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Anatomical Sciences Program (MA)

Our Master's program will give you a solid foundation in anatomical sciences. You’ll be well prepared to pursue a career or further education.

Our faculty are engaged in cell and developmental biology, bioimaging, and neuroscience, with a strong emphasis on computational approaches that can derive unique insight from complex data sets. While our program focuses on microscopic anatomy and cell biology, we aim to produce scientists with knowledge of biological principles at all levels of scale and who are enabled by proficiency in computational imaging methodologies and data analyses.

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    Choose from the pulldown list the specific program you want to apply to, for example, Anatomical Sciences PhD, Anatomical Sciences MA, or PhD Program in Biomedical Sciences.

Major areas of study:

  • Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Bioimaging
  • Cell Motility
  • Neuroscience

The Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology provides excellent research training opportunities, offering state-of-the-art facilities and research programs in areas such as cell and developmental biology, bioimaging, and neuroscience. In addition, many of the department faculty participate in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Groups in Cell Motility, Biomembranes, and Neuroscience, providing avenues for collaboration with faculty in other University departments as well as at Roswell Park Memorial Institute.

It is the advisor's responsibility to arrange with the student, at the time of entry, a tentative program of study. The program for each student is developed on an individual basis but, in general, comprises interdisciplinary courses, courses in areas relevant to the student's research, and a substantial thesis/project prepared under the supervision of a full time department faculty member and committee selected by the student and faculty advisor. During the first year, most students participate in a laboratory rotation (ANA 575) to gain experience in two or more research areas before deciding upon a research topic. Students are required to take Seminar (ANA 514). Students must attain a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0.

For the Master's degree, a 2-year schedule should be developed. The department considers it the responsibility of each student to devote full time attention to their academic and research activities in the program. At the end of each semester, the Director of Graduate Studies will review, with the graduate faculty, the progress and activites of each graduate student. Any deficiencies or failures to comply with school or departmental policy, as well as any instructions or required actions, will be communicated in writing by the Director of Graduate Studies.

Admissions Requirements

To be accepted as a student in the Master's program, the applicant must have completed a baccalaureate degree. Selection of students for the Master's degree will be based upon review, by the Department Admissions Committee, of undergraduate transcripts, recommending letters, and results of the Graduate Record Examinations (Parts I and II, Natural Sci. or Math). Applicants with professional degrees may substitute standardized test scores appropriate to the student's professional discipline (e.g. MCAT). After completion of the Master's program, students may apply for entrance into the doctoral program.

Academic Requirements

Completion of two of the following:

  1. Gross Anatomy (ANA 500G)
  2. Histology (ANA 503)
  3. Neuroscience (ANA 502G)
  4. Cell Biology (ANA 505, 506)

Only one of the first three courses (ANA 500G, 503, 502G) may be taken in the first year. A grade of "B" or better is required in each course. Students who fail to achieve at least a "B-" or a "C" in one required course have one opportunity to successfully complete remedial work as deemed appropriate by the course coordinator. Students who fail to acheive "Bs" in both required courses will not be afforded remediation and will be dismissed from the program.

Participation in Departmental Seminar (ANA 514) is required each semester.

Completion of additional courses selected by the student and the advisor.

During the second year in the program, after completion of required course work and identification of a research topic or special project, the student should submit the "Application to Candidacy" to the Director of Graduate Studies. This application will be forwarded by the Graduate Director to the Health Sciences Divisional Committee for approval. Appropriate forms are available in the department office.

Research or Special Project

A. Research

1. Completion of a research Master's requires that a written thesis describing experimental work be submitted. The thesis must be submitted to the student's committee at least three weeks before the scheduled defense.

2. The Master's defense will consist of a public seminar presenting the thesis work followed by a final examination on the thesis and previous course work conducted orally by a committee consisting of the student's advisor and at least two other departmental faculty members (to be chosen by the student and advisor). This committee is to be assembled soon after the area of research is decided upon so that the committee can have an active role in advising the student regarding the research.

3. After the research defense, the student must submit two bound copies of the thesis to the Graduate School and one bound copy to the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, arranged in the format required by the Graduate by the Graduate School. The Departmental copy must be submitted before the Graduate School copies are submitted.

B. Special Project

1. Completion of a special project requires that a scholarly written report be submitted. The report must be submitted to the student's committee at least three weeks before the scheduled defense.

2. The Master's defense will consist of a public seminar presenting the project work followed by a final examination on the thesis and previous course work conducted orally by a committee consisting of the student's advisor and at least two other departmental faculty members (to be chosen by the student and advisor). This committee is to be assembled soon after the project area is decided upon so that the committee can have an active role in advising the student regarding the project.

3. After the defense, the student must submit two bound copies of the project report to the Graduate School and one bound copy to the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, arranged in the format required by the Graduate by the Graduate School. The Departmental copy must be submitted before the Graduate School copies are submitted.

Schedule for the Master's Program

Students normally will follow this general schedule:

Year 1 (options/requirements)
(a) Cell Biology I & II
(b) Biochemistry
(c) Departmental Seminar
(d) Rotation or Research

Year 2 (options/requirements)
(e) Departmental Course
(a) Departmental Courses
(b) Departmental Seminar
(c) Research
(d) Elective Courses
(e) Submit "Application to Candidacy"
(f) Completion of research/project and defense

Course Work

Minimum 30 credit hours for MA, including Cell Biology I & II and 2 of the departmental courses in Anatomy; ANA 514, 575; specialty courses.

Examinations

Oral comprehensives.

Dissertation

Thesis or project required of M.A. candidates.

Program Standards

Minimum 3.0 G.P.A. and "B" or better in required courses and satisfactory progress on research project.

Residence Requirement

Minimum 1 year full-time.