Advice to Undergraduates
Preparing for professional practice in a broad field like biomedical engineering is a challenge for students. To be successful, biomedical engineers must have depth in traditional areas of engineering, a broad understanding of biology, and knowledge of specific biomedical engineering applications. This is difficult to achieve within the constraints of a typical-four year undergraduate curriculum.
Therefore, we recommend that students interested in biomedical engineering professional practice adopt a three-stage approach that combines a BS degree in one of the traditional engineering disciplines, the biomedical engineering minor, and the two-semester Master of Engineering program in biomedical engineering. Students who take this approach will be well prepared for professional success in biomedical engineering.
The centerpiece of the curriculum is a four-course sequence that provides undergraduates with a quantitative understanding of biology across scales, as reflected in our vision statement.
The sequence comprises the following four courses:
- BME 3010 - Molecular Principles of Biomedical Engineering
- BME 3020 - Cellular Principles of Biomedical Engineering
- BME 4010 - Biomedical Engineering of Metabolic and Structural Systems
- BME 4020 - Information Exchange in Biomedical Engineering Systems
This sequence of courses provides students with a strong foundation for exploring an array of biomedical engineering applications. It also prepares students for entrance into the M.Eng. program in biomedical engineering.
Other students, including those who are not considering the M.Eng. program, may wish to supplement training in a traditional engineering discipline with courses in biomedical engineering. Such students might consider themselves mechanical or electrical engineers, for example, who have an interest in applications of their discipline to biomedical problems. In these cases, students may wish to choose applications-oriented courses rather than the sequence of BME fundamentals.
Some students may be interested in non-medical aspects of bioengineering rather than biomedical engineering. Related programs, such as those in Biological and Environmental Engineering and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, offer opportunities for such students.
Students from the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences may also choose the minor in biomedical engineering sponsored by the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Students selecting the minor focus on the biomedical engineering offerings at Cornell and prepare for advanced studies in the field.