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Board of Trustees approves new degree in molecular life sciences



The IU Board of Trustees approved a new undergraduate degree in molecular life sciences. The degree still has to be approved by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, according to the Oct. 6 press release on News at IU. 

The new degree is a joint venture between the department of molecular and cellular biochemistry and the department of biology, Jim Drummond said.

Drummond is the interim molecular life science director until the degree is approved by the commission. At that point, his title will be official. 

“Up until now IU has been a traditional campus,” Drummond said. “You could major in biology or chemistry, but there weren't many degrees offered in between that.”

Drummond said the molecular life sciences degree is designed to fill the gap between biology and chemistry. The degree focuses on the molecular basis of life. 

The degree will have two tracks. One concerns molecular and structural life sciences and the other will focus on the development of cellular mechanisms, Drummond said. 

Drummond said he and his colleagues have been working on the degree for a calendar year. He is confident the degree will gain approval from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, but it may take a few months to receive the official decision. 

“The degree is good for students wanting to go into research or biotech or medical school or vet school,” Drummond said. “The degree will give a good underpinning for how molecular systems work.” 

Libby Grossman

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