The Master of Science in Pathology provides comprehensive training in understanding the molecular basis of disease and the fundamental mechanisms of cell growth and differentiation. It prepares the student for either a career in advanced academia or lays the base for continued terminal education. It may also lead to teaching positions at the secondary or junior college level.

The application process is an online process. Application to this graduate program is facilitated through the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences (IGPBS). Detailed instructions on how to apply and the application deadlines are posted on the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences website

Admission requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution documented by submission of official transcript indicating the degree has been conferred before entering the program. Official transcripts from institutions attended post-baccalaureate are also required.
    Students with degrees from outside the U.S. may be subject to transcript evaluation indicating the degree is equivalent to a U.S. degree and meets the minimum cumulative GPA requirements.
  • A cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the bachelor’s degree.
  • Applicants who are not native speakers of English, whether domestic or international, must demonstrate they meet the Minimum English Proficiency Requirement.
  • A background check is required during the admission process; it may affect the student's eligibility to enter the program.
  • An official copy of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score sent from Educational Testing Service (ETS) to University of Kansas Medical Center - ETS institutional code 6895.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Prerequisite coursework:
    • One year of general chemistry
    • One year of organic chemistry or one semester of organic chemistry and one semester of biochemistry
    • One year of biological sciences
    • One semester of calculus
    • One semester of physics
  • Research experience (beyond labs associated with lecture courses) is strongly suggested.
  • Interview - the most qualified applicants will receive an invitation for an interview.

Applicants will be assessed based on a combination of GPA, research experience, interview and GRE scores. Students not meeting the above requirements may be eligible for provisional admission.  After an applicant has been admitted, a program may defer an applicant's admission for one year after which time the applicant must submit a new application.

Admission requirements are subject to change. In most cases, use the catalog of the year student entered the program. Other years’ catalogs».

Degree requirements:

  • Degree requirements are normally completed within 3 years of admission to the degree program although a maximum of 7 years is allowed.
  • Cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of at least a 3.0 for all KU graduate coursework.
  • Completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours.
  • Participation in faculty advisory committee meetings starting after 12 months in the program. Meetings at six-month intervals are recommended and required every 12 months with greater frequency as the student nears his/her thesis defense.
  • Enrollment in a minimum of one (1) credit hour of PATH 899 Master's Thesis the semester the student will defend and graduate.
  • Successful completion of a thesis defense. The thesis defense may be undertaken after the student has completed all requisite and elective coursework and has met the University’s minimum credit hour requirement. The examination consists of both a final written submission of the student’s research project and related oral presentation. It should reflect the student's current fund of knowledge, research skills and ability to progress in an industrial or education venue which may include pursuance of a terminal degree. It may be undertaken only after the student’s advisory committee has approved the student’s project and recommended the defense. The student is required to submit a final project for approval to his or her mentor, thesis defense examination committee and director of Pathology's graduate program a minimum of four weeks in advance of the examination; only when the student has successfully completed this stage will the request for examination be submitted to Graduate Studies for approval to defend (must be at least three weeks in advance of the examination).
  • Successful thesis submission and publication (according to Office of Graduate Studies policy.)
  • Successful completion of the following Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Science (IGPBS) courses (or their equivalent):
    GSMC 850Proteins and Metabolism2
    GSMC 851Molecular Genetics2
    GSMC 852Introduction to Biomedical Research I2
    GSMC 853Cellular Structure2
    GSMC 854Cell Communication2
    GSMC 855Introduction to Biomedical Research II2
    GSMC 856Introduction to Research Ethics1
    GSMC 857Biographics1
    GSMC 858Introduction to Faculty Research1
    GSMC 859Research Rotations1-4
  • Successful completion of the following Pathology courses:
    PATH 804Selected Topics in Signal Transduction1
    PATH 805Seminars in Pathology1
    PATH 890Research in Pathology
    PATH 899Master's Thesis1-7
  • Successful completion of a minimum of one course (1-3 hours) of advanced graduate coursework in fields related to molecular and cellular biology and experimental pathology (student may pursue more coursework at discretion of schedule and approval of mentor). Specific courses determined in consultation with the student’s mentor. Recommended courses include but are not limited to:
    Pathology courses (6-8)
    PATH 803Stem Cell Biology (Offered by Pathology)2
    PATH 806Epigenetics2
    PATH 912Advanced Topics1-3
    PATH 913Introduction to Grant Proposal Writing1
    Other Department courses (13)
    ANAT 868Advanced Developmental Biology (Courses from other departments)2
    BCHM 922Advanced Molecular Genetics3
    CBIO 900Carcinogenesis and Cancer Biology3
    PHSL 834Reproductive Physiology5

Degree requirements and course descriptions are subject to change. Any courses taken as an equivalent must be approved by the Graduate Director and the Office of Graduate Studies. In most cases, use the catalog of the year student entered the program.  Other years’ catalogs».


Typical Plan of Study

Year 1
GSMC 8502GSMC 8532GSMC 8591-4
GSMC 8512GSMC 8542May take an elective course from the student's chosen degree program in consultation with the student's advisor.1-3
GSMC 8522GSMC 8552 
GSMC 8561GSMC 8591-4 
GSMC 8571  
GSMC 8581  
GSMC 8591-4  
 10-13 7-10 2-7
Total Hours: 19-30
Year 2
PATH 804 (required)1PATH 805 (required)1PATH 890 (required)1-10
PATH 890 (required)1-10PATH 890 (required)1-10PATH 912 (elective)1-3
 3-14 3-14 2-13
Year 3
PATH 804 (required)1PATH 805 (required)1 
PATH 899 or 890 (required)1-6PATH 899 (required)1-6 
Electives (if requirement not met during second year)1-3  
Thesis defense scheduled semester approved by committee to graduate. Enroll in PATH 899 semester defend thesis.   
 3-10 2-7 
Total Hours: 13-58