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The Virginia Tech biological sciences department is working toward offering students two new major selections — a somewhat rare feat among other universities.
The College of Science would like to add neuroscience and nanoscience to its list of interdisciplinary science majors, which includes computational science and systems biology.
If the majors are approved, Tech will be one of about 120 schools to offer neuroscience as a major at the undergraduate level — one of three in the ACC, joining Duke University and the University of Miami.
No other schools offer nanoscience as an undergraduate major. Although some offer it as a concentration within other departments.
Melanie Matthews, the education support specialist for new undergraduate programs, said the curriculums must go through a lengthy approval process — since Tech is a land-grant university — before they can be considered official academic majors.
There is a multi-step process for major approval in any college or department, according to the university registrar.
First, its respective College Curriculum Committee must approve the curriculum. Then, it is sent to the university provost, registrar and all other colleges for a 15-day review process. Either during or after this process, it is forwarded to the Committee on Undergraduate Curricula. The Commission on Undergraduate Studies and Policies makes final approval.
Throughout the procedure, edits are made to the curriculum and the degree checksheet is created.
Matthews did not disclose the phase of approval the two science majors are currently in, but she said they were in early stages of development.
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