The undergraduate Academic Counselors advise bioengineering majors about our curriculum, quarterly schedules, scholarships, internships, and research and other special opportunities within the department and University. The counselors provide advice about career planning and the application processes to graduate school and to professional degree programs (business school, law school and a variety of clinical degree programs). The counselors also facilitate communication between faculty and students, representing student concerns to the faculty and faculty concerns to the students. Students are encouraged to make an appointment with an Academic Counselor whenever they are experiencing any problems that interfere with their success as a student.
Bioengineering faculty also play an important advising and mentoring role for our undergraduates. The faculty help students define their research interests and clarify their directions after graduation. They provide crucial scientific mentoring to the students in their labs. Bioengineering students meet the faculty during classes, at departmental events, and as a result of exploring the department’s research.
Bioengineering majors often make use of additional counseling resources at the University, including:
Before graduate students even begin their full-time Ph.D. or M.S. programs, students are assigned a first-year faculty mentor and graduate student mentor based on research, academic or professional interests. These mentors provide incoming students with advice about moving and settling into Seattle, research rotations, finding the right research lab and picking the right electives. First-year mentors work with the new graduate students until the new students have joined their research labs.
The first-year cohort elects up to two first-year officers who, along with one or two Graduate Student Representatives (GSR’s), organize and implement team-building social events throughout the year. This leadership team is also responsible for bringing student feedback directly to the Department Chair during quarter Student Advisory Board meetings.
Once a student joins a lab, the Primary Investigator of that lab becomes the student’s faculty mentor. In addition, the Senior Academic Counselor also provides one-to-one and cohort-specific mentoring about the Ph.D. and M.S. curriculums and milestones, fellowships, internships and career opportunities. The Senior Academic Counselor also facilitates communication between faculty and students, representing student concerns to the faculty and faculty concerns to the students. Students are encouraged to make an appointment with the Senior Academic Counselor whenever they are experience any problems that interfere with their success as a student.
Bioengineering graduate students are also encouraged to utilize the additional mentoring resources provided by:
The UW Allies Program This program serves graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in basic science labs at UW. Allies are faculty who provide trainees with support during conflict with mentors and lab mates, assistance in navigating institutional barriers to success, and connection with institutional and community services. Allies stand in solidarity with trainees, so they don’t have to face challenges alone. For more information and to request an Ally, visit the UW Allies site.
UW Q Center – Facilitates and enhances a brave, affirming, liberatory, and celebratory environment for students, faculty, staff, and alumni of all sexual and gender orientation, identities, and expressions
The UW Allies program serves graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in basic science labs at UW. Allies are faculty who provide trainees with support during conflict with mentors and lab mates, assistance in navigating institutional barriers to success, and connection with institutional and community services. Allies stand in solidarity with trainees, so they don’t have to face challenges alone. For more information and to request an Ally, visit the UW Allies site.
The bioengineering community strives to build an expansive mentoring ecosystem (see figure below) for students by providing culturally-aware mentoring for undergraduate students as they go through different stages of their academic and professional development. Below, we outline the various mentorship programs available for undergraduate students and how students can choose the program that is best suited for their current needs.
Montgomery, B. L. (2017). Mapping a Mentoring Roadmap and Developing a Supportive Network for Strategic Career Advancement. SAGE Open, 7(2).
For freshman/sophomore students who want to explore the bioengineering major:
Undergraduate Mentorship Program(Biomedical Engineering Society at UW)
The BMES Undergraduate Mentorship Program pairs freshman and sophomore mentees with mentors who are junior and senior bioengineering students. The purpose of this program is to help first and second year undergraduate students learn about the bioengineering major, connect with opportunities to explore bioengineering, and receive guidance for the major placement process.
For undergraduate students who would like to start bioengineering research or want to learn about graduate school:
BioExplore Mentorship Program
BioExplore is an inclusive community for students interested in learning about and sharing their passions for research in bioengineering-related fields. The BioExplore mentorship program aims to help all undergraduate students explore research opportunities and/or learn more about graduate school. Mentees are paired with mentors who are junior or senior bioengineering undergraduates or graduate students, depending on the needs of the mentee.
For junior/senior bioengineering students who want to learn about career opportunities in the bioengineering industry:
Industry Mentorship Program (Biomedical Engineering Society at UW & BioEngage)
This mentorship program, led by BMES at UW and BioEngage, aims to help junior and senior bioengineering students learn more about career opportunities in the biotechnology industry, network, and explore their career goals. Mentees are paired with a mentor who is working in the biomedical engineering/biotechnology industry.
Internships in an industry setting add a key dimension to a student’s education. By learning and practicing skills in a professional environment, UW Bioengineering students can gain valuable on-the-job experience, expand their skillsets, and prepare for a smoother transition from academia to industry.
Campus resources for obtaining an internship or job include:
UW BioEngage UW Bioengineering is excited to announce BioEngage: a new program that seeks to build mutually beneficial relationships with biomedical industry.
Many Bioengineering courses offer the opportunity to work as a paid teaching assistant, either on an hourly or salaried basis. Students with a UW NetID may view the Bioengineering TA and grader home page to see available positions and application instructions.
The UW Bioengineering student community is supported by great facilities. Students enjoy:
Day and night access to the building, computer labs and student den
Open collaborative spaces on each floor designed to foster conversation, exchange of ideas,h study groups, and lunch groups
A student lounge which provides a convenient place for students to relax, chat, and have a bite to eat in the vicinity of labs and classrooms. Amenities include a community fridge, sink, microwave, freezer, couches, television, LCD computer screens, tables and a big screen TV.
Lockers in the Foege building
A student-only drop-in computing lab
An advanced computing lab, open for students whenever class is not in session
Ability to reserve our conference rooms, seminar rooms, and meeting rooms for student exams and events
Access to presentation equipment and video editing equipment