How do I apply to the dual degree program?
You can apply for the dual degree after you have been accepted to your primary professional program. On your student portal, use the transfer application link, which allows you to transfer your health professions application to the Precision Medicine Program for admissions consideration. Additionally, you will be required to submit a personal statement indicating how the Precision Medicine M.S. or PGCert fits into your professional goals. You will see the instructions for the personal statement while making your application.
What degree programs does Midwestern University offer in Precision Medicine?
Midwestern University offers a dual degree Master of Science with an applied genomics capstone project and a Post-Graduate Certificate that can be taken as either a dual degree or as a stand-alone degree (the stand-alone option will be available starting in 2022). Both programs teach students to understand genetics and genomics data, describe how it is created and applied, and demonstrate basic bioinformatic analytical methods. Students will learn to determine what those data mean in practical terms for a patient’s physical and mental health, and utilize their knowledge to determine how that data can best be used to meet the medical needs of individual patients or populations.
I am admitted to a professional program on the Downers Grove, IL campus. Can I apply to a Precision Medicine dual degree program?
Yes. Precision Medicine is a cross-campus program. Current or admitted Midwestern University students on both the Glendale, AZ and Downers Grove, IL campuses may submit their MWU healthcare professional application (using a transfer link in the student portal) to the Precision Medicine Program for admissions consideration.
Can all students apply for admission to either the dual degree Master of Science or the dual degree Post-Graduate Certificate?
No. The Master of Science requires two summer quarters in which the primary program does not have required courses. Therefore, only students in the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Doctor of Dental Medicine, and Doctor of Optometry programs are able to apply for the Master of Science degree. Some of these programs (D.O., D.M.D., and O.D.) utilize the summer prior to matriculation as one of the necessary summer quarters. Students in any Midwestern graduate healthcare program can apply for the dual degree Post-Graduate Certificate.
I am a Midwestern Alum, can I still participate in the Master of Science dual degree option?
Yes, the program will allow professionals who graduated from Midwestern University within the last 10 years to apply to the Master of Science in Precision Medicine and transfer approved dual-credits from their existing professional degree towards the Master of Science degree requirements. However, be aware that the Master of Science has heavy coursework during two summer quarters, which may not be optimal for working professionals. The Post-Graduate Certificate has very similar coursework but is structured such that there are no more than 3 credits required in any quarter, which may be more feasible for individuals who are employed full time.
What is the application deadline?
The application window is open and admission decisions are made on a rolling basis. Applicants are encouraged to apply early but no later than April 1st.
How many credits are the Precision Medicine degrees?
The Master of Science in Precision Medicine degree consists of 46 quarter-credit hours which includes required core and elective coursework, and an applied genomics capstone project. Up to 18 hours of dual credit will be awarded from the students’ primary degree program.
The Post-Graduate Certificate in Precision Medicine is a 22 quarter-credit hour program that includes required core and elective coursework that is very similar to the Master of Science. However, the Post-Graduate Certificate does not require completion of a capstone project and does not include transfer of dual credit courses from the primary program when taken as a dual degree.
What does a typical week’s course load look like for a Master of Science (M.S.) student?
It is estimated that, based on the credit load and online format, each course requires approximately 3 hours of student work per credit hour, per week during a 10-week quarter. This includes reading, virtual lectures, and assignments. M.S. degree students will take most course work during the summer quarters when they are not taking courses in their primary professional program. A typical course load for students in the M.S. program in summer quarter is 8-11 credits, equating to approximately 24-33 hours of course work per week during the summer quarter. For any other quarter, M.S. students will take no more than 3 credits, equating to approximately 9 hours of course work per week during a quarter.
What does a typical week’s course load look like for a Post-Graduate Certificate (PGCert) student?
It is estimated that, based on the credit load and online format, each course requires approximately 3 hours of student work per credit hour, per week during a 10-week quarter. This includes reading, virtual lectures, and assignments. PGCert students will take no more than 3 credits per quarter, equating to approximately 9 hours of course work per week during a quarter.
Do courses in my primary program count toward the Master of Science (M.S.) in Precision Medicine degree?
Yes, the M.S. program is designed to allow the transfer of up to 18 credits of approved courses completed in the primary program. For a list of courses eligible for transfer dual-credit in the M.S. program, see the M.S. in Precision Medicine entry in the Midwestern University course catalog.
Do courses in my primary program count toward the dual degree Post-Graduate Certificate (PGCert) in Precision Medicine Program?
No, the PGCert program does not require and does not allow for transfer credits from the primary program.
As a dual degree student, will I have to take other Master of Science (M.S.) courses during the primary program academic year?
Yes, although the majority of the M.S. coursework is taken during the summer quarters, students should be enrolled in an elective or one required course during other quarters. Refer to the M.S. in Precision Medicine entry in the Midwestern University course catalog for a sample course sequence.
As a dual degree student, will I have to take other Post-Graduate Certificate (PGCert) courses during the primary program academic year?
Yes, students will be enrolled in at least one Precision Medicine course during every quarter. Refer to the PGCert in Precision Medicine entry in the Midwestern University course catalog for a sample course sequence.
Will I be assigned an advisor?
Students in each cohort will be assigned a faculty advisor to assist them with academic concerns, program completion, and the capstone project (for M.S. students). In addition to the faculty advisor, the Program Director, Associate Program Director, College of Graduate Studies Dean, Associate Dean, and the Dean of Students are available to assist students. It is the student’s responsibility to initiate contact with the faculty advisor for assistance.
What is the capstone project completed by M.S. students?
The capstone project provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate competence in basic genome analysis and assessment of genetic risk alleles. Students will make a health-focused assessment of an anonymized human genome and identify gene variants associated directly with genetic diseases or with increased risk for diseases, and then evaluate the consequences of those gene variants. The capstone project culminates in a written report of the findings and a formal presentation of findings to Precision Medicine Program faculty and students.
I have specific questions about the cost of attending with the dual degree option, where can I find more information?
The Office of Student Financial Services can advise on cost of attendance, financial aid options, and other questions related to attendance. Refer to the office’s website for additional information:
Where can I find resources and required textbooks?
The Midwestern University Library offers a variety of resources for students including many e-books. Desk copies of some required textbooks may be available in the reserved section of the libraries on both the Downers Grove, IL and Glendale, AZ campuses. Many of the required textbooks are also available at the library as e-books. Some allow for unlimited users while others are limited to one user at a time. See the Midwestern library website for further details. Course syllabi will indicate if there are required textbooks for a course. Not all courses will have required texts.
What are the computer requirements for the online Master of Science and Post-Graduate Certificate Programs?
Students enrolled in online courses are expected to have consistent access to an updated computer that is connected to reliable internet, installed with a word processing and a presentation program (e.g., Microsoft Office, Mac Pages/Keynote), and equipped with a microphone, speakers, and webcam.
Will I need to purchase my own genomic analysis software?
No. The university will provide access to analysis software and servers that will enable students to perform all of the required data processing and other analysis.