New Biomedical Sciences Major Prepares Undergrads for Med Fields
A new degree program in biomedical sciences is set to begin at SUNY Plattsburgh in fall 2017, offering students pursuing medical field careers a strong pre-med option.
The new 120-credit-hour Bachelor of Science in biomedical sciences degree is designed to set up graduates to successfully apply to schools of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, optometry, pharmacy and other post-graduate professional schools.
“This major is tailored to the needs of students applying to medical schools"
The curriculum offers a rigorous foundation in biology and includes not only the core sciences that are prerequisites for post-graduate medical schools but also requires a range of science courses that will serve them equally well in their post-graduate education. Those courses include human anatomy and physiology, histology, medical microbiology, immunology, biology of cancer, and molecular neuroscience.
“Graduates will also be suited for research in a medical lab or a masters or doctoral degree program in any of the biomedical sciences,” said Dr. Donald Slish, professor of biological sciences and coordinator of the pre-health professions program.
Dr. Neil Buckley, chair of the biological sciences department, said the new major will give students a leg up when they begin their post-graduate work.
“This major is tailored to the needs of students applying to medical schools,” Buckley said. “We also think they will do better when they get there because the work won’t all be new; it won’t be the first time they see histology or have performed dissections. Our graduates should have a really good foundation for success.”
Having a true pre-med major “says that we have more to offer in the sciences than most SUNY colleges,” Slish said. “We have a traditional B.S. program, a B.A. program that we’re in the process of revamping to include more humanities classes, the new biomedical sciences degree, our 3+1 programs in med tech/cytotech, a 3+4 program in pharmacy with the University of Buffalo, and 3+4 M.D. programs with two Caribbean medical schools. That’s a lot to choose from.”
Required courses include:
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Cell Biology
- Introduction to the Health Professions
- Organic Chemistry
Elective courses include:
- Medical Microbiology
- Molecular Neuroscience
- Biology of Cancer
- Introduction to Histology
- Cardiovascular Pharmacology
“Our biology major more than holds its own,” Buckley said. “But I think offering this program will make us particularly competitive. Students have always come to us over the years asking about pre-med, and we didn’t have a clear, focused track for pre-med students. But this program does a wonderful job fitting their needs — and it makes an interesting and exciting challenge for our students..”
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