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BME MAJOR FAQ (scroll down for BME Minor FAQ)

What is the difference between biological engineering and biomedical engineering?
Biomedical engineering is a unique field that develops engineering skills from a variety of disciplines and applies them to problems related to human health and disease. Biomedical engineering at Cornell has been designed to prepare students to deal with the variability of the human body and to engineer robust solutions in an uncertain environment.

If I do not complete the required courses to affiliate at the end of the third semester, can I complete them in the fourth semester and affiliate then?
During the start-up phase of the undergraduate degree, BME does not plan to approve conditional affiliation applications or affiliation applications at the end of the fourth semester.

Is there a limit to the number of students that can affiliate with a Biomedical Engineering major?
During the start-up phase of the major, which is likely to be a few years, we (like any other major) have a maximum capacity in terms of faculty and classroom/lab space. It is possible, but unlikely, that a number of students all want to affiliate to BME but we cannot accommodate them all. To date, we have not denied anyone that qualified for affiliation.

Is it possible to transfer into biomedical engineering from another college?
The undergraduate biomedical engineering major for the College of Engineering was approved by the State of New York during summer 2015. During the start-up phase of the major, which is likely to be a few years, only incoming first-year students and rising sophomores in the College of Engineering will be eligible to apply for affiliation (i.e., internal transfer students and external transfer students will not be eligible to apply for affiliation with BME).

I want to get involved with biomedical engineering, but I was unable to affiliate. What can I do?
There are a number of ways to gain a background in Biomedical Engineering outside of the major. We have a minor, a one-year Masters of Engineering (M.Eng.) and many faculty research labs that take in students from various science and engineering disciplines.

How can I get information about early admission into M.Eng. while still an undergraduate or admission into other graduate degree programs in biomedical engineering?
Visit our graduate program site of our website, or for more information or to discuss further, please contact Belinda Floyd.

I am an incoming freshman and have AP scores for multiple math and science courses. Any reason not to take the credits and skip those courses?
It all depends on what you view as the quality of your preparation. Many students wish they hadn't passed out of courses because 1) they can solidify the material much better in a new setting, and 2) getting good grades in classes builds confidence for more difficult classes and should help your GPA. Reasons to take the AP credit are 1) to have lesser course loads each semester, and by extension more free time, or 2) to be able to minor or otherwise diversify your educational experience.

Is there a preference for BIOMG 1350 over BIOG 1440 for the introductory bio course?
No. But you cannot affiliate with the ecology version of biology.  However, if you are pre-med, we would suggest you take BIOMG 1350. BME 2010 (Physiology of Human Health and Disease) can be used to satisfy your biology requirement for medical school applications in place of BIOG 1440. 

Do you require a specific Introduction to Computing (CS 1110, 1112, 1114, or 1115) course in order to affiliate to BME?
No. Any of these courses will satisfy the Engineering Common Core CS requirement. However, due to the nature of some upper-level courses and professor preferences, we strongly recommend students take a Matlab-based section (CS 1112 preferred).

Is there a recommended pre-med course sequence published?
Yes. While paths may vary depending upon AP credit, we have created an example pre-med course plan to graduate in four years with an undergraduate degree while satisfying pre-med requirements. You can review the example path here.

Will CHEM 3570 (Org Chem) be a suitable replacement for CHEM 1570 (Intro to Org/Bio Chem)?
CHEM 1570 can be satisfied by the pre-medicine sequence, so those students who take organic chemistry and biochemistry do not need to take CHEM 1570.

What is the process for certification for the B.S. biomedical engineering degree?
A completed graduation checklist will be reviewed by the student and undergraduate coordinator in the student’s second-to-last semester and again in the student’s final semester. Graduation dates are January, May, and August. Outstanding graduation-related paperwork is to be completed and submitted prior to graduation. All credits (including AP credits and petitioned credit) need to appear on transcripts or credit to be applied. 

I have additional questions. Whom should I contact?
You can email the Undergraduate Coordinator ( with any additional questions.



How do I enroll in the biomedical engineering minor?
Learn about enrolling in our Biomedical Engineering Undergraduate Program.

Who is eligible for the biomedical engineering minor?
All undergraduates in the College of Engineering, College of Arts and Sciences, and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences are eligible to participate in the biomedical engineering minor. However, students may participate in only one of the bioengineering options: the biological engineering minor, or the biomedical engineering minor.

What are the requirements for the minor?
The full list of requirements can be found on the applying to the minor page.

Can I double count courses for my major and the minor?
Double counting is when you use a course that is required for your major as one of your six BME minor courses. Two of the six courses can be used directly from your major requirements or double counted. If the particular course is cross-listed with a minor course then it is still double counting. Note that double counting does NOT include major electives.

Do I have to fill out a declaration of interest form?
There is no longer a declaration process. It is now like any other minor offered by the college.

How do I receive credit for the minor?
Seniors usually submit a minor certification form a month or so before commencement. In order to receive credit for the biomedical engineering minor you must do the following:

  • Pick up the BME minor certification form in Engineering Advising Office in 167 Olin Hall.
  • Request a copy of your transcript.
  • Underline or circle the minor courses on the transcript. Remember to include the required 501 seminar.
  • Print out any communication (email) or petitions concerning specially approved minor courses.
  • Complete the form, sign and date it. Submit the completed certification form, transcript and any special approvals/petitions to front desk in 120 Olin Hall.
  • Receive your major degree.

Certification forms with pending grades will be held until the grades are posted. Certification of the minor begins after commencement and major degrees have been awarded. Once the major degree has been posted to your academic record the minor can be noted on the transcript. This notation is usually entered by the registrar several weeks after graduation.

Do BME minors ever go into medical school to pursue biomedical engineering?
Yes, though most pursue a Ph.D. and conduct research. You may find the information on this website helpful.