RVU Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences - MSBS

| Admissions | Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences | Graduate Statistics and Testimonials


Graduate Statistics

In just three short years, the RVU MSBS program has graduated over 142 students.

Percentage of Graduates Accepted to Health Professional Schools (DO, MD, or PA)

  • Class of 2017: 67%
  • Class of 2018: 100%
  • Class of 2019: 100%
  • Class of 2020: 93%*
  • Class of 2021: 100%

* This number may increase as some students are still interviewing this year

Health Profession Schools that Have Accepted RVU MSBS Graduates

  • Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine - Colorado
  • Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine - Southern Utah
  • Rocky Vista University Master of Physician Assistant Studies
  • Western University of Health Sciences
  • Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Medical College of Wisconsin
  • New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences
  • St. George’s University School of Medicine
  • Florida International University Master in Physician Assistant Studies
  • College of St. Mary Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies
  • UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine


MSBS Students in the COM

It’s been a few months since students from the MSBS Class of 2018 started their studies at RVUCOM. And we wanted to check in on them and find out how the MSBS Program has effect the beginning of their journey through medical school.

Amy Drabant - RVU MSBS Class of 2018

"The MSBS program has more than prepared me for the demands of the COM. Although the program was challenging, choosing RVU was one of the best decisions of my life. The faculty at RVU truly care about your education and the student body is very supportive, which makes for an amazing community. The MSBS program has allowed me to make professional strides, gain confidence in my ability to succeed, and make friends that will last a lifetime."

Amy Drabant
MSBS Graduate - Class of 2018
RVUCOM Class of 2023

Toni Nicastro - RVU MSBS Graduate Class of 2018

Rocky Vista’s MSBS program helped me develop great study, communication and leadership skills that prepared me not only for first year of medical school, but for the rest of my life as a physician. I am so thankful for the program and the faculty at RVU that challenged and supported me throughout the rigorous 9-month program and made me realize what I am truly capable of. I would not be where I am today without the MSBS program.”

Toni Nicastro
MSBS Graduate - Class of 2018
RVUCOM - Class of 2022

Militello_Michelle_MSBS_Class of 2018

“Although the 9 months in the MSBS program were quite challenging, both physically and mentally, I can’t emphasize enough how much it has helped me during my first year of medical school. Additionally, the small class size enabled me to form invaluable connections with each of the professors, who teach in both the MSBS program and the COM. Overall, doing the MSBS program was the best decision I’ve ever made.”

Michelle Militello
MSBS Graduate - Class of 2018
RVUCOM - Class of 2022

Pierce_Kyle_MSBS_Class of 2018

“The MSBS program gave me so much more than I could have ever asked for. It afforded me time to sort out study habits, testing and time management skills. The program provided a time and place for me to make mistakes, learn from those mistakes and become a better person through them.  I knew that someday I would make it into a COM however this program took me from being able to survive in medical school to being able to thrive.”

Kyle Pierce
MSBS Graduate - Class of 2018
RVUCOM - Class of 2022

Tchombela_Mukanya_MSBS_Class of 2018

"When I look back at my undergraduate experience, I feel like the MSBS program here at RVU has done a great job in preparing me to be successful in medical school. This program has filled a knowledge gap that I had after finishing my undergrad. In addition to gaining knowledge, I have learned to be a responsible and disciplined student. I now prioritize things and focus on the most important ones. My experience in MSBS program not only has shaped my life and made me an active member of the society due to several team projects and services in the community, but has also given me a step ahead here in medical school. As a physician in training and a future doctor, I will continue to be grateful for the decision I made to attend the RVU MSBS program before entering medical school."

Mukanya Tchombela
MSBS Graduate - Class of 2018
RVUCOM - Class of 2022

Zorio_Onilia_MSBS_Class of 2018

"The MSBS program prepared me for the COM in ways that I could not have even anticipated. The program gave me a strong foundation of knowledge, but more than anything, it taught me how to problem solve and think about information in a clinical and applied manor. My time in the program allowed me to not only be surviving medical school, but to be thriving!"

Onilia Zorio
MSBS Graduate - Class of 2018
RVU COM - Class of 2022

Devin Monroe_RVU MSBS Graduate

“My favorite part about the program is that I already feel like I am in medical school. I am challenged, I learn from the same professors as the medical school, I learn about actual medical topics, and I even get to interact with standardized patients.

