Trent University just launched a new undergraduate Biomedical Sciences program, a four-year Bachelor of Science degree, upon its approval by the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities in November 2015.
The Biomedical Science degree is expected to start in Fall 2016. It will prepare students for careers in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary, physiotherapy, and other biomedical or applied health fields. Its flexibility will allow students to personalize their degree by incorporating related areas of interests ranging from sciences, to the humanities, to social sciences.
“The Biomedical Science program was developed to reflect the growing needs of the students for a more focused degree that a generic biology degree was not able to meet,” said Dr. Craig Brunetti, Chair of the Biology Department at Trent University.
Central to the program is the fourth year internship placement course which is unique only to Trent, that no other Ontario university offers for an undergraduate Biomedical Science degree, pointed out Dr. Brunetti. The internship placement will provide a hands-on experiential learning opportunity in medical and health-related fields under the direct mentorship of the Professionals.
Besides what will make this internship initiative feasible is the fact that Trent had being doing this for years, commented Dr. Brunetti, so they [Trent] will not have to worry about it not working: “We know how to do it and make it work.”
The Trent Biology Department has had specialization for almost 15 years, namely health sciences and conservation biology. There were some things they wanted to do in the specialization but were restricted by the minimum requirements of the generic biology degree. Since they saw a lot of interest in the health sciences, they took the basis of that specialization and moved it into its own degree.
Dr. Brunetti also gave recognition to Dr. Leslie Kerr, associate professor of Biology at Trent University and one of the members of the committee who helped develop the new program. Dr. Brunetti recognized Dr. Kerr as the lead driver of the proposal who had worked on it for about three years.
According to Dr. Brunetti, the new Biomedical Science program shares a lot of similarities with the specialization in health sciences degree, but since it is no longer a biology degree, they have been able to remove some of the biology degree requirements and have streamlined it to be more specialized in content.
Further, they are also looking at moving specialization in conservation biology into a separate degree in the near future, implied Dr. Brunetti.
It was also noted that current first-year biology students would have the opportunity to apply to go into the second year of the biomedical science degree. According to Dr. Brunetti, although the degree is designed for students to apply to while still in their high school, there is also a pathway for current first-year biology students to transition into the new program. However, the process is under discussion. So, in Fall 2016, the Biomedical program will see both first- and second-year students.
When asked what this new program means to Trent, it was discovered that Trent has always felt that they had strong health researchers but not a lot of clear health programming at the undergraduate level. And this is one of the first movements made since Trent provided health, or health-related, degrees at the undergraduate level.
“This recent program development is going to be a real selling point, one area that will help the University,” said Dr. Brunetti.
More information about the program and admissions requirements can be obtained from the Biomedical Sciences program page: