Prospective Students


Welcome to the undergraduate educational programs of the UC San Diego Department of Bioengineering!

Since 1966, UC San Diego has offered an undergraduate major in Bioengineering. Over the past fifty years, UC San Diego Bioengineering has established a reputation of innovation and excellence in education; the Department of Bioengineering has ranked among the top five programs in the nation every year for over 20 years for biomedical/bioengineering according to the US News and World Report Ranking of Best Engineering Schools.

Bioengineering is an interdisciplinary field in which the principles and tools of mechanical, materials, electrical, and chemical engineering are applied to biomedical and biological problems. Bioengineering plays an important role in medicine in projects that range from basic research in physiology to advances in biotechnology and the improvement of health care delivery in the clinic. By its very nature, bioengineering is broad and requires a foundation in mathematics as well as in the physical, chemical, and biological sciences.


University Admissions

For information on university freshman admissions requirements, please review the information listed HERE.

Department Admissions

For information on admissions into one of the four majors offered by our department, we recommend that you first review the difference between our majors listed below.



The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Bioengineering prepares students for a variety of careers in the biomedical device industry and for further education in graduate school. The program addresses the bioengineering topics of biomechanics, biotransport, bioinstrumentation, bioelectricity, biosystems, and biomaterials, and the complementary fields of systems and organ physiology. Education in these areas allows application of bioengineering and scientific principles to benefit human health by advancing methods for effective diagnosis and treatment of disease through development of medical devices and technologies.




Bioengineering: Bioinformatics


The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Bioengineering: Bioinformatics addresses the flow of the vast amount of information (genetic, metabolic and regulatory) in living systems, providing an integrated understanding of the systems properties of cells and organisms.




Bioengineering: Biosystems


What is “Bioengineering: BioSystems?” Bioengineering: BioSystems is an interdisciplinary engineering field that focuses on the organization and interaction of components in complex engineering and biological structures and designs. Engineering is playing an increasing role in physiology and medicine, with applications ranging from characterization of molecular, cellular and physiological systems to biomedical methods and devices.
The Bioengineering: BioSystems major will prepare students for careers in research and development of applications across a wide domain of physiology and medicine or advanced study in biology, medicine and engineering. ABET accreditation will be sought for the Bioengineering: BioSystems degree.




Bioengineering: Biotechnology


The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Bioengineering: Biotechnology prepares students for a variety of careers in the biotechnology industry and for further education in graduate school. The curriculum has a strong engineering foundation with emphasis on biochemical process applications. It addresses the bioengineering topics of biochemistry and metabolism, kinetics, biotransport, biosystems, bioreactors, bioseparations, tissue engineering, and the complementary field of cellular physiology. Education in these areas allows application of bioengineering and physicochemical principles to cellular and molecular biology, with the consequent development of molecules, cells, and tissues that benefit human health.




Selective Status

Please note: Each of our 4 majors are "selective" status, meaning that the demand for the major exceeds our capacity and so we must limit enrollment. In order to be considered for one of our majors, you must list the major you are interested in as your first choice on your application to UC San Diego to be considered for the major.

Due to our "selective" status, not all freshman applicants are able to be directly admitted into one of our majors when admitted to UC San Diego and instead are admitted as Undeclared majors or an alternate major that was listed as their second choice on the application. Due to this, there is a one time application process for those who applied but were not accepted OR those who did not initially apply to one of our majors. Those who are interested will be able to apply "one time only" to one of the four "selective" majors in the subsequent fall quarter, as you begin your Sophomore year as a “Continuing” student.

Applicants must take a set of required screening courses during their first year at UC San Diego. Information for the process may be found below:

Admitted in Fall 2024 applying Fall 2025


For those admitted in Fall 2024, looking to apply in Fall 2025, please see the below selective major process:

Beginning with the Summer 2025 continuing student application cycle, students admitted to UCSD as first-year students will be able to apply to the Bioengineering majors once per year (between Summer and Fall quarters).  Note that space will be limited and acceptance to these majors is not guaranteed. Transfer students are unfortunately not eligible to apply as continuing students as time to degree would be impacted. For more information about the admission process and criteria please see the UC San Diego Selective Majors Page.

All 4 majors in the Bioengineering department are “selective,” meaning the demand for these majors exceeds capacity and enrollment is limited

Students interested in applying to the Bioengineering department must complete a set of screening courses (depending on which major you wish to apply for) prior to applying:

  • Bioengineering and Bioengineering: Biotechnology: BILD 1 (biology); CHEM 6AB; MAE 8 (MatLab); Math 20ABC; Physics 2AB.
  • Bioengineering: Bioinformatics: BILD 1; CHEM 6AB; CSE 11 (or CSE 8A and 8B); MATH 20ABC; PHYS 2AB.
  • Bioengineering: BioSystems: CHEM 6AB; MATH 20ABC; PHYS 2AB.

All screening courses must be taken for a letter grade. If you have met some of the courses by Advanced Placement (AP) work, please be advised of the following: A minimum of 3 courses listed must have been completed at UC San Diego. If students can not meet this 3-course minimum due to prior credit, students may offer grades for MATH 20D (Differential Equations), MATH 18 (Linear Algebra) or MATH 20E (Vector Calculus) until the 3 course minimum has been met.


Admitted in Fall 2023 applying Fall 2024

For those admitted in Fall 2023 who will be applying to our majors in Fall 2024, please see below:

FA24 BENG Continuing Application Process