Undergraduate Study

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The biomedical engineering program provides training that is quantitative, emphasizes problem-solving and design, and treats phenomena from the molecular to the systems level. Required courses in mathematics, engineering, and science establish a strong foundation for biomedical engineering major courses.

Degree Requirements

Below are the degree requirements for students who entered in Fall 2018 or later. Students who entered prior to Fall 2018 should view the curriculum planning resources for students who enrolled prior to Fall 2018. Students must complete a minimum of 48 courses, including the following. Only Social sciences/humanities and unrestricted courses may be taken P/N.

Core Courses (27 courses)

Basic Engineering (5 courses)

A. Thermodynamics - 1 course from those listed below
BMD_ENG 250 Thermodynamics
MECH ENG 222 Thermodynamics & Statistical Mechanics I

B. Fluids and Solids - 2 courses as specified below
BMD_ENG 271 Introduction to Biomechanics and
BMD_ENG 270 Fluid Mechanics or
MECH ENG 241 Fluid Mechanics I

C. Material Science - 1 course
MAT SCI 201 Principles of the Properties of Materials

D. Probability, Statistics, and Quality Control - 1 course from those listed below
BMD_ENG 220 Introduction to Biostatistics
IEMS 303 Statistics I

Biomedical Engineering CORE (10 Courses + 1 Zero credit Seminar)

Biomedical Engineering Electives (4 courses)

Four courses must be completed. Two must be from category A below. Two must be from category B, which includes many courses. Please see the PDF version of the curriculum for category B options.
Students may choose to focus all these courses in a particular area of biomedical engineering, but this is optional.

Category A courses are:

Technical Electives (2 UNITS)

Students are urged to choose technical electives that emphasize engineering design. Technical electives may include: 

BIOLSCI 202, BIOLSCI 301, CHEM 210-2 and 3, DSGN 240 (0.5 unit), DSGN 321(0.5 unit), CS 211, and graded, 300-level or higher courses in engineering*, science, or mathematics. Three, 0.34 unit basic science and biology labs may also be combined and counted as a technical elective. Six total labs can be used.

*395 courses must be approved; not all are acceptable. BME 399 Independent Study is only graded P/N and may not be used as a technical elective. BME 499 is graded and may be used as a technical elective.

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Curriculum Planning Resources

The documents listed below outline degree requirements and will help Biomedical Engineering students plan for completing their degree. Students must log in with their NetID to view the curriculum planning guides. The following curriculum planning guides and forms are available:

Biomedical Engineering Curriculum

The biomedical engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.


Northwestern University BME Undergraduates FAQ