Broadening the educational pipeline: the global landscape of master of science programs in reproductive science and medicine

Lauren M. Ataman-Millhouse, Pamela Monahan, Rebecca Willingham, Giulia Vigone, Mao Soulakis, Joaquín Gadea, Maria Jiménez-Movilla, Raquel Romar, Sebastián Cánovas, Teresa K Woodruff, Francesca E. Duncan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Reproductive health underpins overall health, and thus, research in reproductive science and medicine is essential. This requires a pipeline of trained scientists and clinicians, which is challenging given the relatively small size of the field. Educational programs outside the traditional doctorate or medical degrees are needed to generate and maintain a well-trained reproductive science and medicine workforce. Master's programs have gained traction as a viable way for students to receive educational value relative to their career goals. Our hypothesis is master's degree programs in the fundamental, applied, and allied health reproductive fields broadens the workforce and increases impact. An internet web search identified 73 programs that conferred an MS degree in the areas of animal science, clinical/embryology, and reproductive health/biology. These programs are spread across the globe in Europe (47%), North America (23%), Asia (14%), South America (7%), Oceania (5%), and Africa (4%). To evaluate global exemplars, we profiled the mission and structure, curriculum, and program impact of two established master's degree programs: the Master of Science in Reproductive Science and Medicine at Northwestern University in the United States and the Biology and Technology of Reproduction in Mammals at the University of Murcia in Spain. Elements of infrastructure and support, program connectivity, and alumni networks were analyzed for their role in the success of the programs. These two programs have formally trained >375 individuals, demonstrating master's degree programs in reproductive science are an important educational mechanism. The educational best practices shared here serve as templates for expanding training programs worldwide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)664-675
Number of pages12
JournalBiology of reproduction
Volume107
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022

Keywords

  • graduate education
  • reproduction
  • reproductive technology
  • science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine

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