Faculty gives green light on joint 5-7 major

New degree will appeal to pre-med and biotech students

Faculty approved a new 5-7 major, a joint degree between Chemistry and Biology, at a meeting yesterday. The major will go into effect for the coming academic year.

The requirements are designed to be “similar in difficulty” to those of a Course 5 or Course 7 major alone, Troy Van Voorhis, Professor of Chemistry, said in an interview with The Tech.

“We didn’t want it to be like a double major,” Dennis Kim, Professor of Biology, added.

Students who choose this major will be assigned to both a Chemistry faculty advisor and a Biology faculty advisor.

Students who might be interested in this track include pre-med students as well as students interested in biotechnology, Van Voorhis said.

“For many years, we’ve wanted to have something that was at the interface of Chemistry and Biology,” Van Voorhis said.“Many schools have a separate department of biochemistry or molecular biology.” But, “that didn’t really seem like the right fit here, since we already have those programs within our departments.”

The number of students who will enroll in the major is unclear, but some students have already reached out to Prof. Van Voorhis about declaring — students who have “indicated they’re planning to sign up for it.”

Currently, no new classes are being created specifically for the 5-7 major. “But that certainly is something that we’re, long range, interested in,” Van Voorhis said.