With an expanded mission that includes greater emphasis on research and discovery, KCU established the College of Biosciences (COB) in 2004. The college granted its first diplomas to graduates of the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences program in 2006.
Students interested in pursuing the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences can enroll in either a non-research or research track program.
The non-research track includes core coursework in biochemistry, epidemiology, physiology, molecular biology, immunology, and anatomy, as well as elective coursework in genetics, histology, bioinformatics, embryology. It places emphasis on the acquisition and application of knowledge regarding human health and disease and prepares students for doctoral programs in the health care professions (e.g., DO, MD, DDS, DMD, DVM, PharmD, DPT, PhD).
The research track is designed for individuals interested in pursuing careers in research or enrolling in doctoral programs in the health-related fields, including medicine.
Through intellectual development and scholarly training, the College of Biosciences prepares graduate students for careers in teaching, research and/or service in the life sciences and health care fields.
The College of Biosciences will be recognized for educating graduate students from diverse backgrounds to become innovators who think critically and are prepared for health and research professions.
Graduates from the degree programs may pursue one or more of the following:
- Enrolling in graduate and doctoral programs in health care
- Enrolling in doctoral programs in biomedical and life sciences.
- Participating in clinical, epidemiological, basic science and public health research.
- Pursuing health care policy, leadership and clinical employment opportunities.
College of Biosciences Honor Code
Upon matriculation at Kansas City University, I have become a member of the medical and biosciences community. I understand that I will be expected to maintain and promote the ethical standards that my profession embodies.
I will enter into a relationship of mutual respect with my teachers and my colleagues to enhance the learning environment and gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes of an exemplary member of the biomedical profession. I will adhere to the highest standards of integrity, honesty, and personal conduct at all times off and on campus. I will recognize my strengths and my weaknesses and strive to develop those qualities that will earn the respect of my peers, my colleagues, my family and myself.
Tuition & Fees
Please see the 2022-2023 COB Tuition & Fees section for information on tuition and fees.
Books & Instruments
The approximate costs for required textbooks are:
|Biomedical Sciences Textbooks
Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Consideration
Federal regulations require schools to monitor the academic progress of Title IV financial aid recipients. KCU must certify that students are making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward the completion of their KCU degree. KCU follows the regulations set forth by the U.S. Department of Education that students are meeting the three required measurements to determine SAP: qualitative (GPA), quantitative (pace progression) and time frame. The policy applies to students who are receiving federal aid, however these standards are cumulative so this includes all periods of the student’s enrollment, which may include times when the student did not receive federal aid. The academic standards set forth by the academic program may vary from the financial aid policy for academic progress.
Qualitative Measure: GPA
Students in both the non-research and research tracks are considered in good academic standing when they complete each term with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students with a cumulative GPA lower than 3.0 will be placed on financial aid warning for the next academic term. All students in the non-research and research track programs must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in order to graduate from the program. The GPA cannot be rounded up to meet minimum SAP standards.
Quantitative Measure: Attempted vs. Completed
In order for students to progress through the program to graduate within the maximum time frame, Financial Aid requires all COB students to complete at least 67 percent of credit hours attempted. This is determined by reviewing the total number of courses attempted and the total number of courses completed in a term. In determining pace progression, the Financial Aid office calculates a completion rate for each student. The completion rate is the total number of credit hours successfully completed divided by the total number of credit hours attempted. Credit hours cannot be rounded up to meet the minimum SAP standards.
Attempted hours not earned include any grade of Fail (F), Incomplete (I), In Progress (IP), Withdrawal (W), Administrative Withdrawal (AW), or Administrative Drop (AD).
Time Frame - Pace Progression
|Typical Time Frame
|Maximum Time Frame
|1 year to graduate
|3 years to graduate
|2 years to graduate
|3 years to graduate
Students in both the non-research and research tracks are expected to complete their program in three years before ineligibility for financial aid becomes effective. Students who do not complete their degree in three academic years will not be eligible for financial aid without an approved financial aid appeal.
