Biomedical Engineering

Major: Biomedical Engineering
Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering (BSBE)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 187.5
Co-op Options: Three Co-op (Five years); One Co-op (Four years)
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 14.0501
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 17-2031

About the Program

Biomedical Engineering is an innovative multidisciplinary Bachelor of Science degree program. It prepares students to conceive, design, and develop devices and systems that improve human health and quality of life. Biomedical engineering is the convergence of life sciences with engineering. From child car seats and football helmets to drug-delivery systems, minimally invasive surgery, and noninvasive imaging technology, the work of the biomedical engineer makes a difference in everyone’s life.

This program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET:


The undergraduate Biomedical Engineering curriculum is designed to strike a balance between academic breadth in biomedical engineering and specialization in an area of concentration. Each concentration has its own degree requirements for graduation and its own plan of study:

  • Biomaterials
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Biomechanics and Human Performance Engineering
  • Biomedical Informatics
  • Biomedical Imaging
  • Neuroengineering

The degree program provides innovative experiences in hands-on experimentation and engineering design, as well as opportunities for personal growth and development of leadership and communication skills.

Working with a faculty advisor, students can select their core and elective courses from the curricula offered by the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems and the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the College of Computing & Informatics.

Additional Information

More information about the School’s undergraduate program can be found at the School of Biomedical Engineering, Sciences and Health Systems' Academic Program webpage.

Students are also encouraged to contact the School's director for student services:

Caryn Glaser
Director of Student Services
School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems

Career and professional counseling is provided independently by the student's professional academic advisors and faculty advisors. Information regarding undergraduate professional academic advisors is available on the School's Undergraduate Advising webpage.

Program Educational Objectives

PEO - Graduates Whose Careers Effectively Leverage Their Education in Biomedical Engineering

As a result, graduates will be able to recognize and/or create opportunities, adjust to new conditions, and take advantage of opportunities across multiple boundaries: disciplinary, geographic, social and cultural. Graduates may demonstrate success through professional/personal recognition and/or advancement.

PEO - Graduates Competent to Obtain Additional Knowledge and/or Skills

As a result, graduates will continue to learn and enhance their skills through professional development and/or research activities. Graduates may use this new knowledge and/or additional skills to enhance current activities or move in a new direction. Graduates may also pursue further education in the form of graduate and professional degrees.

PEO - Graduates Who Make Contributions in Research, Innovation, Design and/or Technological Development.

As a result, graduates will make significant or meaningful contributions in their chosen fields either through publications and/or presentations, the development of a product or process, obtaining patents for new products and/or processes, or other evidence of contributing to the advancement of knowledge, particularly in fields integrating engineering and the life sciences.

PEO - Graduates Who Contribute to Their Communities

As a result, graduates will work independently and in diverse groups to effectively and efficiently achieve personal and organizational goals, manage projects, foster collaborative effort among co-workers, mentor individuals within the organization or in the community, engage in community or public service, create a product or process that fills a social need, and/or participate in educating individuals about an issue of societal concern.

PEO - Graduates Who Practice Ethical Reasoning, Behavior, and Professionalism

As a result, graduates will work in the global environment respecting cultural and social differences, managing risk and accepting responsibility, and adhering to the professional codes of conduct appropriate to his or her field of study and/or practice.

Student Learning Outcomes

By participating in the Biomedical Engineering undergraduate curriculum at the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems and graduating with the Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Biomedical Engineering from Drexel University, students will be able to:

  • Identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  • Apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  • Communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  • Recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  • Function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  • Develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  • Acquire and apply new knowledge, as needed, using appropriate learning strategies
  • Apply knowledge and skills gained from a program of study to the achievement of goals in a work, clinical, or other professional setting
Core Courses
BIO 122Cells and Genetics4.5
BIO 201Human Physiology I4.0
BIO 218Principles of Molecular Biology4.0
BMES 101Introduction to BMES Design I: Defining Medical Problems2.0
BMES 102Introduction to BMES Design II: Evaluating Design Solutions2.0
BMES 124Biomedical Engineering Freshman Seminar I2.0
BMES 201Programming and Modeling for Biomedical Engineers I3.0
BMES 202Programming and Modeling for Biomedical Engineers ll3.0
MEM 238Dynamics4.0
BMES 241Modeling in Biomedical Design I2.0
BMES 302Laboratory II: Biomeasurements2.0
BMES 303Laboratory III: Biomedical Electronics2.0
BMES 310Biomedical Statistics4.0
BMES 315Experimental Design in Biomedical Research4.0
BMES 337Introduction to Physiological Control Systems3.0
BMES 338Biomedical Ethics and Law3.0
BMES 341Modeling in Biomedical Design II2.0
BMES 345Mechanics of Biological Systems3.0
BMES 375Computational Bioengineering4.0
BMES 381Junior Design Seminar I2.0
BMES 382Junior Design Seminar II2.0
BMES 432Biomedical Systems and Signals3.0
BMES 444Biofluid Mechanics3.0
BMES 451Transport Phenomena in Living Systems4.0
BMES 491 [WI] Senior Design Project I3.0
BMES 492Senior Design Project II2.0
BMES 493Senior Design Project III3.0
CHEM 101General Chemistry I3.5
CHEM 102General Chemistry II4.5
CHEM 253Thermodynamics and Kinetics3.0-4.0
or ENGR 210 Introduction to Thermodynamics
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
ECE 201Foundations of Electric Circuits I4.0
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
or ENGL 111 English Composition I
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
or ENGL 112 English Composition II
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
or ENGL 113 English Composition III
ENGR 220Fundamentals of Materials4.0
MATH 121Calculus I4.0
MATH 122Calculus II4.0
MATH 200Multivariate Calculus4.0
MATH 201Linear Algebra4.0
MATH 210Differential Equations4.0
MEM 202Statics3.0
PHYS 101Fundamentals of Physics I4.0
PHYS 102Fundamentals of Physics II4.0
UNIV R101The Drexel Experience1.0
COOP 101Career Management and Professional Development1.0
Bioscience Elective: Choose any BIO course, 200-level or higher3.0
Bioscience Restricted Elective: Choose 13.0
Human Physiology II
Principles of Cell Biology
Form, Function & Evolution of Vertebrates
Genetics I
General Studies Electives (5) *15.0
Laboratory Electives: Choose 24.0
Human Physiology Laboratory
Techniques in Cell Biology
Techniques in Molecular Biology
Biochemistry Laboratory
Laboratory I: Experimental Biomechanics
Laboratory IV: Ultrasound Images
Laboratory V: Musculoskeletal Anatomy for Biomedical Engineers
Brain Computer Interface Laboratory
Laboratory V: Musculoskeletal Anatomy for Biomedical Engineers
Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
Concentration Requirements and STEM Electives21.0
Concentration Required Courses (3)
STEM Electives (up to the 21 credit total)**
Total Credits187.5-188.5

Concentration Course Requirements

Students must select one concentration and complete the listed required courses. The student also needs to take additional STEM electives, as described above. The credit total of the concentration required courses and the STEM electives must be at least 21.0 credits.

CHEM 241Organic Chemistry I (* P/R for BMES 460)4.0
BMES 460Biomaterials I4.0
BMES 461Biomaterials II4.0
Total Credits12.0
MEM 201Foundations of Computer Aided Design3.0
BMES 441Biomechanics I: Introduction to Biomechanics4.0
BMES 442Biomechanics II: Musculoskeletal Modeling and Human Performance4.0
Total Credits11.0
Biomedical Imaging
PHYS 201Fundamentals of Physics III *4.0
BMES 421Biomedical Imaging Systems I: Images4.0
BMES 422Biomedical Imaging Systems II: Ultrasound4.0
Total Credits12.0
Biomedical Informatics
BIO 219 [WI] Techniques in Molecular Biology3.0
BMES 483Quantitative Systems Biology4.0
BMES 484Genome Information Engineering4.0
Total Credits11.0
BIO 462Biology of Neuron Function *3.0
BMES 477Neuroengineering I: Neural Signals3.0
BMES 478Neuroengineering II: Principles of Neuroengineering3.0
Total Credits9.0
Tissue Engineering
BIO 219 [WI] Techniques in Molecular Biology *3.0
BMES 471Cellular and Molecular Foundations of Tissue Engineering4.0
BMES 472Developmental and Evolutionary Foundations of Tissue Engineering4.0
Total Credits11.0

Writing-Intensive Course Requirements

In order to graduate, all students must pass three writing-intensive courses after their freshman year. Two writing-intensive courses must be in a student's major. The third can be in any discipline. Students are advised to take one writing-intensive class each year, beginning with the sophomore year, and to avoid “clustering” these courses near the end of their matriculation. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.

