- About Us
- Current Students
- Prospective Students
- Contact Info
- Degree Programs
- Prospective Students
- Career Information
- Senior Design
- Travel Award
- Industry Central
- Careers and Internships
1.1. General Issues
(1.1.1) What majors are offered by the Bioengineering Department for undergraduates?
(1.1.2) What are the differences between the different departmental offerings of the major?
(1.1.3) Is majoring in Bioengineering going to be going to be very difficult?
(1.1.4) What does ABET mean?
(1.1.5) Why is it important to be ABET-accredited?
(1.1.6) How many schools are ABET-accredited in Bioengineering?
(1.1.7) What’s with the Capstone/BE 187 series?
(1.1.8) How do I take care of the two technical elective (TE) requirements?
1.2. Undergraduate Majors in the Department of Bioengineering
(1.2.1.x) The Bioengineering Major
(220.127.116.11) What is Bioengineering?
(18.104.22.168) What topics are studied in the Bioengineering major?
(22.214.171.124) I’m a BENG student, how has the 2005 flowchart changes affected me?
(126.96.36.199) I’m a BENG student graduating in FA’05, are the changes going to affect me?
(188.8.131.52) Can a student in the BENG major replace BE 140A and BE 140B with BIPN 100 and BIPN 102, respectively?
(1.2.2.x) The Bioengineering: Biotechnology Major
(184.108.40.206) What is Bioengineering: Biotechnology?
(220.127.116.11) What are the differences between BENG and BTEC?
(18.104.22.168) What’s with the change to BE 160 for BTEC majors?
(1.2.3.x) The Bioengineering: Pre-Medical Major
(22.214.171.124) What is Bioengineering: Premedical (PMED)?
(126.96.36.199) What’s Pre-PMED?
(188.8.131.52) Why should I choose PMED over other Premedical majors at UCSD?
(184.108.40.206) Is the PMED program ABET-accredited?
(220.127.116.11) What skills can I expect to have after graduating from PMED?
(18.104.22.168) I am planning on going to medical school, why should I choose PMED over other majors?
(22.214.171.124) What office has up-to-date information regarding medical school requirements?
(126.96.36.199) If I major in Bioengineering: Premedical and ultimately decide against going to medical school, what can I do with my degree?
(188.8.131.52) I am going to graduate as a PMED; how do I keep competitive in an industry that favors ABET-accredited majors?
(184.108.40.206) Can a student in the Bioengineering: Premedical program replace BIPN 100 and BIPN 102 with BE 140A and BE 140B, respectively?
(220.127.116.11) I am a PMED, do I have to take CHEM140C/141C?
(18.104.22.168) What’s with the change to BE 109?
(1.2.4.x) The Bioengineering: Bioinformatics Major
(22.214.171.124) What is Bioengineering: Bioinformatics?
(1..2.4.2) Who should sign up for bioinformatics?
(126.96.36.199) What kind of classes do you take in bioinformatics?
(1.2.5.x) BS/MS Program
(188.8.131.52) What’s the BS/MS program?
(184.108.40.206) When do I contact the Graduate Student Affairs Office about applying to the 5 Year B.S./M.S. Program?
(220.127.116.11) What is the difference between getting a Master’s and PhD degree?
(18.104.22.168) Why would I consider an MS or MEng. degree as opposed to a PhD?
2.x General Issues
(2.1) What are admission processes for freshman applicants?
(2.2) How will I be notified of the admissions status into the bioengineering major?
(2.3) How do I apply to the Bioengineering or Bioengineering: Biotechnology major?
(2.4) How can I apply for the Bioengineering: Bioinformatics major?
(2.5) What is the Pre-Bioengineering: Premedical Major ?
1.1. General Issues
A: At the undergraduate level, the department offers several four-year engineering majors. They are: B.S. degree in Bioengineering, B.S. degree in Bioengineering: Biotechnology, B.S. degree in Bioengineering: Premedical, B.S. degree in Bioengineering: Bioinformatics. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
(1.1.2) Q: What are the differences between the different departmental offerings of the major?
