Personal attention in small classes. A culture of collaboration. Research opportunities with renowned faculty.
UW Bioengineering undergraduate students receive the tools, opportunities and experiences necessary to take on medical challenges, work in today’s multidisciplinary teams, and improve lives.
UW students admitted to the College of Engineering as Engineering Undeclared students can request placement at the end of freshman year. We also offer admission for transfer students and others who wish to apply during their sophomore year.
Undergraduate program at a glance
- Excellence – Consistently ranks highly amongst the nation’s biomedical engineering undergraduate programs by US News and World Report
- Real-world focus – Teamwork, communication skills, problem-solving skills, systems analysis, interdisciplinary projects, emphasis on leadership and creativity
- Hands on research – Students work with research or clinical faculty to complete a research capstone project
- Culture of community – A supportive, collaborative environment
- Quality of students – Alumni include Goldwater, Luce, Rhodes and Gates Cambridge Scholars; one Bonderman Fellow; College of Engineering Dean’s Medalists; multiple NASA Space Grant; and more than 100 Mary Gates Scholars.
Undergraduate program features
Our small program size and cohort structure fosters a close community that is passionate about engineering better health care. Our class sizes are small — 55-60 students in junior core classes, 15-20 students in lab courses and 24-40 in senior electives. Faculty and staff get to know students as individuals, and take pride in being responsive to student concerns.
Our students enjoy day and night access to our building, teaching labs, computer labs and student lounge.
Students have the opportunity to participate in department service, including on our Curriculum Committee, Diversity Committee, Student Affairs Committee and the Chair’s Student Advisory Board.
All UW Bioengineering undergraduate students conduct laboratory research with our faculty, and most start before then – sometimes as early as freshman year.
The senior capstone project is the culmination of the UW Bioengineering undergraduate educational experience.
In the capstone experience, students investigate solutions to real medical problems. At UW, our capstone projects involve both research and engineering design.
Students have two options for completing the capstone requirement:
Individual design project
A year-long individual research and design project (BIOEN 402).
Examples of past individual research and design (BIOEN 402) projects include:
- A hydrogel to deliver otoprotective agents to the cochlea
- A brain-machine interface for restoring voluntary movement
- Ultrasound elastography techniques to image traumatic brain injury
Individual research and team-based project
A two-quarter individual research project (BIOEN 403), plus a two quarter team-based design and build course aimed at designing solutions to clinical problems (BIOEN 404-405). Some team design projects are conducted in industry settings.
Examples of past individual research projects (BIOEN 403) include:
- A mathematical model to evaluate the effectiveness of home-based counseling and testing on HIV prevalence in South Africa
- A method for using Carbon-13 to track macrophages injected in mice hearts
- Synergistic effects of Artemisinin and low frequency magnetic fields on cancer cells
Examples of past team-based projects (BIOEN 404-405) include:
- Improved surgical tools for laparoscopic surgery
- Enhancements to CPR-training manikins
- An instrumented environment to test the visual acuity of mice undergoing a new retinal therapy
From Introduction to Bioengineering Problem Solving to the Senior Capstone Project, our coursework brings a real-world focus on teamwork, leadership and creativity.
Students also complete one of the following concentrations:
- Molecular and Materials
- Cells, Tissue and Systems
- Diagnostics and Therapeutic Instruments
- Option in Nano and Molecular Engineering