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MBS-Scranton and online course descriptions

Core subjects

Biochemistry (4)
This course has been designed to emphasize the key principles related to metabolic biochemistry laying the foundation for potential further study of human biochemistry or other related fields.

Cell Biology (4)
This course will emphasize the basics of cell structure and function; modern investigative techniques used in the cell biology laboratory and have exposure to the practical application of cell biology concepts under normal physiological conditions and disease states.

Human Genetics (4) 
This course introduces students to classical and molecular genetics. The emphasis of this course will center on inherited human disorders and the emerging model of the human genome. Major topics include: Mendelian genetics, cytogenetics, multifactorial inheritance, developmental genetics, epigenetics, RNA biology, cancer genetics and genomics. 

Physiology (4) 
This course will introduce students to the physiological aspects of the human body by using a systems based approach. The course emphasizes broad concepts that form the basic understanding of human physiology and the physiology of each organ system.

Professional Identity Formation for Healthcare Careers (2) 
This course is designed to assist students in developing their professional skills and to engage them in postgraduate career planning. The course will focus on professional identity formation, career planning, interpersonal skill development, and reflection and self-directed lifelong learning.

One degree. Many paths to success.

Admissions Office
Call: 570-504-9068
Text: 570-209-9743

Required courses

Professional School Application Enhancement (Princeton Review) (3)
The Professional School Application Enhancement (Princeton Review) course for preparing to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) or the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) is a proven means of improving your score.

Basic Immunology (2) 
Basic Immunology is intended to provide a fundamental knowledge of the role of the immune response in human health and disease. The tissues, cells and molecules that comprise the immune system will be examined and the principles of the immune response in the context of microbial infection and immunopathogenesis will be studied. Both immunologic and microbial features that influence host-microbe interactions and outcomes of infection will be highlighted. Students will also apply basic immunological principles to develop an understanding of various disease such as autoimmunity and cancer along with the immunotherapeutic approaches used to treat such diseases.

Foundations of Neuroscience (2)
Foundations of Neuroscience serves as an introduction to human neurobiological systems. It will cover fundamentals of neurobiology, including the general structure of the human nervous system, the bases of excitable cells in the nervous system, modes of cell-to-cell communication, distinctions between the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system, sensory and motor systems. Methodology used in the understanding and investigation of the nervous system will be covered as well. The course will be taught through a combination of didactic presentations, podcasts, active learning in the form of team-based learning and topic presentations by student groups.

Introduction to Pharmacology (2)
This course will introduce the student to pharmacology, or the study of how drugs work. Students will learn an approach to the identification and application of essential drug information. Major topics include the principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, pharmacology of the major classes of drugs and specific drugs within the classes. The focus of the course will be on the mechanisms of action for pharmacologic agents, as well as their targets in the body, therapeutic uses and adverse effects.

Epidemiology & Biostatistics (2)
This course provides a broad introduction to the principles and methods of epidemiology and the basics of biostatistics, with particular emphasis on the role of these core disciplines in public health practice and research. In this course, students learn about the basic epidemiological and biostatistical concepts and tools applied in public health practice and population-based research. Students gain the knowledge required to appropriately interpret epidemiological and statistical data, to determine appropriate study design and methods for epidemiological and clinical studies and to critically review the clinical and public health research literature. The influence of socio-demographic characteristics and lifestyle factors on disease risk and mortality are also discussed.


* Course options may depend on quarter


Readings in Basic Sciences
Readings in Basic Sciences focuses on reading and analyzing scientific literature, and developing of scientific communication skills in a student-selected field. These activities are facilitated and guided by a mentor. Students are required to fulfill the following requirements for each course block:

  • Write a scientific report (review) on the researched topic.
  • Provide a lay-language summary in a blog style (i.e., blog post)
  • Produce a three- to five-minute PowerPoint presentation with an audio (animation/video), in lay language.

The informational output could be included in the students’ ePortfolios to showcase their intellectual, scientific interests and ability to acquire, summarize and communicate scientific information. The blog posts and videos could be uploaded on GCSOM-approved social media outlets (e.g., our blog Share@GeisingerCommonwealth, and the GCSOM YouTube channel).The selected research topics and mentors must be approved by the course director of Readings in Basic Science (or the alternative evaluator).

Community Health Research
Community Health Research is an elective course for students enrolled in the Master of Biomedical Sciences (MBS) program. The class will meet once a week for two hours. In this course, students will get the opportunity to learn about community-based research methods. Students will learn about literature review, research proposal writing, survey design, data management and analysis, community engaged research, research ethics, qualitative research, field investigation and presentation skills. Students are also required to complete a group project which involves application of their knowledge of community health and epidemiological research methods in developing a research proposal and conducting secondary analysis of data or original research. At the end of the course, student groups will communicate and present their work in the form of a paper and a scholarly talk.

Cancer Biology 
Cancer Biology prepares students to interpret and critically evaluate cancer research publications through group activities and assignments. Activities include: (a) assessment of the knowledge acquired from the podcasts, (b) clarification and deepening of the concepts introduced by the podcasts and (c) student presentations (summaries) and discussions of research publications in cancer biology. The preparation work for the course will consist of learning the foundational knowledge introduced in the podcasts, reading of primary research papers, drafting of summaries of these reports and critical analyses of the research reports.

Bioethics will serve as a broad introduction to the field of bioethics. In the first part of the course, we will explore the foundations of bioethical theory including: the history of human subjects’ protections, regulatory and ethical frameworks for biomedical research, informed consent theory and application, and selection of fair research subjects and payment. We will then explore major ethical themes that have emerged during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic: vulnerable populations and health disparities, gender and reproduction, research integrity, privacy and individual rights, rationing and allocating scarce health care resources, social justice and working with non-human animals. Methodology used in the analysis and evaluation of contemporary bioethical issues will be emphasized. The course will be taught through a combination of trainings, presentations by speakers such as a physician currently on the front line of the pandemic and podcasts. There will be multiple active learning opportunities such as discussions, polling and team presentations.

This course is designed to introduce students to the microscopic study of tissues and tissue organization of organs in relation to their function using both light and electron microscopy. This course will provide foundational knowledge of structural histology and integrate fundamental anatomy, cell biology and physiology concepts in relation to tissue and organ function. The course will emphasize high yield material essential for further medical/healthcare-related training and certification.

Lab Techniques**
Lab Techniques is a laboratory-based course designed to introduce students to commonly used molecular biology techniques utilized in biological research. Students will utilize critical reason skills to trouble shoot the various techniques needed to successfully amplify DNA, subclone this DNA into a plasmid vector, transform bacteria with the construct and express recombinant protein.

** Offered on-campus only

Integrated Group Learning**
Integrated Group Learning (IGL) is a medical student-created and student-run small group course. Sessions provide clinically-oriented case discussion with the intention to expose pre-medical students to clinical concepts and bridge basic and clinical science in a safe learning space with medical student facilitators. The curriculum employs a flipped-classroom model so that the students are equipped to walk through the clinical scenarios with their medical student counterparts.

** Offered on-campus only