Biomedical Science, Bachelor of Science

Department of Biological Sciences

College of the Environment, Forestry, and Natural Sciences

This program provides rigorous biological training, focused on biomedical science. Students will research, study, and analyze natural systems, their components, and how they work. This program prepares students for entry-level biomedical jobs or further graduate/professional programs in the biomedical sciences.

  • To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.

    • All of Northern Arizona University's diversity, liberal studies, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
    • At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
    • At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
    • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.

    The full policy can be viewed here.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • At least 67 units of major requirements

  • Up to 9 units of major prefix courses may be used to satisfy Liberal Studies requirements; these same courses may also be used to satisfy major requirements.

  • Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units.

Students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 120
Major GPA C
Highest Mathematics Required MAT 125
Research Optional
University Honors Program Optional
AZ Transfer Students complete AGEC-A Recommended
Progression Plan Link View Progression Plan

Purpose Statement

The Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences consists of a Life Sciences Core combined with a broad range of flexible elective options. From anatomy and physiology to human microbiology, students will develop an understanding of biological and chemical systems of the human body — and develop a foundation for a career in a range of health professions.
The Life Sciences Core is designed to provide the student with a strong grounding in biology, chemistry and mathematics. The student, in consultation with an academic advisor and using a basic course schedule as a guideline, may select from elective courses relevant to a range of disciplinary areas and career fields, such as Human Genomics, Immunobiology, Medical Microbiology, Bioinformatics, Bioengineering or design his or her own set of electives approved by one of the program academic advisors. 
Numerous undergraduate research opportunities involve you in the process and application of science in research areas at NAU’s research centers and institutes, such as the Center for Bioengineering Innovation (CBI),the Center for Microbial Genetics & Genomics (MGGen), the Center for Applied Research and Environmental Endocrinology (CAREE), and at the Imaging and Histology Core Facility.  Due to the rigorous nature of our program, our graduates have exceptional placement rates in medical schools, government agencies, and graduate programs.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to communicate scientific information effectively, with specialized knowledge of issues in health-related fields within the biosciences.
  • As preparation for careers in research and the health sciences, students will be able to collect, analyze and interpret scientific data with application to problems involving human disease, molecular biology, genetics, cell biology and/or microbiology.
  • Students will develop proficiency in the quantitative skills necessary to analyze biological problems (e.g., arithmetic, algebra, dimensional analysis, and statistical analysis), with an emphasis of quantitative techniques applicable to biomedical fields.
  • Students will be able to apply the scientific method as a demonstration that they understand the basic paradigm of scientific inquiry as it relates health-related questions in the field of biology.
  • Students will be able to describe fundamental principles of biology e.g., central dogma, diversity of life, inheritance.
  • Students will understand that evolution is the central principle uniting the field of biology, and that human biology (e.g., physiology, behavior, disease, pathogen interactions) is shaped by the evolutionary process.
  • Students will be able to access and interrogate the primary scientific literature with knowledge of specialized resources available within the biomedical sciences (e.g., the National Library of Medicine)
  • Students will be able to synthesize material from throughout the biomedical discipline (e.g., evolution, genetics, molecular biology, anatomy, physiology, behavior, microbiology) and apply this to advanced-level course material (i.e., a Capstone experience).
  • Students will develop an appreciation for the interdisciplinary role of science as applied to human health challenges, including health issues affecting the global community and health disparities among differing communities.
  • Students will develop a mastery of one of the following areas, as applied to the biomedical sciences: a) Anatomy and Physiology, b) Genetics and Molecular Biology c) Microbiology and Immunology.

Major Requirements
  • Take the following 67 units including 40 units of Biology and Biology-related coursework with a Grade of "C" or better:

    Select one of the following junior-level writing requirement options (3-5 units)(Note: The Department of Biological Sciences is phasing out the BIO 305W course and transitioning to the BIO 365W course for its majors).
General Electives
  • Additional coursework is required if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit.

    You may take these remaining courses from any of the academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. You may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.

    We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you.

Additional Information
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.