Undergraduate Major in Biomedical Engineering

female student working in lab


The curriculum of biomedical engineering includes broad training in math, chemistry, physics, biology as well as engineering sciences such as thermodynamics, materials, fluid and solid mechanics and circuits. The curriculum also provides training in areas such as disease therapeutics and drug delivery, implants and tissue engineering, advanced diagnostics and biosensors, prosthetics and organ mechanics, medical device manufacturing, and medical imaging and equipment electronics. This training will culminate in lab and design courses that will emphasize a synthesis of these topics to design, build and test biomedical systems.

The curriculum will prepare students for a career in serving society through designing and manufacturing biomedical systems that improve human health. The curriculum will also prepare students to navigate difficult ethical questions through training in bioethics and will include broader training in the social sciences and humanities. This prepares graduates to better gauge the impact of biomedical engineering design decisions on broader society. Finally, graduates will be well-trained to communicate both with other technical colleagues as well as the broader public that benefits from the biomedical engineering products.

Major Requirements

Emphasis Areas

Medical Molecules and Materials Emphasis

Curriculum flow chart (PDF)

BioMedical Mechanics and Manufacturing Emphasis

Curriculum flow chart (PDF)

BioMedical Instrumentation Emphasis

Curriculum flow chart (PDF)

Elective Courses

Elective courses will be in the making as the curriculum committee meets and decides on them.

How to Apply

All students with interest in the biomedical engineering major will begin in the Pre-Biomedical Engineering program and can take the first-year curriculum. Application for acceptance into the biomedical engineering major will open in the spring semester and require the following:

  1. Brief 250-word essay to answer: Why do you want to complete a BME degree at ISU and what factors, including your life experiences and family background, have contributed to your outlook?
  2. Completion of the BME Foundational Courses: MATH 1660, CHEM 1670 or CHEM 1770, BIOL 2120, and BME 1600 or BME 2200
    1. BME 1600 or BME 2200 along with one other BME Foundational Course must be completed at Iowa State
  3. Iowa State cumulative GPA will also be considered as well as a potential interview component

A biomedical engineering admissions committee will evaluate applications and students will be notified of the decision by July.