Hillsdale offers new biochemistry majorWritten by Aya Khalil | | email@example.com
Hillsdale College is offering a new biochemistry major and minor.
“It’s one of the big areas of chemistry,” said Chris VanOrman, dean of natural science.
VanOrman said the college did not have a biochemist on staff and was waiting on money in order to hire the bio-chemistry professor, Chris Hamilton.
“It was a joint project between the biology and chemistry department,” VanOrman said.
Hamilton was hired in the fall 2007 as a chemistry professor, but this is the first year the department is teaching the new biochemistry courses.
“The chemistry department talked about [adding the new major], but it wasn’t feasible at the time,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton came up with the chemistry and biology proposal, which needed to match the national standards and biochemistry curriculum. The program includes an advanced biochemistry course and a new lab component.
The chemistry department, along with the biology department discussed what courses would fit with the plan. All the college departments had to approve it as well.
The required courses follow the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
Some of the required courses include organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, biochemistry, advanced biochemistry, microbiology and molecular biology.
“It seems to be going quite well; the students seem to be happy,” VanOrman said. “Students came a long time ago asking for a biochemistry major.”
VanOrman said he hopes the new major will attract more students to the college, especially because schools around them have biochemistry majors.
Three students switched from chemistry to biochemistry, and Hamilton expects at least five students every year to major in biochemistry.
VanOrman said the major attracts students in pre-professional fields and pharmaceuticals.
This is the first year students will graduate from Hillsdale with a major or minor in biochemistry, he said.
About 330 to 340 students graduate yearly from Hillsdale, Hamilton said. The college is also known for its history and political science majors.