UB Offering New B.S. Degree in Biomedical Sciences

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: August 20, 2004 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences this fall will begin offering a new Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical sciences for students who anticipate applying to professional or graduate programs in the health sciences.

This major will require students to take core courses that traditionally are considered prerequisites for professional programs in medicine, dentistry, optometry, podiatry, chiropractic and veterinary medicine, as well most graduate programs in various health science disciplines. It previously was available only as a special major through the College of Arts and Sciences. 

The new major should not be considered "UB's pre-med major," cautions Mary Anne Rokitka, associate dean for biomedical undergraduate education and clinical associate professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

"Pre-med students can choose from a variety of majors en route to medical school. The biomedical sciences major offers students yet another option as they contemplate their futures," she says, adding that completion of the biomedical sciences major does not guarantee admission into UB's medical school or any other medical school.

The biomedical sciences are, by their very nature, interdisciplinary, Rokitka notes. "They are derivatives of the natural sciences -- biology, chemistry and physics -- and they share a clinical focus: namely, an application of basic science principles to the health and well being of living organisms." 

The major in biomedical sciences engages students in coursework associated with the natural sciences that becomes the infrastructure for courses that have a "biomedical sciences" focus, such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and microbiology. 

Once students complete courses in the natural and biomedical sciences, they may choose electives "that confer a unique character on their major in the biomedical sciences," Rokitka says. Among those electives are courses in medical terminology, sociology, ethics, nutrition, anthropology, biophysics and advanced microbiology and physiology.

Research and internship opportunities will be available to upper-division students, she says.

Admission into the major is based upon the completion of three semesters of chemistry, two semesters of biology, two semesters of calculus and one semester of physics. The minimum grade-point average required for admission is 2.0 overall and 2.5 in the math/science courses. Students are advised to complete the prerequisite courses by the end of the fourth semester. Transfer students will be held to the same criteria.

More information about the new major is available at http://www.smbs.buffalo.edu/bms.