KCU Office of Admissions may grant credit for courses successfully completed at a student’s prior college or university. Credits accepted for degree at KCU will count as completed for the pace calculation.
Courses in which a student has received an “F” may be repeated and eligible for financial aid. However, a student may receive aid for repeating a previously passed course only once with prior approval from the Student Progress Committee. Repeated courses are counted as credits attempted and either earned or unearned, but only the most recent grade earned is used to calculate GPA.
SAP will be reviewed at the end of each academic term for COB. Financial Aid will review all students enrolled for the term to determine a student’s SAP status regardless of financial aid received.
Students will be notified via email if they fail to meet the minimum standards outlined above, this email communication will include an explanation of the standards evaluated and instructions on how to proceed.
SAP is reviewed at the end of each academic term to ensure a student is making satisfactory academic progress toward his/her degree. If it is determined that a student has not met the minimum SAP requirements at the end of the term, the student will be placed on financial aid warning during their next period of enrollment.
Students on warning have one additional academic term in order to resolve the deficiency and meet the minimum SAP requirements. Students not meeting the minimum SAP standards after the warning term will no longer be eligible to receive federal aid without a successful appeal.
Financial Aid will notify the student via email if an appeal needs to be submitted to continue receiving federal aid at KCU. Students will be asked to submit an appeal form to the Financial Aid office. The form will require the student to complete the information listed below:
- A written statement documenting the reasons for failure to meet the standards of academic progress for financial aid eligibility. The statement should be concise but long enough to address the students mitigating circumstances. There is no school-defined length. Examples can be serious illness of student or family member, death of relative or disruptive personal issue.
- A written statement explaining what has changed in the student’s situation that would allow the student to bring his/her academic progress up to the satisfactory standards.
- If requested, supporting documentation may be required to process the appeal.
- A written academic plan, after appeal is submitted.
Appeals will be reviewed and completed within two to four weeks of receipt. Students who submit appeals will be notified via email regarding the decision of their appeal. Students with approved appeals will regain federal financial aid eligibility. Students with denied appeals will be ineligible for federal financial aid until they meet the minimum SAP requirements. Appeal decisions are final.
All students who fail to make SAP and file an appeal with the Financial Aid office are required, as part of the appeal process, to complete an academic plan form. The form can be obtained from the Financial Aid office and must be submitted after the appeal process is completed. The academic plan must ensure that the student is able to meet SAP standards by a specific point in time. The student will need to work with Student Services to develop a written academic plan to help improve academic performance.
Financial Aid Probation
Students who have approved appeals will be placed on financial aid probation and have their federal financial aid reinstated.
Students who are able to meet the SAP standards by the end of the next payment period will be placed on probation without an academic plan. The student’s academic progress will be reviewed at the end of the next payment period. Students who meet the minimum standards at the end of the probationary period are no longer on probation. Students failing to meet the minimum eligibility requirements at the end of the probationary period are considered ineligible to receive additional funds.
Students who are not able to meet SAP standards by the end of the next payment period will be placed on probation with an academic plan. Students will need to successfully follow the academic plan while in this status. The student’s academic progress will be reviewed at the end of each payment period while on the academic plan. Students who meet the criteria outlined in their academic plan will remain in that plan until it expires or the student meets the minimum SAP eligibility requirements. Students must appeal to change their academic plan. Students who do not meet the academic plan criteria outlined in their plan will be placed back into suspension and will be ineligible for federal aid.
Without Approved Appeal
Students who are not making satisfactory academic progress and do not submit an appeal or have their appeal request denied may regain eligibility only by taking action that brings them into compliance with KCU’s satisfactory progress standards for financial aid. Any exceptions to this policy will be made on an individual basis and in compliance with federal, state and local regulations governing financial aid.
Responsibility of the Student
Students are required to become familiar with the academic policies, curriculum requirements and associated deadlines as posted to this catalog and handbook. The academic advisor will aid the student in understanding their academic program requirements as well as interpretation of policies whenever necessary. However, it is ultimately the student’s responsibility to know and comply with all University policies and procedures and to meet all stated requirements for the degree. It is also the student’s responsibility to monitor daily their campus email, Canvas account, the University website, and KCU’s intranet.
