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    Sep 24, 2023  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Anatomy Education, M.S.

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General Description

      This program provides rigorous academic training for students pursuing academic careers in the teaching and administration of the clinical anatomical sciences in the professional school environment.   This program is organized and implemented by the Anatomy program in the William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine (WCUCOM) under the framework of the William Carey University (WCU) Department of Education.  If successful, the student will be awarded a Master’s Degree from the Department of Education with a Specialist Concentration in Anatomical Education.

      There is a compelling requirement in the medical and osteopathic schools for faculty trained to organize, design, teach, assess and manage modern clinical anatomy curricula supporting undergraduate medical student education.  Clinical anatomy, as a subset of classical anatomy, used here, is defined in terms of its four long-standing sub-disciplines: gross anatomy, neuroanatomy, histology and embryology.   Clinical anatomy extends the knowledge of classical human anatomy (or morphology) into cause-effect relationships observed in patients with abnormalities involving form and functional attributes that deviate from what is considered as normal.

       The program of training described below is designed to provide students interested in the teaching of clinical anatomy at the professional school level as faculty with five basic advantages:

       1)  a solid didactic and practical foundation in the clinical anatomical sciences,

       2) a rigorous foundation for the design and delivery of teaching,

       3) a solid foundation for the recognition of and application of modern technologies amplifying the communication of clinical anatomical concepts

       4) the ability to design anatomical curricula, courses and course components that are integrated knowledge-wise with other basic disciplines as taught during the first two years,        

       5) the design of teaching sequences that provide a solid foundation for the required board licensing examinations.

Curriculum Plan

Preparation for this program in anatomy education is the same as for the WCU MBS first year curriculum.  Thus, it’s assumed that the student has taken Gross Anatomy I and II, Histology, Neuroanatomy, Embryology and Physiology. 

This program calls for four trimesters of instruction and results in a Master of Science degree in Anatomy Education. Students will re-experience all four anatomical sub-disciplines but within the framework of teaching practice.  Thus, given the prior experience in anatomy coursework, the student’s knowledge of anatomy courses (both didactic and laboratory) are covered again, but from an additional aspect—the teaching/learning concepts of anatomy education.  Additional coursework provides a foundation in curriculum modeling and design methods, medical imaging, anatomic pathology, surgical anatomy and digital anatomical visualization and interaction methods, including augmented and virtual reality technologies, that prepares the student for advanced curricular design experiences and teaching execution in the modern anatomy lecture hall and laboratory. 

At the end of the second trimester of the M.S. Program, the student will take a written and practical comprehensive examination.  This examination will include didactic essay and practical questions.  A grade of 80% is required to continue to the last trimester.

An additional program requirement is the systematic accumulation of all work produced by the student during his or her matriculation. 

Each master’s student will choose a scholarly paper topic in anatomy education to be approved by both the anatomy and education faculty in the student’s Master’s committee.  Thus, each student’s scholarly paper will be overseen by one faculty member who will be the chairperson of that student’s committee composed of the anatomy education program faculty.

Finally, during the fourth trimester, students will also be required to take a leading role, with some faculty guidance, in the design and implementation of the summer prosection seminar that prepares finely-dissected male and female specimens for demonstration in the following year’s first-year class.  Additionally, since these expert dissections must be captured in video and images, the participants learn to think in terms of instruction.  The M.S. students will test their knowledge of dissection skills and course management by providing expert guidance to the prosectors.  Each year, this effort results in useful archives of visualized full-body dissections and assists the students in the forthcoming new first-year class.

Each student’s work will be guided by and supported by anatomy and education faculty that form an M.S. committee that must pass on all student results. This committee will also be responsible for the final approval of the scholarly paper and the student portfolio.

Student attendance in all didactic, laboratory, and academic sessions as defined by the anatomy faculty is required, and all absences must be accounted for and satisfy the anatomy faculty by consensus.

Admissions Criteria for the WCU/WCUCOM M.S. Program in Anatomy Education:

           Successful candidates for the M.S. program may come from three sources: 1) successful completion of the WCU MBS Program curriculum; 2) successful completion of the pre-clinical years (one and two) of the WCUCOM osteopathic medicine curriculum; or 3) coursework or degrees in the anatomical sciences from another accredited university like the basic sciences content, including anatomy, of the curriculum of the WCU MBS Program. 

