Biomedical Sciences

Bachelor of Science

Program Details

Biomedical science focuses on how the human body functions in health and disease. It’s the foundation of all medical research and is at the center of breakthroughs and improvements in healthcare and medicine. As a student in the biomedical sciences major at Xavier, you’ll conduct experiments and research alongside expert faculty, have access to multiple labs with the latest equipment and take courses in human physiology, anatomy, genetics and medicinal chemistry.

Xavier University, located in Cincinnati, Ohio, is nationally recognized as a top university by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. 99 percent of our students, including those in the biomedical science major, are working, volunteering or in graduate school within six months of graduation (Class of 2022). Additionally, Xavier students have an 86 percent acceptance rate to medical schools (5-year average, Class of 2022), compared to 40 percent nationally. 

Degree Awarded

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences


The sample course sequence below illustrates class offerings for the Biomedical Sciences major. Consult the official Xavier University course catalog for detailed registration and advising information.


  • Biology 160: General Biology I............ 3cr.
  • Biology 161: General Biology I Lab............ 1cr.
  • Chemistry 160: General Chemistry I............ 3cr.
  • Chemistry 161: General Chemistry I Lab............ 1cr.
  • Math 146, 140 or 180: Biostatistics or Calculus............ 3cr.
  • Core 100: First-Year Seminar or Theo 111............ 3cr.
  • Core 101: First-Year Co-Curriculum Program I............ 0cr.


  • Biology 162: General Biology II............ 3cr.
  • Biology 163: General Biology II Lab............ 1cr.
  • Chemistry 162: General Chemistry II............ 3cr.
  • Chemistry 163: General Chemistry II Lab............ 1cr.
  • Math 146, 140 or 181: Biostatistics or Calculus............ 3cr.
  • Core 100: First-Year Seminar or Theo 111............ 0cr.
  • Core 102: First-Year Co-Curriculum Program I............ 3cr.
  • English 101: English Comp or English 115 Rhetoric............ 3cr.


  • Biology 206 Human Physiology............ 3cr.
  • Biology 207 Human Physiology Lab............ 1cr.
  • Chemistry 240: Organic Chemistry I............ 3cr.
  • Chemistry 241: Organic Chemistry I Lab............ 1cr.
  • Philosophy 100: Ethics as an Intro to Phil............ 3cr.
  • Second Language I............ 3cr.


  • Biology 230: Genetics............ 3cr.
  • Biology 231: Genetics Lab............ 1cr.
  • Chemistry 242: Organic Chemistry II............ 3cr.
  • Chemistry 243: Organic Chemistry II Lab............ 1cr.
  • Psychology 101: General Psychology............ 3cr.
  • Second Language II............ 3cr.


  • Biology 440/ Chemistry 440: Biochemistry............ 3cr.
  • Chemistry 220: Principles of Physical Chemistry............ 3cr.
  • Physics 160: College Physics I............ 3cr.
  • Physics 161: College Physics I Lab............ 1cr.
  • English 205: Lit & the Moral Imagination............ 3cr.
  • Psychology 261: Social Psychology............ 3cr.


  • Biology 354: Human & Comparative Anatomy............ 3cr.
  • Biology 355: Human & Comparative Anatomy Lab............ 2cr.
  • Physics 162: College Physics II............ 3cr.
  • Physics 163: College Physics II Lab............ 1cr.
  • Biology 299: Professional Communication in the Sciences............ 1cr.
  • Sociology 101 Introduction to Sociology (DCR)*............ 3cr.
  • MCAT pre class (optional)............ 0cr.


  • Historical Perspectives Elective............ 3cr.
  • Humanities Elective............ 3cr.
  • Creative Perspective Elective............ 3cr.
  • Biology 310: Foundations of Pharmacology or Philosophy Perspectives Elective ............ 3cr.
  • Theological Perspective Elective............ 3cr.


  • Capstone (2 credits required)............ 2cr.
  • Biology 450: General Microbiology............ 3cr.
  • Biology 451: General Microbiology Lav............ 2cr.
  • Chemistry 435: Medicinal Chemistry or Philosophy Perspectives Elective ............ 3cr.
  • E/RS Focus Elective*............ 3cr.
  • General Elective............ 3cr.

