• Careers in Biomedical Engineering

    What sets BME Majors apart?

    BMEs speak three languages: engineering, medicine, and life sciences. BMEs have an in-depth understanding of living systems, technology, and regulatory affairs. They know how to work in diverse teams. On the job, they often serve a coordinating or interfacing function, even if their primary job is engineer, researcher, technical advisor, consultant, physician, manager, or entrepreneur.

    After-graduation planning begins early in the 2nd year. That’s when you start setting in motion the events and opportunities that will make it possible to achieve your goals after graduation.

    Entry-level job titles include:

    • Industries surrounding medical imaging, medical devices, bioinstrumentation, software, orthopedics, tissue & cell engineering, diagnostics, drug discovery, pharmaceuticals, genomics, bioinformatics and more
    • Universities, hospitals, and academic and medical research institutions, teaching, government, defense, consulting, services, and sales
    • Manufacturing Engineer, Quality Engineer, Clinical or Field Engineer, Project or Product Engineer, Staff Engineer, Researcher (in a hospital, university, military or government laboratory), Software Engineer, Sales Engineer, Management or Marketing Trainee
    • Other fields that recruit entry-level BMEs include FDA/Regulatory Affairs, US Patent Office, financial services, business development, and marketing and consulting firms working with healthcare and investment groups
  • Courses

    BME 2000 Intro to BME Design & Discovery
    BME 2101 Physiology for Engineers I
    BME 2102 Physiology for Engineers II
    BME 2104 Cell & Molecular Biology for Engineers
    BME 2220 Biomechanics
    BME 2315 Computational BME
    BME 3030 BME Advanced Design

    BME 3240 Biotransport
    BME 3310 Biomedical Systems Analysis & Design
    BME 3636 Neural Network Models of Cognition and Brain Computation
    BME 3080, 3090 BME Integrative Design & Experimental Analysis (IDEAS) Lab I & II
    BME 4806 Biomedical Applications of Genetic Engineering
    BME 4414 Biomaterials
    BME 4417 Tissue Engineering
    BME 4280 Motion Biomechanics
    BME 4641 Bioelectricity
    BME 4995 BME Advanced Projects
    BME 4063, 4064 Biomedical Engineering Capstone Design I & II
    BME 4783 Medical Image Modalities
    BME 4890 Nanomedicine
    BME 4550 Special Topics in Biomedical Engineering
    BME 4550 Quantitative Biological Reasoning
    BME 4550 Systems Bioengineering Modeling and Experimentation
    BME 4993 Independent Study

    BME 2000 - (3) REQUIRED, Fall
    Intro to BME Design & Discovery
    Prerequisite: CS 1110, PHYS 1425, and ENGR 1620, or instructor permission. Provides an overview of the BME discipline and major sub-disciplines (biomechanics, genetic engineering, tissue engineering, bioelectricity, imaging, cellular engineering, computational systems biology), covers conceptual and detail design processes, and introduces quantitative tools utilized throughout the BME curriculum. Includes formulation and execution of a major design project.

    BME 2101 - (3) REQUIRED, Fall
    Physiology for Engineers I
    Prerequisite: CHEM 1610, and PHYS 1425, or instructor permission. Studies how excitable tissue, nerves and muscle, and the cardiovascular and respiratory systems work. Focuses on understanding mechanisms and includes an intro to structure, an emphasis on quantitative function, and integration of hormonal and neural regulation and control.

    BME 2102 - (3) REQUIRED, Spring
    Physiology for Engineers II
    Prerequisite: BME 2101, and BME 2315, or instructor permission.
    Introduces the physiology of the kidney, salt and water balance, gastrointestinal system, endocrine system, and central nervous system, with reference to diseases and their pathophysiology.