The criteria for admissions include:

1.  hold a baccalaureate degree or higher from an accredited college or university; 

2.  for those candidates entering from the WCU M.B.S. Program:  a minimum of a B (80%) final grade in the M.B.S. first-year curriculum overall AND a minimum of a B average in all anatomy courses taken during this first yea;

3.  for those candidates entering from the WCUCOM osteopathic medical curriculum with the pre-clinical years completed:  a minimum of a B average (80%) final grade in coursework AND a minimum of a B average in all anatomy courses taken;

4.  for those candidates entering from an external academic program with acceptable credits in the anatomy and physiology:  a minimum of a B average (80%) final grade in master’s level coursework overall AND a minimum of a B average in all anatomy courses taken;

5.  complete and file with the graduate education office the application packet for admission to the university. This application must be submitted prior to registering for classes and before the deadline established by the graduate admission office; 

6.  provide official transcripts of all college work completed to date for the registrar and the graduate office. After the applicant is accepted, a supplementary official transcript showing any additional work completed at other institutions is also required;

7.  if applying from outside WCU, GRE examination results (combined verbal and quantitative) of 800 (verbal and quantitative) taken before July 2012, or 290 (verbal and quantitative) taken during or after July 2012;

8.  two written letters of recommendation—one from a professor and one from a supervisor; 

9. a resume or curriculum vita;

10.  complete an interview conducted by the anatomy faculty;  

11. all candidates must be accepted by the anatomy faculty before being admitted to the program; 

12. credit for advanced standing will not be given for any work completed in other programs; and   

13.  meet student physical requirements:  in order to be accepted, each student must be able to use all upper and lower extremities and be capable of fine motor skills.  In the laboratory, standing for four (4) hours at a time is routine.  Additionally, acceptable students must not be allergic to any of the chemicals and fluids routinely use in the anatomy laboratory for preservation and cleaning. 

International Student Admissions

In addition to the admission requirements listed above, the following admission guidelines apply to international students:

International students must meet all general requirements for admission as stated in this catalog and admissions publications.

Proficiency in the English language, both written and spoken, is required.  TOEFL scores may be required.  For registration information for TOEFL, contact

TOEFL Services
Educational Testing Service
P.O. Box 615
Princeton, NJ 08541-6151, U.S.A.
1.817.863.3546 or 609.771.7100

All academic course requirements and minimum GPA requirements must be met.  All course work taken at the foreign institution must be evaluated for American institution equivalence by one of the following services:

American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers

One Dupont Circle, N.W., Suite 520

Washington, DC 20036-1135


Josef Silny and Associates, Inc.

International Education Consultants

7101 SW 102 Avenue

Miami, FL 33173



Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.

P.O. Box 514070

Milwaukee WI 53203-3470


World Education Services, Inc.

P.O. Box 745

Old Chelsea Station

New York, NY 10113-0745


International Education Research Foundation, Inc.

P.O. Box 3665

Culver City, CA 90231-3665




A minimum of one year undergraduate or graduate training should have been completed in the United States prior to consideration for admission to M.S. Anatomy Education professional program.

In addition:

  • International students must have permanent residency status (green card) to be eligible to receive any type of federal financial assistance.
  • International students not having permanent residency status must provide written proof of ability to finance their medical education prior to matriculation.
  • International students seeking to enter a program of study at WCUMBS must obtain an appropriate visa issued by the U.S. government.  WCUMBS is approved to issue a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Form I-20.  Upon receiving the completed Form I-20 from WCUMBS, the prospective student will be able to apply for an F-1 (student) visa.


Graduation Criteria for the M.S. Program in Anatomy Education:

1.  successful completion of all coursework with a minimum grade of ‘B’ (80%) in all courses;

2.  successful completion of the didactic, practical and oral sections of the MS Comprehensive Examination as judged by the M.S. Committee;

3.  successful M.S. Committee appraisal and consensus of the student portfolio;

4.  successful M.S. Committee review and consensus of the scholarly paper; and

5.  successful overall appraisal of each student by the M.S. Committee.

6.  Failure in one course can be remediated using a faculty-designed plan, or the stipulations in the WCU Graduate Catalog will be followed.



Anatomy Program of Study

Program of Study for the M.S. in Anatomy Education degree:

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