The academic advising program promotes student learning, development, and personal growth to encourage self-sufficiency. Biosciences students are assigned to a faculty member within the department. Advising placements are made by the assistant vice provost of Student Services and the director of Advising & Learning Enhancement. Students participating in the research track are each assigned an advisor by the dean of COB.
|Number of Credits
|6 or more semester credits
|3-5.5 semester credits
|Less than 3 semester credits
Students are considered to be in good academic standing when they meet the minimum criteria for continued enrollment. Refer to the Eligibility for Continued Enrollment section of this catalog for additional details.
Academic probation is an official status from the University, stating that the student is under the most sensitive academic monitoring and improvement plan for the period of time they are on probation, which becomes a part of the student’s academic record. This status is typically applied when one of more of the following occur:
- One or more course failure.
- Student’s cumulative KCU GPA is below 2.5.
Students placed on academic probation will have their status monitored by a University faculty or staff member. In addition, students on probation must attend all classes. Academic probation may also include the suspension of the student’s normal rights to participate in extracurricular, co-curricular and other nonacademic activities, including, but not limited to, the student not being allowed to hold a leadership position in a student organization. Academic probation may also result in suspension or termination of the student’s employment with the University.
Typically, students who are placed on academic probation cannot fail any course. The typical length of the academic probation is one year, unless otherwise specified, from the time the student is formally notified of being placed on this status.
Academic probation status is not tied to a student’s SAP as defined by Title IV. It is wholly separate and unrelated to SAP.
Academic warning is a state of warning from KCU to the student indicating that the University is concerned about the student’s academic performance. This status is typically applied when one of more of the following occur:
- Multiple course exam failures.
- Current cumulative KCU GPA below 3.0.
- Behavioral cues by the student which may indicate academic or personal distress.
Students placed on academic warning may be required to take actions deemed necessary to help improve academic performance. These actions may include, but are not limited to: regular meetings with Learning Enhancement staff, sessions with KCU psychologists, required course attendance, meetings with tutors and/or faculty members, temporary loss of student leadership privileges, and providing frequent status updates to key faculty/administrators.
Academic warning is not tied to a student’s SAP as defined by Title IV. It is wholly separate and unrelated to SAP.
Unlike traditional undergraduate and graduate institutions where students individually register for courses, KCU engages in block registration for each student cohort. The student’s respective department sends enrollment information to the Office of the Registrar every term. Students are responsible for reviewing their enrollment in Workday prior to each semester to ensure they are enrolled correctly.
The last day to add a class is seven business days after the published first day of classes in the Academic Calendar. The first day of classes varies by program.
COB students are required to report on the orientation or registration date as specified in the Academic Calendar.
All outstanding financial obligations to the University must be cleared in order for a student to register. Students who are not in University compliance may not attend classes.
Attendance at all KCU classes is required. As professionals, students are expected to adhere to this attendance policy with diligence. Requests for excused absences must be filed at least 10 days prior to the anticipated absence. Excused absences may be granted at the discretion of the dean of COB. Unanticipated absences will only be considered for extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control.
Excused Absences, Makeup Examinations, Quizzes & Events
It is the student’s responsibility to obtain an approved, signed absence form with supporting documentation from the dean of COB and schedule makeup examinations or quizzes with the Office of Assessment within two days of returning to campus.
The following policy outlines the criteria for excused absences, makeup examinations and quizzes:
- Civic Responsibilities: Students who are required to be physically present at citizenship hearings, court hearings or jury duty on the date of an examination, quiz and/or required presentation will be granted an excused absence and allowed to take a makeup examination. Students should contact the dean of COB with supporting documentation to discuss such circumstances prior to the occurrence.
- Academic Conflict: Students may request an excused absence for academic-related conferences or activities. Only students in good academic standing will be considered.
