M.A. in Biomedical Sciences FAQ

Below you will find some frequently asked questions about the Master of Arts in Biomedical Sciences program.

Is the MCAT required for acceptance?

No, the MCAT is not required for admission to the program. Many students enter the program having never taken the MCAT. Others enter with a lower MCAT score, and improve their score while enrolled in the program; however, students who enter the program having already obtained the benchmark MCAT score are at a distinct advantage in that they can focus solely on course grades. Therefore, it is strongly advised that students at least attempt the MCAT prior to matriculation into the program.

Is there a MCAT preparation class within the program?

The program does not contain an MCAT preparatory class; however, personalized advice for MCAT study is provided and class schedules are arranged to facilitate MCAT preparation.

I have taken the MCAT multiple times. Which MCAT score do you consider?

Your most recent MCAT is the score that will be counted toward the benchmarks for the program. When the most recent MCAT does not meet the benchmark, but a previous MCAT does, consideration will be given on a case-by-case basis. Scores greater than 3 years old will not be considered.

I have taken the MCAT multiple times and if you pick my highest score in each section over the multiple exams, these numbers add to the benchmark MCAT score. Will this count toward my benchmarks?

What you are describing is known as a composite MCAT score and this does not count toward meeting the MCAT benchmark for the program.

Does the program accept students interested in other health professions, such as pre-dentistry or pre-pharmacy?

While the MABS program is designed for students pursuing a career in medicine, students with interests in other health professions are encouraged to apply.

Are your students accepted into medical programs other than VCOM?

Yes, we routinely have students accepted at other medical schools.

Can I hold a job while in the program?

The program is intense and will require your maximum effort to be successful; therefore, employment during the program is strongly discouraged.

Is an interview required?

An in-person interview is not required. 

My overall or science GPA is below 3.0. Can I still be accepted into the program?

We cannot accept students with lower than a 3.0 overall or science GPA. The average GPA within the program is typically in the 3.2 range.

Do I need to have completed all prerequisites before entering the program?

Yes, this is an absolute requirement and it includes any prerequisite classes taken during the summer in which you enter the program.

how much does the program cost?

Total tuition for the MABS is $28,000.

Is Financial Aid Available?

Yes. Students will need to apply for federal financial aid and can be awarded grants and loans based upon their eligibility. Call BC Central at 276.326.4215 or email to learn more.

Is on-campus housing available?

No. Bluefield College does not have student housing on the VCOM campus; however, there are many apartment units within walking distance to campus and Blacksburg, being a college town, has an abundance of other housing options, as well.

How large is your class?

The program is capped at 120 students per year.

How many applications does the program receive each year?

We expect to receive over 400 applications for the current application cycle.

Can I choose to only take some of the offered classes each semester and extend the MABS to last for two years?

No. Students within the program are required to enroll in all classes and complete the program in a single academic year. One of the goals of the MABS is to mimic a medical school curriculum and this cannot be accomplished without carrying the full class load of the program.

Can I begin classes in the spring semester?

No. All students take the program as a cohort and must begin in the fall semester.

Is the M.A. in Biomedical Sciences program offered at all three VCOM campuses?

No. It is currently only offered at the Virginia campus, but successful students may gain acceptance to the other VCOM campuses.

Do I have a choice of which VCOM campus I attend for medical school?

Students who meet the benchmarks in December will be offered a seat in the D.O. program at one VCOM campus based on the permanent address as given on the original application for the MABS program. Students accepted in the March or May reviews are not guaranteed a specific campus. See Acceptance to the D.O. Program for more information.