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Biomedical Sciences program competitive, rigorous

July 19, 2010

Prior to 2005, the Department of Biomedical Sciences (and its precursors, the Department of Physiology and the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology) offered only graduate degrees while offering service courses to undergraduate majors from other departments and providing educational instruction to students in the Professional Veterinary Medical Program. That changed in 2005 with the introduction of a new undergraduate degree program in Biomedical Sciences.

Enrollment cap of 300

The undergraduate program in Biomedical Sciences is a rigorous curriculum that is oriented to the life sciences.

Seventy-five students entered the undergraduate program in Spring 2006; most of them were enrolled, open option in Biomedical Sciences or life sciences. The program added 75 students each year until it met its enrollment cap of 300.

“Last year, we graduated our first class of Biomedical Sciences majors, and the program has become nationally known, drawing students from across the country,” said Kelly Swetich, undergraduate adviser in the Department of Biomedical Sciences.

“This is a rigorous curriculum that is oriented to the life sciences, and more than 40 percent of our students are enrolled in the honors program.”

Interest in math and science

The application process is competitive and freshman students who apply to the program must meet specific academic requirements to be eligible for admission,  including a demonstrated interest and ability in math and science.

“We have an amazing group of students who are active in their major and in their community, and who have a clear sense of where they want to go,” said Swetich, who also is the adviser to the Biomedical Student Association, which coordinates many community service activities and career seminars for students in the Biomedical Sciences. She also is active in CSU’s Preview program for new students and Ram Welcome.

Securing jobs in biotech field, pursuing advanced degrees

Incoming freshmen should apply for acceptance early during their senior year in high school.

“In the first poll we took of our students, more than 75 percent indicated they planned on applying to veterinary school or medical school, while the majority of the remaining students planned on continuing in graduate programs or attending other applied health professions schools.

Today, we see those trends continuing with our recent graduates, and we also are seeing that many of our students are securing jobs in the biotechnology field.”

With more students applying than the program can accommodate, incoming freshmen must apply for acceptance early during their senior year in high school. Once the program is full, students can go on a waiting list and complete required Colorado State University core curricular and general biology and chemistry courses.

Dedicated to providing great educational experience

“We encourage new students to apply early to get the best chance at entering the program,” Swetich said. “We are dedicated to providing the best undergraduate educational experience we can, and want all those who are seriously interested in this major to have the opportunity to be a student in our program.”

Originally published in Biomedical Sciences Update, Spring 2010.