M.S. in Physiology and Biophysics (Non-Thesis)

M.S. in Physiology and Biophysics (Non-Thesis)


The Department of Physiology and Biophysics is located in the Health Sciences Center of the University of Louisville which provides our graduate students with an active and intellectually stimulating environment.  Our Graduate Program offers a Master of Science Degree to provide several career options: 1) to develop competence in directed research for advanced technical positions in industry, government, and university medical research laboratories; 2) to prepare students with a good general knowledge of human physiology to enable them to communicate physiological concepts to future students; and 3) to explore the possibility of a future career as an independent scientist in medically-related research.

The typical Master of Science (M.S.) Graduate Program includes a directed research emphasis and consists of thirty (30) semester hours typically over a twelve-month (3 semesters) period to include the following:  21 credit hours of basic medical sciences and at least  9 credit hours of directed physiological research.

Advisor Selection

First Semester Temporary Advisor

The Director of Graduate Studies will meet with the new student to discuss the student's academic and research interests. The Director of Graduate Studies will serve as a Temporary Advisor until a Permanent Advisor is selected.

Selection of Principal Advisor

During the first semester, beginning graduate students will visit research laboratories in which they have an interest.  First-year students must select a Principal Advisor within the first 5 months of their graduate study. The selection process involves approval by the student, the Principal Advisor, the Director of Graduate Studies, and the Department Chair.

Minimum Program Requirements

At least 30 semester hours beyond the Baccalaureate Degree are required for the degree of Master of Science.  A maximum of 6 semester credit hours may be credited from post-baccalaureate work in other professional or graduate degree programs.

Minimum Course Requirements

The typical M.S. Program must include the following courses taken on a grade basis:


  • Systemic Physiology I and II (PHZB 605 (5 CH) and 606 (5 CH)
  • Biochemistry (BIOC 645, 647) or equivalent - 8 CH)
  • Research (PHZB 619 - 9 CH)
  • Seminar (PHZB 617- fall and spring semesters - 2 CH)
  • Experimental Physiology Laboratory (PHZB 625 - 1 CH)

Academic Performance

A student must have at least a 3.0 accumulated GPA exclusive of research credit to be graduated with a degree of Master of Science in Physiology and Biophysics.  In general, a student with a GPA less than 3.0 at the end of the second semester will require a 2/3 majority vote of the Departmental faculty to continue in the Program.  A student may not be graduated with more than 6 CH of “C” grades in their required courses.

Final Examination

The M.S. student will take a Final Examination during the last semester of the M.S. Program.  The Final Examination shall consist of a written and/or oral presentation of accomplished research.  This exam may take the form of an oral presentation of the research experience or a detailed review of a selected topic.

A positive recommendation for the Master of Science Degree shall require a majority vote of the Final Examination Committee (consisting of at least the Principal Advisor who will serve as Chair and two additional members of the Graduate Faculty, one of whom is from outside the Department).  The Committee must have been approved by Director of Graduate Studies, the Department Chair, and the Dean of the School of Medicine (or his designee) prior to the Final Examination. This recommendation shall be made at least one week before graduation.  In the event of an unfavorable vote of the Final Examination Committee, the student may be considered for re-examination only by a recommendation of a 2/3 majority of the Departmental faculty.

How to Apply

The University of Louisville School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies (SIGS) catalog gives a general description of admission procedures.  Application information can be found on the SIGS website (www.graduate.louisville.edu).  The following application items must be submitted to the Graduate School Admissions Office at the University of Louisville.

  1. One official transcript of the applicant's previous work for each college or university that has been previously attended.
  2. Two letters of recommendation from people who are well acquainted with the applicant's previous academic work.
  3. Applicants must forward scores from the Analytical, Verbal and Quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  4. TOEFL Examination scores for foreign students from non-English speaking countries.
  5. A non-returnable application fee to the University of Louisville.
  6. Applicants must state in a letter to the Department but submitted to the SIGS (referred to as the Personal Statement in the application materials), why they desire a M.S. degree in this Department of Physiology and Biophysics.

Admission Requirements

  1. A cumulative undergraduate grade point average that is usually 2.80 or higher on a scale of 4.0 (A=4, B=3, etc.).
  2. A Graduate Record Examination Score which usually averages at the 40th percentile or higher in the verbal, quantitative and analytical sections.
  3. Satisfactory MCAT scores will also be accepted in lieu of the GRE.  In the case of a foreign applicant from a non-English speaking country, the applicant must achieve a TOEFL Examination score of 550 (paper) or 213 (computerized).

Procedures for Determining Admissions

The Department attempts to hold a personal interview with all qualified applicants.  Typically, this interview will be with two to four Department faculty members.  If the applicant cannot come for an interview, then consideration of the application without the interview or, in some cases, a telephone interview will be conducted.

Two committees will manage student admission into the Department Graduate Programs:  the Graduate Program Executive Committee (GPEC) and the Graduate Admission Committee (GAC). The GPEC will recommend students to be interviewed based upon a dossier of information obtained from the Admission Office of the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies (SIGS).  The GAC will conduct student interviews and vote on admission as representatives of the entire faculty of the Department.

Structure of Admission Committees

The GPEC will consist of the Director of Graduate Admissions, the Director of Graduate Studies, and one other Departmental faculty member, all of whom are appointed by the Departmental Chair for staggered five-year terms.

The GAC will be composed of three tenured or tenure-track Department faculty members and members of GPEC, for a total membership of six.  The full-time faculty of the Department will elect the three faculty representatives to GAC for staggered three-year terms.

Functions of the Admission Committees

The GPEC evaluates all requests for admission into the Program.  The Director of Admissions will create a dossier of information on applicants that complete the application process.  This dossier will be derived from PeopleSoft and OnBase databases.  A completed applicant dossier (i.e. all application material indicated in section 1.A., “Application Procedures”) will be submitted to GPEC for evaluation.  The GPEC will determine if the student’s qualifications warrant a Departmental interview.  If a simple majority of GPEC support further consideration of the applicant, interviews will be arranged by the Director of Graduate Admissions.  The applicant will be interviewed by:

  • At least one member of the GPEC
  • The Department Chair or the Chair’s designated representative
  • Two to three members of the GAC.

If the applicant cannot come for an interview, then consideration of the application will proceed without the interview, or in some cases, by telephone interview.The Director of Graduate Admissions will create a summary of the applicants academic background and interview results (i.e., the GPEC Report).  This document and the complete dossier will serve as basis for admission or denial.  The GAC considers the GPEC Report and complete dossier and votes on admissibility of each applicant.  Student admission will require a simple majority recommendation from GAC.  The recommendation of GAC is forwarded to the Director of Graduate Admissions.  Completion of the admission process is accomplished by submission of a Referral Form to SIGS and delivery of the GPEC Report and complete dossier on admitted students to the Departmental Office.  The Referral Form will initiate an acceptance or denial letter to the student. The GPEC Report and the complete dossier becomes the Department File on the admitted student and are transferred to the Director of Graduate Studies.

When an applicant is accepted into the Department Graduate Program, The Department Chair will send a letter of acceptance.  The prospective student must provide a letter indicating their acceptance of admission to the Department Graduate Program.

Jeff C. Falcone, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Director of Departmental Graduate Student Recruitment
(502) 852-5384

Richard W. Stremel, Ph.D.
Director of Departmental Graduate Admissions
(502) 852-5381

Dale A. Schuschke, Ph.D.
Director of Departmental Graduate Studies
(502) 852-7571