Required Courses

MS in Physiology

Twenty (20) of the thirty (30) credits needed to complete the MS in Physiology program are completed through required courses:

  1. PBIO 534  Cellular and Molecular Physiology (4 credits; offered fall) 
  2. PBIO 504   Biostatistics (3 credits; offered fall)
  3. PBIO 501   Fundamentals of Physiology (5 credits; offered fall)
  4. PBIO 907   Physiology Research Paper (2 credits; offered all semesters)
  5. PBIO 569   Neurophysiology (3 credits; offered spring & summer)
  6. PBIO 568   Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology (3 credits; offered spring) or PBIO 603 Graduate Pathophysiology (3 credits; offered summer)

Special note:

  • PBIO 602   Biomedical Career Pathways (1 credit; offered fall)  Students currently applying to or planning to apply to medical school are required to take this course as one of their ten elective credits.


Course Descriptions:

Basic course descriptions are provided below. For the most current course descriptions, please see the Graduate Catalog of courses and select the current academic year.  Additional information (i.e. a syllabus may be provided by the department on the Schedule of Classes - choose Main Campus).

PBIO-534-01 Cell and Molecular Physiology
Faculty: Thomas Sherman
This course covers the principles of biochemistry. The first section examines protein structure/function and enzymology; the middle section focuses on cell signaling, and the final section integrates it all in the context of metabolism. Current concepts regarding physiological processes at the cellular and molecular levels are investigated. This course meets twice a week for two hours in Med-Dent SW107, and has three exams. The primary textbook is Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry.
Credits: 4
Prerequisites: organic chemistry and general biology

PBIO-504-01 Introductory Biostatistics
Faculty: Anca Dragomir
This course is designed for introductory biostatistical theory and application for students pursuing a master's degree in fields outside of the Department of Biostatistics, Bioinformatics, and Biomathematics. Students first learn the four pillars of exploring and displaying data appropriately, exploring relationships between two variables, issues of gathering sample data, and understanding randomness and probability. On these pillars, students then can develop the platform for statistical inference including proportions and means, multiple regression, and ANOVA. 
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None

PBIO-602-02 Biomedical Career Pathways
Faculty: Ryan Downey
This seminar-style course will consist of presentations on study and survival skills for students pursuing biomedical careers and alternative pathways for careers in medicine. Students will attend study skills workshops, interviewing skills workshops, presentations on military medicine, primary care medicine, osteopathic medicine, and complementary and alternative medicine, and presentations on career pathways for specialty and subspecialty medical training. Evaluation of students will be based on participation and homework assignments.
Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None

PBIO-501-01 Fundamentals of Human Physiology
Faculty: Jennifer Whitney, Jagmeet Kanwal, Michael D. Lumpkin, Susan Mulroney, John Partridge, Stefano Vicini
This course is designed to provide students enrolled in graduate programs in biomedical sciences with a basic overview of the function of human body systems. The presentations will include cellular and molecular concepts but the emphasis will be on the integrated regulation among systems. The method of instruction will be mostly lecture.
Credits: 5
Prerequisites: Undergraduate Biology, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physics

PBIO-907-01 Physiology Literature Research
Faculty: Ryan Downey
Students will perform a thorough literature search and prepare a state-of-the-art, critical review paper on a topic of current interest in physiology, under the tutelage of a faculty member.
Credits: 2
Prerequisites: None

PBIO-569-01 Introduction to Neurophysiology
Faculty: Ryan Downey
This graduate course is an introductory neuroscience course that emphasizes the study of the human nervous system as it applies to clinical medicine. Topics include cellular electrophysiology, brain & spinal cord anatomy, peripheral nervous system anatomy, the structure and function of sensory and motor systems, sleep, and cognitive topics such as learning and memory, stress, and reward. Information given in lectures is reinforced using problem-solving workshops and clinical correlates. This course is a requirement for the MS in Physiology program. Prerequisites: PBIO-501 or BMED-604; PBIO-562, 563, 564 and BCHM-565.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: PBIO-501 or BMED-604; PBIO-562, 563, 564 and BCHM-565

PBIO-568-03 Advanced Physiology & Pathophysiology
Faculty: Jennifer Whitney
This graduate course will cover the fundamental mechanisms and the pathophysiologic basis of major human diseases. This course will complement the basic physiological principles covered in BCHB-561, PBIO-562, PBIO-563, PBIO-564 and BCHC-565, as well as PBIO-501 (Fundamentals of Human Physiology), and also feature a forensic component. It is a lecture-based course.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: PBIO-501 or BCHB-561, PBIO-562, PBIO-563, PBIO-564 and BCHC-565