24
Other schedules may be devised with the thesis advisor and program director.

Forensic Biology Concentration

TERM 1 (FALL) Credits
FMED 500 Pathology for Forensic Medicine 4
Total Term Credits 4
FMED 501 Principles of Forensic Medicine I 6
Total Term Credits 6
FMED 502 Principles of Forensic Medicine II 6
Total Term Credits 6
FMED 508 Capstone Integrated Experience 8
Total Term Credits 8
Total Credits Second Year 24
Forensic Biology Concentration courses start in the Fall.

Organizational Leadership in the Biosciences Concentration can begin in either Summer or Fall.

(T) Turbo class held in an accelerated weekend format.


Biomedical Sciences First Year (Foundation) Courses

BIOM 501 – Molecular Basis of Medicine
7 credits
The course presents fundamental information regarding biochemistry, molecular biology and medical genetics in a way that is highly practical in today’s clinical and/or research setting. This overview course includes discussions of molecular biology and genetics, metabolism and the body’s production and use of energy, and blood-related issues such as blood proteins, lipoproteins and hemostasis.
BIOM 502 – The Infectious Process
3 credits
This course introduces graduate students to fundamental principles of immunology and microbiology. This overview includes discussions of the interplay between the microbial pathogen and the host immune response during the infectious process. Representative microorganisms belonging to each class of pathogen (bacterial, viral, fungal and parasite) are discussed. After the introductory lectures, the focus will be on current topics of interest in infectious disease and public health, including vaccines, cancers with an infectious etiology, and eradication of disease.
BIOM 503 – Human Anatomy
6 credits
A comprehensive consideration of the human anatomy as it relates to function in order to provide the anatomical component of diagnosis and treatment. This course will cover the gross anatomy of all systems in the human body including musculoskeletal, neuronal, lymphatic, respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive, urinary and reproductive with an emphasis on structural relationships and functional correlations to clinical applications. Course objectives include the acquisition of anatomical structural knowledge, and the development of team working, oral presentation and written communication skills as well as the development of critical assessment of biomedical literature. Learning is facilitated through lecture, group study of anatomical dissections, team problem based learning with clinical case presentations and a reflective observation team exercise.
BIOM 504 – Histology
4 credits
Students receive fundamental information regarding the structure and function of cells, how cells are organized into tissues and how tissues are organized into organs. In the histology laboratory students learn to identify cells, tissues and organs through a microscope.
BIOM 505 – Neurosciences
3 credits
This course provides a broad introduction to the basic and clinical neurosciences, including motor function, cerebrovascular blood supply, sensory receptors, higher cortical functions, the limbic system, neurometabolism, and nervous system structure and function.
BIOM 506 – Medical Pharmacology
3 credits
Medical pharmacology presents an introduction to the basic concepts and principles of pharmacology. Specific lectures are presented in the areas of pharmacokinetics, autonomic pharmacology, cardiovascular pharmacology, CNS pharmacology and the control of pain.
BIOM 507 – Physiology
3 credits
This introductory course focused on medical physiology correlates the principles of basic functional mechanisms to practical methods for clinical assessment. Students receive hands-on instruction in methods to evaluate physiological mechanisms in a laboratory setting. Classroom and laboratory instruction are correlated to enhance understanding in the following areas: basic electrophysiology, cardiac, skeletal muscle physiology, gastrointestinal, respiratory, cardiovascular and renal physiology.


Research Concentration Courses

BIOM 681 – Research Thesis Proposal
1 credit
This course introduces the student to literature review, hypothesis generation, and research design. The student will form a partnership with a research mentor and thesis committee. Working with the mentor, the student will develop a written research plan which must be approved by the committee and program director. If the project requires clearance by any regulatory board (IRB, IACUC, etc.) this course will be considered "in progress" and no grade issued till such authorization is secured.

BIOM 682 –Journal Club
1 credit
Students in this course will each give a multimedia presentation that includes appropriate background, methodology, results, interpretations, and conclusions of an original study drawn from the recent peer-reviewed literature. Emphasis is placed on developing skills in critical review and in communicating scientific studies in seminar format.

BIOM 683 – Thesis: Manuscript Development
1 credit
The student will demonstrate mastery of his or her area of research by writing a viable draft of the thesis manuscript comprising abstract, introduction/background, materials and methods, results, discussion, and literature cited. The draft will be submitted to and approved by the thesis committee, who will schedule the thesis defense in conjunction with the program director.
Prerequisites/Corequisites: BIOM 681, 682, 693.

