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See the "Department of Bioengineering" section of this bulletin for additional information on the department, and its programs and faculty.

Bioengineering (BIOE)

Completion of the undergraduate program in Bioengineering leads to the conferral of the Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering.

Mission of the Undergraduate Program in Bioengineering

The Stanford Bioengineering major enables students to combine engineering and the life sciences in ways that advance scientific discovery, healthcare and medicine, manufacturing, environmental quality, culture, education, and policy. Students who major in BioE earn a fundamental engineering degree for which the raw materials, underlying basic sciences, fundamental toolkit, and future frontiers are all defined by the unique properties of living systems.

Students will complete engineering fundamentals courses, including an introduction to bioengineering and computer programming. A series of core BIOE classes beginning in the second year leads to a student-selected depth area and a senior capstone design project. The department also organizes a summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. BIOE graduates are well prepared to pursue careers and lead projects in research, medicine, business, law, and policy.


14 units minimum (Prerequisites: 10 units of AP or IB credit or Mathematics 20-series) 1
Select one of the following sequences:
CME 100
CME 102
Vector Calculus for Engineers
and Ordinary Differential Equations for Engineers (Recommended)
Linear Algebra, Multivariable Calculus, and Modern Applications
and Ordinary Differential Equations with Linear Algebra
Select one of the following:
CME 106Introduction to Probability and Statistics for Engineers (Recommended)4-5
or STATS 110 Statistical Methods in Engineering and the Physical Sciences
or STATS 141 Biostatistics
26 units minimum 2
CHEM 31XChemical Principles Accelerated5-10
or CHEM 31A
Chemical Principles I
and Chemical Principles II
CHEM 33Structure and Reactivity of Organic Molecules5
BIO 83Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (Recommended)4
or BIO 82 Genetics
BIO 84Physiology4
PHYSICS 41Mechanics4
PHYSICS 43Electricity and Magnetism4
Technology in Society
BIOE 131Ethics in Bioengineering (WIM)3
Engineering Fundamentals
BIOE 80Introduction to Bioengineering (Engineering Living Matter)4
CS 106AProgramming Methodology (or CS 106B or CS 106X)5
Fundamentals Elective; see UGHB for approved course list; only one CS class allowed to count toward Fundamentals requirements.3-5
Bioengineering Core
BIOE 42Physical Biology4
BIOE 44Fundamentals for Engineering Biology Lab4
BIOE 101Systems Biology3
BIOE 103Systems Physiology and Design4
BIOE 123Biomedical System Prototyping Lab4
BIOE 141ASenior Capstone Design I4
BIOE 141BSenior Capstone Design II4
Bioengineering Depth Electives
Four courses, minimum 12 units:12
Computational Modeling of Microbial Communities
Biosecurity and Bioterrorism Response
BIOE 140
Diagnostic Devices Lab
Biophysics of Multi-cellular Systems and Amorphous Computing
Introduction to Biomedical Informatics Research Methodology
Representations and Algorithms for Computational Molecular Biology
Translational Bioinformatics
Introduction to Imaging and Image-based Human Anatomy
Anatomy for Bioengineers
Physics and Engineering of Radionuclide-based Medical Imaging
Physics and Engineering Principles of Multi-modality Molecular Imaging of Living Subjects
Physics and Engineering of X-Ray Computed Tomography
Probes and Applications for Multi-modality Molecular Imaging of Living Subjects
Ultrasound Imaging and Therapeutic Applications
Functional MRI Methods
Protein Engineering
Advanced Frameworks and Approaches for Engineering Integrated Genetic Systems
Tissue Engineering
Computational Biology: Structure and Organization of Biomolecules and Cells
Biomechanics of Movement
Principles and Practice of Optogenetics for Optical Control of Biological Tissues

For additional information and sample programs see the Handbook for Undergraduate Engineering Programs (UGHB). Students pursuing a premed program need to take additional courses; see the UGHB, BioE Premed 4-Year Plan.

Honors Program

The School of Engineering offers a program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering with Honors (BIOE-BSH). This program provides the opportunity for qualified BioE majors to conduct independent research at an advanced level with a faculty research adviser and documented in an honors thesis.

In order to receive departmental honors, students admitted to the program must:

  1. Declare the honors program in Axess (BIOE-BSH).
  2. Maintain an overall grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.5 as calculated on the unofficial transcript.
  3. Complete at least two quarters of research with a minimum of nine units of BIOE 191 Bioengineering Problems and Experimental Investigation or BIOE 191X Out-of-Department Advanced Research Laboratory in Bioengineering for a letter grade; up to three units may be used towards the bioengineering depth elective requirements.  
  4. Submit a completed thesis draft to the honors adviser and second reader by the third week of Spring Quarter. Further revisions and final endorsement are to be finished by the second Monday in May, when two signed bound copies plus one PC-compatible CD-ROM are to be submitted to the student services officer.
  5. Attend the Bioengineering Honors Symposium at the end of Spring Quarter and give a poster or oral presentation, or present in another approved suitable forum.  

For more information and application instructions, see the Bioengineering Honors Program web site.