Master's in Medical Physiology

Welcome to the Master's in Medical Physiology (MMP) Program at the Medical College of Wisconsin. This one year program is developed to help improve a college graduate’s academic record for application to medical schools. The program is closely integrated with the first year (M1) medical school curriculum, thereby providing our students with a comparable experience encountered as a medical student, including examinations. Participants may enroll only as full-time students for this 9-month master's degree program. Graduates of this program will have the foundation for medical school, graduate school, and jobs in academia, industry, or government positions.

Why Milwaukee?

Milwaukee is an ethnically and culturally rich city located in southeastern Wisconsin, about 90 minutes from Chicago, IL and Madison, WI. On the shores of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee has something to offer everyone, including the world’s largest music festival (Summerfest), ethnic festivals, professional and collegiate sports, and diverse performing arts scenes. For more information about living in Milwaukee, see our neighborhood guide (PDF).

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  What is the purpose of the Master's Degree Program (MMP) in Medical Physiology?

The Master's in Medical Physiology Program at MCW is a one-year degree-granting program designed to help college graduates strengthen their academic credentials in preparation for application to U.S. medical schools. This program is closely integrated with the first year medical student (M1) curriculum at MCW, thereby providing our students with a comparable experience encountered as a medical student, including examinations. Students are paired with faculty and peer mentors who help guide each student throughout the year toward successful completion of the program. Graduates of this program will have a strong foundation for medical school, graduate school, and jobs in academia, industry, or government positions.

  Who can apply to the program?

Guidelines for admission include an earned baccalaureate degree or equivalent from an accredited institution, an overall GPA of 3.2 or better, an overall GPA in math and science of 3.0 or better. Applicants are recommended to have a minimum MCAT score of 25 or 500 (newest) completed within 18 months of the time of application. No GRE, DAT or other standardized test scores will be required. GRE scores (Verbal >50% and Quantitative >50%) will be considered if scores on the MCAT are not available at the time of application to the program with requirements for GPA scores as indicated above.

  How many students are accepted into the program each year?

The MMP will accept 25-30 students for the 2018-2019 academic year.

  How does the MMP program decide who to accept?

Selection of candidates will be based upon overall undergraduate college performance, letters of recommendation from three individuals (at least two must be from university/college faculty), MCAT scores (or GRE scores if MCAT scores are not available at the time of application), and a written personal statement defining their interest in this program. No personal interviews will be conducted. Rolling admissions (for Fall admission only) will be used to fill the class. Once the class size is reached, qualified students will be placed on a waitlist. If accepted students are subsequently accepted to medical school or decline to matriculate into the MMP, wait-listed applicants will be offered admission until the maximum class size has been reached. Written notice of admission into MMP will be provided solely by the Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at MCW.

  Are interviews a part of the applicant evaluation process for admittance into the program?

No. Acceptance into the Master's in Medical Physiology Program will be based on review of all required written materials submitted by the applicants. Acceptance will only be granted if all required materials are submitted.

  Do I take the same classes as medical students if accepted into the program?

Yes, some of the courses you will complete are courses our first year medical students (M1 students) are required to complete including General Human Physiology, Clinical Human Anatomy, and Molecules to Cell.

  Will I be graded differently than medical students taking the same courses?

Although the MMP students will take the exact same exams with medical students, they will be graded on a letter scale (A, B, C, etc.) in order to derive a cumulative GPA for the program upon completion which can be provided to medical school upon application. However, we will also provide a "virtual rank" for each course taken with the medical students to provide information regarding performance against current medical students.

   Does completing the Master's in Medical Physiology Program guarantee acceptance into medical school?

No. Successful completion of the program does not guarantee acceptance into medical school. However, outstanding performance and completion of the program will allow medical school admissions committees to directly compare your performance with current first year medical students at MCW to better gauge expected performance in their medical school. In addition, successful completion of the program will provide an additional GPA for admissions committees to consider upon application.

  When can I apply to the MMP?

Applications are accepted for Fall 2018 matriculation beginning in October 2017.

  If I decide to pursue a graduate degree (PhD) in Physiology, will the completion of the this program count toward the completion of a PhD in Physiology at MCW?

Yes. Successful completion of the MMP degree requirements can be counted toward completion of some of the degree requirements of the PhD program in Physiology at MCW as long as the grades achieved in each of the common courses are a "B" or better.

  How do I apply to the MMP program?

Applications for Fall 2018 admissions are accepted beginning in October 2017. Submit your online application through the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences online system.

Apply online

  If accepted into the program, when would I begin?

Upon acceptance into this program, orientation will be in mid-August 2018 and classes starting the following week.

  What are the costs of applying to the program? What are the costs of tuition and other associated program costs (books and other fees)?


Both in-state and out-of-state tuition for 2017-2018 will be $42,000. Tuition for 2018-2019 is pending.

  Additional benefits of the MMP Program
  • Clinical Observership opportunity (up to 12 weeks) at VA Hospital in Milwaukee during Spring term.
  • Mock Medical School Admissions Interviews conducted by Physiology faculty members.
  • Full access to Academic Enhancement Sessions and tutoring sessions offered for the M1 courses.