A "WI" next to a course in this catalog may indicate that this course can fulfill a writing-intensive requirement. For the most up-to-date list of writing-intensive courses being offered, students should check the Writing Intensive Course List at the University Writing Program. Students scheduling their courses can also conduct a search for courses with the attribute "WI" to bring up a list of all writing-intensive courses available that term.

Sample Plan of Study

4 year, 1 co-op

Co-op cycles may vary. Students are assigned a co-op cycle (fall/winter, spring/summer, summer-only) based on their co-op program (4-year, 5-year) and major. 

First Year
BMES 1012.0BMES 1022.0BIO 1224.5VACATION
BMES 1242.0CHEM 1024.5BMES 2013.0 
CHEM 1013.5ENGL 102 or 1123.0COOP 101*1.0 
CIVC 1011.0MATH 1224.0ENGL 103 or 1133.0 
ENGL 101 or 1113.0PHYS 1014.0MATH 2004.0 
MATH 1214.0 PHYS 1024.0 
UNIV R1011.0   
 16.5 17.5 19.5 0
Second Year
BMES 2023.0BIO 2184.0BIO 2014.0BMES 3032.0
ECE 2014.0BMES 3383.0BMES 3453.0BMES 3104.0
ENGR 2204.0BMES 2412.0BMES 3754.0BMES 3412.0
MATH 2014.0MATH 2104.0BMES 4323.0BMES 4514.0
MEM 2023.0MEM 2384.0CHEM 253 or ENGR 2103.0-4.0Bioscience Restricted elective3.0
 18 17 17-18 15
Third Year
BMES 3812.0BMES 3373.0  
General Studies electives6.0BMES 3822.0  
 BMES 4443.0  
 Bioscience elective3.0  
 Concentration required course3.0  
 12 16 0 0
Fourth Year
BMES 4913.0BMES 4922.0BMES 4933.0 
Concentration required course3.0Concentration required course3.0General Studies elective3.0 
General Studies elective3.0General Studies elective3.0STEM electives6.0 
Lab elective2.0Lab elective2.0  
STEM elective3.0STEM elective3.0  
 14 13 12 
Total Credits 187.5-188.5

5 year, 3 co-ops

Co-op cycles may vary. Students are assigned a co-op cycle (fall/winter, spring/summer, summer-only) based on their co-op program (4-year, 5-year) and major. 

First Year
BMES 1012.0BMES 1022.0BIO 1224.5VACATION
BMES 1242.0CHEM 1024.5BMES 2013.0 
CHEM 1013.5ENGL 102 or 1123.0COOP 101*1.0 
CIVC 1011.0MATH 1224.0ENGL 103 or 1133.0 
ENGL 101 or 1113.0PHYS 1014.0MATH 2004.0 
MATH 1214.0 PHYS 1024.0 
UNIV R1011.0   
 16.5 17.5 19.5 0
Second Year
ECE 2014.0BMES 3383.0  
ENGR 2204.0BMES 2412.0  
MATH 2014.0MATH 2104.0  
MEM 2023.0MEM 2384.0  
 18 17 0 0
Third Year
BMES 3453.0BMES 3104.0  
BMES 3754.0BMES 3412.0  
BMES 4323.0BMES 4514.0  
CHEM 253 or ENGR 2103.0-4.0Bioscience restricted elective3.0  
 17-18 15 0 0
Fourth Year
BMES 3812.0BMES 3822.0  
General Studies electives6.0BMES 3373.0  
 BMES 4443.0  
 Bioscience elective3.0  
 Concentration required course3.0  
 12 16 0 0
Fifth Year
BMES 4913.0BMES 4922.0BMES 4933.0 
Concentration required course3.0Concentration required course3.0General Studies elective3.0 
General Studies elective3.0General Studies elective3.0STEM electives6.0 
Lab elective2.0Lab elective2.0  
STEM elective3.0STEM elective3.0  
 14 13 12 
Total Credits 187.5-188.5

Co-op/Career Opportunities

Metropolitan Philadelphia has one of the highest concentrations of medical institutions and pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries in the nation. The Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering gives students access to a broad spectrum of career opportunities in medical device and equipment industry, prosthetics and assist devices industry, biomaterials and implants industry, and the telemedicine, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and agricultural sectors.