Devin Monroe
MSBS Graduate - Class of 2018
RVUCOM Class of 2023

Lacie Phibbs_RVU MSBS Graduate

“I think it is important to have classes that teach both basic biomedical principles and, more importantly, clinically relevant cases. The MSBS program at RVU incorporated both. I know that having this exposure and wealth of information will contribute to my success in the COM.”

Lacie Phibbs
MSBS Graduate - Class of 2019
RVUCOM Class of 2023

Diego Puentes_RVU MSBS Graduate

“The faculty and staff were outstanding and so supportive was the best decision I could have made to prepare for medical school.”

Diego Puentes
MSBS Graduate - Class of 2017
RVUCOM Class of 2021


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Radonis Grissom
MSBS Class of 2021
Colorado Campus
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Undergraduate studies:
Valdosta State University, BS-Chemistry (2011)

Graduate studies:
Valdosta State University, MAT-Secondary Education (2013)

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm an Air Force veteran, former high school AP chemistry teacher, current husband, long-time uncle, and second-oldest of four siblings.

What initially brought you to RVU? Why did you decide to pursue this degree?

I was originally introduced to RVU by a community college professor in 2019 while completing post-bacc coursework as a career-changer. The professor was very supportive and adamant that I pursue every avenue possible to achieve my goal of becoming a physician, so I began researching the RVU MSBS program. In spring 2020, I attended an open house event where I had the opportunity to converse with Dr. Towne and Dr. Roberts directly to discuss my goals, my background, my weaknesses, and current progress toward medicine. As a career changer, my academic history looks quite different from "typical" medical school applicants, I knew that I needed a structured program to prepare for the rigors of medical education. After lengthy conversation, it was clear to me that the program faculty would invest as much into me as I would invest in the program and they genuinely wanted to help me reach my goals. I went home that afternoon, talked it over with my wife, and we decided to submit the application to RVU for the MSBS program--and here I am today!

What do you enjoy doing when not at RVU (family life, interests and hobbies)?
My wife and I enjoy visiting new cities, going on cruises (not so much right now since we're all living the pandemic life), and playing with our dog, Remy. As with most people in CO, in the winter months I ski if I can find time; in the warmer months, I enjoy taking Remy to different off-leash dog parks, going on long, aimless drives, and finding interesting hikes across CO. I also enjoy sudoku, mechanical puzzles, and nature documentaries.

What is an interesting or little known fact about you?
My freshman year of college, I lost almost all the skin on my face, neck, and left forearm & hand due to a fire incident (think Two-Face from Batman, but both sides of my face). Amazingly, I didn't require any skin grafting and now its barely noticeable unless I point it out. Stop, drop, and roll really does help if you're engulfed in flames!

What is the best piece of advice you have been given by a professor or student while at RVU?
I was told to "speak up & speak out because people listen when you speak and learn from what you share."

What are your medical interests?
My current interests are interventional radiology, cardiology, OB/GYN, ophthalmology, PM&R, and anesthesia. Honestly, as I gain more exposure, I may encounter a specialty that "sweeps me off my feet," so I'm realistically approaching my journey with as much of an open mind as I can muster.
Aside from "medical" medicine, I'm an advocate for reducing health disparities in the Black community; I believe the key to addressing these disparities is rooted in equitable education (medical school, residency, fellowship, conferences, etc.) and diverse representation. We all have a responsibility in remediating our society to facilitate better healthcare for all patients

What is a favorite memory you have from being in RVU?
My favorite memory so far was the student-led Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summit. The forum afforded many the opportunity to learn from each other and thoughtful guest speakers. Individuals from varying backgrounds were very open about their experiences, implicit biases, and self-identified blind spots in a way that highlighted humility and sincere engagement with a sensitive topic. Additionally, the engagement of faculty and RVU administrators demonstrated institution-level investment and genuine dedication to being part of the solution in today's dynamic, constantly evolving healthcare landscape.

What advice do you have for prospective students?
Research, research, research! A graduate degree, especially one as challenging as the MSBS, is a major commitment and investment. Learn as much as you can about the programs and if possible, attend open house events and speak with program faculty & current students directly. Also, remember to be kind to yourself because the road to becoming a physician, PA, NP, dentist, etc. is tough and it looks different for everyone, so try not to compare your progress to others too often

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