M.A. in Biomedical Sciences Admission Requirements

Applicants for admission must meet the following requirements prior to entry into the Master of Arts in Biomedical Sciences program.

  1. Earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  2. The following undergraduate courses must be completed with a grade of C or better prior to matriculation:
    • Biological Sciences – One year with laboratory
    • Physics – One year
    • General or Inorganic Chemistry – One year
    • Organic Chemistry – One year
    • English – One year
      (Laboratories for Physics, General or Inorganic Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry are strongly encouraged for all applicants.)
  3. Minimum GPA required:
    • Overall GPA of 3.0
    • Science GPA of 3.0
  4. While the MCAT is required to obtain admission to medical school, it is not required for admission to the Master of Arts in Biomedical Sciences program; however, students who enter the program having already obtained an MCAT score of 496 or higher have an advantage in that they have already met the MCAT component of the benchmarks and can therefore focus solely on their coursework.
  5. All students are required to meet the Bluefield University Technical Standards for Admission and Continued Enrollment found in the MABS Student Handbook.

Note: Many criteria beyond GPA play a role in the admissions process to this program, and acceptance into the program is competitive. While the Master of Arts in Biomedical Sciences program provides an opportunity for the student to demonstrate improved academic capability, it does not assure admission to a professional school.

Benchmarks & Acceptance to VCOM

Benchmark for VCOM Admissions

GPA MCAT MABS to D.O. Interview Committee
3.75-4.0 496 or above Positive evaluation
3.6-3.74 498 or above Positive evaluation

Meeting the benchmarks in the MABS program can provide a significant advantage for acceptance into the VCOM D.O. program on one of the four VCOM campuses. The MABS program can also eliminate the lag or glide year that is mandatory in most other programs.

The evaluation by the MABS-to-D.O. Interview Committee will require a short interview with the committee to evaluate the applicant’s professionalism and fitness for VCOM.  Input from program faculty, staff, and administration as well as the student’s professionalism throughout the process will also play key roles in the MABS-to-D.O. Committee’s evaluation. The committee is composed of selected MABS faculty and staff plus members from the faculty and administration of each of the VCOM campuses.

Each year a significant number of the students who meet these benchmarks gain acceptance to VCOM. In a typical year, this number approaches 70% of the students who complete the program.  Students who do not obtain the benchmarks often gain acceptance to other D.O. programs, pharmacy programs, podiatry programs, or other healthcare programs.

Benchmarks are reviewed in December, March, and May.  The December review is based upon the Fall MABS GPA and the student’s most recent MCAT score.  If acceptance is granted by the MABS-to-D.O. Interview Committee, a seat will be offered at one of the VCOM campuses for the following academic year, thereby eliminating the lag or glide year required by other similar programs.

The March review is for students who achieved a benchmark GPA in the Fall Semester but lacked the benchmark MCAT score. By taking the January MCAT and improving their score, such students can become eligible for the March review by the MABS-to-D.O. Interview Committee. All seats in the VCOM D.O. program are typically filled by March; therefore, students accepted by the MABS-to-D.O. Admissions Committee in the March review are generally placed on the waitlist at one of the VCOM campuses.  If a student accepted in March does not matriculate from the VCOM waitlist, they will be reviewed again in May by the MABS-to-D.O. Interview Committee and may be offered early admissions to a VCOM campus for the following admissions cycle.

It should be noted that all acceptances from the December and March reviews are considered provisional and contingent upon successfully completing the program, maintaining a 3.60 GPA or higher in the Spring Semester, and maintaining a continued positive recommendation by the MABS-to-D.O. Interview Committee. A student whose grades decline below a 3.6 in the spring semester and/or who has their positive recommendation withdrawn for unprofessional behavior by the MABS-to-D.O. Interview Committee will no longer be offered the position, as the position was offered conditional upon maintaining those benchmarks.

In the event that a student did not meet the benchmarks in December or March, they remain eligible to be reviewed in May.  The May review is based on the student’s cumulative MABS GPA and their most recent MCAT score.  Upon receiving a positive evaluation by the MABS-to-D.O. Interview Committee, such students will be placed on the waitlist at one of the VCOM campuses and they may also be granted early acceptance to VCOM for the following year if they do not matriculate from the waitlist.

Online Distinctions

The GPA and MCAT benchmarks are the same between the on-campus and online programs, but meeting the benchmarks in OMABS earns the student an interview through the standard admissions process at VCOM. Benchmarks are monitored on three occasions toward earning a DO interview:

  • Upon 50% completion of the course work
  • Upon completion of all coursework
  • Three months after completion of all coursework.

The last review will allow OMABS students to take the MCAT after completing the program and have it count toward earning an interview. Students can extend the program over two years and still maintain eligibility to obtain an interview at VCOM via the program benchmarks.

Ready To Apply?

Please note: The MABS application cycle will open on August 12, 2022. The application deadline for this cycle is June 20, 2023. For more information, please email the Admissions Coordinator.

Do I only apply once?

  • No. Students must apply each academic year for the fall semester and submit the necessary documents.

Do I have to take the classes specified in the Associate's Degree tracks as they are listed on the information sheet?

  • No. Students may take any of the courses that are offered in a given term.

Where do I find the textbook listing, and where do I purchase the books?

  • Log in to myBU, and under the "Student" tab, you will find a list of the textbooks required (if any) for each course. Students are responsible for purchasing their own textbooks.

How long is a semester?

  • Our semesters are divided into two 8-week terms.

Is there an orientation?

  • Yes. Students can attend an orientation session that explains how to access courses, how to register for classes, and answers other questions.

Where can I find a course description?

Does the student need to take the SAT or ACT in order to take Dual Enrollment classes?

  • No. If a student decides to study at BU full time, BU is currently test-optional for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle.

Are the classes live? Do students need to log in and participate at certain times?

  • Classes are offered online, so a student can log-on and study at their convenience and their own pace. Students have assignments due each week; you can complete your assignments at any point in time before the deadline.

Does an Early College student need to come to campus for anything?

  • No. However, we would love to have you visit our campus if you are interested in continuing with traditional on-campus study. Students who complete their associate's degree have the option to walk at our commencement ceremony.

Are Early College students able to receive Financial Aid?

  • No. However, Early College courses are very affordable compared to other options. The cost for an online Dual Enrollment course is $100 per credit hour.

How do transferring credits work?

  • Each College or University completes a transcript review in order to decide which courses transfer. Sticking to general education classes generally makes transferring credits simple. All Early College courses at Bluefield University are general education classes that should transfer to another accredited institution.

Is an Early College student considered, and treated, as a transfer student when they become a full-time college student if they have earned enough credits to be a Junior?

  • No. Since they have not graduated from high school, they are considered a first-time college student regardless of how many credits transfer. However, by transferring credits when they enroll as a full-time student, they will have to take fewer classes to receive their bachelor's degree, which shortens the length of time to earn the degree.

Can I speak to someone if I have more questions?

  • Yes. Please contact the Office of Admissions by email or you can call them at 276.326.4231


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