Biomedical Engineering graduates are also ideally prepared for professional education in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and law. Those who choose to pursue graduate education can aim for careers in research and development, biomedical technology innovation, and transfer, as well as healthcare technology management.

Visit the Drexel Steinbright Career Development Center page for more detailed information on co-op and post-graduate opportunities.

Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems Faculty

Fred D. Allen, PhD (University of Pennsylvania) Associate Director, Undergraduate Education. Assistant Professor. Tissue engineering, cell engineering, orthopedics, bone remodeling, wound healing, mechanotransduction, signal transduction, adhesion, migration.
Hasan Ayaz, PhD (Drexel University) School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems. Research Associate Professor. Optical brain imaging, cognitive neuroengineering, brain computer interface (BCI), functional ner infrared (fNIR), and near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS).
Sriram Balasubramanian, PhD (Wayne State University). Assistant Professor. Structural characteristics of the pediatric thoracic cage using CT scans and developing an age-equivalent animal model for pediatric long bones.
Kenneth A. Barbee, PhD (University of Pennsylvania). Professor. Cellular biomechanics of neural and vascular injury, mechanotransduction in the cardiovascular system, mechanical control of growth and development for wound healing and tissue engineering.
Donald Buerk, PhD (Northwestern University). Research Professor. Biotechnology, physiology, systems biology, blood flow, microcirculation, nitric oxide, oxygen transport
Jamie Dougherty, PhD (Drexel University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Brain-computer interface, neural encoding, electrophysiological signal acquisition and processing.
Lin Han, PhD (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Assistant Professor. Nanoscale structure-property relationships of biological materials, genetic and molecular origins soft joint tissue diseases, biomaterials under extreme conditions, coupling between stimulus-responsiveness and geometry.
Uri Hershberg, PhD (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel). Assistant Professor. Bioinformatics, immunology, neural computation, system biology, somatic selection, autoimmunity, genetic stability, germline diversity, dendritic cell, transcription elements, pathogens, computational and mathematical modeling, complex systems, cognition and inflammation.
Kurtulus Izzetoglu, PhD (Drexel University) Associate Research Professor. Cognitive neuroengineering, functional brain imaging, near infrared spectroscopy, medical sensor development, biomedical signal processing, human performance assessment, and cognitive aging
Meltem Izzetoglu, PhD (Drexel University). Associate Research Professor. Cognitive neuroengineering, biomedical signal processing, statistical signal analysis, optimal artifact removal, information processing, optical brain imaging, functional near infrared spectroscopy, working memory, attention, learning, reading and mathematical disabilities, cognitive aging, anesthesia awareness, and social anxiety disorders.
Dov Jaron, PhD (University of Pennsylvania) Calhoun Distinguished Professor of Engineering in Medicine. Professor. Mathematical, computer and electromechanical simulations of the cardiovascular system.
Andres Kriete, PhD (University in Bremen Germany) Associate Director for Graduate Studies and Academic Operations. Systems biology, bioimaging, control theory, biology of aging, skin cancer.
Steven Kurtz, PhD (Cornell University). Associate Research Professor. Computational biomechanics of bone-implant systems and impact-related injuries, orthopaedic biomechanics, contact mechanics, orthopaedic biomaterials, large-deformation mechanical behavior and wear of polymers, and degradation and crosslinking of polyolefins in implant applications.
Ryszard Lec, PhD (University of Warsaw Engineering College). Professor. Biomedical applications of visoelastic, acoustoptic and ultrasonic properties of liquid and solid media.
Peter Lewin, PhD (University of Denmark, Copenhagen-Lyngby) Richard B. Beard Professor, School Of Biomedical Engineering, Science & Health Systems. Professor. Biomedical ultrasonics, piezoelectric and polymer transducers and hydrophones; shock wave sensors.
Hualou Liang, PhD (Chinese Academy of Sciences). Professor. Neuroengineering, neuroinformatics, cognitive and computational neuroscience, neural data analysis and computational modeling, biomedical signal processing.
Donald L. McEachron, PhD (University of California at San Diego) Coordinator, Academic Assessment and Improvement. Teaching Professor. Animal behavior, autoradiography, biological rhythms, cerebral metabolism, evolutionary theory, image processing, neuroendocrinology.
