Biomedical Program

Biomedical Program

TCHS Biomedical Program

This unique four-year program allows young women to explore the forefront of biomedical science. Through a combination of rigorous course work, research and lab experimentation, field experiences, and highly qualified biomedical speakers, our students explore a wide variety of college majors and post-college career options in the dynamic and vibrant worlds of science and medicine. We strive to bring the real world into the classroom by using modern instrumentation and cutting edge technologies and processes used in sophisticated laboratory facilities around the globe and actively seek to build partnerships with local hospitals, health care providers, and research labs in the Baltimore area. The TCHS Biomedical Program is NOT a canned and purchased curriculum - it was uniquely designed by a former colecular cell biologist for the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. 

Program Overview

Catholic High offers a premier education to young women and our life science program is a strategic addition to our already strong academic content. The four-year Biomedical Program is designed to allow young women to explore a wealth of careers and college majors based on their interests and abilities in the research science and medical fields. This is accomplished with a variety of coursework that is not available in most high schools like:

  • Epidemiology which focuses on not only the control of disease but also takes a social justice approach to the challenges of public health around the world
  • Biotechnology which explores how cellular and biological processes can be harnessed to develop technologies and products to help improve our lives
  • Bioethics which is based on a class taught at the Kennedy School of Ethics, Georgetown University that focuses on some of the most difficult moral challenges that we face in health, medicine, and emerging technologies

We take learning to next level by marrying biomedical scientific literacy with a hands-on/minds-on approach. For example:

  • In Biomed Biology – students not only learn about mitosis but apply their knowledge to a cancer and chemotherapy experiment
  • In Anatomy and Physiology – students not only learn about the integumentary system but practice various types of wound closure using synthetic skin (sutures, staples, surgical glue, etc.)
  • In Biotechnology – students not only learn about biomolecules but they utilize a host of biochemical assays and molecular biology techniques like DNA fingerprinting, restriction enzyme analysis, bacterial transformation, and polymerase chain reaction to list just a few
  • In Epidemiology – students not only learn about infectious disease but participate in a bioterrorism tabletop simulation and role-play

All Biomed students are required to complete their Senior Capstone Project which is embedded in the Bioethics class.

Senior Capstone Project

This is a two year, independent research project of their own design where they collect, analyze and display data collected during that period, presenting it to a forum as a capstone exercise in their senior year.


Students apply for and attend pertinent outside programs to further their biomedical knowledge and skills in extracurricular programs like the Perry Initiative, NIH SIP Program, etc.

Students work with the Nurses' Club to include patient care, CPR and first aid skills into the Health Care class in order to mimic training done by nursing students.

Students network with local medical and research professionals through interviews, conferences, speakers, and internships.

Students have a voice in shaping the future of the Biomedical Program and improving it by suggesting new classes, changing assignment parameters, suggesting new curricula, helping us build partnerships within the community, suggesting speakers, etc.


The  Upperclass Biomedical students mentor incoming Biomedical to help with adjustment to the program and high school. Cross-grade teams in a new summer program will create relationships between students and develop skills already learned in previous coursework.

Speaker Series

At lunch, students in and outside the program learn about careers in science. To date students have heard from a nurse practitioner, occupational therapist, physicist, and quarantine officer. Future speakers will include: a pharmaceutical sales executive, veterinarians, environmental scientists, and cardiologists.

Summer Program

We are bringing back Biomedical Camp this summer. Students from all grades, including incoming 9th graders and graduates will come together to solve a series of biomedical challenges. The purpose of the course is to build teamwork, a necessary skill in the job market, to support new students entering the program, and to reinforce skills already mastered by older students.


Rising Juniors who do not apply as Freshman have the opportunity to apply for the program at the end of their Sophomore year. This provides an opportunity to broaden our impact across the school rather than limit the program.


We have approximately 85 diverse young women enrolled in the TCHS Biomedical Program. Students graduate with a minimum of five year long science credits under the Biomedical Program umbrella (although most students graduate with more than the minimum). Any student is welcome to apply for the Biomedical Program.

Course of Study

In an effort to reach as many students as possible, the Biomedical Program specialty classes will be taught at CP level. However, while there is a suggested course progression for the program at this level *, students are encouraged to tailor classes to their interests and abilities by taking courses that fall within the scope of biomedical science (see below). Students need to take at least 5 science classes from the approved sequence. Please note that Bioethics is mandatory for all Biomed students to graduate from the program as the Senior Capstone Project is embedded within it.

Options for 9th Grade Options for 10th Grade Options for 11th Grade Options for 12th Grade
CP Biomedical Biology* CP Biomedical Chemistry* CP Epidemiology* H /CP Bioethics*
H Biology H Chemistry CP Biotechnology* CP Biotechnology*
Biology Practical Chemistry H or CP Human Anatomy & Physiology H or CP Anatomy II
  CP Epidemiology AP Chemistry H or CP Human Anatomy & Physiology
      AP Biology
      AP Chemistry


325 CP Biomedical Biology

BM Bio

Grade 9

Credit 1                                             

This is the introduction to the Biomedical Program and replaces the Biology credit.  In this class, students study biology topics such as scientific method and inquiry, the chemical and cellular basis of life, genetics, evolution, and ecology within the framework of the biomedical field.


Must be enrolled in the Biomedical Program.

CP Biomedical Chemistry

BM Chem

Grade 10

Credit 1

This is part of the Biomedical Program and replaces the Chemistry credit. This course introduces students to the basic concepts of Chemistry, provides laboratory experiences, teaches critical thinking, and develops problem-solving skills that will demonstrate the relevance of chemistry to the Biomedical Field.


Must be enrolled in the Biomedical Program.

386 CP Epidemiology


Grade 10 or 11

Credit 1

This course introduces the basic principles and methods of epidemiology within the framework of biology, with an emphasis on critical thinking, analytical skills, and application to real-world issues. In addition, the themes of global health and social justice will be infused throughout this course and will address poverty, conflicts and emergencies, health inequity, health systems reforms, and major global initiatives for disease prevention and health promotion.


Must be enrolled in the Biomedical Program and have completed a Biology credit and have completed or be concurrently enrolled in Chemistry credit.

CP Biotechnology


Grade 11 or 12

Credit 1

Students will develop proficiency with the tools and techniques used in research and medical labs and will explore the ethics associated with this rapidly progressing field. In class we will investigate a range of topics in biotechnology and biomedicine as well as their local and global applications and impacts. Various career opportunities will be explored as well.


Must be enrolled in the Biomedical Program and have completed both a Biology and Chemistry credit.

326 H, 327 CP Bioethics


Grade 12

Credit 1

This course is a capstone for the Biomedical Program and is mandatory during senior year in order to graduate from the TCHS Biomedical Program.  Introduction to Bioethics explores some of the most difficult and fascinating moral challenges we face in health, medicine, and emerging technologies. Throughout, the focus will be on moral questions regarding how decisions in these domains are made. This course is modeled after a course taught at the Kennedy School of Ethics, Georgetown University.  The Senior Capstone project preparation and presentation are embedded within this class.


Must be enrolled in the Biomedical Program and have completed at least 3 classes under the Biomedical umbrella of classes prior to your senior year.