Medical Sciences – Anatomy (Research Track)

Published: February 21, 2021

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Program Overview

The Medical Sciences – Anatomy (MSA) Research Track is a 2nd-year enrichment internship for students who have excelled in the 1st-year of the UNTHSC Masters of Science in Medical Sciences program.  The MSA internship is designed to expose 2nd-year students to research in the anatomical sciences and is closely aligned with the Structural Anatomy and Rehabilitation Sciences (SARS) graduate program for traditional MS and PhD students.

MSA students complete advanced coursework and undertake independent research leading to the production of an internship practicum report.  Each MSA student works under the guidance of an advisory committee comprised of the student’s primary research advisor (major professor) and two associate committee members.  For the MSA internship, the major professor must be a faculty member in the Center for Anatomical Sciences and/or a member of the SARS graduate faculty.

Major MSA research areas include:
  • Functional Morphology: Studies investigating the structure and function of human and animal anatomy from evolutionary and/or anthropological perspectives.
  • Biomechanics:  Studies investigating musculoskeletal mechanics, movement, physiology, and performance using clinical tools and mathematical modeling.
  • Clinical Anatomy: Studies investigating the structure and variation of human anatomical tissues from a biomedical perspective.
  • Rehabilitation Science: Studies investigating the analysis, design, and development of orthopedic and rehabilitation protocols, techniques, tools, and assistive devices.
  • Education Science: Studies investigating the teaching and learning of anatomy/movement science including the development of novel educational tools, techniques, and assessment strategies.
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Expectations and Opportunities for MSA students

While all MSA students are expected to participate in research and required coursework, the MSA program allows students to personalize their 2nd-year experience through elective courses, teaching and outreach opportunities, and off-campus research experiences.

  • Conduct an independent research study or contribute to an ongoing lab research project.
  • Learn advanced research techniques and apply them to anatomical research.
  • Participate in lab meetings and journal clubs.
  • Present research at RAD conference at UNTHSC.
  • Contribute to publications and/or grant proposals.
Optional opportunities:
  • Take dissection-based (TCOM) anatomy courses.
  • Take advanced anatomy elective courses.
  • Teach in anatomy labs for 1st-year Medical Sciences students (the following year’s class).
  • Participate in science outreach activities for local K-12 students.
  • Present research at regional/national/international conferences.

Recent MSA Graduates


Msa Students 2020 2021


Msa Students 2019 2020

Application and Transfer to Medical Science Research Track

Application for transfer to the MSA internship includes submitting a CV/resume and a completed application form.  Prior to submitting an application, prospective students must first interview with a minimum of three potential major professors. The student will list these faculty in order of preference on their application form. A selection committee will discuss and decide on placement for each student based on the students’ preferences and faculty availability.

Minimum academic requirements for the MSA include:
• A GPA of 3.0 or higher in the 1st-year Medical Sciences curriculum
• A grade of “A” in PHAN 5401 (Gross Anatomy) or PHAN 5301 (Structural Anatomy).