School of Natural Science and Mathematics adding human biology, biochemistry degrees

October 27th, 2010

The Indiana University East School of Natural Science and Mathematics is seeking approval from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education for two new degree programs.

The Bachelor of Science in Human Life Science and a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry degree programs received prior approval from the Indiana University Board of Trustees during its October 1 meeting. Both degrees could begin in fall 2011 pending approval from the commission.

The degrees are consistent with IU East’s mission to offer a broad range of bachelor’s degrees. 

The B.S. in Human Life Science provides students with extensive preparation for graduate or professional studies. Graduate school preparation is specifically for medical school, pathology and laboratory medicine, occupational therapy or physical therapy.

The degree will help to prepare students for a variety of professions including medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and other health professions, in addition to careers in laboratory analysis, research and development, quality control, training and a variety of careers in industry and business.

Joan Lafuze, professor of biology, said there is currently a shortage in the state and nationwide for trained health science professionals.

“By completing this program, students will have the knowledge for critical scientific approaches pertinent to problem-solving and analytics in health-related professions, medicine, and interrelated fields,” Lafuze said. “The region’s economic and social development will benefit significantly from a greater number of individuals skilled in health sciences.”

The B.S. in Biochemistry program is for students with an interest in chemistry and biochemistry. By completing the degree, students will be prepared for professional programs in pharmacy, medicine, dentistry or other health related disciplines. Students planning to attend graduate school for a master’s degree or Ph.D. in biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology, medical research, or any biology-related field will be well-served by this degree.

In addition to jobs requiring laboratory skills like in research and development institutes and companies, graduates will be well suited to jobs in marketing, sales, at hospitals and other medical facilities also present significant opportunities for employment.

Hitesh Kathuria, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, said the biochemistry degree bridges the gap between modern chemistry and biology.

“This degree program allows students to develop the fundamental and analytical skills they will need to work in areas of biology or chemistry,” Kathuria said.

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