Why study Biomedical Engineering?
This is an exciting time to be a biomedical engineer. Modern health care and biomedical research have benefited from numerous technological innovations that appeared during the 20th century. Many of these have come from the efforts of physicists and engineers. The discipline of biomedical engineering integrates, at the molecular, cellular and whole body levels, the fields of biology, medicine and engineering.
Because of their broad training and ability to think and understand vastly different disciplines, biomedical engineers are critical members of interdisciplinary teams working on the design, development, and utilization of materials, devices and techniques for modern biomedical research, as well as the diagnosis and treatment of patients. Biomedical engineers are highly sought after in research laboratories, hospitals and biotechnology industries.BS in Biomedical Engineering
The Department of Biomedical Engineering offers a four-year curricular leading to a professional baccalaureate degree, a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering (BS) which is designed to prepare students for graduate school, medical school or industry. The BS in Biomedical Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.
The B.S. curriculum is structured around a basic core of 99 units. A complementary program of at least 21 units completes the degree requirements. For the specialty tracks, these courses consist of a track-specific core plus electives.
Graduate level courses are open to qualified, upper level undergraduates. These courses offer advanced training in selected areas of bioimedical engineering, including all of the track specialties.
Biomedical engineering is also excellent preparation for various professional schools, particularly medical schools. Many students complete their premedical requirements while obtaining their BME degrees. Premedical preparation is not a major, but rather entails fulfilling the requirements needed for entry to medical school. These generally consist of one year of college level biology, chemistry, mathematics, English and one year of organic chemistry with laboratory. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School of Engineering & Applied Science's Health Professions Advisor, Ron Laue: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cooperative experience is available to upper level students at numerous life science/technology companies both in the St. Louis area and nationwide. This experience is particularly valuable for students wishing to enter industry. However, since most companies ask that students spend the equivalent of one semester and a summer, it may be difficult to complete the degree requirements in eight semesters, unless students enter with sufficient advanced placement credits and/or take summer courses.
We strongly encourage undergraduates to pursue laboratory or industrial research during the school year or summer break. Many Washington University faculty have research openings for students.
Note: As of the incoming freshmen class of fall 2008, the department of biomedical engineering no longer offers the BS/MS option.