Program in Biomarkers & Diagnostics

Professional Science Masters Program In Biomarkers and Diagnostics

The Professional Science Master provides students advanced training in science without a Ph.D., and highly-valued business skills without an MBA. PSMs prepare students for science careers in business, government, or nonprofit organizations, where workforce needs are increasing. Programs are characterized by “science-plus,” combining rigorous study in science or mathematics with skills-based coursework in management, policy, or law. Our students have a “real-world” internship in a business or public sector enterprise, instead of the more typical thesis. 

Applicants to the PSM degree with a concentration in  Biomarkers and Diagnostics must meet the following requirements, in addition to those of the UTHSC Graduate School:

1. Earned bachelor’s degree or earned graduate degree from an accredited college or university. Applicants with a degree in progress will, of course, be considered.

2. GPA of 3.0 or above (on a four-point scale) GPA of 2.5 or above may apply for provisional acceptance that would change to Regular (non-probationary) status, if their first term graduate coursework has a GPA of 3.0 or above. 

3. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required of all applicants.  With the new GRE scoring system, scores above the 50th percentile are recommended.  In the old system, scores of 1100 (combined Verbal and Quantitative scores) and 4.0 (Analytical Writing Test) for Ph.D. applicants and 1050/4.0 for M.S. applicants are recommended.  

4. Official transcripts for undergraduate and any graduate education.

5. Three letters of recommendation from college faculty or research supervisors

6. Statement of Purpose

7. Resume

8. Completed online application form, at, and accompanying application fee (or waiver) *

9. International students also will need to provide scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), (as of Fall 2014, the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is no longer accepted), unless they have already received a degree from a U.S. institution.  Scores above the 50th percentile are recommended.

Previous research experience is considered, but not required.  Students can begin at the start of any term, though Fall entry is recommended.  Admissions are made on a rolling basis until the class is filled. There is no fixed deadline. 

* Students who have already applied to the Program can check their application status online at this link  If a student's application is incomplete, this site will indicate which documents are missing.

Information for International Students can be found here:


1) During the first semester, students will be required to meet with Dr. Keith Crist to identify specific areas of interest and make contact with sponsoring companies.  Selection of an internship project should be completed early in the second semester.

REQUIRED FORMS for current Graduate Students: (click form name to access)

1)  Plan of Study for the Professional Science Master's Degree form is required to be submitted BEFORE the student completes 12 credit hours (during the Fall 1 term).

Students are likely to have diverse backgrounds, the curriculum is designed to give all students a foundation appropriate to entry into a pharmaceutical research program.
Click here for PDF version of PSM curriculum schedule


BIPG5100       Fundamentals of BPG     3cr
Introduces the student to the powerful tools developed to access and analyze biological sequence and structural information. The topics include sequence databases, sequence comparisons, database searches, phylogenetic analysis, protein structure, proteomics, RNA structure prediction, gene prediction and identification, genetic analysis of disease, and microarray studies of gene expression.

BIPG5200        Statistical Methods in BPG     3cr
This course introduces students to statistical methods commonly used in bioinformatics. Students will learn to use statistical programs and related bioinformatics resources locally and on the Internet. Lectures and lab discussions will emphasize the statistical models and methods underlying the computational tools.

BMSP6340      CPRA in Genes     2.5 cr  
Introduction to major areas of current research in genetics and molecular biology. Topics include gene structure and regulation, DNA replication, recombination, repair, mutation, and quantitative genetics.

INDI6020       On Being a Scientist     1 cr  
A series of one-hour lectures dealing with the ethics, regulations, and issues facing a modern, biomedical research scientist.

--EITHER--  HURM6720    Advanced Negotiation & Conflict Resolution     3 cr  NOT OFFERED FOR FALL 2015
Equips students to make more effective decisions in employee relations. Course emphasis is on active analysis of employee-employer relationships in terms of procedures, costs and ramifications to both organizations and people.

--OR--         HURM6700   Human Resources Management     3 cr   
A survey of the functions and current trends in human resources management. Special emphasis on research methods, tools and techniques for in-depth understanding of problems and challenges faced by medium-sized firms.

--EITHER--  MGMT6150   Leading and Developing Yourself     3 cr  
Explores how one's own leadership competencies can be developed and applied most effectively in a variety of situations.  

--OR--         MGMT6160   Leading with Power & Influence     3 cr  
Students will develop and understanding of the strategic use of power and influence to exercise leadership in organizations. Skill development in the diagnosis and practical use of power and influence to mobilize action, to negotiate, and to resolve conflicts will be emphasized.

TOTAL FALL:  15.5cr


BMSP6350     CPRA in Cell Biology and Signaling     3 cr 
Content of this course will encompass didactic lectures on current knowledge and methodological approaches in the area of fundamental cellular processes and cell communication.

HURM6730   Performance Management     3 cr  
This course is designed to provide practical working knowledge of the processes of setting expectations, monitoring performance, coaching and developing employees, and assessing and rewarding good performance in rapidly changing organizations.

BIPG6100      Introduction to Bioinformatic Computation     3 cr  
Content will provide basic programming skills to biological and medical students who may lack a background in computer sciences. Programming will be specifically taught using important biological examples, focusing in particular on the PERL language. Students will be made familiar with UNIX environments, including Linux and OSX.

BRIM6200     Biomarker Discovery, Validation and Implementation     3 cr 
A survey course to explore the clinical need and methodological approaches to biomarker development and validation. Unit 2 will consider biomarker use for diagnostics and treatment in individualized medicine.



BIDI5200     Readings in Biomarkers     3 cr  (DL/ONLINE)
In-depth analysis of original scientific papers/seminars in the fields of biomarkers, bioinformatics,proteomics and genomics for the development of critical analysis and scientific communication skills.

BIDI5100      Internship     6 cr (Done in place of thesis)
Supervised full time work experience in Biomarker discovery and validation in a pharmaceutical oriented company. Builds upon didactic course work.



Education Director
Biomarkers & Diagnostics Program
Keith A Crist, Ph.D.
Phone:  419-383-3992

Last Updated: 11/25/15