Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences

Master of Science (MSc)

Meet Arleigh Dean, MSc candidate in Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences

“The IMS program has been great for me because I didn’t really have a clear idea of what I wanted to do with a degree in medical sciences. I’ve gotten a chance to see several unique research areas, build transferable skills, and learned about how I can apply these skills to my career journey.”

What’s the best advice you could give to someone considering applying to your graduate program?
This program is fairly different than most research-based Master's of Science programs. There’s a bigger emphasis on professional and personal development that really makes it unique. I think it’s a great option for anyone interested in a career in life sciences, whether that’s in research, or industry, or as a clinician.

Where’s your favourite place on campus to work?
I would say my program’s classroom, NatSci 245. It’s reserved for my classmates and me, so I know I’ll always have space. Plus, we have our own kitchen and eatery in there.

Describe your course work.
My program allows me to work on four different projects in the field of cancer research. For my capstone project, I am reviewing scientific literature to make evidence-based suggestions to improve lung cancer screening in Canada. In my basic science rotation, I am creating a communication piece to summarize the translational ovarian cancer research in Dr. Shepherd’s lab. In my community engaged learning rotation, I am working under Dr. Allan to incorporate cancer patient perspectives into oncology education programs at Western. I will also be starting a new project with Dr. Fernandes as part of my clinical science rotation.

What is your “dream” career?
My dream career is one that allows me to make a real difference in reducing the burden of disease on human health. I believe disease is the biggest universal threat to humanity’s well-being, and that medical science is the best defence we have against that threat. I’d love to be able to make changes to improve the overall health care process.

Program Websites

Program Contact

Jennifer Franco (
Program Coordinator

Western University
NSC, Rm. 245
London, Ontario N6A 5C1

t. 519-661-2111 ext. 88945

The Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences is a one-year (3 terms, beginning in May) course-based Master’s program that augments a students’ discipline-specific undergraduate science, biomedical, or health sciences degree with an in-depth, advanced skill set to enhance students’ research literacy. Graduates of the program apply their skills and knowledge in a variety of settings, including graduate and professional education, as well as in different roles in government, not-for-profit, and private sectors.

Instead of traditional courses, content is delivered in sequential intensive interdisciplinary learning blocks using lectures, case studies, and real-world applications that are relevant to current topics in medical science research. In addition to their coursework, students are immersed in experiential rotations, and participate in a continuous seminar series that allows them to connect theory and practice throughout the program.

Existing interdisciplinary research areas at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, such as musculoskeletal health, cancer research, or neuroscience provide a framework within the program for students to learn and apply their breadth of knowledge in the rotations.

Students identify a research area of interest, and in parallel to the interdisciplinary learning blocks, they complete three experiential rotations that align with their chosen field—ideally a clinical, a basic science research, and a community-engaged learning rotation. Students are also expected to implement and maintain an ePortfolio to showcase their learning throughout the program—this milestone element runs in parallel to the course content and experiential rotations.

Program Length

  • 3 Terms

Program Design

  • Full-time study
  • Course-based

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fee schedules (per term) are posted on the Office of the Registrar's website at

Graduate Student Affordability Calculator

Use this helpful tool to estimate how much money you will need to pay for your tuition, fees, housing, food, and other necessities for a 12-month (three term) academic year.

Admission Requirements

  • An undergraduate degree or equivalent in life sciences, biomedical science, health science or a science discipline.
  • A strong academic history with a minimum B+ (78%) or equivalent average achieved during the two most recent years of academic study (some consideration will be given to equivalent work experience on a case-by-case basis).
  • Online application.
  • Unofficial post-secondary institution(s) transcripts. One copy of official/certified transcripts will be required if applicants receives an admissions offer.
  • Professional resumé (two page maximum).
  • A strong level of English proficiency.

English Language Proficiency

Applicants whose first language is not English must furnish evidence of their proficiency in the use of the English language by a satisfactory* achievement within the last two years in one of the following:

  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The minimum acceptable score is 86, with no individual score below 20 for the internet based version; 213 for the standard electronic version; or 550 for the paper and pencil version, although some programs require a higher minimum score. [Western's TOEFL ID is 0984].
  • The International English Language Testing Service Academic (IELTS Academic). The minimum acceptable score is 6 out of 9. The IELTS is offered in 6 test centres in the US and 3 in Canada.

Students who are required to present evidence of proficiency in English must make their own arrangements to write the TOEFL, IELTS and to have the official results sent directly to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies by the testing agency.

Application Deadline

  • December 1 – international applicants
  • January 10 – domestic applicants