Skip to Main Content
CWRU Links

School of


Master Of Science Degree Programs In Anatomy

M.S. in Anatomy (with thesis - plan A)
M.S. in Applied Anatomy (without thesis - plan B)
Joint M.D./M.S. in Applied Anatomy

Effective May 1, 2015

The Applied Anatomy program is geared toward students seeking a comprehensive education in the anatomical sciences, primarily those wishing to pursue a career in healthcare or education. The rigorous core curriculum integrates traditional aspects of anatomical structure, function, and nomenclature with cell and developmental biology, biochemistry, and cell, tissue, and organ physiology. Elective courses provide flexibility in the curriculum, enabling students to focus their studies on individual interests. The Master of Science in Applied Anatomy serves as excellent preparation for subsequent studies in schools of medicine, dentistry, and nursing. The knowledge of the human body and its physiological processes gained in this program form a solid foundation for physician assistants, physical therapists, dental technicians, and K-12 life sciences teachers.

Minimum Requirements of the School of Graduate Studies:

Cumulative grade point average of 2.75; program of study to be completed within five years.

Plan A Master’s Degree:

  • 30 credit hours of study
  • 18 semester hours of coursework, plus thesis (thesis work equivalent to no fewer than 9 semester hours of registration), or 21 semester hours of coursework, plus thesis (thesis work equivalent to no fewer than 6 semester hours of registration). A minimum of 18 semester hours of coursework, including thesis, must be at the 400 level or above.

Plan B Master’s Degree:

  • 30 credit hours of study
  • No fewer than 18 semester hours of course work at the 400 level;
  • Comprehensive exam administered by the department or program (examination may be written, oral or both); the student must be registered in the Graduate School at the time of the examination, either for a course or for EXAM 600.

Program of Study

The Office of Graduate Studies requires that a proposed course of study be prepared by the student and faculty advisor upon matriculation. The completed Program of Study plan must be submitted (via the Student Information System) for approval to the student’s academic advisor as representative of the Graduate Executive Committee. The Program of Study may be amended at anytime until graduation by submitting an amended plan following the same process.

Leave of Absence

Students are expected to pursue their studies according to a systematic plan coordinated through their academic advisor. Students must maintain continuous registration unless a Leave of Absence (LoA) is requested and granted. Failure to register will trigger separation from the program. A 24-month registration lapse requires reapplication to program.

A Leave of Absence must be requested in writing by submitting the LoA request form to the department, and subsequently to the Dean of Graduate Studies, for approval. A LoA is granted only when circumstances prevent continuation of studies. It is not to exceed two consecutive semesters, has a four-semester maximum, and does not extend implicitly the time (five-year) limitation for completion of the degree requirements. During a LoA the student must not utilize university resources, which includes not seeking aid from faculty, taking exams, or defending theses. A LoA may affect an international student’s visa status.

Students must be enrolled in order to graduate. [Note: The student (not department) must have submitted the Application to Graduate form.]

Transfer of Credit

The CWRU School of Graduate Studies has established guidelines for giving credit for previous experience and knowledge obtained from formal education programs. Transfer of graduate credit from another university toward the master’s degree requirements is limited to six semester hours of graduate-level, biomedical courses taken in excess of degree requirements at that university. No credit for thesis research may be transferred from another university. Transfer of credit is subject to approval by the Graduate Executive Committee and by the Office of Graduate Studies. Transfer of credit can not be used for the required Anatomical Sciences Core Curriculum (ASCC) courses.

The Graduate School distinguishes between a professional degree and a university degree. Courses taken for a professional degree, such as the MD or DDS, do not qualify for credit toward a university degree, such as MS or PhD. Biomedical graduate courses taken by professional students that were beyond the requirements for their professional degree can be considered for transfer of credit. Exceptions to these guidelines exist, provided approval is obtained from the Graduate Executive Committee and the Office of Graduate Studies.


A member of the Graduate Executive Committee of the Department of Anatomy will be assigned as an academic advisor for each incoming student. These faculty members will assist the student in academic matters for the duration of the student’s tenure as a Master of Science in Applied Anatomy student.

Questions? Call us!


Need more information?

Fill out our form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.