Sample Courses

Sample courses within the biological sciences major curriculum:

  • General Biology I (BIOL 160) - This course focuses on the interactions of molecules, cells and genetics within organisms. Perfect for students pursuing majors in biology, it lays the foundation for advanced biology courses.
  • Genetics Laboratory (BIOL 231) - Hands-on laboratory exercises designed to immerse students in the contemporary techniques of molecular genetics. Through practical experiments, students gain proficiency in manipulating and analyzing nucleic acids, fostering a deeper understanding of modern genetic methodologies.
  • Human and Comparative Anatomy (BIOL 354) - This course covers the the fascinating study of anatomy and function across various vertebrate species, with a special focus on humans. Explore the evolutionary connections that unite vertebrates and uncover the intricacies of their anatomical structures and functions.
  • General Microbiology (BIOL 450) - An overview of the morphology, physiology and ecology of viruses, bacteria, eukaryotic microbes and fungal microbes, including the impact of these organisms on humans.
  • General Chemistry I (CHEM 160) - This course covers fundamental principles of chemistry including atomic and molecular structure, states of matter, stoichiometry, energy relationships, periodic table and solution chemistry. The following mathematical concepts are used: scientific notation, logarithms, the quadratic equation and proportionality.
  • College Physics I (PHYS 160) - An algebra-based approach to introductory physics for premedical, pre-dental and other students. Topics include mechanics, heat, and sound.

Career Outcomes

99% of students, including those in the biomedical sciences major, are working, volunteering or in graduate school within six months of graduation (Class of 2022). Additionally, Xavier students have an 86 percent acceptance rate to medical schools (5-year average, Class of 2022), compared to 40 percent nationally. Explore Xavier's Career Outcomes Dashboard to view career outcomes by major.

Career Opportunities: Clinical Lab Scientist, Clinical Research Coordinator, Dentist, Doctor, Genetic Counselor, IP Lawyer, Optomitrist, Physician Assistant, Podiatrist, Research Scientist, Research Assistant, Veterinarian 

More: Xavier's Career Development Office assists students in their search for employment by offering individual career counseling sessions, conducting workshops and maintaining an employer database. More than 100 nationally known companies visit the campus annually to interview graduating seniors for open positions.

Student Clubs

  • Alpha Epsilon Delta (Pre-Med Honor Society)- Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED) is a national pre-health honors organization for juniors and seniors. Their main focus is service to the Cincinnati community, with opportunities to serve at places like the Ronald McDonald House and Cincinnati Children's Hospital.
  • Biology Club- Student events include hiking trips, Break Out Games, scavenger hunts and trips to the Cincinnati Zoo and Newport Aquarium.
  • Pre-Med Student Association- Pre-Med Student Association is a club for students interested in pursuing a career in the health professions. They offer bimonthly events such as hosting medical school representatives and physicians, providing information about future careers, and collaborating with upperclassmen on the pre-med track.

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Biomedical Science FAQ

Programs at the undergraduate level focus on biology as it relates to medicine, health and disease for both animals and humans. Students take courses in many different fields, including biology, chemistry, medicine, pharmacology, genetics, microbiology, anatomy and physics. Coursework consists of in-class instruction, labs and internships. The intent is to prepare students for careers as chemical analysts, lab technicians and researchers, pharmacists, doctors, dentists, veterinarians and medical researchers and assistants.

Many programs have multiple tracks that are tailored to students’ post-graduation goals, like getting into medical school, grad school or working as a researcher. Tracks offered may include veterinary science, dental science, pharmacology and medical science.

Xavier’s program offers individualized course options for students who are looking to complete the four-year undergraduate degree with an emphasis entering on medical school, veterinary school and dental school post-graduation.

Some students enter straight into the workforce, working as science writers, lab technicians, chemical researchers and medical researchers.

Others enter graduate, dental, medical or veterinary school for graduate and doctoral programs. Xavier University specializes in helping their students get accepted into medical school: Xavier students are accepted into medical school at a rate of 92%, compared to the national average of 40%.

Because they have a passion for science and helping others. Coursework and labs not only cover the theories of biology, chemistry and physics, but also the real-world applications of scientific research.

Since the major primarily focuses on the biology of disease for humans and animals, students typically spend a lot of time doing lab work, data gathering and research. Many students complete internships in medical labs and facilities, veterinary offices, pharmacies and research facilities.

