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    Oregon Institute of Technology
   
 
  Dec 13, 2017
 
2017-18 University Catalog 
  
2017-18 University Catalog

Natural Sciences Department


Rosalind McClure, Department Chair
Professors: B. Clark, H.-Y. Li, T. McVay, M. O'Shaughnessy, E. Schechtel, R. Swisher, K. Usher
Associate Professors: R. Wilde, R. McClure
Assistant Professors: S. Anthony, M. Beekman, K. Byrne, M. Hughes, J. Kellermann, G. Pak, L. Parratt, E. Taylor, T. Lund

Degrees Offered

  • Bachelor of Science in Biology-Health Sciences
  • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences

Minor Offered

  • Applied Physics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Sustainability

The Department of Natural Sciences prepares students for challenging, rewarding careers in health, biological, and environmental sciences. The department also provides courses in biology, chemistry, and physics in support of degrees in nursing, medical imaging, dental hygiene, respiratory care, management and engineering programs.

Biology Program

Many students have an interest in biology. At Oregon Tech we have designed two programs that prepare graduates for rewarding careers that require a strong foundation in biology. For outdoor or field-oriented options, please refer to the Environmental Sciences  program in our department. It offers several emphases, including Watershed Science, which can readily be tailored to biological interests and student research projects. Graduates from our Environmental Sciences program often go on to careers with public and private agencies such as US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Forest Service and the Nature Conservancy. For medically-oriented options in biology, please see our Biology-Health Sciences  program. It offers a strong preparation to apply to professional programs, exceeding the minimum requirements for highly competitive fields such as Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, Physician Assistant, and others.

Biology-Health Sciences Program

Ken Usher, Program Director

Degree Offered

  • Bachelor of Science in Biology-Health Sciences

Objective and Career Opportunities

If you are interested in pre-medical, pre-dental, pre-veterinary, pre-pharmacy, pre-physical therapy, etc., then this is the major you want. The degree program provides an intensive course of study in the basic sciences, social sciences, communication, and mathematics to prepare students for entry into professional programs. The program will meet prerequisite requirements for schools of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, osteopathic medicine, optometry, pharmacy, and podiatry and for graduate programs in physical therapy and occupational therapy. Courses in health management, medical microbiology, biochemistry, and molecular & cell biology also provide strong preparation for graduate work in biotechnology, public health, and medical administration. This major can also prepare one for a career in education with an emphasis in biology.

Student Preparation

The Biology-Health Sciences curriculum is a demanding instructional program requiring considerable effort in science and mathematics coursework. Prospective students are advised to complete two to three years of high school mathematics and a minimum of three years of high school science (biology, chemistry, and physics).

Pre-Professional Program in Dentistry

Burt Clark, Advising Coordinator

The pre-professional program in dentistry prepares the student for entrance into dental school. While the requirements for admission to dental schools vary and some will accept students earlier, a bachelor's degree is highly encouraged for acceptance. In fact, 82% of first-year dental students have completed a four-year baccalaureate degree before starting dental school and 90% have four years of pre-dental college courses before acceptance. The curriculum at Oregon Institute of Technology provides the prerequisite courses for dental school including a full year of general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, advanced anatomy & physiology, and physics. All of these have year-long labs. In addition, health-specific courses in cell biology, clinical pharmacology, medical genetics, medical microbiology, neuroscience, nutrition, pathophysiology, and immunology are taken along with calculus, humanities, psychology, and English composition courses.

Because the pre-dental requirements for each dental school vary slightly, it is suggested by sophomore year of college that students look at the requirements for several dental schools along with their dream school. It is also recommended that students do not use AP credit to fill prerequisites for dental school since most do not accept them. There are eight advisors in Oregon Tech's pre-dental program and it is encouraged that students work closely with the advisor they connect best with. The Biology-Health Sciences Program also urges students to begin volunteering in dental settings, possibly during high school and especially during college. For students still in high school, it is advisable to enroll in many sciences courses before college to help prepare for future success.

Admission to dental school is very competitive and requires strong academic achievement. Besides a strong college GPA and application, students must take the dental admission test (DAT) offered by the American Dental Association. The test measures a student's comprehension of scientific information and academic ability. Once accepted, it will take approximately four years to complete dental school.

For complete program requirements and a list of appropriate courses, please see the Biology-Health Sciences Program. Completion of this program will lead to a Bachelor of Science in Biology-Health Sciences.

Pre-Professional Program in Medicine

Burt Clark, Advising Coordinator

This program prepares students for entrance into medical school and is often referred to as pre-med. The curriculum at Oregon Institute of Technology provides a pathway to complete all the prerequisites that medical schools like to see and more. There are eight advisors in the pre-med program and students are encouraged to work closely with the advisor they connect best with. Advisors guide students on courses selection, job or volunteer experience, and lead them through the medical school application process. Admission into medical school requires a four-year bachelor's degree with a preference for a science major over a non-science major. Once accepted, medical school then requires approximately four years of education and three to six years of internship and residency. More than 17,000 students enter medical school each year with half of the class being women.

