Curriculum and Courses

The Meinig School majors program begins with an application-inspired curriculum, in which the application landscape is provided first and the rigor is filled in during subsequent courses. Students first gain a broad understanding in core engineering coursework, including experimental design, performance, and analysis, followed by a survey of the cornerstone biomedical applications and fundamentals. Progression in the major involves examining engineering analysis of biological systems alongside one of four concentration areas.


Five components in the BME curriculum deliver the knowledge and technical depth expected for all BME graduates:

  1. Multiscale core courses. Four courses that step through BME principles from atomic to organ scales including quantitative multiscale biology, physiology, and pathology.
  2. Experiential learning. Each student will have an extracurricular project to provide real-world engineering experiences. This project will also develop professional skills. Visit the Experiential Learning page for more examples.
  3. Topical foundations. The intellectual breadth comes from an innovative set of “Cornerstone classes,” one for each concentration that will provide the foundational motivation for and landscape of the topic and introduce core quantitative material.
  4. Concentration and capstone laboratory practice courses. Students will already know the relevance of this content and the opportunity space for each concentration from the cornerstone classes. Our curriculum has four concentrations: Molecular/Cellular/Systems Engineering (MCSE); Biomaterials & Drug delivery (BMDD); Biomedical imaging and instrumentation (BMII); Biomechanics and Mechanobiology (BMMB). See the concentrations page for more detail.
  5. Biomedical Engineering Design. Teams of BME students from different concentration preparation work together to break down a problem from industry or the clinic, and engineer a robust solution to meet that need.


Please see the most recent version of the Cornell Engineering Undergraduate Handbook for specific information on the major, especially p. 28 (additional information on BME affiliation requirements) and p.40, the typical flow chart of courses taken by undergraduates interested in BME affiliation.