There are many career paths for students who earn their undergraduate degree in biomedical science, including clinical research and laboratory work, forensic science, pharmaceutical sales and post graduate studies in medicine, veterinary science, pharmacology, nursing and dentistry.

Students who major in biomedical science have many career opportunities upon graduation, especially if they have completed at least one internship. The most common entry level jobs for students with a biomedical science undergraduate degree are:

  • Lab Assistant
  • Lab Technician
  • Research Assistant
  • Research Associate
  • Medical Technologist
  • Scientist
  • Research Scientist
  • Biomedical Engineering Technician
  • Medical Lab Technician
  • Physician Assistant
  • Clinical Lab Scientist
  • Research Analyst
  • Field Service Technician
  • Medical Sales Representative

Because there are many career options associated with the biomedical science degree, wages vary by occupation. Below is a sample of careers associated with biomedical science degrees and their annual salaries (according to 2019 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Clinical Lab Technician- $54,000 average annual salary
  • Chemical Technicians- $52,000 average annual salary
  • Veterinary Assistant- $29,000 average annual salary
  • Animal Scientist- $68,000 average annual salary
  • Biological Scientist- $89,000 average annual salary
  • Medical Scientist- $97,000 average annual salary
  • Registered Nurse- $77,000 average annual salary

Courses required to complete a biomedical science major vary by institution. Course requirements typically include biology, genetics, anatomy and physiology, microbiology, chemistry, organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, biochemistry and physics.

At Xavier, biomedical science students are also required to complete the core curriculum, which consists of classes that include social sciences, history, foreign language, ethics/religion and theology. Read more about our liberal arts core curriculum.

The cost of a biomedical science degree will vary by institution and degree level. Typically, undergraduate biomedical science degree programs consist of four years of instruction, including internships and lab work.
There are many options for financing a four-year degree, including scholarships, grants and private and federal loans. Learn more about Xavier’s tuition and financial aid options.

Yes. Students in high school who are interested in pursuing an undergraduate biomedical science degree should look into taking as many science and math classes as possible, including chemistry, physics, biology, algebra, geometry, trigonometry and calculus. Courses in English, communications and computer programming can also be useful.

Learn in Dedicated Biology Labs and Facilities

Student earning his bachelor of science in biomedical science conducting an experiment in a lab with a professor

Students in the biomedical science major have access to 14 research laboratories equipped with compound and stereoscopic microscopes, models, specimens, and specialized equipment for the study of vertebrate physiology, plant biology, development, anatomy, genetics and bacteriology.

Gain Expertise in a Program Focused on Research

Professor writing on a whiteboard in a classroom

With the help of faculty, students in the biomedical science major complete high-level research projects in labs that begin freshman year. Topics include paleobiology, ecology, bird behavior, entomology and genetics.

Research Opportunities

Kickstart Your Biomedical Science Career in Cincinnati, Ohio

A photo of downtown Cincinnati, Ohio at night. Lights from the buildings reflect on the Ohio river.

Cincinnati, Ohio features some of the largest companies in the world, which means students in the biomedical science major have countless opportunities for careers, internships and mentorships at places like Kroger, Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Trihealth.

Cincinnati, Ohio

Graduate With Honors

Are you looking for an academic challenge? The University Scholars Honors Program offers incoming students a more challenging curriculum and close support from professors while completing their undergraduate degree. Acceptance into the program is highly selective and includes a $2000 travel grant.

University Scholars Honors Program Details

Biomedical Sciences Major at Xavier University

The Biomedical Sciences major presents a liberal arts program with emphasis on those sciences required for an excellent background for subsequent studies in medicine, dentistry, and similar health professions.

Xavier University’s College of Arts and Sciences challenges students to develop an integrated understanding of humanity, the world, and God by pursuing the questions raised in Xavier's core and departmental curricula. The College of Arts and Sciences is the oldest and largest college at Xavier University. The college provides an excellent liberal arts education in the Jesuit tradition that prepares students for careers, professional or graduate school, and life in a global society.

Xavier University is a private university located in Cincinnati, Ohio, providing a liberal arts education in the Jesuit Catholic tradition. Founded in 1831, the University is the sixth-oldest Catholic university in the nation. It has been ranked among the top 10 master's-level universities in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report for the past two decades. The Princeton Review names it one of the "Best 385 Colleges in America."