How to Apply

Applications for Fall 2018 admissions are accepted beginning in October 2017.

Submit your online application through the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences online system.

Apply Now

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  Recommendations for application
  • MCAT scores or GRE scores if MCAT scores are not available
    • Minimum of 8 in each MCAT section (old version) or 500 (new version) or GRE scores with Verbal >50% and Quantitative >50% (NOTE: MCAT preferred)
  • Overall undergraduate GPA not less than 3.2
  • Science GPA not less than 3.0
  Documents for submission
  • Official transcripts from previous undergraduate and graduate institutions.
  • Letters of recommendation from three individuals (at least two must be from university/college faculty) along with Admission Recommendation Forms (PDF).
  • MCAT scores (or GRE if MCAT not available)
    • To submit MCAT scores, please include the month and year that the MCAT was taken. To submit your MCAT scores, please send an email to with a copy of the MCAT report that includes the ID number as well as the verification code. After the MCAT report is received, the Graduate School will verify the scores on the MCAT website.
    • To submit GRE scores, arrange for an "official" test score report for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) to be sent directly from ETS to the MCW Graduate School of Biomedical Science. Note our institution code is 1519, and department code is left blank, or enter 0000.
  • Written personal statement describing your educational goals and how this program would help you achieve your goals.
  • Written responses to several short answer questions related to your education, interests, and career goals.
  • Application fee of $50.
  Deadlines for submission

Applications will be accepted until July 1, 2018. However, due to our rolling admission process, we strongly encourage interested applicants to apply early.

  Timeline for review process

We have rolling admissions, so suggest that you apply early to secure a spot in the 2018-2019 class. The class size for the 2018-2019 class will be capped between 25-30 students. Please allow 4-6 weeks for completed applications to be processed and reviewed. No interviews will be required as part of the review and selection process.


MMP | Fall Curriculum

MMP | Spring Curriculum

MMP | Course Key

Required courses for completion of this program

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  Clinical Human Anatomy (with M1 students)

Clinical Human Anatomy will introduce students to the structural and functional aspects of the human body. Students will explore the macroscopic anatomy of organs, regions, planes and spaces through team cadaver dissection and a variety of imaging techniques – such as X-rays, CT and MRI scans – that relate to clinical practice.

  Molecules to Cells (with M1 students)

Molecules to Cells will expose students to the molecular and chemical principles of life, such as those concerned with structure and function of proteins and DNA, metabolism and its control, membrane transport and cellular recognition. This course integrates concepts of biochemistry, medical genetics, human development and cell and tissue biology while exploring the processes that occur as a single fertilized human ovum develops, as well as the variety of congenital abnormalities that may ensue.

  General Human Physiology (with M1 students)

You will gain knowledge of the physiologic processes of cellular organization, membrane, nerve and muscle physiology, the cardiovascular, respiratory and renal systems, the lymphatic, microcirculation, metabolism and temperature regulation, gastrointestinal physiology and the endocrine and reproductive systems. You'll learn to apply the fundamentals of normal physiology in the understanding of pathophysiology and treatment while developing skills as medical professionals.

  Current Topics in Physiology

Students will get a window into current advances and techniques in modern physiological research. Students will be required to attend, and be graded upon attendance at weekly lectures/seminars sponsored by the Department of Physiology, evaluations of each presentation, and attendance and participation in the series of faculty discussion sessions (four or more per semester) with the course director or other Physiology faculty members.

  Fundamentals in Neuroscience

Fundamentals of Neuroscience follows a multidisciplinary approach to current knowledge about the structural and functional properties of the nervous system. The mechanisms of the nervous system are described at the molecular, cellular, systems and complex brain function levels. The course includes lectures, discussion sessions, and seminars. The purpose of this course is to introduce graduate students to the anatomy and function of the human nervous system.

  Physiological Genomics

The course consists of a series of lectures, discussions, and computer exercises, and a practice of writing of a grant proposal. Major topics to be covered include genome sequence, genetic analysis, genome and gene manipulation, epigenetics, high-throughput molecular and phenotypic profiling, bioinformatics, computational biology, and integrated application.

  Special Problems in Physiology

This course will cover a number of physiological topics including hypertension, obesity, cardiorenal diseases and more. The efforts of the class will focus on developing of an understanding of various critical physiological processes and pathophysiological complications. Special attention will be paid to the peer-review process and the development of critical evaluation of manuscripts in different areas of Physiology.

  Ethics and Integrity in Science

This course will cover the basis for understanding the ethical issues related to basic scientific and medical research, including animal and human subject research, fraud and misconduct, and governmental, institutional, and researcher responsibilities.

Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid

Tuition for the 2017-2018 academic year is $42,000. Tuition for 2018-2019 is pending.

  • Application fee $50
  • Graduation fee $50

Additional details are available from the MCW Financial Aid Office.

More Info

Contact Us

Department of Physiology
Medical College of Wisconsin
8701 Watertown Plank Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53226

Mindy Dwinell, PhD
Program Director
(414) 955-4498 |

Matt Hodges, PhD
Program Co-Director
(414) 955-7528 |