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Graduate Studies Program

Master of Science Degree in the Basic Sciences

Course study for the Master of Science degree in the Basic Sciences takes place over a 2-3 year period. The residency requirement for a M.S. candidate is one year.

A minimum of 32 credit hours is required for the M.S. degree. The number of required course work credits is between 12 and 18, depending on the Center and 20 credit hours of research. (A Center cannot require more than 18 didactic credits.) Course work is comprised of required and elective courses selected by the student in consultation with a mentor. The required number of credits does not include credits for journal clubs. A course in Ethics will also be required. All students are required to demonstrate competence in the oral and written communication of their research in English. Upon recommendation of a Center or Thesis Committee, students may be required to undertake remedial English training.

In order to qualify for the thesis defense, students must be in good academic standing, with a minimum G.P.A. of 2.5. Full time M.S. students are required to complete all requirements and receive their degree within two to three years - except in extenuating circumstances that are acceptable to the mentor, the Graduate Student Progress Committee, and the Executive Committee.

Appropriate forms for setting up the thesis defense committee, report the results of the student progress meetings, and report the thesis defense results are available to matriculated students in the Graduate Studies Program Office, or may be found on the AMC intranet, in the Academic section for Graduate Studies Program, under forms.

 Students in the M.S. Degree program will select a thesis committee by September 1 of their second year of study. The Thesis Committee consists of the mentor who is the nonvoting chair and three voting members. One member must be from the student's Center and one must be from outside the student's Center. The remaining member may be from either inside or outside of AMC. The Committee is selected by the graduate student, mentor and Center Director; the final committee composition is subject to the approval of the Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies.

The M.S. Thesis Committee will meet twice each year to monitor the student's progress and to fine-tune their research program. At least two months prior to the defense of the Master's thesis, the student must convene a thesis committee meeting for the presentation of the data sets that comprise the thesis. At least two of the three voting members of the student's thesis committee must agree that the data sets are sufficient for the thesis and that no more experiments are necessary. A final target date for the thesis defense will be scheduled at this meeting. The thesis defense will be conducted as described previously for the Ph.D. program except that the public seminar is optional. The evaluation of the M.S. Thesis Defense will be similar to that of the Ph.D. Defense. At least two out of three voting committee members must cast a PASS vote for the thesis defense to be successful.

Master of Science students are subject to dismissal for failure to complete all requirements within three years from the date of matriculation. The mentor and Center Director may petition the Graduate Student Progress Committee and the Executive Committee for an extension based on extenuating circumstances. Periods of time granted as a leave of absence do not apply toward the three-year program completion rule.

Students may also be dismissed for violation of the Student Honor Code of the Graduate Studies Program. All procedures in the Honor Code will be followed. Notification of dismissal for any cause will come from the Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies.

 For complete information on specific requirements for each of the Basic Science Centers go to http://www.amc.edu/Academic/GraduateStudies/index.html or click on each of the following Center weblinks:

Please note: for a student to receive a graduate degree at the annual Commencement Exercises, all requirements must be completed by May 1 of that year. Please see the checklist of degree requirements for details. Graduate students who have satisfactorily completed all requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy or Master of Science degree are recommended to the Board of Trustees of the Albany Medical Center to receive their graduate degrees at the annual Commencement Exercise. Attendance at Commencement is required for all degree candidates.

No later than May 15, the Basic Science M.S. student must complete an exit interview and Clearance Form in the Graduate Studies Program Office before leaving Albany Medical College. The Clearance Form can be downloaded from the AMC Intranet.