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College of Engineering

Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical engineering combines engineering expertise with medical needs for the enhancement of human health care. It is a branch of engineering in which knowledge and skills are developed and applied to understand and solve problems in biology and medicine.

Having established a new undergraduate program in Biomedical Engineering in 2004, students can now earn a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering (B.S.BME) degree from the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering. The first class of undergraduates received degrees in May 2007. A fully established graduate program in biomedical engineering has been in place since 1998, granting degrees of Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering (M.S.BME) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).

Opportunities for B.S.BME graduates will continue to increase. Positions available in the medical products industry include the design, development and manufacturing of a wide array of medical devices, computer models to monitor and diagnose disease, biosensors to measure and the design of biocompatible materials for tissue replacement.

Students who complete the undergraduate program with high scholastic achievement and who are interested in careers in research are encouraged to pursue advanced degrees in biomedical engineering, including a 5-year combined B.S./M.S. Students with stronger interest in the clinical aspect of biomedical engineering should consider application to our joint program with the Indiana University School of Medicine, which leads to a combined degree (M.D./Ph.D.).

Students admitted to Purdue for Fall 2014 and all students matriculating from First-Year Engineering (FYE) to the professional schools beginning in May 2015 and thereafter will use the following criteria to determine eligibility for admission to the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering:

  • Completion of all FYE requirements with a "C" or better
  • Completion of CHM 11600 prior to the start of the sophomore fall semester
  • Achieve an EAI and GPA ≥ 3.2

If these criteria are met, a student will be guaranteed admission into the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering up to the critical capacity.

Students not selected are encouraged to pursue admission to one of the other professional engineering schools at Purdue where well-established specialty areas within the field of biomedical engineering continue to be offered. These programs include agricultural and biological engineering, chemical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, industrial engineering, materials engineering, mechanical engineering, and more.

The BME undergraduate curriculum, which officially begins in the sophomore year, includes an array of courses that teach engineering science, analysis and design in the context of biological and biomedical problems. Courses incorporate active learning about biomolecules, biomechanics, physiological mechanisms and analysis, biological transport, cell biology, biostatistics and bioinstrumentation. In addition, elective courses in BME and other engineering disciplines, the life sciences, general education and two professional seminars are required before graduation.

Undergraduate internship, co-op and study abroad programs provide an opportunity for biomedical engineering students to participate in a practical, supervised engineering experience with domestic industry partners or in an international setting. Sponsoring companies may choose to place students in a variety of roles, including research, product development, manufacturing, regulatory affairs and marketing.

A senior design project course provides the capstone engineering design experience, which ties together all the previous semesters of coursework on design and analysis into one integrated team project that takes the students from conception through construction and testing to a final presentation. Further information about the undergraduate program in biomedical engineering, including sample Plans of Study listing required courses and recommended electives, is available through the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering website.

Minimum Degree Requirements for Biomedical Engineering (B.S.BME)
Accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org.

Credit Hours Required for Graduation: 130

CoursesCredit Hours
First-Year Engineering
All required courses must be completed with a “C-“ or above, including CHM 1100.  CS 15900 is strongly encouraged here as it is required before the fourth semester. No more than 8 credit hours of first-year calculus can be applied toward the BME degree.  
Physics, Math, and CS 14
CS 15900; PHYS 24100; MA 26100; and MA 26200 or 26500 and 26600
Core Biomedical Engineering Courses 24
BME 20100, 20400, 20500, 20600, 25600, 29000, 30100, 30400, 30500, 30600, 39000
BME Breadth Requirement 43
Core Life Sciences: BIOL 23000 and two additional Life Science electives 9*
Core Engineering: ECE 30100; STAT 51100; ME 20000, 27000; MSE 23000                       15
BME Technical Engineering Electives
Five additional BME or other Engineering electives
At most 6 credits at the 30000 level; must include at least one 3-credit 40000-level BME course and at least one 3-credit course chosen from the Quantitative Breadth List.        
Senior Design Capstone Requirements: BME 48800, 489000, 49000    4
General Education Electives
Course selections must meet the General Education Program requirements. Includes an Ethics elective to be chosen from the Ethics list. Not including 6 credits of general education from First-Year Engineering.
Unrestricted Electives
Additional coursework to fulfill the total number of credits required for graduation.

