Sep 23, 2021  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Medical Biology (B.S.)

79-83 Major Hours (includes minor), 120 Degree Hours

Students in this major must also complete requirements for a degree in the College of Arts & Sciences .

The Medical Biology program offers an interdisciplinary B.S. degree designed to prepare students for medical school and for other healthcare professional programs such as dentistry, optometry, pharmacology, physician assistant, physical therapy, and podiatry. The curriculum is based on recent guidelines of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). It focuses on competencies in the natural and social sciences relevant to medical education and to the practice of medicine. Hosted by USD’s Department of Biology, the Medical Biology major provides a broad background and excellent training in the biological sciences for students interested in pursuing graduate or professional degrees in health care, biotechnology, physiology, and cellular and molecular biology.

Required Support Courses (48-52 hours)


If used to fulfill a specific requirement, BIOL 428, 433, 443, 456, and CHEM 330 may not also be used as electives. Students may petition to include 1-3 credits of BIOL 498-Undergrad Research/Scholarship or a comparable course in a related discipline as an elective for the program. This petition must be approved by the Biology Department chair or designee. Students in the University Honors Program may substitute appropriate UHON courses for PSYC 101 and/or SOC 100 with approval of the Biology Department chair or designee.

Students who complete the Medical Biology major will have fulfilled the requirements for the Interdisciplinary Sciences Minor  and are not required to complete an additional minor, although they are welcome to add any minor other than Biology. Students completing a Medical Biology major cannot also complete a double major in Biology with the Physiology, Cell & Molecular Biology Specialization, although they may complete the Biology, Conservation & Biodiversity major.Students are not able to count required support courses towards another major or minor (e.g., PHIL 364 for a Philosophy major).

Four-Year Program Guides and Costs

USD encourages students to take 15 credits per semester or 30 credits within the year in order to graduate in 4 years. To help students complete their academic degree program in four years, we provide a sample academic plan. Please work with your academic advisor to confirm your plan. 

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to systematically explore issues, objects or works through the collection and analysis of evidence that results in informed conclusions or judgments, and break down complex topics or issues into parts to gain a better understanding of them.
  2. Students will recognize when there is a need for information and identify, locate, evaluate and effectively and responsibly use and convey that information to address the need or problem at hand.
  3. Students will interact with other students and evaluate the effort put into team tasks, interactions with others, and the quantity and quality made to team discussions.
  4. Students will comprehensively explore issues, ideas, artifacts and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion, and combine or synthesize existing ideas, images or expertise in original ways reflecting a high degree of innovation, divergent thinking, and risk taking.
  5. Students will design, evaluate, and implement a strategy to answer an open-ended question or achieve a desired goal.
  6. Students will be able to apply quantitative reasoning and appropriate mathematics to describe or explain phenomena in the natural world.
  7. Students will understand the process of scientific inquiry and explain how scientific knowledge is discovered and validated.
  8. Students will understand and apply core knowledge relevant to biomedical science.  (These combined core knowledge areas are listed in Supplementary Table 2.  A more detailed list is given in Supplementary Table 3.)

State Authorization - It Matters Where You Live

If your learning placement course (internship, externship, clinical, rotation, practicum, independent study, study away, etc.) or your online course will be taken outside South Dakota, please reference the State Authorization webpage.

State Authorization