Western University of Health Sciences has received interim approval from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) to establish a degree program in biomedical sciences, paving the way for the school’s ninth college to open.

On March 26, WASC’s Substantive Change Committee granted interim approval to WesternU to begin a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences degree program, commending the University for “the well-conceived and appropriate institutional learning outcomes that it has developed” for the program.

WesternU has had a Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences in the planning stages for some time. Approval of the biomedical master’s degree allows those plans to go forward. The college will be the ninth at WesternU, joining Allied Health, Dental Medicine, Graduate Nursing, Optometry, Osteopathic Medicine, Pharmacy, Podiatry and Veterinary Medicine.

“This approval is a vote of confidence in our vision for growth and in our efforts to enrich the curriculums of the university,” said Dr. Philip Pumerantz, president of WesternU.

“I am very pleased to have received interim approval for our Master of Science program from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Substantive Change committee, “ said Steven Henriksen, PhD, founding dean of the Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences. “The validation of our program by the accrediting body provides the impetus for us to recruit our founding class of graduate students to join students from the other eight colleges of graduate health-care professions education at Western University, with the common goal of improving human health through compassionate medical care and through world-class biomedical research.”

Significant changes to WASC-accredited institutions – in this case, the offering of a master’s degree in biomedical sciences — require approvals because the association accredits entire institutions rather than specific programs.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) provides assistance to schools in California, Hawaii, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and East Asia.