About the MS in Integrative Anatomical Sciences Program

The Master of Science (MS) degree is awarded for demonstrated competence in the anatomical sciences. This is a 12-month program that begins with intensive training in human gross anatomy in the summer term. Students must complete a minimum of 32 units of graduate-level courses (500 or higher) beyond the baccalaureate degree and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Core Courses

Students complete 24 units of core courses in the anatomical sciences.

Elective Courses

Students complete 8 units of electives, which may be chosen from the list below or pursued in other USC departments with approval from the IAS MS Program Director.

Goals of the program are to train students in preparation for:

    1. Teaching positions in the core anatomical sciences (gross anatomy, histology, neuroanatomy). Instructors in the anatomical sciences contribute to teaching at medical and dental schools, in allied health programs (nursing, physical and occupational therapy, physician assistants, dental hygiene), and in pre-health undergraduate majors at colleges and universities. In recent years, the number of faculty trained to teach in these subject areas has steadily decreased. As a result, finding qualified individuals capable to teach in the anatomical sciences increasingly has become problematic. The IAS master’s program in human anatomical sciences is advantageously poised to address this problem.
    2. Research positions and further doctoral training in functional and evolutionary morphology. While the anatomical sciences are among the oldest (and most fundamental) of the biological and medical sciences, the modern incarnation of morphology is a relatively young and fast-moving field of endeavor. Modern areas of focus in morphology include: mapping the anatomical biodiversity of the planet; understanding the relationships between form (e.g., skeleton) and function (i.e., locomotion; mastication) in living animals; reconstructing the behavior, performance and life history of extinct organisms; elucidating the origin of major groups of animals (including our own branch of the evolutionary tree); and investigating the fundamental properties of biomaterials (e.g., bone). The movement towards quantitative methods in the anatomical sciences and integration of new disciplines to morphology research also has made this field of endeavor more translational. For example, synthetic material design, robotics, aeronautics, cinema, graphic arts, conservation biology and other fields now make consistent use of the data generated by morphologists.

If you have an interest in our program, please click below to apply.


Kristi Lewton, PhD

Kristi Lewton, PhD
Director of MS in Integrative Anatomical Sciences

  1. Graduate Program Information Request Form

    Please provide us your contact information if you would like to receive additional information about our graduate programs.

Download the program details