BME Major FAQ

Don't see FAQ you are looking for here? Email the Undergraduate Coordinator at bmeugrad@cornell.edu with any additional questions.

For BME Minor FAQs, visit the BME Minors page.

BME Major FAQ

What is the difference between biological engineering and biomedical engineering?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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.

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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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)?

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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?

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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?

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You can email the Undergraduate Coordinator (bmeugrad@cornell.edu) with any additional questions.