Purpose of the Biomedical Sciences Program
The Biomedical Sciences Program serves the Coastal Bend region, the state of Texas, and the nation by preparing students for biomedical career opportunities including health services, research, forensic science, genetic engineering, biotechnology, bioinformatics, product sales, and services dealing with analysis, assessment and inspection. A few biomedical careers are available to a student with a baccalaureate degree, but most will require the student to complete post-baccalaureate course work or to earn a graduate degree. Core courses in biology and chemistry provide students with critical thinking skills in the pure sciences; specific courses allow students to further develop these skills and utilize them in solving problems. This unique combination provides students with a strong conceptual framework and also allows students to focus upon applied biomedical sciences. The three options in the Biomedical Sciences Program prepare students
- to enter post-baccalaureate or graduate programs in the health professions (e.g., medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, physician assistant, physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc.) or in related sciences.
- for post-baccalaureate certification in clinical laboratory sciences.
- for careers and/or graduate training in forensic science and related areas.
Student Learning Outcomes
- Possess a broad understanding of science and its in-depth application to their specific option within the biomedical sciences major.
- Demonstrate critical thinking skills
- Practice the oral and written communication skills necessary to share biomedical information with a range of audiences and in a variety of venues.
The Honors Program
The Honors Program (admission by application only) offers highly motivated students from any academic discipline an enriched program of study in which to develop global perspectives. Appropriate courses approved by both a student’s BIMS faculty mentor and Honors advisor may count toward the BIMS degree. BIMS students wishing to participate in the Honors track may require some additional course work. For more information, consult the section entitled “Honors Program” near the front of this catalog.
Numerous undergraduate programs complement a major in Biomedical Sciences. In addition to the “traditional” partners (Biology, Chemistry, Physics), students should also examine courses in the Department of Computing Sciences, the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. Students should also consider courses in the College of Liberal Arts (social sciences, languages, criminal justice), in the College of Business, and in the College of Education (kinesiology). Details of these programs are available in their respective sections of this catalog.
Requirements of the Biomedical Sciences Major
The Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences degree requires a minimum of 120 semester hours: 42 are from designated Core Curriculum Program courses, 17 are from biomedical sciences core courses, and 61 are from biomedical sciences option courses. Students select one of three biomedical sciences options: (A) Pre-Professional Option, (B) Pre-Clinical Laboratory Science Option (professional certification as a clinical laboratory scientist requires additional semester hours of course work), or (C) Forensic Science Option. A student should select an option after completion of a minimum of 35 semester hours of university course work, but before the completion of 50 semester hours. After their sophomore year (60 semester hours), students must have (and maintain) a cumulative GPA of 2.50 or above in their course work, with no course work older than 5 years. No “D” or “F” grades will be accepted as credit within the biomedical sciences core or option courses.
- First-Year Seminars OR Professional Skills
- University Core Curriculum Programs **
- Biomedical Sciences Core Courses
- Biomedical Sciences Option Courses
I. First Year Seminars/Professional Skills
Full-time, first-year students are required to take these First-Year Seminar courses:
Students entering with some college credit
Students entering with some college credit may not be required to take one or both of the First-Year Seminar courses (see The First Year Learning Communities Program for rules and exceptions concerning these courses). Students in the Pre-Professional or Forensic Science options who are not required to take these First-Year Seminar courses must take BIMS 2200 Professional Skills (see below). Students in the Clinical Laboratory Science option must take BIMS 4200 whether or not they have taken none, one or both First Year Seminars:
**Three 4-hour science and mathematics courses are required for all Biomedical Sciences students: BIOL 1406 , BIOL 1407 , and MATH 1442 ). Only the 3 lecture hours of each will apply to the Core Curriculum Program. Each one-hour laboratory component will be counted in the Component Area Option of the University Core Curriculum. The 3 lecture hours of General Chemistry I (CHEM 1411) will also be counted in the Component Area Option of the University Core Curriculum, but the 1 laboratory hour will be counted as part of the Biomedical Science core.
II. University Core Curriculum
III. Biomedical Sciences Core Courses
IV. Biomedical Sciences Options
Each multi-disciplinary option provides specific background in an area of biomedical sciences that corresponds to the student’s career choice. For the baccalaureate degree, an option consists of requirements and electives totaling 59-61 semester hours of course work.
A. Pre-Professional Option
This option is designed for students who plan to continue their education in a professional school (e.g., medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant, etc.) or graduate school. Students in this option must choose either Statistics for Life (MATH 1442 ) or Calculus I (MATH 2413 ) to satisfy the University Core requirement in mathematics, and they must complete the Major Field Test in Biology (BIOL 4085 ) during their senior year, prior to graduation.