- Death in the Family: Any student applying for an excused absence or to take a makeup exam or quiz due to a death in their family must provide a copy of the death certificate or obituary program. Consideration will be given for deaths of spouse, life partner, parents, siblings, children, in-laws or grandparents.
- Religious Holiday: Students may request an excused absence for a holiday of their faith. Such holidays should be considered a significant observance recognized by a majority of the faith.
- Illness: Any student who misses an exam, quiz, presentation or event due to illness must be seen by a health care provider on the day of the illness in order to have such illness documented. If an illness is the reason for the absence, the student will be expected to provide documentation (if applicable) from a physician noting the date, time, diagnosis and any other details pertinent to the absence.
- Other: Additional extenuating circumstances, not covered by these guidelines, may be brought to the dean of COB for consideration. However, excused absences should not be requested for weddings, vacations, birthdays, non-family special events, etc.
As professionals, students are expected to adhere to the KCU attendance and absenteeism policy with diligence. Any student requesting excessive numbers of excused absences, makeup examinations, quizzes, labs or presentations may be referred to the appropriate KCU administrators.
In cases where the administrative officers deem it necessary, a disciplinary situation may be referred to the COB-SPC. For additional information on student conduct policies, disciplinary actions and appeal processes, please refer to the Student Conduct section.
Course Drops & Withdrawals
Students who wish to drop or withdraw from a single or multiple courses, but not withdraw completely from the University, must adhere to the following procedures.
The deadline to drop a course is end of business the day of the first class meeting. For night classes, the deadline to drop is end of business the next day following the first class meeting. For intersession courses, the deadline to drop the courses is prior to the first class meeting. Students who wish to drop a course must officially communicate their request to their department and the Office of the Registrar within the prescribed time requirements. All student requests to add, drop, or withdraw from a course must be completed through Workday. A student who drops a course within the prescribed time requirements will have no record of the course on their transcript.
Students may withdraw from certain courses with the permission of the dean of COB after the drop deadline and up to the withdrawal date. The withdrawal date for fall is the Friday before Thanksgiving. The withdrawal date for spring is the last Friday in April. Course withdrawals are recorded as a W on the student’s academic transcript. Students may not withdraw from a course with a W after the withdrawal date. Students who withdraw from courses after the withdrawal date will receive a failing grade. Students are not eligible to withdraw from a course after the course has ended.
Course withdrawal may have financial aid implications. Students are advised to talk with Financial Aid prior to withdrawing from a course.
Exceptions to this policy may be granted based on extenuating circumstances only. Appeals to the withdrawal deadline are only granted following submission of a written petition, with the concurrence of the course director and the approval of the dean of COB.
Grades & Grading Policies
Grades and Quality Points - MS in Biomedical Sciences
Testing during a course may consist of:
- Final Exam.
Students will receive a letter grade for each course except those designated Pass/Fail. Points may be assigned for examinations, quizzes, lab exercises, assignments, presentations, and other learning activities.
The course director will assign a letter grade of A, B, C or F, based on the grading scale.
If the student fails a course, he/she will be dismissed from KCU-COB.
The registrar will calculate an overall GPA each semester. This information will then be reported to students via Workday.
A continuous quality improvement evaluation will be completed at the end of each course.
Examinations are regularly scheduled and required. Students are evaluated on the basis of their performance of assignments as well as achievements on examinations. The results of examinations and reports concerning attendance, conduct and potential professional attributes are considered by COB-SPC in the process of determining eligibility for promotion and graduation.
Students who are authorized for special accommodations will report to the Office of Testing Services. Accommodation conditions, as appropriate, may include alteration of length of exam time, testing location (room number) or other accommodations. Students in need of special accommodations for testing are to contact the vice provost for Enrollment and Student Services at 816.654.7182 for an application and instructions.
All quizzes and exams will start and end on time. All examinations will begin promptly at the published/announced start time. Exams will automatically lock out at the end of the allocated exam time period.
At the end of the examination time frame, all students are required to end their exam and submit the results via the ExamSoft portal.