A: The Chemistry, Computer Science, Biology, and Bioengineering department all offer the bioinformatics track. Currently (2006), the tracks are all very similar save some minor differences in technical electives. The Bioengineering track is perhaps the most limited major in that it requires BENG130 (physical chemistry), PHYS140A (thermodynamic/statistical physics very difficult!!), and BENG161C (metabolic engineering/systems biology). Other departments don’t require as many classes, but instead offer a pool of technical electives. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: For those seeking a challenge, Bioengineering is in the top tier of difficulty of all the majors offered at UCSD. Double majors and minors will be difficult to complete in four years without taking more than 5 classes each quarter, lots of AP credit, as well as summer classes each year. You will be expected to gain a strong understanding of many different fields, including Biology, Physiology, Chemistry, Math, Physics, Computer Programming, and Circuitry. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: ABET stands for the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology. It’s a certification recognized in the engineering industry as having satisfied set institutional requirements upon completion of the major. The board places emphasis on the following categories: engineering fundamentals, teamwork, leadership, presentation, creative design and application, and ethics. At the moment, only the BTEC and BE-BE majors are ABET-accredited. The certification is automatic and requires no additional paperwork. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: Many groups (employers, graduate schools, and licensure, certification, and registration boards) require graduation from an accredited program as a minimum qualification. ABET basically does the leg work for these groups and ensures that each ABET student has been taught the things they need to know. Not coming from an ABET major can significantly limit your competitiveness in industry. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: About 35 schools offer ABET BE-BE programs. But UCSD, according to ABET.org, is the only school to offer an ABET accredited BTEC program. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: Capstone and BE 187 series were implemented Fall ‘05 to bolster the BE-BE and BTEC ABET accreditation in it’s design requirement. Seniors FA’05 do not have to take these courses. Juniors and Sophmores FA’05 have the choice to take them or follow their original flowcharts upon entering college. This is done through a flowchart decision form found in the Bioengineering Student Affairs Office (BSA). Freshman FA’05 must follow this new flowchart. BE 187A-D revolve around developing design, implementation, presentation, and teamwork skills. The Capstone Design courses are two 3-unit design electives (DE) taken Fall and Winter quarter of the Senior year. You must choose them from a list of available DEs (the list found in the BSA Office) and must be chosen in A-B order ( e.g. - BE 113A in the Fall, and BE 113B in the Winter). (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: There is a list of approved TE classes available in the BSA office. BE 191 (Ethics) and BE 197 (Internship) are useful but will not take over a TE. If you take BE 199 to satisfy your TE requirements, you must take them consecutively, and with the same professor. During this time, your professor must evaluate your work at a “B-level” or higher for the entirety of your BE 199 courses for it to count. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
1.2. Undergraduate Majors in the Department of Bioengineering
1.2.1. The Bioengineering Major
A: Bioengineering is an interdisciplinary major in which the principles and tools of traditional engineering fields, such as mechanical, materials, electrical, and chemical engineering, are applied to biomedical problems. Engineering plays an increasingly important role in medicine in projects that range from basic research in physiology to advances in biotechnology and the improvement of health care delivery. By its very nature, bioengineering is broad and requires a foundation in engineering and mathematics as well as in the physical, chemical, and biological sciences. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: The Bioengineering major covers material in biomechanics, biotransport, bioinstrumentation, bioelectricity, biosystems, and biomaterials, and the complementary fields of systems and organ-level physiology. Students are trained in the development of medical devices that benefit human health by effectively diagnosing and treating disease. The Bioengineering program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), and prepares students for careers in the biomedical industry and for further education in graduate school. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: Overall, five classes have been added to your schedule: four during Senior year, one during Junior year. The rearranging also means that you will be taking five classes at least twice in your stay here, once during Junior/SP and once during Senior/WI. For Revelle students in particular (which have a large number of GEs to fill), be prepared to take summer classes almost every year. A large number of APs will also help alleviate your schedule. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: Quite a few changes were made over the summer of ‘05 most of which will not apply to you. MAE 105 was replaced with MAE 107 as a requirement for MAE 150. BE 186A has been moved from Senior/FA to Senior/SP (effective Spring ‘07). BE 186C has been removed completely (effective Spring ‘06, possibly active until Spring ‘07). MAE 130A / SE 101A has been replaced with BE 109 as a requirement to BE 110. For a Senior FA ‘05 on track, the only change you need to worry about is the change from MAE 105 to MAE 107 during your Fall quarter. You must do this immediately so that you can take MAE 150 during Winter quarter. MAE 105 is now null and void, but will still count as a technical elective (TE). (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: Only if the student is applying to medical school, and only after a petition has been submitted to and approved by the Bioengineering Undergraduate Affairs Committee. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
1.2.2. The Bioengineering: Biotechnology Major
