The University of New Mexico School of Medicine’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology recently received full accreditation for its undergraduate program from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). The accreditation runs for a full seven-year term and puts UNM in exclusive company as one of only 38 ASBMB-accredited schools nationwide.
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology accreditation is based on specific infrastructure and curriculum standards, including:
- Policies that value diversity in all dimensions and provide mechanisms for promoting a safe, supportive, and welcoming learning environment for all students and faculty.
- Classrooms, teaching laboratories, and research spaces that are safe and equipped with the supplies and instrumentation needed to perform modern biochemical and molecular biological analyses and manipulations.
- Courses offered on a regular schedule with sufficient frequency and seating capacity to prevent unnecessary delays in the timely completion of a BMB degree.
- Access to information resources that provide breadth, depth and currency of scientific content in major peer-reviewed BMB journals.
- Availability of career advising resources campus.
In granting full accreditation to UNM, ASBMB reviewers recognized the department’s inquiry-based, student-centered teaching program, classrooms specifically designed for inquiry teaching and collaboration, support for a diverse student body and the attention that is paid to assessment at both course and program level.
The UNM School of Medicine’s undergraduate Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Program is one of only two undergraduate biochemistry programs in the nation housed in a medical school and trains a wealth of pre-professional students, including pre-med, pre-pharmacy, pre-dental, as well as students from the UNM Combined BA/MD Program. Accreditation will provide graduating UNM students the opportunity to demonstrate their competitiveness with peers from across the nation.
“This recognition from the ASBMB is very gratifying,” says department chair Karlett Parra, PhD. “We are very proud of this accreditation, which recognizes the competitiveness of UNM’s Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program. It’s also a tribute to our department’s faculty members, who do a tremendous job providing undergraduate instruction in biochemistry to students in UNM’s College of Arts and Sciences.”
UNM’s highly successful undergraduate biochemistry program was implemented in 1984. It attracts some of the university’s best students, many of whom go on to medical, dental and veterinary schools, as well as graduate schools. On average, 20 percent of graduates are admitted into the UNM School of Medicine MD program.