A student with an unexcused absence will not be permitted to re-take the assessment unless authorized by the dean of COB. The course director reserves the right to offer an alternative exam for those students who are unable to sit for the originally scheduled exam, regardless of rationale or prior notification. Students who miss an exam without prior notification to the course director or subsequent approval by the dean of COB will receive a grade of zero (0) without the possibility of a make-up exam.
Additional details on this subject can be found in the Attendance Policy.
While taking exams students should have in their possession only items that are necessary for the exam. All purses, backpacks, iPods, hats, sunglasses, unnecessary clothing items, pagers, headphones, CD players, calculators, smart watches, etc., need to be left at the front or back of the room. Cell phones must be turned off and placed outside the testing area. Recording or communication devices of any type are not allowed at any time in the testing environment. Academic integrity, honesty, and personal conduct guidelines will be strictly enforced.
Any student found in possession of any type of electronic device capable of accessing the internet in any testing environment (iPad used for testing is the sole exception) will be awarded an automatic failure of the exam in question. KCU is unable to ascertain intent behind possession of any electronic device in a testing situation, and any student found in possession will be considered academically dishonest. Students will be referred to KCU administration for breach of professional conduct.
A course director may assign a grade of I if he/she believes that a student has been unable to complete the course/section on time because of extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control. An Incomplete Grade Contract should be completed that clearly details the requirements for completion of the course/section. The grade contract form is available on the Registrar page of the intranet.
The student’s signature is not required for the incomplete grade contract to be valid. In the event an I grade is being assigned, the dean of COB must be notified before the contract is presented to the student. Upon receipt, the Office of the Registrar will provide a copy of the contract to the student’s KCU email address. The student will have three business days to decline the incomplete grade and receive the current earned grade with all missing assignments calculated as a zero.
Any student receiving a grade of I must coordinate with the course director to satisfy all outstanding coursework for the course/section. Once outstanding requirements for the course are satisfied, the course director will process a change of grade form converting the I to a letter grade. The grade change must be submitted prior to the first day of classes of the next academic year. Once this deadline has passed, the I becomes an F.
Should a student decide to withdraw or if he/she is otherwise separated from the University prior to completing coursework for an incomplete grade, the grade will be updated to reflect a failure (F).
A degree cannot be awarded to a student with an Incomplete grade on his/her record.
Grades may be changed or corrected by the course director, upon certification in writing that an error occurred in computing or recording the grade, or a section or course has been successfully remediated. The change of grade must be documented on a grade change form, approved by the dean of COB, and submitted to the Office of the Registrar for processing.
Grade appeals should only be made when a student contends that the final course grade assigned by the course director is arbitrary or capricious. It is not to be used to challenge grades on individual assignments. “Arbitrary or capricious” implies at least one of the following:
- The student has been assigned a grade on the basis of something other than his/her performance in the course.
- Standards utilized in the determination of the student’s grade are more exacting or demanding than those applied to other students in the course.
- The grade is based upon standards that are significant, unannounced, and unreasonable departures from those articulated in the course description distributed at the beginning of the course.
The assessment of the quality of the student’s academic performance is one of the major responsibilities of University faculty members and is solely and properly their responsibility. A grade appeal is not appropriate when a student simply disagrees with the faculty member’s judgment about the quality of the student’s work. A student who is uncertain about whether or not a grade should be appealed or who needs additional information about the grade appeals process can contact the dean of COB.
Some examples of the basis for legitimate disagreement could include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Students are not informed of the basis for grade calculation in the syllabus, on Canvas, or prior to the assignment.
- The student’s grade was not calculated in accordance with the stated policy in the syllabus, on Canvas, or as provided prior to the assignment.
- Significant and unwarranted deviation from grading procedures and course syllabi set at the beginning of the course or a grade assigned arbitrarily and capriciously on the basis of whim or impulse.
- There is an error in the computation of the grade that was not corrected.
- The student, through no fault of his/her own, was not provided with the same opportunity to complete the requirements for the course in terms, for example, of time, access to materials, or access to the course director as the other students.
