The Division of Anatomy at The Ohio State University offers graduate studies in anatomy leading to both MS and PhD degrees. 

Master's of Science in Anatomy

A minimum of 30 graduate credit hours are required to earn a Master's degree in Anatomy. There are two master's degree plans: thesis and non-thesis. Students may pursue either plan, subject to the rules of the Graduate Studies Committee. Students may wait until the completion of the first year of study to decide if they will pursue the thesis or non-thesis master's program. Students enrolled in both professional school and graduate school must pursue the thesis plan.

The MS in Anatomy would be appropriate for students who want a graduate degree in anatomy to fulfill a professional need, e.g., physical or occupational therapists, etc. The MS may also be helpful to those students who are undecided about a career in the health professions and want to improve their background knowledge in order to make a more informed decision.

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Anatomy Graduate Curriculum (Thesis and Non-Thesis)

Anatomy Graduate Curriculum (Thesis and Non-Thesis)

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The Doctor of Philosophy degree program in anatomy gives students the opportunity to achieve a high level of scholarly competence and to develop the capacity to contribute to knowledge in the anatomical sciences. A minimum of 80 graduate credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree (or 50 graduate credit hours beyond the master’s degree) is required to earn a doctoral degree in Anatomy. During the course of study, the student has the option to specialize in one or more of the subdisciplines of anatomy. The option is always available to engage in subspecialties outside the department, subject to approval by the Graduate Studies Committee. The PhD prepares the student for a career in academics, governmental or industrial research, science education, and service in planning and regulatory agencies.

Potential Areas of Specialization

Biomedical Research Program

The overall objective of the Division of Anatomy Biomedical Research Program is to provide an educational background for students wishing to become an NIH-funded principal investigator that includes a fundamental understanding of the four major subdisciplines in Anatomy (Gross, Neuro, Histo, & Embryo) in conjunction with a strong background in Molecular and Cellular Biology. This type of integrated program will provide students with the knowledge necessary to understand the anatomic basis of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying normal and abnormal development of all the major organ systems. The Division of Anatomy Biomedical Research Program consists of two distinct tracks, Biomedical Sciences and Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology. Students should discuss with their assigned advisor which track is appropriate for their specific career goals.

PhD Educational Research Track

The educational track for PhD students in the Division of Anatomy prepares students for the rigor of a career in academia with a focus on scholarly work in the area of educational research (e.g., development and evaluation of instructional tools and/or teaching methods).  Students will complete not only courses in the four anatomical subdisciplines (i.e., gross anatomy, histology, embryology, and neuroanatomy), but also in areas such as learning theory, educational research methods, and applied statistics.  The goal of this track is to produce graduates that are experienced anatomical educators and are prepared to successfully develop, execute, and publish high-impact research in the area of educational research. 

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Application Requirements

To apply for the anatomy graduate programs, you need to complete an online application and a brief (1-2 pages) personal statement describing your academic achievements as well as personal and professional goals. All applicants must submit their application to The Ohio State University Graduate School through the Graduate Admissions Office. You need to include an official transcript from each college or university attended, GRE scores (scores from an equivalent national exam may be substituted) and three letters of recommendation.

Successful applicants to the anatomy graduate program typically meet the following criteria:

  • An undergraduate and/or previous graduate GPA of 3.3 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • GRE scores above 50th percentile on the verbal and/or quantitative portions
  • An internet-based TOEFL score of >100, an IELTS score of >80 and/or a MET score of >60, if the applicant is from a region where English is not the first language
  • Previous degree and/or experience in a science or health-related field of study


Applications for fall admission are accepted beginning in mid-to-late August the previous year and should be completed by the following March 15. After receiving the completed application, the Graduate Admissions Office will forward the material to the anatomy GSC. A personal interview with the anatomy GSC may be requested to clarify the applicant's potential for graduate study in anatomy. The GSC will review the applications and decide if any students require an interview. Interviews and typically conducted in late March and early April with notifications soon to follow.

Upon receiving formal notification of acceptance to the anatomy program, the student is requested to inform the Division of Anatomy as to whether or not they accept a place in the program. A response from the student must be received by May 31; otherwise, a place in the incoming graduate class cannot be guaranteed.