Why a Master's Degree in Physiology?

Human physiology programs are growing across the United States as the interest in basic science research, clinical careers and biomedical innovation grows.  Traditionally, physiology is viewed as a pre-medicine major, and rightly so, however student may graduate from a 4-year institution such as the University of Minnesota unaware of the many vocational applications of physiology outside of medical school.  Nationally, 41% of applicants are accepted to US medical schools and 6% of applicants to the University of Minnesota are accepted.  This Plan C program (course work only)  addresses the need for alternative career discernment for those students interested in physiology.  In addition to medical school, there are career opportunities in academic research, industry research, other health professions and teaching.  Our master’s students will be better prepared to choose an appropriate career path.  

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Admissions Requirements

Admission to the IBP Master's program, plan C will depend on the following requirements:

  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree with course work in the biological sciences.
  • An undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English and have not received a degree from an institution in an English speaking country are required to supply proof of English language proficiency.  Here is the Graduate School site for approved methods.

How to Apply

All materials are submitted electronically through the UMN Graduate School application system.

You will need to provide:

  1. A personal statement:  Applicant provides a person statement explaining what influences the decision to pursue a Master's degree.  How does this program align with career goals?
  2. A curriculum vitae or resume.
  3. Two letters of recommendation
  4. Transcripts - unofficial transcripts can be uploaded; official transcripts will be request by the Graduate Admissions Office upon enrollment. (read more)
  5. Scores for English proficiency for international students (read more)
  6. GRE scores are NOT required.
  7. Fall start term only.
  8. Please contact Jane Barnard with any questions about the application process & requirements (mayhe001@umn.edu).

MS Curriculum

Student must complete 30 credits of course work to earn a Plan C (non thesis) master’s degree. The program is designed such that a full-time student can complete the degree in one calendar year (Fall – Spring – Summer Semesters). 

Required courses
  • PHSL 5701 – Cell Physiology
  • PHSL 5061 – Principles of Physiology OR PHSL 5115 – Clinical Physiology I
Elective courses in Physiology
  • PHSL 4021 Advanced Physiology and Bioengineering: Bionic Human 
  • PHSL 4031 Physiology topics: Contemporary Discussions
  • PHSL 5115 Clinical Physiology I
  • PHSL 5116 Clinical Physiology II
  • PHSL 5197 Stress Physiology
  • PHSL 5211 Physiology of Inflammation and Disease
  • PHSL 5221 Systems and computational Physiology                                                                                      
  • PHSL 5444 Muscle
  • PHSL 5510 Advanced Cardiac Anatomy and Physiology (meets first week in January)
  • PHSL 5525 Anatomy and Physiology of Pelvis and Urinary System (Meets second week of January)
  • PHSL 8253 Obesity from molecules to the bedside
  • PHSL4242/8242 Professional Skills for Biomedical Scientists
Examples of elective courses from other departments
  • Biol 4003 Genetics
  • Biol 4004 Cell Biology
  • Biol 4322 Endocrinology
  • Biol 4342 Neuroscience
  • Biol 5701 Science Communication: a Primer for Scientists 2 credits (online)
  • Bioc 4331 Biochem I structure, catalysis metabolism
  • Bioc 4332 Biochem II Signal transduction and gene expression
  • Bioc 6021 Biochemistry
  • Bioc 5216 Current topics in Signal Transduction
  • GCD 5036 Molecular Cell Biology
  • MicB 4131 Immunology (good pre-req for Phsl 5211)

Sample Plan

Sample plan for Master's Plan C in 1 year
Fall Semester (14 credits)
Spring Semester (14 credits)
PHSL 5061 (4)PHSL 5221 (3)
PHSL 5702 (4)BIOC 6021 (3)
BIOl 4003 (3)PHSL 4031 (2)
PHSL 5115 (3)PHSL 5116 (3)
 PHSL 5211 (3)
Summer Semester (4 credits)
BIOC 5701 (2) 
PHSL 4242/8242 (2)