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All UMMS Students

Academic Support Services

Academic counseling Tutoring         Test-taking

Our goal is to help all learners in the School of Medicine, Graduate School of Nursing, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and Graduate Medical Education achieve the most comprehensive and meaningful educational experience possible.  We encourage you to access the resources of the Center for Academic Achievement.

The CAA is made up of the Center for Academic Achievement, as well as Academic Enrichment Programs which work together in order to provide comprehensive services to students, residents, and fellows.  Students seen for academic enrichment may be encouraged to receive clinical enrichment services and vice versa.


Clinical students, residents, and fellows should contact Tracy Kedian, or Lisa Shay for the following concerns:

  • Clinical skills related to working on the wards
  • Clinical interviewing
  • Clinical problem solving and decision making
  • Patient communication
  • Patient oral presentation
  • Patient notes
  • Performance on OSCEs
  • CCE shelf exam performance
  • Step 2 CS, Step 2 CK, Step 3, COMLEX, NP, In-Training exams, or Board Certification exams- if concerns relate to clinical problem solving or fund of knowledge
  • Clinical Skills Electives
  • Independent Study Courses
  • Study skills as related to clinical work


Pre-clinical students should contact Christine Woolf, Director of Academic Enrichment Programs for the following concerns:

  • Performance in courses
  • Test taking skills
  • Study skills
  • Time management
  • Error analysis of exams
  • Memorization
  • Organization
  • Reading comprehension
  • Note taking
  • Step 1, NCLEX, and MCAT preparation
  • Step 2 CK, Step 2 CS, Step 3, COMLEX, NP exams, In-Service Training exams, and Board Certification exams- if concerns relate to developing a study schedule or developing more efficient and effective ways to study

How we operate

We generally begin by meeting with the client in order to develop a needs assessment which lays the groundwork for the collaborative development of an individualized educational plan. We decide together how often to meet and how to proceed. Sometimes a few sessions is all that is needed and at other times a one month Clinical Skills Elective is chosen.

For more information about the Center for Academic Achievement, please go here.

Appropriate Treatment of Learners

The University of Massachusetts Medical School (“UMMS”) is committed to providing a supportive and respectful learning environment that fosters mutual trust and understanding between learners and the educational community.  Accordingly, UMMS has developed an Appropriate Treatment of Learners (“ATL”) policy to address concerns regarding the inappropriate treatment of learners by a member of the educational community. When the ATL standards are upheld, the educational environment supports optimal teaching, learning and professional development of learners. The Diversity and Inclusion Office (DIO) is responsible for the ongoing oversight and periodic review of this policy.

The ATL policy defines some behaviors that represent inappropriate treatment of learners.  It also describes the procedure for reporting complaints and the follow-up of such allegations.  UMMS is committed to conducting investigations thoroughly, promptly and impartially.  All students should expect to be treated with respect, and to learn and work in a safe environment. All individuals who interact with students are expected to behave in accordance with the ATL policy, which applies to all UMMS faculty, staff, residents, fellows, nurses, administrators and others who interact with learners.

Inappropriate treatment of learners occurs when behavior by a member of the learning community shows disrespect for the dignity of learners such that it interferes with their learning process.  Examples of such behaviors include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Humiliation of learners
  • Verbal attacks towards learners
  • Inappropriate anger or harsh language when addressing a learner
  • Lack of communication with a learner
  • Requiring a learner to perform tasks that belittle the learner
  • Requiring a learner to perform personal services, e.g. babysitting, errands, shopping, etc.
  • Insulting conduct to a learner
  • Disregard for learner safety

The ATL policy does not address sexual harassment complaints, violence/hostility in the workplace, or discrimination. The reporting and investigation of these complaints are addressed in other policies, including the Title IX Incident policy, Violence and Hostility in the Workplace policy, and the Discrimination Complaint Policy and Procedure, respectively. Each of these policies can be found on the DIO website.

Learners who believe they have been subject to inappropriate treatment in the learning community are responsible for reporting their complaint to the DIO as soon as possible.  In addition, any member of the learning community who becomes aware of inappropriate treatment of a learner is strongly encouraged to report the issue to the DIO for further investigation.

For more information, including definitions, policies and procedures for reporting suspected inappropriate treatment, students are encouraged to contact the Diversity and Inclusion Office (DIO). Confidential consultation and assistance with reporting are also available in the Office of Student Affairs.

