St. Lawrence University has created a new bachelor’s degree program in biomedical sciences, preparing graduates for careers in health, medicine, or research through interdisciplinary learning and individualized career preparation.
“Majors in biomedical science are not very common, so the opportunity for students to explore the very technical, cutting-edge aspects of the biological basis of health and disease within the liberal arts curriculum St. Lawrence provides is exciting,” said Kari Heckman, associate professor of biology and a faculty lead on the proposal to add the major to the curriculum.
Housed in the Biology Department, students pursuing the biomedical sciences major will develop a deep understanding of the cellular, molecular, and physiological concepts relevant to human health, wellness, and disease while gaining experiential career preparation opportunities like emergency medical technician (EMT) training, internships, and fellowships in research or the health care industry.
A unique offering of the new major includes a biomedical context coursework requirement that aims to provide students with a perspective on human health, disease, and medicine from a social science, humanities, or arts lens. The major also includes a pathway for students interested in health careers to complete courses required for medical school or dental school while students interested in conducting research can embrace a biomedical focus and work alongside a St. Lawrence faculty mentor to complete applied science research projects.
“The major is distinct in that it focuses on health, the integration of non-science aspects of health, and the inclusion of a hands-on experience to create a uniquely packaged undergraduate experience,” said Heckman. “The hands-on, experiential learning component helps students acquire and hone skills and develop professional connections that will help them excel in graduate or professional studies and future careers.”
The major is distinct in that it focuses on health, the integration of non-science aspects of health, and the inclusion of a hands-on experience to create a uniquely packaged undergraduate experience." – Kari Heckman
St. Lawrence’s new biomedical sciences, digital media and film, data science, and finance majors, and post-baccalaureate pre-med curriculum are a result of the Experience St. Lawrence: The Task Force on Institutional Structure, Policy, and Planning, which was created in December 2019 with the charge of reimagining a liberal arts education in the 21st century and recommending a pathway to position St. Lawrence as a leader among its peers for decades to come. The process enlisted the expertise of numerous Laurentians across disciplines and divisions, and the new majors are part of several inspiring academic programming recommendations made by the Task Force.
In addition to Heckman, other faculty and staff who helped develop the program include Professor of Biology and Psychology Ana Estevez, Professor of Biology Joe Erlichman, and Biology Academic Support Specialist Jane Kring.
Students can declare the biomedical sciences major in Fall 2022.