    BME 2104 - (3) REQUIRED, Spring
    Cell & Molecular Biology for Engineers
    Prerequisite: CHEM 1610 or instructor permission. Introduces the fundamentals of cell structure and function, emphasizing the techniques and technologies available for the study of cell biology. A problem-based approach is used to motivate each topic. Divided into three general sections: cell structure and function includes cell chemistry, organelles, enzymes, membranes, membrane transport, intracellular compartments and adhesion structures; energy flow in cells concentrates on the pathways of glycolysis and aerobic respiration; information flow in cells focuses on modern molecular biology and genetic engineering, and includes DNA replication, the cell cycle, gene expression, gene regulation, and protein synthesis. Also presents specific cell functions, including movement, the cytoskeleton and signal transduction. Students may not receive credit for both CHE 2246 and BME 2104.

    BME 2220 - (3) REQUIRED, Spring
    Prerequisite: APMA 2120, Co-requisite APMA 2130, or instructor permission. Introduces the principles of continuum mechanics of biological tissues and systems. Topics include 1) review of selected results from statics and strength of materials, continuum mechanics, free-body diagrams, constitutive equations of biological materials, viscoelastic models, and fundamental concepts of fluid mechanics and mass transport; 2) properties of living tissue; 3) mechanical basis and effects of pathology and trauma, 4) introduction to mechanotransduction, circulatory transport, growth and remodeling, and tissue-engineered materials, and 5) low Reynolds number flows in vivo and in microsystems.

    BME 2315 - (3) REQUIRED, Spring
    Computational BME
    Prerequisite: CS 1110 or instructor permission. Introduces techniques for constructing predictive or analytical engineering models for biological processes. Teaches modeling approaches using example problems in transport, mechanics, bioelectricity, molecular dynamics, tissue assembly, and imaging. Problem sets will include 1) linear systems and filtering, 2) compartmental modeling, 3) numerical techniques, 4) finite element / finite difference models, and 5) computational automata models.

    BME 3030 - (3) ELECTIVE, Spring
    BME Advanced Design
    Prerequisite: BME 2000 and instructor permission. Project-driven course focusing on biomedical product design, with an emphasis on marketability, innovation, entrepreneurship, and business. Topics covered include design fundamentals, problem/needs identification, delineation of realistic constraints and product specifications, intellectual property, market analysis, entrepreneurship, specific advanced design topics (e.g. design for manufacturing, cradle-to-grave product lifecycle analysis, etc.), business plan development, venture funding, and medical product testing methods.

    BME 3240 - (3) REQUIRED, Spring
    Prerequisite: APMA 2120, 2130, BME 2101, 2104 or equivalent, or instructor permission. Biotransport in biological living systems is a fundamental phenomenon important in all aspects of the life cycle. Course will introduce principles and application of fluid and mass transport processes in cell, tissue and organ systems. Topics include introduction to physiological fluid mechanics in the circulation and tissue, fundamentals of mass transport in biological systems, effects of mass transport and biochemical interactions at the cell and tissue scales, and fluid and mass transport in organs.

    BME 3310 - (3) REQUIRED, Fall
    Biomedical Systems Analysis & Design
    Prerequisites: APMA 2130, CS 1110, and PHYS 1425, or instructor permission. Presents the analytical tools used to model signals and linear systems. Specific biomedical engineering examples include multicompartment modeling of drug delivery, modeling of dynamic biomechanical systems, and electrical circuit models of excitable cells. Major topics include terminology for signals and systems, convolution, continuous time Fourier transforms, electrical circuits with applications to bioinstrumentation and biosystems modeling, and applications of linear system theory. Students may not receive credit for both ECE 3750 and BME 3310.


    BME 3636 - (3) ELECTIVE, Spring
    Neural Network Models of Cognition and Brain Computation
    Cross-listed as PSYC 5330. Prerequisite: CS 1110, BME 2101, or instructor permission. Introduction to neural networks research, specifically biologically-based networks that reproduce cognitive phenomena. The goal is to teach the basic thinking and methodologies used in constructing and understanding neural-like networks.

