Biomedical Sciences

This is a versatile major that will prepare students fully for any health-related field. The program is fundamentally focused on the health sciences as a whole but leaves ample room for development of outside interests that enhance an application for professional schools.


Practicing Medicine

As the only private college in Iowa offering this major, BVU ensures students are completing research with faculty that have research training and education at Johns Hopkins University, Princeton University, Cornell University in New York, and Mayo Clinic. All students are required to complete a multi-semester research project and pursue research in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, or computer science. These research projects are often in collaboration with scientists at Mayo Clinic, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, National Taiwan University, the University of Nebraska Lincoln, and Tufts University in Boston. These research experiences are valuable in helping BVU students stand out from others when applying for admission to graduate and professional programs.


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According to, physicians hold the number one highest paying in-demand job in America with a base salary of $212,000 in 2016.


The median annual wage for healthcare practitioners and technical occupations was $62,610 in May 2015, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations.


The health sciences are always in demand and listed as growth industries in the future. Jobs in healthcare are often listed as jobs with the most future increases in employment.


State Of The Art

What Students Access at BVU

To facilitate research projects, students have early access to state-of-the-art equipment. Currently students are generating 3-D images of cells to find changes with the confocal microscope or analyses of changes in human or animal gene expression using a Real Time PCR machine. In addition, collaborative student experiments with Dr. Steve Russell’s at his lab at the Mayo Clinic are underway in the tissue culture hood.

The Estelle Siebens Science Center is a 70,000 square-foot building with 18 laboratories and three research areas holding:

  •  Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscope (NMR)
  •  Gas chromatography-mass spectrometer (GC-MS)
  •  Human anatomy laboratory
  •  Confocal Microscope
  •  Human Cadaver Lab
  •  Sterile hoods
  •  UV and chemiluminescent imaging equipment
  •  Greenhouse with three environmental growth chambers

BVU's Internship In Healthcare

Undergraduate Rural Medicine Education

Each January, up to three pre-med students participate in an intensive internship at Buena Vista Regional Medical Center in Storm Lake and three other area hospitals as part of BVU’s unique Undergraduate Rural Medicine Education and Development (URMED) program. Students participating in URMED also receive a $3,000 stipend to help defray expenses associated with applying to medical school.

Pre-professional opportunities are also available for students interested in physical therapy, radiology, optometry, and pharmacy careers in rural settings.

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  • Mayo Clinic Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Mayo Clinic Virology and Gene Therapy
  • Sanford Health Biomedical Sciences


  • Medical doctors
  • Nurse practitioner and physician assistant
  • Optometry
  • Dentistry
  • Chiropractic
  • Physical therapy
  • Radiology
  • Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Biomedical research
  • Biotechnology research
  • Mortuary Science
  • Forensics
  • Genetic Counselor

Graduate School

  • University of Iowa
  • Illinois College of Optometry
  • Mayo Clinic (Ph.D.)
Major in Biomedical Sciences (55 Credit Hours)
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Dr. Thomas Bonagura
Associate Professor of Biology
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Dr. Brittney Dinkel
Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology
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Dr. Kristy McClellan
Associate Professor of Biology
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