A: Bioengineering: Biotechnology addresses the bioengineering topics of biochemistry and metabolism, kinetics, biotransport, biosystems, bioreactors, bioseparations, tissue engineering, and the complementary fields of cellular physiology. Like the Bioengineering program, the Bioengineering: Biotechnology program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), and prepares students for careers in the biomedical industry and for further education in graduate school. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: The Bioengineering major contains a strong engineering component, yet provides a balance among engineering, biology, and chemistry and is geared toward teaching students about the development of medical devices. The Bioengineering: Biotechnology major also has a strong engineering component, but has an additional focus on chemical processes and teaches the application of bioengineering and physicochemical principles to cellular and molecular biology, with the consequent development of drugs and pharmaceuticals that benefit human health by effectively treating disease. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: Ever since the Biology department decided to make all it’s freshman take BIBC 103, it’s been incredibly difficult to get bioengineers into the class. Since this is a prerequisite to BE 186B (which is only offered once a year), BENG 160 has been introduced to take it’s place. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
1.2.3. The Bioengineering: Premed Major
A: The PMED major is designed to meet the requirements for admission to medical schools and is also suitable for those planning to enter graduate school in bioengineering, physiology, neurosciences, or related fields. This program provides a quantitative understanding of the engineering design of the body, as well as certain technologies used in medical practice. It has less engineering content but more biological sciences and is one of many majors that can serve as preparation for further training in medical, dentistry, pharm, veterinary, or allied health professions. Some graduates of this program also go on to work in industry. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: Since no one is directly admitted to the PREMED program, all the applicants awaiting approval are called “Pre-Pre-Meds.” The approval process consists of eight screening classes in your first year, MAE 9, MATH 20A-C, PHYS 2A/2B, CHEM 6A included. You must hold a 3.0 GPA (that’s grade-point-average, mind you) for these eight classes. Upon completion, you can fill out an online or written form that directly adds you to the PREMED major. If you have AP-credit that satisfies a course, that course will be omitted from the GPA calculation and will be averaged out of the number of classes that you do take at UCSD. For transfer students, you are expected to take 10 classes in the approval process and these all must also be completed in the first year. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: The bioengineering track allows the widest breadth of curriculum (i.e. because you are an engineering student, you can take engineering classes and almost every other class available at UCSD). You will also be a stronger medical school applicant. In fact, nationally, bioengineers have the highest admittance rate into medical schools. Also, since the PMED track is less engineering intensive, it is easier to double major, minor, or take interest classes as a PMED than other Bioengineering majors. Double majors, minors, and interest classes can open the door to a diverse field of options (e.g. with a Law and Society Minor, this helps develop important writing and analytical skills necessary to do well on the LSATs and get into Law School). (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: No, the only Bioengineering ABET-accredited programs are BE-BE and BTEC. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: You can expect to have basic engineering skills and basic biology skills. Because both skills are only surface level, it is recommended that you take additional supplemental courses and that you do internships/research if you are planning on going to industry upon graduating. You will also have limited computer skills and lab procedure skills. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: The PMED major is the quickest, most direct premed fulfilling major in the Bioengineering department. Being in the other bioengineering majors and achieving the premed requirements will involve a greater number of classes and a few class petitions (e.g. a premed BE-BE major might petition to change BENG 140a/b to BIPN 100/102). (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: The Career Services Center (located on Library Walk behind the Price Center) has professional advisors available to talk to students. In addition, Career Services offers several informational workshops each quarter about the ins and outs of applying to medical school. The following website also contains valuable information about medical school requirements and the application process: http://career.ucsd.edu/sa/Handouts/medicine.pdf. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: If you graduate with a Bioengineering: Premedical degree, and decide not to go on to medical, veterinary or pharmacy school, etc., you still will have a very solid biotech-type degree (molecular biology) with a little bit of quantitative instrumentation and analytical material on top of that, especially if you additionally take a few lab courses and/or get involved in some internships. Enrollment in additional engineering courses may be possible to augment that area of knowledge, and you will be perfectly well suited for jobs in industry or pursuing graduate school. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: Find several companies that are representative of the field you want to work in. Contact their HR departments or talk to recruiters and ask which classes they recommend you take as a supplement to the PMED program. Many, if not all of these courses can be applied towards the PMED TE requirement (e.g. BENG 103b). BMES industry events are a great way to familiarize oneself with the workplace and gain invaluable contacts before graduating. Double majoring can also vastly expand the jobs available to a PMED major after he or she graduates. Perhaps the most common double major is PMED/ECON which paves the way toward MBA or Law programs. Also, getting an industry internship before graduation is the best and most effective way to get a job after graduating. The Bioengineering Department has an Internship Program that frequently has more internships available than students that are applying. The industrial internship program can be found at: http://www-bioeng.ucsd.edu/internship/undergraduate/. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: Yes, if the student submits a petition to the Bioengineering Undergraduate Affairs Committee and it is approved. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: If you are planning on attending a medical or health related school, one year of organic chemistry is required. Therefore, plan on taking CHEM140C/141C. It counts as a TE and will help prepare you for the MCAT. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: The old curriculum thrust PREMED majors into BE 110 without any previous knowledge of Statics and Dynamics. In response to the numerous complaints of the overly sharp learning curve, BE 109 has been introduced as a prerequisite to BE 110, and for BE-BE majors will replace MAE 130A/SE 101A. Majors who have not completed PHYS 2B or have not already taken MAE 130A or SE 101A must take this class instead. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