    BME 3080, 3090 - (4+4) REQUIRED, Fall, Spring
    BME Integrative Design & Experimental Analysis (IDEAS) Lab I & II
    Prerequisite: BME 2101, 2104, 2315 and 2220, and 3rd year standing in the BME major, or Inst. permission. Year-long course to integrate concepts and skills from prior courses in order to formulate and solve problems in biomedical systems, including experimental design, performance, and analysis. Lab modules include testing in tissues/cells and manipulation of molecular constituents of living systems to determine their structural and functional characteristics for design of therapeutic or measurement systems. Methods include biochemical, physiological, cell biology, mechanical, electrical and computer, systems, chemical, imaging, and other approaches.

    BME 4806 - (3) ELECTIVE, Spring
    Biomedical Applications of Genetic Engineering
    Prerequisite: BME 2101, 2102, and 2104, and 3rd/4th year standing, or instructor permission. Provides a grounding in molecular biology and a working knowledge of recombinant DNA technology, thus establishing a basis for the evaluation and application of genetic engineering in whole animal systems. Beginning with the basic principles of genetics, this course examines the use of molecular methods to study gene expression, deliver viral and non-viral vectors, and its critical role in health.

    BME 4414 - (3) ELECTIVE, Fall
    Prerequisite: BME 2101, 2104 or equivalent, 3rd or 4th year standing, or instructor permission. This course will provide an introduction to biomaterials science and biological interactions with materials, including an overview of biomaterials testing and characterization. The emphasis of this course, however, will be on emerging novel strategies and design considerations of biomaterials. Areas of concentration will include the use of polymers and ceramics in biomaterials today, drug delivery applications, tissue engineering from both an orthopaedic and vascular perspective, and nanotechnology related to biomaterials. Specific attention will also be paid to the in vitro and in vivo testing of biomaterials, and a review of current research in the field.

    BME 4417 - (3) ELECTIVE, Spring
    Tissue Engineering 
    Prerequisite: APMA 2130, BME 2101, and 2104 or equivalent, or instructor permission. Introduces the fundamental principles of tissue engineering. Topics include: tissue organization and dynamics, cell and tissue characterization, cell-matrix interactions, transport processes in engineered tissues, biomaterials and biological interfaces, stem cells and interacting cell fate processes, and tissue engineering methods. Examples of tissue engineering approaches for regeneration of cartilage, bone, ligament, tendons, skin and liver are presented.

    BME 4280 - (3) ELECTIVE, Spring
    Motion Biomechanics
    Prerequisite: BME 2101, 2220, or instructor permission. Focuses on the study of forces (and their effects) that act on the musculoskeletal structures of the human body. Based on the foundations of functional anatomy and engineering mechanics (rigid body and deformable approaches); students are exposed to clinical problems in orthopedics and rehabilitation.

    BME 4641 - (3) ELECTIVE, Fall
    Prerequisite: BME 3310 or ECE 2630, BME 2101, or instructor permission. Studies the biophysical mechanisms governing production and transmission of bioelectric signals, measurement of these signals and their analysis in basic and clinical electrophysiology. Introduces the principles of design and operation of therapeutic medical devices used in the cardiovascular and nervous systems. Includes membrane potential, action potentials, channels and synaptic transmission, electrodes, electroencephalography, electromyography, electrocardiography, pacemakers, defibrillators, and neural assist devices.

    BME 4995 - (1-3) ELECTIVE, Fall, Spring
    BME Advanced Projects
    Prerequisite: instructor permission and approval of the BME Undergraduate Program Director using the form in the BME Research Guide (available online and in MR5 2010). Research project in biomedical engineering conducted in consultation with a department faculty advisor, usually related to ongoing faculty research. Includes the design, execution, and analysis of experimental laboratory work and computational or theoretical computer analysis of a problem. Requires a comprehensive report of the results. Only 3 credits (total) of BME 4995 will count as either a Bioengineering or BME elective. Another 3 credits count as an Unrestricted Elective.

    BME 4063, 4064 - (3+3) REQUIRED, Fall, Spring
    Biomedical Engineering Capstone Design I & II
    Prerequisite: Fourth year standing in BME major, or instructor permission. A year-long design project in biomedical engineering required for BME majors. Students select, formulate, and solve a design problem related to a device or a system. Projects use conceptual design, skills obtained in the integrated lab, and substantial literature and patent reviews. Projects may be sponsored by BME faculty, medical doctors, and/or companies. Students may work on their own with outside team members when appropriate or with other SEAS students in integrative teams.


