Embedded certificate aims to help prepare students for health-focused, policy fields
Current and future students at Mount Allison University can now earn a new certificate as part of their university degree. The Certificate in Biopsychology, one of several embedded certificate options adopted this year, allows students to gain and be recognized for foundational knowledge around the physiological basis for behaviour.
“There’s generally a lot of overlap in biology and psychology. Students are often interested in both and we see a number of graduates go on to work in these and related fields,” says Dr. Jennifer Tomes, Mount Allison psychology professor and department head. “The new certificate option adds an interdisciplinary component to their degree.”
Two of the university’s most popular programs, Mount Allison has seen its alumni in these areas launch careers in a number of related fields including medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, speech pathology, as well as health-related government policy and planning.
For the certificate, students are required to take courses in both disciplines, although there is some flexibility that allows them to focus more heavily on either biology or psychology should they choose to do so.
“An additional certificate helps to formally demonstrate our students’ expertise and experience in this area,” says Dr. Diana Hamilton, Mount Allison biology professor and department head. “It also helps guide students with course selection and planning if this is a field in which they plan to pursue future studies or a career.”
Savannah Welliver, a fifth-year honours psychology student with a minor in biology, is pursuing the new certificate option as part of her degree.
“I had originally planned to complete a double major in biology and psychology but changed plans. This certificate allows me to recognize the work that I did in biology even though it was not a full other major,” says Welliver. “I am planning on going to medical school; I think having a certificate plus my honours degree will help me stand out.”
Students can learn more about the certificate program and its requirements through the University’s Academic calendar, academic advising, or by speaking with the department heads of either department.