Two students in PPE at a microscope

Master of Science, Health Sciences

Pharmaceutical Sciences


The Master of Science in Health Sciences (MSHS) is an integrated, multidisciplinary program in the life sciences which focuses on health-care and medical research. The design is an intensive pre-medical curriculum delivered over 12 months, followed by a comprehensive examination. 

The program focuses on preparing students who are pursuing a health-care career and trying to secure admission into medical school or other career-matching fields like dentistry, chiropractic medicine, and health-care-related research. The curriculum is similar to the first year of medical school, thereby preparing you for the Medical College Admission Test® (MCAT®) exam or other admission exams and the early years of medical school or other health-care-related programs. 

This program, designed for the development of competitive, well-trained, and socially responsible health science professionals, is being delivered through an academic partnership with Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU). This partnership also includes an expanding health education and medical career networks that this program leverages to maximize your career opportunities. Included in this network are accredited medical schools and other health science-related institutions. 

Ponce Health Sciences University provides access to medical school instructors, technology, medical education material, and consultation. From this collaboration, the program uses an innovative approach to education routed in technology through the use of data analytics.

The program employs a hybrid education model. It includes extensive independent or group study, during which students review prerecorded video lectures from medical experts followed by interactive in-class sessions. The sessions are guided by expert faculty members to reinforce the recorded lectures through classroom polling. The polling provides the professor with real-time data to assist in the delivery of a focused lecture.

Click here to download the program brochure (PDF)

Learn more about Graduate Tuition.

Apply Request Info June 17 Virtual Informational Session

Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree with an overall 3.0 grade point average (GPA) or higher
  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Medical College Admission Test® (MCAT®) may be waived depending on the overall GPA of the bachelor's degree. If the overall GPA is 3.25 or higher the GRE or MCAT® requirement will be waived. If the GPA is below 3.25 the GRE or MCAT will not be waived. If the GRE or MCAT® requirement is not waived, it is recommended that if you have not yet taken the MCAT® that you take the GRE for admission. 
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Official transcripts
  • Course prerequisites (see below)

Required prerequisites

Biology2 semesters each with lab 
Chemistry2 semesters each with lab 
Organic Chemistry2 semesters each with lab 
Physics2 semesters each with lab 
Mathematics6 credits
Psychology/Behavioral Sciences and Social Sciences6 credits

Recommended prerequisites

Biochemistry1 semester


MSHS Program Contact

Ashley T. Martino, Ph.D.

Director, MSHS Program

Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
[email protected]

Department Contact

Vijaya L. Korlipara, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
St. Albert Hall, Room 164
[email protected]


This program is routed in medical education and heavily mirrors the first year of a Liaison Committee on Medical Education-accredited medical school. The mission is to advance you toward multiple health-related pathways that include admission to medical school and other clinical academic programs, medically relevant research, or direct entry into the workforce.

Unique Features/Qualities

The Master of Science in Health Sciences (MSHS) is unique within the New York and tristate area. It offers an alternative pathway toward admission to postbaccalaureate medical professions and health-related research programs. 

The MSHS differs from traditional postbaccalaureate “bridge” programs offered at other local institutions. Our integrated, multidisciplinary program in the life sciences focuses on health management or research and employs a hybrid academic approach centered on technology and a dynamic classroom environment. 

Through the partnership with Ponce Health Sciences University, this pathway toward medical careers is reinforced with health education experts, medical academic resources, and data analytics. Ultimately, this program empowers a cohort of culturally diverse students who are underrepresented in current medical professions and health-related research and offers an innovative solution for increasing diversity within the health sciences—which aligns the program goals with St. John’s mission.

Semester I

Gross Anatomy, Embryology, and Imaging9 credits
Physiology I4 credits
Medical Biochemistry I5 credits
Total18 credits

Semester II

Microbiology and Immunology4 credits
Physiology II4 credits
Medical Biochemistry II5 credits
Neuorscience5 credits
Total18 credits

Semester III

Histology and Cell Biology4 credits
Medical Ethics1 credit
Interprofessional Perspectives on Health Disparities1 credit
Comprehensive Exam 
Total6 credits

Degree Requirements

Credits in Semester Hours:      42
Comprehensive Examination:   Required 

Academic Standing

The MSHS Program requires that a student maintain an average of B (GPA+3.0) or better and receive no more than 2 grades below a B. The PHS Department GEPC reviews all files of students whose grade point average falls below 3.0 or who attain a grade below B in any course and/or demonstrate insufficient progress. One grade below "B" places the student on probation. The second grade below a "B" places the student on terminal probation.