    BME 4783 - (3) ELECTIVE, Fall
    Medical Image Modalities

    BME 4890 - (3) ELECTIVE, Fall
    Prerequisite: BME 2104 or CHE 2246, BME 2220, or 4th year standing, or instructor permission. Recommended: BME 3240 or CHE 3321. Students will design treatment strategies for cancer and cardiovascular disease based on molecular bioengineering principles. Special topics will include design of nanoparticle drug and gene delivery platforms, materials biocompatibility, cancer immunotherapy, and molecular imaging.

    BME 4550 - (3+3) ELECTIVE, Fall, Spring
    Special Topics in Biomedical Engineering
    Prerequisite: varies. Applies engineering science, design methods, and system analysis to developing areas and current problems in biomedical engineering.

    BME 4550 - (3) ELECTIVE, Fall
    Medical Imaging Systems Theory
    Prerequisite: ECE 3750 or BME 3310 or equivalent exposure to linear systems theory, and instructor permission. Develops an intuitive understanding of the mathematical systems theory needed to understand and design biomedical imaging systems, including ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography. Emphasis is on 2D continuous systems, but 1D and discrete systems are also covered. Topics include multidimensional Fourier transform theory, image reconstruction techniques, diffraction theory, and Fourier optics.

    BME 4550 - (3) ELECTIVE, Fall
    Quantitative Biological Reasoning
    Prerequisite: 4th year standing and instructor permission. Provides students with a quantitative framework for identifying and addressing important biological questions at the molecular, cell, and tissue levels. Part I covers methods, with an emphasis on the biochemical, biophysical, and mathematical themes that emerge repeatedly in quantitative experiments. Discussions will be preceded by primary literature that illustrate how in-depth understanding of such themes led to significant conceptual advances in biochemistry, molecular biology, and cell biology. Part II will focus on how quantitative methods combine to aid scientific logic. Topics will include practical implementations of the scientific method, falsification of hypotheses, and strong inference. Course concludes with an introduction to how quantitative biological reasoning can be effectively presented through scientific writing and information design.

    BME 4550 - (3) ELECTIVE, Fall
    Systems Bioengineerng Modeling and Experimentation
    Prerequisite: Fourth year standing in BME major, or instructor permission. Introduces techniques for constructing mathematical and computational models of vascular biological processes and utilizing experimental methods to validate those models at many levels of organizational scale, from genome to whole-tissue. Students rotate through three modules where they attend lectures, read literature, and participate in discussions focused on various modeling and experimental validation techniques. In each module, they work in teams of three to complete group modeling projects that apply the modeling techniques specific to the particular module. Teams will also conduct experiments relevant to the biological question of each module. Topics to be covered include choice of modeling techniques appropriate to addressing particular biological problems at different scales, quantitative characterization of biological properties, assumptions and model simplification, parameter estimation and sensitivity analysis, model verification and validation, and integration of computational modeling with experimental approaches.

    BME 4993 - (1-3) ELECTIVE, Fall, Spring
    Independent Study
    Prerequisite: instructor permission. In-depth study of a biomedical engineering area by an individual student in close collaboration with a departmental faculty member. Requires advanced analysis of a specialized topic in biomedical engineering that is  not covered by current offerings. Requires faculty contact time and assignments comparable to regular course offerings. Requires approval by UG Program Director. Use form on p 16.


  • BME Minor

    BME Minor

    “The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only.  The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at http://records.ureg.virginia.edu/index.php.

    The BME Minor can be combined with any Engineering School major.
    18 credits.