1.2.4. The Bioengineering: Bioinformatics Major
A: Bioinformatics is the study of the flow of information (genetic, metabolic, and regulatory) in living systems to provide an understanding of the properties of cells and organisms. This major has been developed by the Departments of Bioengineering, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Computer Science and Engineering, and the Division of Biology. Students wishing to major in bioinformatics may apply through any of these departments or the division. The Bioengineering: Bioinformatics major emphasizes systems engineering and model-based approaches to interpreting and integrating bioinformatics data and prepares students for careers in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and biomedical software industries, and for further studies in graduate school. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: If you are fascinated by genomic studies, protein networks, systems biology, or any other computationally intense scientific fields, then bioinformatics provides an excellent foundation. But practically speaking, if you’re in the bioengineering dept and you know how to program, bioinformatics is currently a very attractive major. People are often impressed, and that includes scholarship committees! Finding positions in research labs is often easy because working knowledge in both biology and computers is very desirable. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: The bioinformatics course track is essentially the biology core (lower division biology/chemistry/physics, genetics, molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry, organic chemistry) plus the computer science core (data structures, algorithms, discrete math), some bioengineering and physics classes thrown in between, and a core set of 6 courses that focus intensely on bioengineering. This is perhaps one of the most interdisciplinary and challenging majors on campus, but it is rewarding! (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
1.3 BS/MS Program
A: The BS/MS program allows any BE major to graduate in five years with an MS degree. This requires a 3.5+ GPA in upper division BE classes, as well as a 3.0+ GPA overall. If accepted, you must be prepared to add on at least one graduate class each quarter of your Senior year. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: When you are one year away from graduation, contact the Advisor in the Graduate Student Affairs Office, room 141 PFBH. You will also need to contact a Bioengineering faculty member to serve as your faculty advisor. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: A master’s degree typically takes 2 years, and is more focused on graduate-level coursework and a short-term research project. A full doctorate degree is similar to a master’s for the first 2 years, but then you continue on to work on a more involved thesis, for a few more years. A masters degree typically leads on to jobs in industry, or research assistants, while a PhD is normally required if you want to be a professor or a senior scientist in industry. For more information, BMES organizes a graduate mentor/mentee program for 3rd/4th year undergraduates who are interested in grad school but need some advice. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: An MS degree will offer the freedom of choosing a path of Industry or Research. This degree also allows for some freedom for Bioengineers interested in both fields. A MEng. degree strictly caters to the Industry side of Bioengineering with no research needed to complete. It is intended for students who are primarily interested in engineering design, development, manufacturing and management within an industrial or professional setting. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: Students must meet the UCSD requirements for freshman admission. All applications are reviewed by the UCSD Office of Admissions and Relations with Schools according to the Comprehensive Review evaluation and selection process. The Office of Admissions and Relations with Schools determines admission to UCSD and assigns freshmen to their undergraduate college. All UCSD admitted students who selected any of the bioengineering major as their first choice on the UC application are then reviewed by the Jacobs School Dean's Office for admission to the major. Chance of admission into the major depends on the type of major selected. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: After each applicant is evaluated for admissions, students will be notified directly by the Jacobs School of Engineering whether they have been admitted into their chosen major, based on admissions criteria and their ranking in the applicant pool. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: To apply forfreshman admission to a UCSD bioengineering major, high school students should complete the UC Undergraduate Application and select a bioengineering major (B.S. degree in Bioengineering, B.S. degree in Bioengineering: Biotechnology, B.S. degree in Bioengineering: Premedical) as their first choice. The annual filing period is November 1-30. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: Bioengineering: Bioinformatics has been recently developed, and there is a multistep process into this major for students entering UCSD as freshmen. First, high school students should apply to UCSD for direct admission into the Bioengineering, Bioengineering: Biotechnology, or Pre-Bioengineering: Premedical major. Those admitted should then complete the freshman courses, prescribed in the preceding table for the Bioengineering: Bioinformatics major. After completing BILD 1, Chem 6A, Math 20B, and Math 20C during the freshman year, such students can apply to Pre-Bioengineering: Bioinformatics. Admission will be based primarily on the GPA in the four preceding courses, but also on a written statement, completion of the other listed requirements, and overall academic excellence. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)
A: Admitted students who have applied to bioengineering pre-medical will automatically be placed in the pre-major. Students will need to fulfill course and GPA requirements during freshman year to be admitted to the major. (Margene Wight, 2007.06.11)