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.

Mathematics (4 courses)

  • MATH 220-1, 2 Single Variable Calculus
  • MATH 228-1, 2 Multivariable Calculus 

Basic Sciences (4 courses)

  • PHYSICS 135-2, 3 General Physics plus labs 136-2, 3
  • CHEM 131 and 132 or 151 and 152 or 171 and 172 plus labs

Engineering Analysis (4 courses)

  • GEN ENG 205-1 Computational Methods and Linear Algebra
  • GEN ENG 205-2 Linear Algebra and Mechanics
  • GEN ENG 205-3 Dynamic System Modeling
  • GEN ENG 205-4 Differential Equations

Engineering Design and Communication (3 courses)

Social Sciences/Humanities Theme and Unrestricted Electives (12 courses)

See the McCormick theme requirement webpage for more information.

Biomedical Engineering Program (21 courses)

  • Basic Engineering (5 courses)
    • BMD_ENG 250 Thermodynamics or MECH ENG 222 Thermodynamics & Statistical Mechanics I
    • BMD_ENG 271 Introduction to Biomechanics and BMD_ENG 270 Fluid Mechanics or MECH ENG 241 Fluid Mechanics I
    • MAT SCI 201 Principles of the Properties of Materials
    • BMD_ENG 220 Introduction to Biostatistics or IEMS 303 Statistics I
  • Technical Electives (2 units)

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

    BIOLSCI 202, BIOLSCI 301, CHEM 215-2 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.

  • 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:

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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