Curriculum and Course Descriptions

Find the Master of Arts in Biomedical Sciences plan of completion below.

Fall Semester

Course Number Class Name Credit Hours
BMS 5012 Health Policy and Social Determinants of Health 3
BMS 5104 Biochemistry 3
BMS 5220 Clinical Prevention and Public Health 3
BMS 5616 Medical Anatomy 3
BMS 5718 Cell Physiology 3
BMS 5719 Neuroscience 2
Fall Total Credit Hours: 17

Spring Semester

Course Number Class Name Credit Hours
BMS 5240 Human Nutrition 3
BMS 5308 Immunology 3
BMS 5410 Histology/Embryology 4
BMS 5512 Field Seminar 2; P/F
BMS 5818 Microbiology 3
BMS 5920 Research and Biostatistics 3
Spring Total Credit Hours: 18

Course Descriptions

BMS 5104 Biochemistry

This course emphasizes biochemical compounds, processes and systems, designed to provide the student with sufficient coverage of biochemical principles to facilitate learning and understanding in other biomedical and clinical science courses studied in a medical school environment to include the following topics:

  1. Protein Structure and Function
  2. Metabolic basis of disease
  3. Macromolecular synthesis (DNA, RNA, Protein, and Lipid)
  4. Energy generation, storage, and retrieval by the body
  5. Use biochemical concepts in the process of clinical problem solving
  6. Correlate biochemical concepts with clinical presentations of (clinical) cases
  7. Develop collegiality through teamwork with other students

BMS 5616 Medical Anatomy

This course focuses on the gross anatomy of the human body with special emphasis on anatomical relationships, form/function relationships and how changes in anatomical forms can lead to disease states. Material is presented in a systems-based format. Surface anatomy, cross-sectional anatomy and various imaging modalities are utilized with laboratories also utilizing plastinated cadaveric material and digital anatomical models.

BMS 5719 Neuroscience

Neuroscience will begin with a foundation of cellular physiology including the topics of membrane physiology, the ionic and molecular basis of resting and action potentials, synaptic transmission, the physiology of neurotransmitters, and post-synaptic response and cellular signaling. This will build to the topics and motor, sensory and cognitive pathways with an emphasis on the associated anatomy and physiology. Finally, organs of special senses and their associated pathways will be discussed. Throughout the course, particular emphasis will be placed on topics of clinical relevance.

BMS 5718 Cell Physiology

This course is designed to provide essential concepts in medical physiology for future career in medicine and medical research. This information will be categorized into seven sections within one semester. Cell and muscle physiology, autonomic and endocrine regulation of body systems, cardiovascular, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, renal, and reproductive physiology will be covered. We will focus on normal physiological function of the major human organ systems and will discuss pathophysiology when it reinforces or highlights a particular physiological mechanism. Various approaches will be utilized including lectures, lecture notes, learning objectives, recommended readings from textbooks and primary sources, large and small group conferences, clinical case examples, and formal self-studies.

BMS 5012 Health Policy and Social Determinants of Health

This three credit hour course provides students an understanding of the components of the United States’ healthcare system and how current and proposed policies may impact the costs, quality and accessibility of health care services. The students will be introduced to how health care is organized, delivered and reimbursed. Topics for discussion will include, but not necessarily limited to the uninsured, health care disparities, health care cost, the role of public health, the health care workforce, prevention. All topics, where applicable, will be discussed in the context of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) and the intended and potential unintended consequences of the legislation.

BMS 5220 Clinical Prevention and Public Health

The content of this course is derived from the Healthy People Curriculum Task Force convened by the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research (APTR). The task force included representatives of seven health professional education associations representing allopathic and osteopathic medicine, nursing and nurse practitioners, dentistry, pharmacy, and physician assistants. All topics within this course fall under the following three framework components as defined by the task force:

  1. Foundations of Population Health
  2. Clinical Preventive Services and Health Promotion
  3. Clinical Practice and Population Health

BMS 5308 Immunology

This course emphasizes the principles and concepts of immunology as they pertain to clinical medicine, with a combination of didactic lectures and case-based and problem-based scenarios. Topics include cells and organs of the immune system, B and T cell development and activation, major histocompatibility complex, antigen processing and presentation, antibody diversity, tolerance, complement, cytokines, inflammation, hypersensitivity, vaccines, autoimmunity and immunodeficiency diseases, and host-pathogen interactions.

BMS 5410 Histology/Embryology

The course will focus on the two sub-disciplines of anatomy not covered in the Fall Semester – histology (microscopic anatomy) and embryology (developmental anatomy). Both disciplines will be covered with emphasis on general principles and concepts as they pertain to clinical medicine, with a combination of didactic lectures and laboratory exercises.

BMS 5512 Field Seminar

Students will choose an international or Appalachian setting and spend 40+ hours interacting with populations who have limited access to basic health care due to remote site location, poverty, or other factors. Students choosing an international experience will participate in a mission trip focusing on health education and prevention among children and/or community health family surveys. Students choosing an Appalachian experience will be involved in public health, adult health education and/or a free clinic. Journal reflections and case study reports will comprise a portion of this course.

BMS 5240 Human Nutrition

This course includes advanced principles of the biochemistry, anatomy and physiology related to nutrition and focuses on the role of nutrition science in an individual’s diet and health. Topics include macro- and micronutrients; digestion, absorption, and metabolism; body composition and weight management; vegetarianism; chronic disease; life cycle nutritional needs; food safety; and environmental issues. An evaluation of personal dietary habits using current dietary guidelines and nutritional assessment methods will also be completed to help students assess their own nutritional health.

BMS 5818 Microbiology

Students will learn the structure, morphology, classification, isolation, identification, physiology, and life cycle of viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. The course will focus on cell biology, genetics, virology, bacteriology, mycology, parasitology, and interactions with mammalian hosts. Examples will be given from medically important organisms with reference to the diseases they cause, their epidemiology and laboratory diagnosis. Minimal detail will be given to the clinical aspect of microbial or parasitic diseases or to the host’s immune response during an infection.

BMS 5920 Research and Biostatistics

Students will learn research techniques and biostatistics routinely used in clinical, biomedical and epidemiological research. Background material on the methods will be presented in lectures, and class will breakup to work in groups for discussion and group report preparation. Data from the international component of the Field Experience will be utilized for analysis and generation of a poster worthy of presentation at a national professional meeting.


Certificate in Teaching Health Sciences

After completing the M.A. in Biomedical Sciences, students can choose to earn a Certificate in Teaching Health Sciences online through Bluefield College’s School of Education as part of the Master of Arts in Education program. Embodying the College's vision of preparing innovative learners and transformational leaders in education to impact the world, the biomedical sciences graduate will expand their skills as teachers in health sciences, by advancing their clinical expertise through teaching practice and by preparing for leadership roles in Academic Medicine and/or Academic Health Sciences.

Course Number Class Name Credit Hours
EDU 5143 Teaching Strategies for Student Learning 3
EDU 5334 Teachers as Leaders 3
EDU 5233 Understanding and Implementation of Curriculum 3
EDU 5213 Assessment and Evaluation for Student Growth 3
EDU 5343 Action Research in Education 3
EDU XXXX Research in Health Sciences 3
EDU XXXX Field Experience in Health Sciences Education 3