 (revised 03/2017)


Clery Act

Our campus complies with the federal Clery Act.  Prior to October 1st of each year, our campus publishes the Annual Security Report, which contains campus safety information.  The most recent report can be found on the following web page:

View Clery Act

Title IX

It is the policy of the University of Massachusetts Medical School (“UMMS”) [the University of Massachusetts Worcester (“UMW”)] to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq., and its implementing regulations, 34 C.F.R. Part 106, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities operated by recipients of Federal financial assistance.  Sexual harassment of students, which includes acts of sexual violence, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX.  Sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to the victim’s use of drugs or alcohol or due to an intellectual or other disability.  A number of acts may fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, non-consensual video or audio taping of sexual activity, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking incidents and sexual coercion.  All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sexual harassment covered under Title IX.

The language, terms and requirements of this Policy supersede and supplant any inconsistent or conflicting language in any other UMMS policy.  The UMMS employee to whom claims shall be reported under this Policy and who shall be responsible for administering this Policy is UMMS’ Title IX Coordinator – as designated by UMMS’ Provost.

Title IX Policy (PDF)

CARE website: Campus Assault, Resource, and Education site (for sex discrimination and violence)

You can contact the Diversity and Inclusion Office by calling 508-856-2179.

GSBS Students

Area Housing

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences does not provide student housing.

Employment Opportunities

No opportunities available at this time.

Graduate Achievements

Evidence of Student Success:

GSBS Student Research Accomplishments

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) comprises approximately 400 students and 350 research faculty who share a passion for biomedical research. Their work is producing exciting advances in existing and emergent areas of biology and medicine and is contributing to the explosive development of new technologies used to probe the most challenging problems in biomedicine. Our students' research spans the study of single molecules in isolation through population genomics and outcomes, is yielding spectacular insights and, in some cases, has been translated into novel medicines and therapies, improving the lives of citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and beyond.

GSBS Student Career Outcomes

Our graduating students leave the GSBS and enter into a wide variety of positions; including Industry Research, Academia, Healthcare Management, and Regulatory Affairs.  Review the data to explore the wide-variety of opportunities available:


36 of our current GSBS students have been award fellowships from the NIH, NSF, and other private sources.


Student publications data reflect publications by students for up to 2 years post-graduation, if published with their thesis advisor.  Current student/mentor publication averages for the three most recent years (defined as academic year of graduation plus two years post-graduation) are:  2020 = 4.4 publications, 2019 = 4.2 publications, 2018 = 4.1 publications.  Scholarly output for GSBS alumni for the five most recent years are:  2020 = 288, 2019 = 240, 2018 = 265, 2017 = 232, 2016 = 240
View graph

Non Academic Opportunities

Graduate Student Body Committee (GSBC) 

The Graduate Student Body Committee (GSBC) is a group of elected students who serve as the voice of graduate students on campus. By serving on committees with faculty, we represent student interests and help in decision-making. An important goal of the GSBC is to keep graduate students informed about new policies regarding their thesis work.  We gain insight from students about changes they would like to see happen at UMass Medical School and work hard to implement these changes. One of our major goals is to further relationships between graduate students on campus, in addition to interprofessional relationships with both the medical and nursing students. The GSBC encourages fellow colleagues in their studies, hosting events for first-year students during their core coursework. We offer social events throughout the year to foster friendships and support groups and hold local volunteer activities such as Working for Worcester and Habitat for Humanity. We also partner with the Career and Professional Development group and host events for students that help prepare them for their career path of interest. 
President Co-Chairs: Joe Magrino, Heather Learnard
Staff Advisor: Daryl Bosco, PhD
More information

GSBS Cares 

GSBS Cares is a community service organization with elected chairs from the GSBS, but seeking involvement from all three schools.
Student Chairs: Brent Horowitz, Melanie Walker

Industry Exploration (IndEx) Program

The primary objective of the group is to provide both graduate students and postdocs an opportunity to explore PhD-level careers in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. We organize site visits in the Massachusetts and New England area to allow trainees to observe company cultures, learn about the structure and function of industry research and enhance their knowledge of careers in industry. The program also provides an opportunity to interact directly and network with industry professionals and obtain valuable career guidance.
Co-chairs: Cansu Colpan and Socheata Ly
Faculty/Staff Advisors: Cynthia Fuhrmann, PhD
More Information