BIOM 685 – Thesis: Defense
2 credits
The candidate will demonstrate mastery of his or her area of research, and biomedical research in general, by delivering a seminar-format presentation open to the faculty and college community. The audience may question the candidate on matters pertaining to the project and related studies. After the public session, the defense will continue with the thesis committee discussing both with the candidate and in private matters that may need to be resolved before the final thesis can be submitted.
Prerequisites/Corequisites: BIOM 683, 693.

BIOM 687 – Thesis Status
1 credit
The candidate will revise the written thesis as required by the thesis committee and library guidelines, secure committee approval, and submit the thesis in its final form to the program director, who will then recommend the candidate for degree conferral. This course will be considered "in progress" and no grade issued until the final thesis is submitted. At the end of each term that the thesis is not submitted, the candidate will develop an action plan in consultation with the thesis committee and program director; additional fees may be incurred.
Prerequisite/Corequisite: BIOM 685.

 BIOM 690 – Research Methods
1 credit
This course introduces students to fundamental concepts of epidemiology and research design in health and disease. Principles of evidence-based medicine are discussed as they relate to key areas of disease prevention, health promotion and therapy discussed. Community-based issues, problems and solutions are addressed. Students who complete the course will be able to understand and apply basic statistical terms and applications as well as various research design models that appear in current medical literature. Students learn to assess the quality of medical literature research designs to study commonly encountered clinical and community issues. Students will learn to describe the relationship between the medical literature and evidence-based medicine. This course is cross listed with PHYA 542.
 BIOM 691 – Thesis Research I
1 – 7 credits
Mentored research leading to the degree of Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences. Students will learn lab techniques and review the relevant literature with the goal of understanding not only the "how" but the "why" of their project. If the project has met all regulatory requirements, data collection may commence. May be taken in one or more terms for up to seven (7) total credits. Includes at minimum one meeting of the full thesis committee per term.
Prerequisite /Corequisite : 681
 BIOM 692 – Thesis Research II
1 – 9 credits
Full-time mentored research leading to the degree of Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences. May be taken in one or more terms for up to nine (9) total credits. Includes at minimum one meeting of the full thesis committee per term.
Prerequisites: BIOM 501, 502, 503, 504, 505, 506, 507, 681, 690, 691.
 BIOM 693 – Thesis Research III
1 – 9 credits
Mentored research that brings the project to a conclusion as approved by the thesis committee, such that it may be presented in written and oral form. May be taken in one or more terms for up to nine (9) total credits. Includes at minimum one meeting of the full thesis committee per term.
Prerequisite: BIOM 692.
BIOM 699 – Thesis Continuation
1 credit
Students who complete 24 credits of Biomedical Research before successfully defending the thesis must register for thesis continuation credit each semester until passing the defense.


Forensic Biology Concentration Courses

FMED 500 – Pathology for Forensic Medicine
4 credits
The course provides a systematic approach to the pathological basis of the principles of forensic medicine. The course begins with an overview of cell injury, death, adaptation, repair and regeneration. It continues with a survey of the dermatological, skeletal, neurological, endocrine, immunological, cardiorespiratory, vascular, gastrointestinal, renal, urological and reproductive systems. Special emphasis is given to conditions of the cardiovascular, cardiorespiratory and central nervous systems that cause death.
FMED 501 – Principles of Forensic Medicine I
6 credits
This course begins with an overview of the field of forensic medicine. This includes discussion of the history of forensic science and medicine. Also discussed are the roles of medical examiners, coroners and non-physician medico-legal death investigators. General principles of crime scene investigation are introduced. Instruction then moves to the science behind forensic medicine. Topics in this section include post-mortem changes, sudden natural death, blunt force injury, sharp-force injury, ballistics and gunshot wounds. Also taught here are asphyxiation, drowning, thermal injuries, electrical injuries and lightning injuries.
Prerequisite: FMED 500
FMED 502 – Principles of Forensic Medicine II
6 credits
This course continues the overview of the field of forensic medicine. Topics covered in this course include forensic study of toxicology, anthropology, odontology, entomology and neuropathology. Students also learn about forensic medicine aspects of motor vehicle accidents, explosions and bombs, bioterrorism and mass fatalities. This course covers use of fingerprinting, trace evidence analysis and DNA analysis in conducting medico-legal investigations. Students will be given an outline of criminal law and considerations in preparing and delivering court testimony. Investigation of special crimes including child abuse, sexual assault, arson and deaths of persons in custody will be discussed as well as techniques for providing grief assistance.
Prerequisite: FMED 501
FMED 508 – Capstone Integrated Experience
8 credits
The Capstone Integrated Experience project is a research project that will involve field experience and/or research in the area of forensic medicine. The objective is to afford students the opportunity to apply the knowledge and the skills they have acquired through their academic coursework in a real life setting in an area of personal interest within the scope of forensic medicine. This project will culminate with a final paper at the conclusion of the experience.