* Selected from a list of courses approved by the Biomedical Engineering faculty and maintained by the Undergraduate Advising Office.

† Student must complete a 40000-level BME elective with at least a “B-“ before taking a BME 50000-level course as a technical elective.

GPA Requirement: A minimum Graduation Index of at least 2.0 is required to qualify for graduation with a B.S.BME degree. A minimum BME major GPA of at least 2.0 is also required to qualify for graduation with a B.S.BME. Courses included in the BME major GPA are BME 20100, 20400, 20500, 20600, 25600, 29000, 30100, 30400, 30500, 30600, 39000, 48800, 48900, 49000; ME 20000, 27000; MSE 23000; ECE 30100; STAT 51100 (or IE 33000).

Suggested Plan of Study for Biomedical Engineering

Credit Hours Required for Graduation: 130

Freshman Year, see First-Year Engineering Program

CHM 11600 must be completed prior to the start of your sophomore year in BME. CS 15900 is also strongly encouraged in First-Year Engineering and required before second semester sophomore year.

Sophomore Year

Third SemesterFourth Semester
(3) BIOL 23000 (Biology of the Living Cell) (3) BME 20400 (Biomechanics of Hard and Soft Tissues)
(3) BME 20100 (Biomolecules: Structure, Function and Engineering Applications) (1) BME 20600 (Biomechanics and Biomaterials Laboratory)
(1) BME 20500 (Biomolecular and Cellular Systems Laboratory) (3) BME 25600 (Physiological Modeling in Human Health)
(1) BME 29000 (Frontiers in Biomedical Engineering) (4) MA 26200 (Linear Algebra and Differential Equations)*
(4) MA 26100 (Multivariate Calculus) (3) ME 20000 (Thermodynamics I)
(3) ME 27000 (Basic Mechanics I) (3) MSE 23000 (Structure and Properties of Materials Engineering)
(3) PHYS 24100 (Electricity and Optics)    
(18)   (17)  

Junior Year

Fifth SemesterSixth Semester
(3) BME 30100 (Bioelectricity) (2) BME 30600 (Biotransport Laboratory)
(3) BME 30400 (Biomedical Transport Fundamentals) (1) BME 39000 (Professional Development and Design in Biomedical Engineering)
(3) BME 30500 (Bioinstrumentation Laboratory) (3) ECE 30100 (Signals and Systems)
(3) BME technical elective (3) STAT 51100 (Statistical Methods)
(3) General education or ethics elective† (3) BME technical elective
    (3) General education or ethics elective†
(15)   (15)  

Senior Year

Seventh SemesterEighth Semester
(1) BME 48800 (Preliminary Senior Project Design) (3) BME technical elective
(2) BME 48900 (Senior Design Project Laboratory) (3) BME technical elective
(1) BME 49000 (Professional Elements of Design) (3) Life Science elective
(3) BME technical elective‡ (3) General education elective
(3) Life science elective (3) General education or unrestricted elective
(3) General education elective (1-3) Unrestricted electives (as needed)
(3) General education elective    
(16)   (15-18)  

* MA 26200 (Linear Algebra) AND MA 26600 (Ordinary Differential Equations) can be taken separately to meet the MA 26200 requirement..

† Ethics elective must be chosen from the list of courses approved by the Biomedical Engineering faculty and maintained by the Undergraduate Advising Office.  The course is included as part of the College of Engineering General Education requirement..

 Choose from a list of Quantitative Breadth courses approved by the Biomedical Engineering Faculty and maintained by the Undergraduate Advising Office.