wellsAurora, New York—The New York State Department of Education has approved Wells College's new major in Biological Sciences: Health Sciences. The program offers opportunities to explore varied areas of healthcare study, take part in immersive experiences outside the classroom and receive advice from an expert faculty advising group.

The new major will provide students with a foundation in essential courses covering topics such as anatomy, biology, genetics, chemical analysis and psychology. Additional electives will bolster skills and knowledge related to mathematics and social issues as well as a selection of courses diving more deeply into animal or human biology, medicine and clinical or health psychology.

"Through these courses, students can begin to identify their strengths and interests and learn to apply them towards a career in a health-related field," said Provost and Dean of the College Cindy Speaker. "They'll determine what really appeals to them and why. Simultaneously, they'll build a familiarity with the existing knowledge and professional practices that will benefit them in medical school or whatever path they choose after Wells."

The College's health professions advising group, who played a significant role in designing the major, will help guide students' course planning and preparation for next steps after graduation. The members of this committee represent various fields and provide valuable advice and information regarding the processes and timing for exploring graduate or professional education.

Wells also offers programs for students who want to experience first-hand the conditions and careers offered in the health sciences. Each summer, the Rural Health Immersion Program offers the chance to interact with medical staff and members of the community to learn what needs and challenges exist in less populated areas. Students also hold research or internship roles with hospitals, medical universities, veterinarians, physical therapists, counselors and more.

"I have been on the path to become a physician since as long as I can remember," said Nicole Sales '18, who has been pursuing the health sciences curriculum through an individualized major. "The classes offered allowed me to surpass all of my requirements to apply for medical school. Through my internship, I became certified as a New York State EMT and began volunteering for the Aurora Volunteer Fire Department. With the program's coursework and preparation, I was accepted to SUNY Upstate Medical University and will be attending Upstate to get my MD in the Class of 2022."