Frequently Asked Questions for our Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences Program (BMED).
  • Who joins the BMED program?

    Students interested in the following professions:

    • Physicians in any field of medicine
    • Scientists
    • Physician Assistants
    • Pharmacists
    • Dentists
    • Veterinarians
    • Physical Therapists
    • Occupational Therapists
    • Teachers
    • Lab technicians or Research assistants
    • Other Health and Science professions
  • Do I need to meet with an advisor to declare my BS in Biomedical Sciences major?

    Students interested in the BS in Biomedical Sciences need to complete a separate admissions process in addition to applying to UTRGV. Please visit the BMED Application Instructions Page to learn more about the BMED admissions process and to access the BMED application.

  • How is BMED different from Biology?

    • Our coursework bridges Biology and Medicine by discussing biological concepts mostly in terms of human health
    • Faculty have mapped competencies and student learning outcomes which are very similar to medical school competencies to our coursework
    • Critical thinking skill development is emphasized
    • We teach with face to face flipped classroom model with minimal lecturing, online content, interactive team based and problem based learning, case studies etc. just like in medical/graduate/professional schools
    • Hands on Lab and Research experiences are required
    • A few biomedical integrated STEM and  Humanities courses are available (Check with Dept. for specific CRN#s/sections every semester)
    • Mandatory coached study hours in Freshman and Sophomore level courses where graded activities and tutoring are conducted by an Instructional facilitator and tutors
    • Much smaller than Biology program, more opportunities for one-on-one interactions and mentorship by faculty and staff
    • Program manager dedicated to addressing students concerns
    • MCAT/PCAT/DAT preparation is facilitated with mandatory annual MCAT diagnostic exam.
  • Does the BMED Program offer scholarships?

    Most students at UTRGV receive some form of financial aid to help offset the cost of their education. This usually consists of some combination of scholarships, grants, loans, possible work-study and other institutional aid programs. Since financial assistance is an important part of the admissions process, it’s essential that you be aware of what aid is available and the application process. Below are some helpful links for you to explore your financial options.

    Scholarships from Local or national Organizations

  • What BMED courses are required the first two semesters of the regular 4YR program?

    • Foundational Introductory courses


    • Mission 1: Biochemistry (BMED 1101) & Molecular Biology (BMED 1104) – 1st 8 weeks.
    • Mission 2: Cell Biology (BMED 1103) & Molecules, Cells, Tissues (BMED 2102)- 2nd 8 weeks
    • Lab I (BMED 1102)-Full term


    • Mission 3: Genetics (BMED 1105) & Evolution (BMED 1109)- 1st 8 weeks
    • Mission 4: Microbiology (BMED 1106) & Immunology (BMED 1107)- 2nd 8 weeks


    Note: Students can register for BMED classes only after they are accepted into the BMED program. The department will share registration instructions with BMED students via email. In addition to BMED courses students will need to register for General Education Core classes as per degree plan and roadmap. For assistance selecting non-BMED courses, please visit the academic advising center.

  • Why do some of my BMED classes not show the day/time on my schedule?

    If your classes are part of a Mission that consists of a set of courses, only one course in the mission will show day/time. This is in order to avoid time conflict errors when students register for missions. BMED students will receive detailed information on which classes to register for every semester in the form of Registration Instructions sent from our departmental email.

  • Why do I get an error when trying to register for BMED courses?

    Time Conflict – This message appears when trying to register for two classes during the same class period (day/time).

    Special Approval – Message appears when trying to register for specific sections not available to all students. You can only register for course sections listed on your registration instructions.

     Duplicate CourseThis message shows when a student is trying to register for more than one section of the same course. Sometimes students are not able to drop a class in order to add a different section. If you have this issue, please stop by or contact UCentral for assistance.

    Open – Reserved for Wait List – This message shows when a student is trying to register for a class that although it seems to have seats available, those seats are reserved for the people on the waitlist.

    What can I do?                

    Since the class is full, you could choose to be added to the Waitlist by selecting the Action “Wait Listed – NOT ENROLLED” and submitting the changes. 

    Tip: If there are more than 20 students on the waitlist, the probability of getting into that section is low. If this is your situation, you could add yourself to the waitlist but we strongly encourage you to look for another section that might be available.

    If you do not want to be on the waitlist, select a different section.


    Corequisite Required This message shows when two different courses must be taken at the same time. The most common situation is when students need to register for a class that requires a lab. In BMED, this message appears when a student is trying to register for a Mission made up of two or more BMED courses. To avoid the error students will be required to add all classes within the mission simultaneously. Please follow steps on this link: steps to register for BMED courses – ASTRA registration steps to add multiple courses in a mission. 


    For more information on registration errors visit link below:

  • How and when do I apply for graduation?

