Technical Electives

After a Biomedical Engineering student has completed lower level coursework, the student chooses one of the following three technical track areas to continue their studies. This is typically done in spring semester of the junior year.  The requirements for the minimum 15 hours* of Technical Electives in the Biomedical Engineering curriculum are below. Electives must be selected and approved in advance, consistent with these requirements.

Bioinstrumentation and Bioimaging

SCOPE: The Bioinstrumentation & Bioimaging Track is designed to equip BMEN students for the medical device and imaging instrumentation field, which covers clinical and lab instrumentation from the nanoscale to the whole body. This track equips students with focus in either imaging or instrumentation, and provides guidance to select coursework in several application areas for each of the focus topics. Students will gain an understanding of medical device design, underlying physics and instrumentation for measuring physiological parameters and forming medical images, signal/image processing and control systems.

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Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering

SCOPE: The Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Track is designed to equip BMEN students for the rapidly developing field at the multi-disciplinary interface of engineering, material science, biology, chemistry, and medicine. This track will provide students with a broad educational foundation with an emphasis on the principles and applications of biomaterials, particularly tissue engineering. Students will gain an understanding of biomaterial preparation and characterization, structure/property relationships, as well as cellular, blood, and tissue interactions with biomaterials. Selection and design of biomaterials for tissue engineering, artificial organs, drug delivery, and implanted devices is presented.

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Biomechanics

SCOPE:Mechanics is the study of responses of materials and structures to applied loads; biomechanics is the development, extension, and application of mechanics for purposes of understanding better the influence of applied loads on the structure, properties, and function of living things and the diverse systems that they interact with. Hence, among many other applications, biomechanics is fundamental to the design of wheelchairs, implantable medical devices, and instruments for quantifying properties of biomaterials and native tissues as well as understanding many disease processes and designing new approaches for their treatment. Recent findings show that many cell types are very sensitive to changes in their mechanical environment, hence biomechanics is also fundamental to understanding gene expression and associated basic changes in cell activity. The Track in Biomechanics enables students to develop breadth and depth in this essential field within Biomedical Engineering.

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Biomolecular & Cellular Engineering

SCOPE:Modern medicine and biotechnology deal with processes at the molecular and cellular levels. The Biomolecular and Cellular Engineering Track provides biological, physical, and quantitative foundations for understanding and manipulating biomlecules and cells. The background knowledge, skills, and creative/critical thinking achieved through this track will prepare students to work in diverse areas including nano-medicine, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, regenerative engineering, as well as basic research in quantitative life sciences. 

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General Requirements

  1. All BMEN students must select a specific technical elective track from those listed below. The tracks are as follows:
    • Bioinstrumentation and bioimaging
    • Biomaterials and tissue engineering
    • Biomechanics
    • Biomolecular and cellular engineering
  2. Each track typically has three categories of track courses including Required, Track and Other. The Required category contains 0-15 hours of restricted and prescribed coursework. The Track category contains 0-15 hours of course work related to the specific track field. The Other category contains 0-3 hours of course work and must generally be 300 – 400 level courses in a relevant discipline and consistent with the individual’s professional goals.
  3. Proposed deviations from the required and suggested courses in a track must be approved in advance by a track coordinator and the Director of Undergraduate Programs.
  4. Track coordinators (faculty with expertise in a specific track) are available to discuss the contents of a track and reasons to pursue it, and must sign to indicate that a professional interview has occurred with the student.
  5. Exceptions to track courses must be approved prior to taking courses by the Director of Undergraduate Programs. It is possible that courses taken prior to receiving approval may not meet Technical Electives requirements.
  6. If a course has pre-requisites, the pre-requisites generally count toward completion of the selected Track, if completed.
  7. If pre-requisites for a Track course are not met before taking the course, approval from the instructor offering the specific Track course is usually required.
  8. Students may take up to 3 hours of 285, 485, and 491 which can be used in the Other category with prior approval from the academic advisor and track coordinator.
  9. Track courses are usually three (3) credit hours unless indicated in parenthesis next to course number.

*A minimum of 15 Technical Elective hours are required for the BS degree in Biomedical Engineering. For 201631 catalogs and earlier, 18 technical elective hours are required.  If you are unsure of which catalog you are in, please schedule a meeting with your academic advisor.  


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