Choose 49 semester credit hours from the electives listed below:
This option has flexible degree requirements with many electives to accommodate the different professional schools’ diverse entrance requirements. In the list of electives above, however, not every course is appropriate for every student and some courses are best taken at a particular time. For example:
Students should take basic science courses such as BIMS 3403 , BIMS 4406 , BIOL 3425 , BIOL 3430 , CHEM 4401 , CHEM 4402 , PHYS 1401 , PHYS 1402 before they attempt standardized admissions tests (usually at the end of their junior year). Most professional schools encourage applicants to have a broad background in the basic sciences, and these courses are helpful even if they are not specifically required for admission to a particular career area.
To decide which electives to choose, students should:
- consult their faculty mentor and academic advisor who can also provide information about the “other mentor approved electives” which may include nonlisted courses in natural sciences (biology, biomedical sciences, chemistry, physics), social sciences (psychology, sociology), computer science, health sciences, criminal justice, kinesiology, or business.
- contact the appropriate school(s) to determine their specific entrance requirements.
- obtain a sample degree plan for a particular career field. These are available on the BIMS web site, from the student’s faculty mentor or academic advisor, or through the Pre-professional website (http://prepro.tamucc.edu).
B. Pre-Clinical Laboratory Science Option
Clinical Laboratory Science is an interesting, challenging, and rewarding profession. Clinical laboratory scientists obtain and analyze clinical laboratory data and consult with physicians and others regarding those data. Working in hospitals, clinics, research laboratories, physicians’ offices, or public health laboratories, they are responsible for a variety of chemical, hematological, immunological, microbiological, serological, and other laboratory procedures. Furthermore, the clinical laboratory scientist is also responsible for quality assurance in the laboratory and the supervision of other laboratory personnel. The biomedical science degree with the pre-clinical laboratory science option includes 9 hours of required foundation courses and 51-53 hours from the clinical courses listed below.
Pre-Clinical Laboratory Science Option—Required Foundation Courses
Although no specific courses are required, students will find familiarity with anatomy and/or physiology to be extremely beneficial.
Pre-Clinical Laboratory Science Option—Clinical Courses
For generalist certification, students complete the 51-53 semester credit hours listed below:
- Admission to courses identified with an asterisk (*) is limited to students who have a minimum GPA of 2.7, and who have a “C” or better in all prerequisite Biology, Chemistry, and Biomedical Sciences courses. Full-time students will be given preference for admission to these courses.
- If a student earns a grade of D, F or W in a BIMS CLS course, that course must be repeated. A course in which a grade of less than C (i.e., D, F or W-withdrawal) was earned may be repeated only once.
- A student who has earned a grade of less than C (i.e., D, F or W-withdrawal) in two BIMS CLS courses or who has earned a grade of less than C (D, F or W-withdrawal) twice in the same CLS course will be dismissed from the BIMS CLS program.
- Students receiving a grade of D, F or W (withdrawal) or I (Incomplete) in a BIMS CLS course may not progress to courses for which that course is a pre-requisite.
- Following dismissal, students may apply for reinstatement to the BIMS CLS program. Reinstatement is competitive and is based upon space availability.
- In order for students to progress through the program, they must be in compliance with immunizations and hospital orientation regulations.
Clinical Laboratory Science Certification
The clinical laboratory scientist holds a key position in life-and-death matters involving the diagnosis and treatment of patients. Therefore, the practice of clinical laboratory science is regulated both from within the profession and, in some states, by law. In addition to the coursework for the baccalaureate degree, employment as a clinical laboratory scientist requires professional certification. A student may obtain one of three certifications in clinical laboratory science: generalist, clinical chemist, or medical microbiologist. Complete information (and an application for the certification examination in any area) may be obtained from the clinical laboratory science director. To apply for certification, a student must earn a “C” or better in all BIMS courses; and an interview and reference letters also may be required.
Clinical Laboratory Science at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is approved through the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science.
C. Forensic Science Option
This interdisciplinary option allows students to prepare for careers in forensic science (including entrance into graduate programs in forensic science and related areas). Prospective students should be aware that employers in forensic science typically require employees to meet personal suitability requirements (e.g., honesty, integrity, and scientific objectivity). Background checks and drug tests similar to those required for law enforcement officers are likely to be a condition of employment. Students in this option must choose Calculus I (MATH 2413 ) to satisfy the University Core requirement in mathematics. Elective courses allow the student to begin to specialize in an emphasis area such as forensic biology (mainly biology and biomedical sciences courses), forensic chemistry (mainly chemistry courses), or general forensic science. A student’s degree plan may include a maximum of six hours of internship, research, or independent study (e.g., BIMS 4295 , BIMS 4299 , BIMS 4396 , or BIOL 4350 ). Students in this option must take a standardized assessment test during their senior year, prior to graduation.
Forensic Science Option—Required Courses
Forensic Science Option—Electives
Choose 18-19 semester credit hours from the electives listed below, including at least one course identified with an asterisk (*):
Although Biomedical Sciences does not offer a minor, many upper-division BIMS courses may count toward the Biology Minor (see the Biology section of this catalog). Students majoring in Biomedical Sciences may not minor in Biology.