    Please visit the link below for important undergraduate graduation information:

  • What is the BMED Scholars Program?

    The Department of Health and Biomedical Sciences (BMED) Scholars program is designed to give the participating students strong academic support and learning opportunities in order to increase the preparedness of these students for diverse career paths in the Health and Biomedical sciences fields. A multi-pronged approach consisting of cohort building, academic support, professional development, service learning, mentoring, research opportunities, and clinical experiences will be used to increase the professional preparation of the members of the program.

    The BMED Scholars Program is intended to provide Scholars with meaningful health care experiences and to strengthen their overall understanding of the Health and Biomedical Sciences. Through a unique educational experience, the BMED Program will prepare its students to develop strong leadership potential and a commitment to community service, to be future leaders in their chosen field of study.

    BMED Scholars program is offered at the Brownsville campus.

    For more information, please visit the link below:

  • What are the requirements to be BMED Scholars?

    • Students admitted to the BMED program with an outstanding performance during the first year (Including GPA above 3.5) who would like to join the BMED Scholars Program can request their petition to the Admission Committee during the Spring semester of their freshmen year.

    • Seats are limited to 20-25 students

    • Required to maintain minimum 3.5 GPA in order to remain in this track.

    For more information, please visit the link below:

  • Are there any prerequisites for BMED courses?

    • You need College Algebra credit to take Gen Chem I, which is recommended in first semester of freshman year in the program
    • You may have College Algebra credits from HS to fulfill this requirement
    • If you don’t have the credit, you may test out if you feel strong in math, visit the Math Course Placement page:

    Or You may take in summer at UTRGV or a community college

  • What are the progression requirements for BMED?

    • To continue in the program, students are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA (as per 2018-2019 degree plan).
    • Students with GPA below 3.0 will be advised and placed on probation within the program pending improvement over next semester. They will sign tutoring contracts and attend mandatory tutoring.
    • A grade of ‘C’ or better in Biomedical Sciences (Section B1-see degree plan) and in MATH 2413 (of MATH 2487 Honors) is required for graduation.
    • There will be a mandatory MCAT question style assessment at end of each year to measure whether student-learning objectives were accomplished and to assess program.
    • We advise you to aspire to keep GPA over 3.5 if interested in Medical/Dental/Pharmacy/Veterinary/PA school, to be competitive.
  • What are some examples of student engagement opportunities in this program?

    • Student Research : Students get experiential learning opportunities through our Independent Research coursework and Biomedical Freshman Research Initiative or Faculty research labs
    • Clinical opportunities: Clinical opportunities (competitive) can be arranged if you are in excellent academic standing in the program
    • Volunteering opportunities: Student led organizations such as BMED Ambassadors, Medical Brigades, Biomedical Student Association (BSA), Live to Serve (L2S), Tutors for All (T4A), Volunteers Around the World (VAW), etc.


    For more information, visit the link below:

  • Can students transfer into and out of the BMED Program?

    • Currently, we accept all UTRGV accepted transfer credits except AP Bio or Biology credits since we teach biological concepts very differently, in a focused fashion, based on human health.
    • If you already have transfer credits, and you are in the 4 YR regular track, you can make your 12 or 15 required credits for scholarships by adding non BMED Gen Ed/STEM courses or adding a minor
    • If you want to transfer out/change majors, it depends on other departments/schools whether they will give credits for BMED to substitute for Biology.
  • What do I need to know before applying to Professional/Graduate Schools?

    • Start planning first year the timeline of when you will take standardized exam, submit application, internships, clinical shadowing, research etc.
    • Figure out prerequisites of professional/graduate programs you might be applying to.
    • BMED foundational courses (1101-1107,1109 and 2102) (9 credits) are equivalent to Bio I & Bio II (8 credits)
      • BIO I= BMED 1101, 1102, 1103,1104 and 2102
      • BIO II=BMED 1105, 1109, 1106 and 1107
    • BMED Body Systems courses (1108,1110,1111,2101 and 3104-3108 (9 credits) are equivalent to A & P I & II (8 credits)
      • AP I= BMED 1108, 3104,3108, 1111
      • AP II= BMED 1110, 2101, 3105, 3106 and 3107
    • Note we have developed a 4 hour Medical Microbiology course BMED 4440 (lecture (3 credits) lab (1 credit)- Pilot offered in SP 2019; Any student who is applying to PA, Pharmacy School or other medical/health professional schools is encouraged to take this rather than BMED 4240  in future.
    • You get 4 hours of upper level Genetics (2 credits), Genomics and Bioinformatics (2 credits) in the program.
      • Genetics (4)= BMED 4220 and 4230
    • Biochemistry (3)= BMED 4310
    • When applying to professional schools, add syllabi of BMED courses and explanation for how your BMED courses are equivalent to Bio course prerequisites as above
    • If you need a memo from chair, please ask at time of application
  • How do I get into a research laboratory?

