Which Physiology Program is Right for You?

Our department offers two master’s programs, as well as a partnership program, that culminate in an MS in Physiology for pre-health students interested in studying human physiology at the graduate level to strengthen their preparation and competitiveness for further education in the health sciences.

MS in Physiology 

The “regular” MS in Physiology program is designed for strong pre-health students (average GPA is 3.5) who are pursuing medical school, and is also open to students pursuing other health professions (dentistry, physician assistant, podiatry, etc) or careers in related fields. In a typical year, 80% of our students are pre-medical, 10% are pre-dental, and 10% are pursuing PA school, PhDs in biomedical sciences, or other health-related degrees/careers. Our alumni have been admitted into many different MD, DO, Dental, PA, and PhD programs across the country.

The curriculum consists of medically relevant graduate courses in physiology and biomedical science: required courses provide an advanced science framework, and elective courses, including option for lab research in the spring, allow students to tailor the program to their specific interests. Typical cohort size is 30 full-time students.

The program is generally completed in two terms over a traditional academic year (fall and spring), but the flexible curriculum allows for alternative schedules.  Schedules for part-time students can be made with special arrangements; students interested in part-time study should indicate this on their application.

For the “regular” MS in Physiology, MCAT/DAT/GRE is not required for admission. Recommended minimum GPA is 3.3, required minimum is 3.0. [Exceptions for students with GPAs below 3.0 are only made for those applying through our George Squared partnership who have successfully completed the ABS certificate program.]

See our How to Apply page for full details on eligibility and application requirements.

Special Masters in Physiology (SMP)

The SMP is a 10-month MS program exclusive to students pursuing a career in medicine who need to significantly strengthen their academic credentials for application to medical school. MCAT score is required (recommended 507 or higher), average incoming GPA is 3.2 and students with GPAs below 3.0 can be considered for admission if their MCAT score is in the recommended range.

In addition to graduate courses in the biomedical sciences, students in the SMP take 6 first-year medical courses alongside the GUSOM medical students. Grading in these courses is based on the performance of the medical students: in order to earn a “B” in these courses, SMP students must perform at least as well as the average GUSOM first-year medical student. The SMP is a set curriculum without electives or research option. Typical cohort size is 180 full-time students.

The “Regular” MS Program Compared to the SMP


MS in Physiology

Special Master’s Program

Curriculum Flexibility

10 credits of elective courses

0 elective credits

Research Option

Yes (spring semester)


Schedule Flexibility

Two- or three-term schedules

Fixed 10-month curriculum

Program Size

~30 full-time students

~180 full-time students

Open to all Pre-Health Students


No – Only those pursuing MD/DO

Average Matriculant GPA



MCAT or GRE Required


Yes (MCAT)

Degree Earned

MS in Physiology

MS in Physiology

* International students must complete the program as full-time students within 12 months.

George Squared (G²) Program

The George Squared Program is a joint program offered through a partnership between Georgetown University and George Mason University (GMU).

The first phase of the program, the Advanced Biomedical Sciences (ABS) Certificate at GMU, is a post-baccalaureate graduate-level program designed for individuals interested in careers in the wide variety of health-related professions. The 20-credit program terminates in a graduate certificate and includes optional MCAT/DAT/GRE prep depending on students’ goals.

Through the GeorgeSquared partnership, students who successfully complete the ABS Certificate at GMU can apply to the second phase of the program, the MS in Physiology or MS in Pharmacology at Georgetown. Accepted students can apply their ABS certificate credits toward these MS degrees at Georgetown and earn their MS degree in as little as one semester.

Comparison Chart

To help you decide which program is right for you, we encourage you to explore the website for each program and to speak to each program’s representatives.

1 year, non-thesisMCAT /GRE required for admissionOpen to all pre-health studentsIncludes courses with grading based on med student performanceIncludes a gross anatomy labUndergrad GPA
MS in Physiology (“regular”)XXRecommended min: 3.3
(Required minimum: 3.0)
Special Master’s Program (SMP)XXXXRecommended minimum: 3.0
George Squared ABS CertificateXXXRecommended minimum: 3.0