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Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies Technical Standards

Technical standards refer to non-academic requirements that are essential for meeting the academic requirements of our graduate programs in biomedical sciences.  Within any area of specialization, students must demonstrate competence in those intellectual and physical tasks that together represent the fundamentals of biomedical research in their chosen discipline.

Most of the PhD and MS degree programs of Drexel University College of Medicine require a laboratory-based research dissertation. Granting of these degrees implies that the recipient has demonstrated a base of knowledge in the field and the ability to independently apply that knowledge to solve a particular problem by forming hypotheses, designing and conducting experiments, interpreting the experimental results, and communicating the results and their interpretation to the scientific community.  Thus, a candidate for the MS or PhD degree in the biomedical sciences must possess abilities and skills that allow for observation, intellectual and conceptual reasoning, motor coordination, and communication.

All applicants and graduates must meet the prescribed technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodations. The use of a trained intermediary is not acceptable in many situations in that a candidate's judgment will be based on someone else's power of selection and observation. 


The candidate must be able to acquire knowledge by direct observation of demonstrations, experiments, and experiences within the laboratory and instructional setting.  Examples are physiological or pharmacological responses in animals, studies of microbiological cultures and organisms, identification of normal and abnormal cells or tissues through a microscope, and interpretation of results obtained on various instrumentation.

Intellectual/Conceptual Abilities

The candidate must be able to measure, calculate, analyze, reason, integrate and synthesize information to solve problems.

Motor Skills

The candidate must possess motor skills necessary to perform procedures required for experimentation within the chosen discipline.  These skills may include, but are not limited to, surgery in animals, handling of animals, transfer of microorganisms to various media, preparing chemical and often toxic materials and solutions, preparation of anatomical specimens for microscopic examination, manipulating electronic and other complex equipment.  


The candidate must be able to communicate and discuss his or her experimental hypotheses and results with the scientific community, both in scientific journals or directly at scientific meetings, seminars, or in the laboratory to the research team.

Behavioral and Social Attributes

The candidate must posses the emotional and mental health required for full utilization of his or her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of responsibilities inherent in managing a scientific laboratory, the ability to function under the stress inherent in biomedical research, and the ability to understand and comply with ethical standards for the conduct of research.

Accommodations for Disabilities

In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the ADA Amendments Act, and Drexel University College of Medicine policy, no qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of that disability, be excluded from participation in College of Medicine programs or activities. The College of Medicine will provide reasonable accommodation to a qualified individual with a disability.

During the application process, applicants who have disabilities and feel they may need accommodations must contact the Office of Disability Services for further information. A request for accommodations must be made as far in advance as possible. Accepted students who have a disability and feel they may need accommodations in order to successfully fulfill program requirements must initiate discussions with the Office of Disability Services as soon as the offer of admission is received and accepted. If a matriculated student develops a disability or the impact of their disability changes during their studies and accommodations may be needed to successfully fulfill program requirements, immediate contact with the Office of Disability Services is required. The Office of Disability Services is not able to issue retroactive accommodations. The Office of Disability Services can be contacted at the following:

Office of Disability Resources
3141 Chestnut Street, 81-210
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: 215.895.1401
TTY: 215.895.2299
Fax: 215.895.1402

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Students in the Graduate School for Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies viewing slides under a microscope.