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Students in Kinesiology lab.

Biomedical Science

You’ve always wanted to make it better. A bird with a broken wing. A toddler with an earache. A teen with teeth that hinder smiles. A young mother with breast cancer. You want to understand how life functions and use that knowledge to promote good health, to take care treat and to cure. McDaniel’s Biomedical Science major offers everything you need to launch your future in medicine, whether as a pediatrician, dentist, veterinarian, internist, or brain surgeon.

Degree Types
Complementary Programs
Distinctive Requirements
Lab courses in Biology, Chemistry and Physics

Program Overview

Our Biomedical Science program targets your acceptance into medical, dental, or veterinary school. You’ll study from a course menu that’s rich in biology, chemistry, physics and statistics but also offers a firm grounding in psychology and sociology and the empowering critical and creative thinking skills rooted in the liberal arts.

You’ll collaborate on cutting-edge research with professors who are innovative scientists in their own right – Chemistry professor Dana Ferraris’ new cancer drug just cleared FDA approval. And take on internships at world-class medical centers – Maryland’s premier Shock Trauma Center among them – in a region known for its tier-one health care.

Advising begins on day one to help you build a resume rich in courses, research, internships, and professional presentations that give you a competitive advantage for acceptance to and success in any one of these professional schools.

All about resources and support from day one: Preparation for Medical, Dental & Veterinary School.

Dr. Theresa Hess '07 chose McDaniel so she could pursue both her passion for basketball and her dream of becoming a vet. She double majored in Biology and Biochemistry and competed for the Green Terror, coached by Becky Martin ’80, M.S. ’81, all four years.

“This is my calling,” says Hess, a small-animal surgeon with Blue Pearl Pet Hospital in Gainesville, Fla. “They talk about Dr. Doolittle, having connections to animals — it’s the same thing. I always wanted to be a vet.”

Distinctive Courses

CHE 1103 - General Chemistry I: Structure and Bonding

The first half of the two-semester, general chemistry sequence is designed primarily for those students who are interested in majoring in the sciences and have sufficiently solid backgrounds in science and mathematics to allow for a more in-depth investigation of the field. The course includes an introduction to the scientific method and it’s application to the study of chemistry and the properties of matter. The structure of matter at the atomic level is then presented in detail from the standpoint of modern atomic and molecular theory. This includes a description of the electronic structure of atoms and their relation to the periodic table, mass relationships, ionic and covalent bond formation and the theories used to explain molecular shape and molecular interactions. Finally, the major classes of chemical reactions and their associated energy changes will be explored including techniques used to balance chemical equations and the use of stoichiometry to make quantitative predictions. The laboratory focuses on the observation of physical properties of matter and chemical reactions by conventional and instrumental methods, and the application of these observations in a problem-solving environment.

BIO 2202 - Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates

A study of vertebrate structure in relation to phylogeny, ontogeny, and function, emphasizing morphological adaptation for function. The laboratory investigation compares the detailed anatomy of a fish (shark), an amphibian (Necturus), and a mammal (cat).

BIO 3316 - Animal Physiology

A study and analysis of functional processes in animals and the involvement of these processes in homeostatic regulation. Topics include osmotic and ionic regulation, excretion, respiration, circulation, muscles, nervous communication, and hormones.

BIO 4493 - Senior Colloquium

This course is the capstone experience for the Biology major. Students will conduct either original or literature-based research under faculty supervision. Students will present both a senior thesis and a scientific poster.

Biomedical Science Program Requirements

Special Opportunities: 

  • Intern at University of Maryland Medical Center’s Shock Trauma

  • Volunteer as an emergency room scribe

  • Shadow a physician, dentist or veterinarian

  • Collaborate with a professor on research in cancer drug discovery, COVID 19 treatment, and more.

  • Present your work at professional conferences

  • Connect from your first class through your acceptance with your own team of mentors, coaches, and cheerleaders: Pre-med and Health Sciences advisor Biology professor Susan Parrish and the entire Pre-medical Studies Committee.

A student wearing a lab coat looks at a microscope while smiling.

Green Terror Alum Class of 2024: Kramoh Mansalay Choose Your Journey

"The summer after freshman year, I had my first research project with Dr. Michael Polen in the Chemistry department learning about IR spectroscopy. The summer after my sophomore year, I shadowed a family nurse practitioner as a McDaniel Summer Intern Fellowship recipient. During Jan Term my junior year, I began my research with Professor Dana Ferraris in the Chemistry department synthesizing my first set of SARS-CoV-2 macrodomain inhibitors as well as volunteering at the Pediatric Emergency Department of the University of Maryland Medical Center. In fall of senior year, I studied abroad in Ifrane, Morocco, at Al Akhawayn University, and in Jan Term of senior year, I completed my research with Dr. Ferraris and synthesized a new batch of inhibitors."

McDaniel College alumna Ashley Brown '06 DDS

Alumni Spotlight Dr. Ashley Brown ’06

Brown shadowed her family dentist during the summers and became intrigued by dentistry’s unique blend of art, science and engineering. As high school came to a close, she earned an academic scholarship to McDaniel and left her home in Prince George’s County, Maryland, in the fall of 2002 to become a member of the first entering class of what was now McDaniel College. “McDaniel taught me to think critically, and this helped me tremendously at Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry,” says Brown, whose love of science was fostered by now retired Biology professors Bill Long and Esther Iglich. “This critical thinking helped me to excel, graduating in the top 5 percent of my class.

McDaniel College alumnus Dr. Todd Peters '02

Alumni Spotlight Dr. Todd Peters ’02

When he first enrolled at McDaniel College, Dr. Todd Peters ’02 thought his Biochemistry major and pre-med route might lead him to pediatrics. But he found himself pivoting in his third year at Penn State College of Medicine. “The parts of medicine that I really liked — and what I loved about my education at McDaniel — were thinking creatively and systematically, working within teams and learning to cherish getting to know people’s stories,” Peters says. “Once I did psychiatry — especially child and adolescent psychiatry — I was like, ‘Ohhh. That’s what that is.’”

McDaniel Chemistry professor Dana Ferraris, John Desmond Kopp Professorship in the Sciences and department chair

Faculty Spotlight Chemistry professor’s cancer drug clears final hurdle: FDA approval

The FDA just approved cedazuridine, the cancer drug Chemistry professor Dana Ferraris invented more than a decade ago when he worked in the biotech industry as a medicinal chemist. In its approval announcement, the agency says the combination of cedazuridine with the cancer drug decitabine in pill form is “an important advance in treatment options for patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), a type of blood cancer, who previously needed to visit a health care facility to receive intravenous treatment.”