Undergraduate Studies

Aims and Scope

The undergraduate bioengineering option provides a foundation for graduate studies and career paths that require the application of engineering principles to the design, analysis, construction, and manipulation of biological systems, and in the discovery and application of new engineering principles inspired by the properties of biological systems. By graduation, students are expected to have learned basic laboratory and engineering methods used in a broad range of bioengineering sub-disciplines.

Students will also have learned quantitative and analytic skills vital to experiments and system designs. Graduating students are expected to be able to critically evaluate and understand bioengineering literature, and be able to work in a team and communicate effectively.

To accomplish these goals, students are expected to complete a series of required courses designed to introduce them to a representative range of bioengineering sub-disciplines, provide them with a solid quantitative analysis foundation and provide them with opportunities to work in teams through a number of project-oriented courses. Students will receive instruction in scientific communications through Bi/BE 24.

Undergraduate research is encouraged both during the academic year and through participation in summer research programs.

Students should present a plan for satisfying all degree requirements to their academic adviser by the end of the third term of the second year.

Students with a grade-point average lower than 1.9 will not be allowed to continue in the option except with special permission from the option representative.

Option Requirements

  1. BE 1; BE/APh 161; ChE/BE 163; two courses from BE 150, BE 159, and BE/CS/CNS/Bi 191a.
  2. Experimental methods: Bi 1x; one of BE/EE/MedE 189a or BE 107; one of ChE 130 or BE/CS 196a. Up to nine units of BE 98 may be used in place of one of these courses (except Bi 1x) with the approval of both the student's academic and research advisers to ensure that the student's research project provides comparable experimental laboratory experience. BE 98 units used to satisfy this requirement may not also be counted toward the elective requirement.
  3. Biology, chemistry and physics: two terms out of three from Ph 2abc; (Ch 21a may be used in place of Ph 2b and Ch 21c may be used in place of Ph 2c); Bi 8; Bi 9; Ch 25; Ch 41a; Bi/Ch 110. One advanced biology course selected from Bi/Ch 111, Bi/Ch 113, Bi 114, Bi 117, Bi 122, Bi 145ab, Bi/CNS/NB 150, BE 150, Bi 181.
  4. Mathematical and computational methods: ACM 95ab; Ma 2; Ma 3; one course from ChE 105, CDS 110, or ACM 116; 9 units selected from CS 1, CS 2, CS 3, CS 21, CS 24, and CS 38.
  5. 36 units of BE electives. These may include BE 98 (up to 12 units), any BE course numbered 100 or above, any of the BE-approved electives listed below, or any relevant class approved by the student’s academic adviser. Additionally, courses listed in requirements 1-4 that are not used to fulfil those requirements may be counted as electives.
  6. Communication: Bi/BE 24.
  7. Courses satisfying option requirements must be taken for grades (except when courses are only available P/F). Passing grades must be earned in a total of 486 units.

BE-Approved Electives

Biology: Bi/Ge 105, Bi/CNS/NB 162.

Biodevices: EE 112, EE 113, EE/MedE 114ab, APh/EE 9ab, EE 45, EE 111, EE 151.


ME 19ab, ME 1 abc, ME 14, Ae/APh/CE/ME 101abc, Ae/APh/CE/ME 10 abc, Ae/APh 104abc.

Synthetic Biology:

Ch 24, Ch 41bc, ChE/Ch 148, ChE/Ch 164, ChE/Ch 165.