The EVMS Master of Anatomical Sciences program is an accelerated curriculum of 3 semesters designed to be flexible for each individual's unique career goals. Graduates gain a comprehensive understanding of the human body while acquiring teaching and research skills using cutting-edge technologies.  Due to the accelerated nature of this program, students are expected to attend ALL classes. Vacations should only be taken between semesters.

Course sequence


  • MCHA 500: Clinical Gross Anatomy
  • MCHA 510: Histology
  • MCHA 520: Introduction to Research
  • MCHA 518: Essential Physiology


  • MCHA 503: Embryology 
  • MCHA 504: Teaching Assistant I
  • MCHA 516: Functional Neuroanatomy 
  • MCHA 530: General Mechanisms of Disease 
  • MCHA 531: Thesis I


  • MCHA 502: Medical Imaging 
  • MCHA 532: Thesis II
  • MCHA 533: Advanced Anatomy 
  • MCHA 509: Plastination in Germany (Elective)
  • MCHA 513: Teaching Assistant II (Elective)

Course Descriptions

MCHA 500: Clinical Gross Anatomy  (5)

The study of anatomy (from the Greek word anatomē, ana = apart, tomē = cutting) is concerned with describing the form, structures, and functions of an organism. In learning anatomy, we approach the study of the human body by integrating anatomical knowledge into a case-based approach. Students will use this knowledge to recognize variation and anatomical mechanisms to describe and explain clinically relevant abnormalities. This course provides a comprehensive overview of human anatomy while also allowing students to engage in interactive lectures, participate in case-based group activities, collaborate in dissection-based laboratories, and interact with practicing clinicians to gain clinical anatomical competence.


MCHA 502: Medical Imaging  (2)

This course applies basic foundational anatomy principles to medical imaging including radiographs, MRI, CT, and ultrasound. Students are expected to apply their cross-sectional anatomy knowledge to the interpretation and acquisition of medical images.


MCHA 503: Embryology - MCHA503 (2)

This course consists of lectures devoted to the student's understanding of how the human body develops. Topics covered will include early embryogenesis, organogenesis, and clinical embryology.


MCHA 504: Teaching Assistant  (2)

This course allows students to serve as teaching assistants for medical, physician assistant, or graduate courses in gross anatomy or histology. Responsibilities would include prosection of specimens, laboratory instruction, small group facilitation, course reviews, and design of innovative study materials.


MCHA 510: Histology  (2)

This course provides students with an understanding of the normal architecture of cells and an opportunity to learn how cellular components specialize in forming primary tissues and how these tissues give rise to organs and organ systems. The course allows for evaluating the structure-function relationships in normal cells, tissues, and organs. Students will acquire morphological pattern recognition and cell/tissue/organ identification skills at the light microscopic level and, to a lesser extent, at the electron microscope level through a lecture-lab combination, systems-based approach. Students will be introduced to the proper use of a light microscope and the essentials of microscopy. Light and virtual microscopy will be utilized to recognize structures’ morphology and relate these structures to their function. This course is a critical prerequisite to Pathology and Pathophysiology.


MCHA 513: Teaching Assistant II  (2)

This course provides an advanced exploration of human anatomy designed to prepare students for professional school or specialized graduate study. Students will hone their dissection skills and application of anatomical knowledge to plan and perform specialized dissections. Students will develop correlating content including lecture material and higher-order questions centered on the region or system of focus with correlation across the anatomical sciences. Students will build a professional portfolio to demonstrate synthesis and integration of the knowledge acquired from the entire master's program. Students will participate in presenting their specialized dissections and discussing the progression of planning, performing, developing content, and clinical significance to an interprofessional audience.


MCHA 516: Functional Neuroanatomy  (2)

This is a functional neuroanatomy course and provides students with an overview of the human nervous system, the interaction of its complex parts, normal brain function, and neuropathologies. The course begins with basic concepts, progresses into sensory and motor systems, and then focuses on the functional neuroanatomy of selected systems. Structural components and essential anatomical landmarks are emphasized. Learning methodologies include lectures, laboratories, special dissections, and peer-to-peer teaching.


MCHA 518: Essential Physiology  (4)

This is a comprehensive introductory course to integrative organ system physiology and homeostatic regulatory mechanisms where interrelationships of structure and function are reinforced. The flow of the course is intended to interphase closely with the topic material being taught concurrently in Histology (MCHA510). Together with anatomy, embryology, and histology courses, this course gives an impeccable and solid understanding of the basis of any medical education.


MCHA 530: General Mechanisms of Disease  (2)

The General Mechanisms of Disease module serves as a transition from the foundational modules to the organ systems modules. It focuses on the general mechanisms of disease, introducing students to microbiology and infectious disease, principles for discriminating healthy from unhealthy conditions, and predicting clinical manifestations. The course consists of face-to-face lectures by basic science faculty focusing on major principles and their biomedical applications. Exams are used to assess foundational knowledge and facilitate knowledge integration and are designed to facilitate student review and self-assessment. The course will have three major non-comprehensive multiple-choice exams each covering approximately 6 to 8 hours of lecture content. The course will assess topic-specific foundational knowledge and facilitate disease knowledge integration.


MCHA 509: Plastination in Germany  (2)

Students will travel abroad to learn plastination techniques from world experts at the Plastinarium in Guben, Germany.  In conjunction with the above activity, students will prepare dissections for plastination. This course requires an additional fee. Travel restrictions may alter availability of this course.


MCHA 531 & 532:  Thesis I and II (2)

These courses provide the platform for each student to develop and submit, as a final program requirement, a capstone project that demonstrates depth and breadth of knowledge acquired through the courses taken within the program.  This final capstone project must represent scholarly work that contributes to the knowledge base and/or improves practice and education in the anatomical sciences.  Students will submit a final product that demonstrates professional and publishable quality scholarly work that is consistent with a graduate level education.  


MCHA 533:  Advanced Anatomy (2)

This course provides an in-depth look at special topics in the anatomical sciences emphasizing the interrelation of historical perspectives and modern clinical advancements and discoveries.