Organizational Leadership in the Biosciences Concentration Courses

ODL 501 – Foundations and Systems of Organizational Development
3 credits
This course is an introduction to the ODL program. It describes the genesis of organization development and how it has evolved over the last 50 years. Students address the importance of using themselves as an instrument of change by creating their own development program that they will use throughout the entire ODL program. The course introduces a consulting model and models of organizational change that can be applied immediately to the student’s work setting.
ODL 504 – Personal and Professional Development
3 credits
This course is an exploration of development from three viewpoints – personal, interpersonal and organization. Students will examine their own preferences, strengths and motivations as well as the role these play in their relationships. They will assist others in meeting career or personal goals through a mentoring relationship. Topics include feedback, career development, personality preferences, motivation, mentoring, creating a development plan and supporting development in an organization.
ODL 506 – Social Factors and Cultural Diversity
3 credits
Culture is the set of shared attitudes, values, goals and practices that characterizes a community. These communities exist around gender, race, color, age, differently-abled, sexual orientation, class, religion, ethnicity and nationality. This course examines differences that characterize people of various communities and what happens when they come together in organizations. The dynamics of social factors and cultural diversity in organizations will be examined through both theoretical literature and pragmatic experience. The course will culminate in the development of strategies for engaging people of various cultures more successfully.
ODL 508 – Leadership for Practitioners
3 credits
This course provides an overview of leadership and organization development practitioner models that effectively lead organizations through the change process. A key focus of the course is to: enhance the reflective practice of the adult learners by integrating organization diagnostic models presented in class; design aligned interventions that enhance individual, relational and organizational health; and coach learners to achieve higher practice performance within their respective organizations.
ODL 510 – Capstone: Action Research Project
3 credits
The Capstone course is taken in the last year of the student’s master’s degree work. Working with the program director as her/his advisor, the student demonstrates her/his competence in leading organizational change. Students write an action research paper from an actual or theoretical practice perspective describing how they would engage in organizational diagnosis to clarify the current organizational or business challenge, design an intervention(s) appropriately aligned with the organization diagnosis, and practice use of self as an instrument of change to achieve the desired individual and organizational results.
ODL 514 – Managing Emotional Systems in the Workplace
3 credits
This course develops the students’ ability to be more effective in leading change in the workplace by increasing their ability to manage their own emotional reactivity and develop an objective perspective on how emotional systems operate. Students discover their own patterns of reactivity and identify how they can diffuse a toxic situation by changing their own behavior.
ODL 516 – Developing Systems Literacy: Organizational Workshop
3 credits
(Turbo Course*)
The organizational workshop focuses on helping people “see” the systematic conditions in which they live and work. It is a day-long group simulation followed by three days of debriefing. This rich learning experience provides an understanding of what is needed to create powerful human systems – systems with outstanding capacity to perform their functions and carry out their mission. This experience and the related frameworks demonstrate what is now understood about systems. They cast a powerful light on organizations.
ODL 517 – Communication Skills for Leaders
3 credits
(Turbo Course*)
This course introduces a comprehensive set of communication skills available to leaders including theoretical background, practical applications and on-camera practice sessions delivering critical messages to diverse audiences. Students will examine core components of messaging and powerful presentations in organizational settings, including media applications. Students will learn how to effectively communicate from organizational and individual settings, including creating an organizational communication plan.
*Turbo class held in an accelerated weekend format
ODL 519 – Strategic Change: Planning for Organizational Success
3 credits
(Turbo Course*)
Change may be inevitable, but organizational response to change is not. Understanding the nature of change pressures on the organization and developing an effective strategy for organizational change is critical to the long term success of that organization. Key change strategies are reviewed and analyzed in detail, providing a diverse “tool kit” of alternative paths-forward for the leader. Students are asked to apply these new alternatives to their own organizational experience and provide new “thought leadership” to existing challenges of change.
ODL 520 – Appreciative Inquiry
3 credits
(Turbo Course*)
Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a method for discovering, understanding and fostering innovation in systems. AI uses incisive questions to gather positive stories and images, leading to the construction of positive possibilities. AI seeks out the very best of “what is” to help ignite the imagination of “what could be.” The aim is to generate knowledge in such a way as to: surface important values, expand the “realm of the possible,” help the system envision a desired future, and encourage the successful translation of these values into practice and these images into reality. One way the principles and practices of AI will come alive is by students applying the methodology to their own growth and development as leaders of change.


Last Updated: 10/13/14