An additional requirement for the Biomedical Sciences (BIMS) MS Non-Thesis degree program is a capstone experience that is documented in a professional portfolio.
VIBS 650: Education in a Veterinary Medical and Biomedical Environment is a required course for all BIMS MS Non-Thesis students. A requirement of VIBS 650 is to begin a professional portfolio that is intended to serve as a blueprint for success in the program. Subsequently, under the direction of the student’s faculty mentor, this portfolio will be further refined into a document showcasing the accomplishments and personal and professional growth of the student in preparation for further professional education.
At the core of this capstone experience is one-on-one guidance by the student’s faculty mentor to identify and remedy weaknesses in the student’s biomedical preparation. In addition to successfully completing coursework in fundamental biomedical sciences, the student will be coached by the mentor to improve their competitiveness for admission* and success in their chosen professional program. Common areas of focus include experiential learning (such as professional shadowing, internships, and directed studies), the identification and grooming of professional track references, and strategic preparation for standardized tests. This individualized capstone experience will culminate in a professional portfolio.
Resume or curriculum vitae
Resume – a short summary of professional track skills and experiences tailored to the student’s applications, contact information, educational background, honors or recognition achieved, professional track work experience, special skills, membership in organizations and other relevant information
Curriculum vitae – a cumulative document expanding on the information documented in the resume (include a non-Texas A&M, permanent e-mail address)
References – a list of 3 to 5 people who would be willing to provide a strong reference advocating for the student (include contact information, title, and relationship to the student). Faculty with whom the student has had extensive interactions, mentors and professional track supervisors who can attest to work habits are often best.
Personal statement(s) – all essays that are required in the application to the professional program(s) of the student’s choice*
Application update – a summary of professional program application status (intended, active, offered, declined, and accepted, as applicable)
Portfolio template – The VMBS Office of Research & Graduate Studies has a template to guide the formatting of the capstone portfolio document. The faculty will provide feedback and edits to the documents before it is finalized.
The faculty mentor will decide the electronic format of the document for rounds of editing.
The final approved PDF file of the capstone portfolio must be submitted by the student from their @tamu.edu email account to Dee Cooper by the last day for non-thesis option MS students to take the final examination in the term of graduation as defined by the Texas A&M Graduate & Professional School calendar.
Dee Cooper will verify faculty approval of the capstone portfolio via email using the student’s @tamu.edu email address.
Additionally, graduating students must complete this electronic alumni data exit survey as well as connect with Dee Cooper on LinkedIn.
*Conflict of Interest Notice: If the faculty mentor serves on the admissions committee of the professional program their student is applying to, the mentor will recuse themselves from providing guidance on certain application components. The student is encouraged to seek mentoring from other faculty to complete those components.