The Registrar will calculate an overall GPA for COB students for each semester in the program.
Course Repeat Policy
There is no automatic/guaranteed remediation for students who fail a course or do not satisfy the GPA requirement for satisfactory completion of the program (3.0 cumulative GPA). Failure of any course(s) at KCU may be grounds for dismissal from the program. Students who are at risk of failure will be required to appear before COB-SPC. The COB-SPC will make an appropriate recommendation to the administration, including whether repeating the course is recommended. The administration will consider the COB-SPC recommendation and make a final decision. The student will then be notified as to whether or not he/she has been granted the opportunity to repeat the course. More information regarding the COB-SPC process is available in that section of the catalog. Students may only repeat a course once. The opportunity to repeat is not available if the course is subsequently inactivated.
All course enrollments and earned grades will remain on the student’s academic transcript. If a student repeats a course in the COB program, the most recent grade earned is used in the calculation of the student’s GPA.
Academic Assessment, Status & Promotion
Eligibility for Continued Enrollment
The dean of COB, in partnership with course directors, evaluates graduate level student performance at the end of each semester to determine if the student has fulfilled all academic requirements for promotion into the next semester. The COB-SPC reviews student eligibility for continuation and/or graduation at the conclusion of each academic year. COB-SPC reviews student records to determine if the student has fulfilled all academic requirements, has maintained the standards of ethical, moral, personal, and professional conduct, and is considered mentally and emotionally fit. At a faculty senate meeting preceding commencement, the COB-SPC certifies to the faculty the names of those students eligible to graduate, by degree level and program.
The University, by recommendation of COB-SPC and/or the action of the administrative officers, reserves the right to place on conditional or stipulated status, suspend or dismiss a student who has failed to:
- Pass all courses. A failure in any COB course results in a review of the student’s academic progress.
- Complete all graded courses with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher after the first semester for the non-research track program and 2.5 or higher after each of the first two semesters for the research program, and 3.0 or higher after completion of all graded coursework (all programs).
- Maintain acceptable standards of academic performance.
- Maintain acceptable ethical, moral, personal or professional conduct.
- Abide by the University’s policies, rules and regulations.
- Fulfill legal or financial obligations to the University.
- Show professional promise, including mental and emotional fitness in the biomedical sciences.
Academic Program Length Restrictions
All master’s degree students must graduate within three years of the date of matriculation. The dean of COB must approve exceptions to this policy on an individual basis, taking into account extenuating circumstances only.
Dismissal from the College of Biosciences
A student may be dismissed from the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences program for any of the following reasons:
- Failing a course.
- Having a GPA less than 2.5 after fall semester in the non-research track, or less than 2.5 after the first two semesters in the research track program.
- Having a GPA less than 3.0 after two or more semesters in the non-research track program or after three or more semesters in the research track program.
- Unsatisfactory performance on comprehensive examination.
- Not maintaining the standards of ethical, moral, personal and professional conduct required of KCU students.
- Not completing all required coursework within three years of matriculation date.
Graduation Requirements & Commencement
MS in Biomedical Sciences
A student who has fulfilled all the academic requirements of their program may be granted a degree from KCU-COB provided the student:
- Has been in residence at KCU-COB for at least one year and has achieved a GPA of 3.0 or greater and passed all courses.
- Has completed all curricular requirements within the prescribed program length.
- Has complied with all legal and financial requirements of the University.
- Has demonstrated the ethical, personal, and professional qualities deemed necessary for the pursuit of a successful career in the biomedical sciences.
- Attends, in person, the ceremony at which time the degree is conferred, unless excused by the dean of COB for extenuating circumstances.
Entrance and completion of a degree from the KCU-COB does not guarantee further career opportunities up to and including entrance into the KCU College of Medicine or any other medical or professional school.
The criteria for graduating from COB with Latin honors are as follows:
- Summa cum laude: 4.0 GPA.
- Magna cum laude: 3.9-3.99 GPA.
- Cum laude: 3.8-3.89 GPA.