    If you are interested in joining a research laboratory at UTRGV, start by checking out faculty curriculum vitae/profiles/research interests on the UTRGV website or the faculty’s own research website to learn more about their research.

    Department of Health and Biomedical Sciences Faculty Information Page

    Department of Health and Biomedical Sciences Faculty Research Page

    Do not only look into BMED faculty. You can also check out faculty in other departments at UTRGV such as Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Health and Human Performance, South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute (STDOI) and UTRGV School of Medicine.

    If you are from the Edinburgh/McAllen area, consider research laboratory on the Edinburgh campus which may be more convenient for you.

    Contact each of the faculty that you are interested in conducting research with to make an appointment to meet with them to learn more about their research and inquire if there is any opportunities to conduct research with them.

    Provide the faculty with your resume/curriculum vitae and unofficial transcript.

    Read at least 1 paper from the faculty’s laboratory to demonstrate specifically why you are interested in that particular laboratory at the meeting/interview.

  • How do I request Independent Research Course Credit?

    Inform the faculty you will be conducting research and taking Independent Research with to email the department chair to request her approval to open up an independent research section for you with him/her as the instructor of record. The faculty will need to provide the chair the Independent Research Course you will need (i.e. BMED 3121, 3122, 3223 or 3224), your name and your ID number.

  • Do BMED students need to take Biology courses to meet the Honors College requirements?

    UTRGV Honors College - Honors track for pre-medical students

    The requirements below offer BIOLOGY Honors substitutions (in bold), specifically for BMED students:

    • 9 credits of lower-division honors courses – Two semesters of Honors Biology (BIOL 1486)-Can be substituted for 4 credits by making Honors contracts with instructors for  4 BMED courses 1101,1102 (lab),1103,1104,1105,1106,1107,1109 or 2102and BIOL 1487- Can be substituted for 4 credits by making Honors contracts with instructors for  4 BMED courses 1108, 1110,1111(lab), 2101, 3104,3108,3105,3106 or 3107, Bioethics (PHIL 2322)-Cannot be substituted. 
    • 3 credits of honors practicum (HONR 3380) – A required internship, service-learning activity, or shadowing may be substituted with the addition of an honors componentCannot be substituted without explicit permission from HABS dept. chair and dean of Honors College. 
    • 9 credits of upper-division honors courses – Any upper level 4XXX BMED course instructor can sign a honors contract.

    Students in the BMED program should consult with the HABS Department Chair and with the Dean of the Honors College to work out the details of their honors pathwayIf you need to schedule an appointment to meet with HABS Department Chair call 956- 882-7383.

    • For all other students: Biological Communication (BIOL 4400), two upper-division Honors-by-contract; students in this category are also strongly encouraged to do an Honors thesis, which includes 4 credits (HONR 3187 for 1 credit and HONR 4387 for 3 credits). BMED students are required to take BMED 3121-3124 (Independent Research courses which require oral presentations and written reports submitted to the department end of the semester. These may substitute for BIOL 4400. 
    • Students in the pre-medical track are also strongly encouraged to pursue the minor in Medical Humanities.



    Note: Students in the program will be required to sign honors contracts with BMED professors for Honors credits for all BMED coursework.

    BIOL 1487 - Gen Bio I HON

    An accelerated study of the basic principles of Biology. Topics covered include cellular biology, photosynthesis, respiration, protein synthesis, cellular reproduction, genetics, microbial genetics and a survey of the diversity of organisms. Open to students enrolled in the Honors Studies Program or by permission of the instructor. Prerequisites: Admission to Honors Program.
    0.000 OR 4.000 Credit hours
    0.000 OR 3.000 Lecture hours
    0.000 OR 3.000 Lab hours
    Levels: Undergraduate
    Schedule Types: Laboratory, Lecture
    All Sections for this Course
    Course Attributes:
    Core Life & Phys Sciences-030, Lab fee - Biology

    BIOL 1488 - Gen Bio II HON

    An accelerated study of the basic concepts of Biology. Topics covered include reproduction and development, digestion and nutrition, transport, homeostasis, the nervous system, ecology and evolution. Open to students enrolled in the Honors Studies Program or by permission of the instructor. Prerequisites: BIOL 1487 and admission to Honors Program.
    0.000 OR 4.000 Credit hours
    0.000 OR 3.000 Lecture hours
    0.000 OR 3.000 Lab hours
    Levels: Undergraduate
    Schedule Types: Laboratory, Lecture
    Course Attributes:
    Core Life & Phys Sciences-030, Lab fee - Biology