    2 Required Courses:

    • BME 2101 Physiology I for Engineers
    • BME 2104 Cell and Molecular Biology for Engineers

    Choose 4 Elective BME Courses from the following list:

    • BME 2220 Biomechanics
    • BME 2315 Computational BME
    • BME 3240 Biotransport
    • BME 3310 Biomedical Engineering Systems Analysis
    • BME 3636 Neural Network Models of Cognition and Brain Computation
    • BME 4806 Biomedical Applications of Genetic Engineering
    • BME 4280 Motion Biomechanics
    • BME 4414 Biomaterials
    • BME 4417 Tissue Engineering
    • BME 4641 Bioelectricity
    • BME 4783 Medical Image Modalities
    • BME 4890 Nanomedicine Engineering
    • BME 4550 Special Topics in BME
    • BME 4550 Systems Biology Modeling and Experimentation
    • BME 4550 Biomedical Data Sciences
    • BME 4550 BME Advanced Design
    • BME 4550 Rehabilitation Engineering
    • BME 4550 Microbial Biomedical Engineering
    • BME 4550 Quantitative Biological Reasoning
    • CHE 3347 Biochemical Engineering

    One Elective may be chosen from:

    • BME 2102 Physiology II
    • BIOL 3010 Genetics and Molecular Biology
    • BIOL 3090 Biology of Infectious Diseases
    • BIOL 4170 Cellular Neurobiology
    • BIOL 4650 Molecular Biology of Human Disease
    • BIOL 5010 Biochemistry

    BIOM Courses that do NOT count toward the BME Minor:

    • BME 2000, 3080, 3090, 4995, 4063, 4064, 4999
  • BME Teaching Fellows and Graders

    Two positions of incredible value to the department.

    Update coming!

  • BME Undergraduate Contacts

    Prospective students and parents: THIS PAGE has information about visiting BME at UVA.

    Current students: Go to Kitter Bishop with questions about advisor assignment, curriculum exceptions, declaring the major or minor, study abroad, transfer, VCCS transfer, and process for independent study and research-for-credit.

    Current students and faculty: Go to Dr. Timothy Allen with concerns about BME students' safety and well being, course substitutions, BME Teaching Fellows and Grader assignment, accreditation questions, and any questions Kitter can't answer. 

    Current students: Go to Julia Lapan with questions about career preparation and internships.


    BME Undergraduate Coordinator

    Kitter Bishop

    434 982-4100


    MR5 2010


    BME Undergraduate Director (interim)

    Timothy Allen, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering

    434 242-6751


    MR5 second floor lab hallway

    Industry Internships and Career Advising

    Julia Lapan

    434 982-2132

    Director, Center for Engineering Career Development

    Thornton Hall A115


  • Outcomes and Objectives

    Undergraduate Program Educational Objectives

    1. Graduates draw upon their biomedical engineering foundations to perform experimental measurement, quantitative analysis, and engineering design.
    2. Graduates use tools and methods at the current state-of-the-art in biomedical engineering.
    3. Graduates apply problem solving abilities and multidisciplinary perspectives to understand and advance scientific discoveries and technological innovations.
    4. Graduates act to improve global and human health.
    5. Graduates exhibit intellectual curiosity, creativity, leadership and continuous personal growth.

    Undergraduate Program Educational Outcomes

      ABET Outcome UVA BME-specific clarification
    a an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering An ability to apply knowledge of life sciences, including human physiology and cell biology.
    b an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data An ability to analyze living biological systems using computational and analytical methods
    c an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs An ability to utilize contemporary quantitative bioengineering laboratory techniques to independently solve a problem
    d an ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams  
    e an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems  
    f an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility  
    g an ability to communicate effectively an ability to prepare lucid written and oral reports that draw on relevant scientific literature


    an ability to demonstrate professional behavior

    h the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context  
    i a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning  
    j a knowledge of contemporary issues a knowledge of the causes and implications of disease
    k an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice an ability to understand medical technology
    a knowledge of the regulatory environment
      UVA BME-specific program outcomes
    l evidence of professional development
    m an ability to synthesize knowledge across biology, engineering, and medicine , including an understanding of engineering principles complementary to biomedical engineering
    n a demonstrated motivation toward free inquiry and creative technical expression
    o an ability to apply statistics to solve problems at the interface of biology and engineering
    p an ability to apply differential equations to solve problems at the interface of biology and engineering