New Biosciences Program Welcomes Inaugural Class


Contacts: Sarah Adams, Biomedical Sciences, 515-294-2440
Tracy Ann Raef, Veterinary Communications, 515-294-4602 

November 6, 2013

Director of Graduate Education, Dr. Richard Martin, along with other faculty members had a vision of starting a new program at Iowa State University; a program in biomedical sciences.

"The advances in the science of biomedicine (Biomedical Science) have been dramatic and were undreamt of before,” said Dr. Martin. “Who would have thought of the developments in personalized medicine, cancer treatment and drug discovery that are now possible because of the new genomics techniques."

This year Iowa State University added a new masters program in biomedical sciences. This program only takes one year to complete and doesn’t require a thesis.

“The big sell of our program is that it’s only one year,” said Sarah Adams, biomedical sciences program assistant. “It’s a comprehensive look at the biomedical sciences so you’re taking classes in anatomy, cell biology and a wide array of courses as well as the labs we offer. I would sell the quality of our professors and facilities.”

This program is a perfect fit for students who are interested on continuing to professional schools, getting more experience or those who didn’t get into professional schools the first time applying.

Another option, which hasn’t been very popular this year, is using this program as a stepping-stone to apply for PhD programs.

Students in this program aren’t required to complete a thesis, but instead work on a creative component. They work with a major professor in the department on an area of interest to both the faculty members and student.

Faculty members propose projects they have an interest in or would like to learn more about with their research. Then, let students chose one as their creative component. Students then will put together their findings and present the information to that professor.

“When we were selecting these students we knew it would be rigorous, but we have a great group of students who have really risen to the challenge,” said Adams. “We’re excited to see where next year takes them.”

This inaugural year there were 49 applicants for the program. Admission was given to only 19 of those students.

“We wanted it to be a competitive program and make it very selective,” said Adams. “There was one out-of-state applicant and one international student so there was a heavy emphasis on in-state applicants. “

Students of all backgrounds should apply for the program if interested. The students this year had a range of backgrounds. The major area of study was Biology. The others were biochemistry, chemical engineering, kinesiology, and animal science.

These students are required to take 17 credits in the fall and 15 credits in the spring semester.

“It’s a pretty intensive course load. We had to get an extension from the graduate college to allow them to take 17 credits,” said Adams.

“Looking into next year we are looking to grow,” said Adams. “We would like to see this class size double. We think we can operate 50-60 students, but who knows as you look down the road with online classes. We definitely see ourselves growing.”

Adams gives tours to potential students interested in the program. She always encourages visits where they will meet with her, the program assistant, discuss the cost, requirements, get a program tour and speak with the director of graduate education, Dr. Richard Martin.

“It’s been a really smooth semester,” said Adams. “It’s the first time we’ve ever done this, but things are going well. The students are enjoying themselves. We’re just excited to see where this class goes and what our next class will be. We are definitely excited to grow and see where we go in the future.”

To apply for this program submit an online application, GRE, but MCAT or DAT exam are accepted as well because many students have previously applied to medical schools, three letters of recommendation, and transcript.

There are rolling admissions. Applications are accepted through April 15, 2014. As soon as a student applies he or she will be notified within two to three weeks regarding their application.

More information can be found here:



Written by Margarita Landeros, senior majoring in Journalism and Sociology at Iowa State University.