Students are urged to volunteer in medical settings, possibly during high school and especially during college. For students currently in high school, it is advised that the student enrolls in many sciences courses before college to help them prepare for future success. It is recommended that students do not use AP credit to fill medical school prerequisites since they often do not accept them. Nonetheless, it is encouraged to take AP courses in high school since the rigor is excellent college preparation.

Students considering a career in medicine should explore the websites of the schools they have interest in as the prerequisites for each may vary. Students are suggested to read the Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR) published by the Association of American Medical Colleges. The pre-med program at Oregon Tech includes a full year of general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, advanced anatomy & physiology, and physics. All of these have year-long labs. In addition, health-specific courses in cell biology, clinical pharmacology, medical genetics, medical microbiology, neuroscience, nutrition, pathophysiology, and immunology are taken along with calculus, humanities, psychology, and English composition courses. While the curriculum is very challenging, admission into medical school is highly competitive and requires strong academic achievement. The coursework at Oregon Tech helps students prepare for the medical college admission test (MCAT) required by nearly all medical schools. The test, which is divided into four sections includes physical sciences, biological sciences, verbal reasoning, and writing sample, is used to predict a student's ability to succeed academically.

For complete program requirements and a list of appropriate courses please see the Biology-Health Sciences Program. Completion of this program will lead to a Bachelor of Science in Biology-Health Sciences.

Pre-Professional Program in Pharmacy

Burt Clark, Advising Coordinator

A pharmacy degree normally takes four years to complete. Most first-year pharmacy students have completed four years of undergraduate education and possess a bachelor's degree in the sciences. One also must complete the prerequisites for the pharmacy school. The curriculum at Oregon Institute of Technology provides the prerequisite courses including a full year of general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, advanced anatomy & physiology, and physics. All of these have year-long labs. Additional courses in cell biology, clinical pharmacology, medical genetics, medical microbiology, neuroscience, nutrition, pathophysiology, and immunology are taken along with calculus, humanities, psychology, statistics and English composition courses.

The pre-professional program in pharmacy at Oregon Tech has eight advisors and students are encouraged to work closely with the advisor they connect best with. Students are urged to begin volunteering in pharmacy settings, possibly during high school and especially during college. For students currently in high school, it is recommend to shadow and talk with pharmacists and to take many science courses before college to help prepare for future success.

The application process to pharmacy school is done through the Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS). Students are encouraged to look at their web site while also looking at the sites of schools they have an interest in. Some pharmacy schools require the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT). Oregon State University and the pharmacy schools in California do not. Admission to school is competitive so a strong undergraduate GPA, community service, and communications and leadership skills will help.

For complete program requirements and a list of appropriate courses please see the Biology-Health Sciences Program. Completion of this program will lead to a Bachelor of Science in Biology-Health Sciences.

Pre-Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine

Burt Clark, Advising Coordinator

The pre-professional program in veterinary medicine prepares students for entrance into veterinary school. There are twenty-eight veterinary schools in the United States and it is highly recommended that students visit the websites of the schools they are interested in. The prerequisites for each school vary slightly. There are eight advisors in the program and students should work closely with the advisor they connect best with.

Admission to veterinary school is competitive and requires a good undergraduate GPA in addition to shadowing or working with a veterinarian. Students are encouraged to work in a clinical practice, volunteer in an animal shelter, or work at a zoo or rehabilitation facility while completing their undergraduate courses. Students currently in high school should continue to take sciences courses and, if available, be involved in 4H or FFA. Advisors recommend that students do not use AP credit to fill prerequisites for veterinary school since most do not accept them.

Being a resident of a state that has a veterinary school is also a major advantage to being accepted since most schools take few out-of-state applicants. If the student's home state does not have a veterinary school, hopefully the state "buys" seats from a veterinary school in a neighboring state for its residents. The WICHE program in the western United States allows out-of-state students to attend veterinary school at Colorado State University at Fort Collins, Oregon State University, Washington State University or the University of California at Davis veterinary schools for in-state tuition.

Many veterinary schools require students to take the general test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). It is offered monthly and is often taken in the junior year of undergrad. The majority of first-year veterinary student have completed their bachelor's degree at a four-year university.

The program at Oregon Institute of Technology offers the prerequisite courses (and more) for veterinary school including a full year of general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, advanced anatomy & physiology, and physics. All of these have year-long labs. In addition, health-specific courses in wildlife rehabilitation, cell biology, clinical pharmacology, medical genetics, medical microbiology, neuroscience, nutrition, pathophysiology, and immunology are taken along with calculus, humanities, psychology, English composition and public speaking courses. Business-related courses are also recommended.

For complete program requirements and a list of appropriate courses please see the Biology – Health Sciences Program. Completion of this program will lead to a Bachelor of Science in Biology – Health Sciences.

Programs

    Major
    Minor