Non-Thesis Track Overview
In addition to the core courses, students on the non-thesis track will perform two quarters (Q2-Q3) of guided research in a team-based laboratory. A list of research courses and information on the track's final deliverable — a written final examination — are included below.
Examples of research topics investigated on the non-thesis track have included:
- The influence of estrogen on Notch signaling in reproductive tissues
- Characterization of vascular defects in placental development in a rat model of preeclampsia
- Investigation of the relationship between the zinc spark and post ovulatory aging in the mouse egg
Reproductive Research Laboratory I
This course is specifically designed to lead students through a hypothesis-driven, discovery-based research project stemming from current research questions in reproductive science, including but not limited to: factors important to reproductive organ development, signaling pathways that inform reproductive organ structure and function, and molecular and cellular pathways implicated in reproductive disease and infertility. Students will be engaged in a laboratory research project conducted in collaborative teams. Teams will be guided through research project design, experimental methodology and techniques, proper data management and analysis and presentation of their scientific work. Experimental techniques utilized in this class will initially be workshopped to train students in protocol application and troubleshooting. To gain a scope for the multi-faceted nature of reproductive science and emerging techniques in experimental execution, this class will explore and utilize specialized facilities that focus on live and fixed specimen imaging and state-of-the-art biological analysis and screening. Techniques utilized may include: molecular and cell biology, cell culture, protein biochemistry, immunohistochemistry and microscopy. REPR_SCI 405, REPR_SCI 407 and REPR_SCI 425 are prerequisites for this course.
Reproductive Research Laboratory II
This course is a continuation of REPR_SCI 442, which is designed to lead students through a hypothesis-driven, discovery-based research project stemming from current research questions in reproductive science, including but not limited to: factors important to reproductive organ development, signaling pathways that inform reproductive organ structure and function, and molecular and cellular pathways implicated in reproductive disease. Students will engage in a laboratory research project, in a collaborative team format, that will continue to reinforce skill sets in research project design, experimental methodology and techniques, proper data management and analysis, and presentation of cumulated work. However, while REPR_SCI 442 is focused primarily on developing foundations in experimental inquiry, design and execution, emphasis in REPR_SCI 443 will shift to advancing data acquisition and analysis, expanding project design directions and enhancing oral and written scientific communication. REPR_SCI 405, REPR_SCI 407, REPR_SCI 425 and REPR_SCI 442 are prerequisites for this course.
Written Final Exam
To earn a Master of Science degree in Reproductive Science & Medicine, the final deliverable for non-thesis track students is successful completion of a final exam. Non-thesis track students will write a proposal on a question or research situation posed by the final examination committee. This proposal is distinct from course related assignments. MS-RSM leadership will appoint a standing final examination committee consisting of CRS faculty to pose questions and evaluate proposals. The final examination committee makes the recommendation to award the MS degree.
Although it is not a formal requirement of the program, many of our current students and graduates publish peer-reviewed papers, articles, book chapters and other scholarly works.