The Department of Pathology offers a program for the master of science degree with a major in experimental and molecular pathology. The primary objectives of this program are to provide the necessary theoretical and practical training in experimental pathology that culminates with the master of science degree. Goals of the program are to train students in preparation for senior research staff or senior technician positions in academic or industrial institutes, further MD or PhD study, consultantships requiring multidisciplinary backgrounds or advanced teaching positions in community colleges.
Admissions The prerequisite for applicants to this program in pathology is a bachelor’s degree with an undergraduate major in one of the natural sciences. A minimum GPA of 3.0 in the natural sciences (including mathematics) is usually required. Applicants must achieve a competitive score on the general portions of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). In addition, the department requires at least two letters of recommendation from faculty members who can evaluate the applicant’s potential for graduate work. Demonstrated proficiency in the English language is required. International students whose native language is not English must submit scores from the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) examination. Special circumstances may provide consideration for conditional admission.
Course Requirements At least 34 units of graduate study are required. The required courses include INTD 522 Infection and Host Responses 4 , INTD 531 Cell Biology 4 , INTD 550 Introduction to Pathology 4 , INTD 551 Pathobiology of Disease 4 , INTD 571 Biochemistry 4 , PATH 553 Methods in Cellular and Clinical Pathology 3 , PATH 554 Methods in Molecular Pathology 2 and PATH 570a Seminar in Pathology 1 , PATH 570b Seminar in Pathology 1 . Fourteen or more course units must be taken in the Department of Pathology, 8 units may be pursued outside the department, and a maximum of 8 units of directed research in pathology may be applied to the degree. No more than 4 units of course work taken outside of USC should be applied toward the MS degree requirements. Students considering such an action should submit a petition to the pathology graduate committee and document a rigorous academic standard for the course (reading materials, texts and other performance criteria, lecture content, etc.). The pathology graduate committee reviews the petition and informs the student of its decision.
Master’s Examinations/Master’s Thesis
The Master of Science has the option of either an experiment-based thesis or theory-based thesis course of study. Each student’s program will be tailored to suit individual needs and background. Students who require training mainly in the knowledge of pathology may opt for the theory-based thesis course of study. Students also have an opportunity to register for directed research (PATH 590 ). For the experiment-based thesis option, the student must take PATH 594a Master’s Thesis 2 , PATH 594b Master’s Thesis 2 . For the theory-based thesis option, the student must take GRSC 810 Studies for Master’s Examination during the semester they plan to graduate if not otherwise enrolled.