Undergraduate Program Overview
Biomedical Engineering involves the combination of the physical, chemical, biological and mathematical sciences with engineering principles to create solutions to a wide range of societal problems associated with medical, environmental, occupational and product development issues. Bioengineers are the people who design and develop innovative materials, processes, devices, biologics and informatics to prevent, diagnose and treat disease, to rehabilitate patients and to generally improve health. Bioengineers also provide environmentally sound solutions to industrial process problems and use their knowledge of biological systems to create biologically inspired processes and products. More about a career in Biomedical Engineering can be found in a brochure prepared by the IEEE-Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. The Department of Biomedical Engineering offers several pathways for undergraduate students to obtain an understanding of Biomedical Engineering.
The Department of Biomedical Engineering offers the major in biomedical engineering, leading to a Bachelor of Engineering (B.E.) degree. The department also offers a minor in bioengineering (BNG). (See the online Undergraduate Bulletin's sections on Majors, Minors, and Programs for the most up-to-date requirements for both the BME major and BNG minor.) In a rigorous, cross-disciplinary training and research environment, the BME major program provides an engineering education along with a strong background in the biological and physical sciences. It is designed to enhance the development of creativity and collaboration through studies within a specialization area (BME Track, more below) within the field of biomedical engineering. Teamwork, communication skills, ethics and hands-on laboratory and research experience are emphasized. The curriculum provides students with the underlying engineering principles required to understand how biological organisms are formed and how they respond to their environment. Additionally, we teach how biological materials are tested for strength, how bioelectric signals are measured, how bioimaging modalities work, and factors involved in tissue engineering biocompatibility.
Core courses provide depth within the broad field of biomedical engineering. These are integrated with, and rely upon, course offerings from both the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the College of Arts and Sciences. In order to achieve the breadth of engineering experience expected of biomedical engineering graduates, additional elective courses from the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences are required of all biomedical engineering students. An overview of the courses required of all BME majors is highlighted.
Graduates are prepared for entry into professions in biomedical engineering, biotechnology, pharmaceutical industry and medical technology, as well as careers in academia, government, medicine and law. Potential employers include colleges and universities, hospitals, government, research institutes and laboratories and private industry. More about the types of jobs available within the Biomedical Engineering field can be found on the website of the BMES – Biomedical Engineering Society. We have an active Student Chapter of the BMES.
Currently, three specialization tracks are offered for the major in biomedical engineering: Biomechanics and Biomaterials, Bioelectricity and Bioimaging, and Molecular and Cellular Bioengineering (BME Tracks). We have prepared a sample major course sequence.
The Department of Biomedical Engineering offers the major in biomedical engineering, leading to the Bachelor of Engineering (B.E.) degree. BME undergraduate students can enroll in the BE/MS degree starting in their senior year and pursue a Bachelor’s Degree along with a MS in Biomedical Engineering. Important features of this combined degree program are that students must apply to the program through the BME Graduate Program Director during their junior year, and once accepted, they are considered to be a graduate student in all regards. We have prepared a sample course sequence for the combined BE/MS program. Although graduate technical elective courses can apply for the BE (the undergraduate degree), students must indicate whether the course is intended to be applied for the BE or the MS; courses cannot apply to both degrees.
The common goal of the Bioengineering Minor and Track Programs at Stony Brook is to expose science majors to the dominant theme in engineering, specifically, problem solving under conditions involving multiple objectives and constraints. Effective problem solving requires both identification of the assumptions underlying the problem definition and experience with a broad range of possible design solutions. We believe the biological world provides an excellent context in which to teach these concepts. Numerous examples exist in nature which can be used to critically evaluate the role of assumptions in creating "optimal" designs. Indeed, nature has provided us with a broad range of design "solutions" to apparently very similar "problems". Furthermore, as we enter the 21st century, the field of biomimetics, or applying engineering design and approaches to existing solutions found in biology, is rapidly emerging as an important new direction in engineering design.
Requirements for the BNG minor
The Director of the Undergraduate Program in BME directly oversees the BNG minor students. The program is currently approved for Biology (BIO) and Biochemistry (BCH) majors only. Requirements of this program include BME 100: Introduction to BME, and C-programming (e.g., BME 120). Three specialization tracks are available: Biomaterials/Biomechanics; Bioelectricity; Molecular/Cellular Bioengineering. Each specialization track has four required courses. Lastly, BNG minor students must complete one upper level BIO or BCH lecture and laboratory.