International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology (ISPE) Student Chapter

This student chapter will meet regularly to discuss pharmacoepidemiology methods, share research in progress, and provide peer review.
Student Representative: Matthew Alcusky 
Faculty co-advisors:
Kate Lapane PhD, Christine Ulbricht PhD, MPH

MassTERi Entrepreneurship Club (eClub)

The Entrepreneurship Club (eClub) is a student and post-doctoral fellow-led initiative that was launched in 2014 as one of the key elements to the MassTERi program.
The MassTERi eClub has three goals: 1) Develop a community of entrepreneurs at UMMS that includes students, post-docs, staff, and faculty; 2) Inspire and foster an entrepreneurial culture at UMMS in both basic and translational research; 3) Provide opportunities for networking with a global community of innovators, scientists, and investors, as well as business and legal professionals.
eClub events are short and intense, and are designed to help participants gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to be successful entrepreneurs.
Steering Committee Members: Shuwen Cao, Nandhitha Umanaresh, Feng Wang
More Information

MD/PhD Student Advisory Committee (MD/PhD SAC)

The MD/PhD SAC consists of students representing all MD/PhD class years and handles changes in MD/PhD programming and the organization of the MD/PhD retreat.
Student Leaders: Peter Cruz-Gordillo, Chantal Ferguson, Jordan Smith
Faculty Leader: Gyongyi Szabo MD, PhD

Student Government Alliance (SGA) 

Established in 2011, the UMMS Student Government Alliance (SGA) is the overarching student governance body. The SGA consists of two elected officials from each school’s student governance group, two members-at-large from each school, an elected sustainability representative, and the student trustee. The SGA promotes student communication and collaboration across the three schools, and serves as a resource for communicating and working with campus administration. The SGA provides representation for students across the three schools on Faculty Council and Executive Council and other campus-wide governing bodies and committees. The SGA reports to the provost, and addresses matters of importance to students and submits recommendations expressing student views and concerns to administration (provost).
More Information

Currently Inactive Groups


The Bootstrappers is a student-led group facilitating informal learning communities among Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences students and postdocs.
Student Leader:
More Information

Process and Appeals for Student Discipline

You can review the appeals policy in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Student Handbook under sections three and four (Academic Policies and Regulations, and Academic Milestones) or the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Honor Code.

Retention and Graduation Rates

Student Completion and Retention Rates and Average Time to Degree

We recognize that our mean and median time to degree is considered to be long, and we are taking active steps to ensure that Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences students complete an impactful body of work in timely manner. These steps include streamlining curricular requirements, monitoring timely completion of the qualifying exam, monitoring student scientific development and progress, and articulating clear standards for degree completion. Impacts of changes made over the last five years will be measured by tracking the six-year completion rate for each cohort.

Completion Rates

75% of matriculating students received a PhD terminal degree and an additional 4% received a Master of Science as a terminal degree.  Completion rates were calculated for cohorts entering 2008-2012 and completing by 2020 (based on 150% average time to PhD = 9 years)

Retention Rates

The retention rate of first year students entering their second year of graduate study for the three most recent years is:  Fall 2020 = 98%, Fall 2019 = 95%, Fall 2018 = 94%

Time to Degree

For the most recent 10-year period (2010-2020), the time to degree (TTD) for all PhD graduates from the Basic Biomedical Sciences (BBS) division of the GSBS was 6.6 years. 

Time to Degree

Median Time to Degree by 3-Year Graduating Class 2000-2020


PhD Median Time to Degree 2000-2020


*International students are excluded from the URM data.  US Citizens and Permanent Residents only.

MD/PhD Median Time to Degree 2000-2020




*International students are excluded from the URM data.  US Citizens and Permanent Residents only.

Student Complaint Procedures

For appeals and grievances regarding GSBS-specific issues, such as grade for course work, research progress, or milestones, honor code violations, and course waiver decisions, please refer to the Student Handbook, sections three and four (Academic Policies and Regulations, and Academic Milestones). 

Withdrawal Procedures

You can review the withdrawal procedures for the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in the Student Handbook, sections three and four (Academic Policies and Regulations, and Academic Milestones).