Karen Moxon, PhD (University of Colorado) Associate Director for Research. Professor. Cortico-thalamic interactions; neurobiological perspectives on design of humanoid robots.
Michael Neidrauer, PhD (Drexel University). Assistant Research Professor. Wound healing, near infrared, spectroscopy, cell culture, data analysis, optical coherence tomography (OCT), matlab, life sciences assay development, confocal microscopy, biomaterials, in-vivo, medical devices
Banu Onaral, PhD (University of Pennsylvania) H.H. Sun Professor; Senior Advisor to the President, Global Partnerships. Professor. Biomedical signal processing; complexity and scaling in biomedical signals and systems.
Kambiz Pourrezaei, PhD (Rensselaer Polytechnic University). Professor. Thin film technology; nanotechnology; near infrared imaging; power electronics.
Ahmet Sacan, PhD (Middle East Technical University). Assistant Professor. Indexing and data mining in biological databases; protein sequence and structure; similarity search; protein structure modeling; protein-protein interaction; automated cell tracking.
Joseph J. Sarver, PhD (Drexel University). Associate Professor. Neuromuscular adaptation to changes in the myo-mechanical environment.
Rahamim Seliktar, PhD (University of Strathclyde, Glasgow) Vice Director, School of Biomedical Engineering, Science & Health Systems. Professor. Limb prostheses, biomechanics of human motion, orthopedic biomechanics.
Patricia A. Shewokis, PhD (University of Georgia). Professor. Roles of cognition and motor function during motor skill learning; role of information feedback frequency on the memory of motor skills, noninvasive neural imaging techniques of functional near infrared spectroscopy(fNIR) and electroencephalograpy (EEG) and methodology and research design.
Adrian C. Shieh, PhD (Rice University). Assistant Professor. Contribution of mechanical forces to tumor invasion and metastasis, with a particular emphasis on how biomechanical signals may drive the invasive switch, and how the biomechanical microenvironment interacts with cytokine signaling and the extracellular matrix to influence tumor and stromal cell behavior.
Wan Y. Shih, PhD (Ohio State University). Associate Professor. Piezoelectric microcantilever biosensors development, piezoelectric finger development, quantum dots development, tissue elasticity imaging, piezoelectric microcantilever force probes.
Kara Spiller, PhD (Drexel University). Assistant Professor. Macrophage-biometerial interactions, drug delivery systems, and chronic would healing. Cell-biomaterial interactions, biomaterial design, and international engineering education.
Marek Swoboda, PhD (Drexel University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Cardiovascular engineering, cardiovascular system, diagnostic devices in cardiology, piezoelectric biosensors, and pathogen detection.
Amy Throckmorton, PhD (University of Virginia). Associate Professor. Computational and experimental fluid dynamics; cardiovascular modeling, including transient, fluid-structure interaction, and patient-specific anatomical studies; bench-to-bedside development of medical devices; artificial organs research; prediction and quantification of blood trauma and thrombosis in medical devices; design of therapeutic alternatives for patients with dysfunctional single ventricle physiology; human factors engineering of mechanical circulatory assist devices
Margaret Wheatley, PhD (University of Toronto) John M. Reid Professor. Ultrasound contrast agent development (tumor targeting and triggered drug delivery), controlled release technology (bioactive compounds), microencapsulated allografts (<em>ex vivo </em> gene therapy) for spinal cord repair.
Ming Xiao, PhD (Baylor University). Associate Professor. Nanotechnology, single molecule detection, single molecule fluorescent imaging, genomics, genetics, genome mapping, DNA sequencing, DNA biochemistry, and biophysics.
Yinghui Zhong, PhD (Georgia Institute of Technology). Assistant Professor. Spinal cord repair, and engineering neural prosthesis/brain interface using biomaterials, drug delivery, and stem cell therapy.
Leonid Zubkov, PhD, DSc (St. Petersburg State University, Russia). Research Professor. Physiology, wound healing, physiologic neovascularization, near-infrared spectroscopy, optical tomography, histological techniques, computer-assisted diagnosis, infrared spectrophotometry, physiologic monitoring, experimental diabetes mellitus, penetrating wounds, diabetes complications, skin, animal models, radiation scattering, failure analysis
Catherin von Reyn, PhD (University of Pennsylvania). Assistant Professor. Cell type-specific genetic engineering, whole-cell patch clamp in behaving animals, modeling, and detailed behavioral analysis to identify and characterize sensorimotor circuits.

Emeritus Faculty

Hun H. Sun, PhD (Cornell University). Professor Emeritus. Biological control systems, physiological modeling, systems analysis.
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