The Undergraduate Program in Bioengineering at the University of Maryland
The undergraduate program in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering at the University of Maryland, College Park is founded in biology, driven by human health issues, and emphasizes innovation. Our objective is to merge the principles and applications embedded in engineering with the sciences of biology, medicine, and health.
- What is bioengineering?
- What will I learn if I major in bioengineering?
- What kinds of design projects do undergraduates work on in their senior year?
- Will I be able to get research experience as an undergraduate?
- What kinds of jobs can I get with a B.S. in bioengineering?
- Learn more about the A. James Clark School of Engineering
Bioengineering is a field rooted in physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, and life sciences. Each of these areas is applied in a systematic, quantitative, and integrative way to approach problems important in biology, biosystems, medical research, and clinical practice. Bioengineering advances fundamental concepts, creates knowledge from the molecular to organ to system levels, and develops innovative processes for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. In short, bioengineering seeks to improve the health and life of humankind on many levels.
Bioengineers specialize in those products and processes made from, used with, or applied to biological organisms. In addition to engineering science and design, bioengineers study cell biology, physiology, bioinformatics, bioimaging, and biomechanics. The synthesis of engineering and biology gives bioengineers unique capabilities in our modern world.
Bioengineering programs are often broad in scope, covering a variety of biological topics that are investigated with engineering principles. Biomedical engineering programs tend to emphasize topics related directly to human health, and thus may be seen as a subset of bioengineering. As our program aims to merge the principles and applications embedded in engineering with the sciences of biology, medicine, and health, we are best described as a bioengineering program.
You can learn more by watching what experts in the field told our students about designing and developing biomedical devices:
- Dr. Robert E. Fischell, inventor: "Engineering for Humanity, Fun and Profit" » | Part 2 »
- Brian Lipford, Partner and VP of Strategic Initiatives, Key Technologies Inc.: "Product Development" »
In the first two years, students will take engineering foundation courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and math. In the third and fourth years, the focus will shift to the areas of biomedical imaging, biomechanics, physiological systems, and transport. Capstone I and II, taken in year four, will feature guest speakers and allow students the opportunity to engage in discussion on current issues in bioengineering such as ethics, clinical trials, regulatory issues, venture capitalism, business principles, and entrepreneurship. For more information about our program's goals, see:
For more information about our program's goals, see:
For more information about admissions, and required and elective coursework, see:
- Undergraduate Admissions
- Required Courses
- Technical (Biological Science and Engineering) Electives
- Sample Program
For examples of student research, visit our news coverage of our seniors' Capstone presentations:
- "Capstone 2012: Innovations in Emergency Medicine, Diagnostic Tools, Physical Therapy, and More" »
- "Capstone 2011: Improved Diagnostics and Monitoring, Surgical Devices, and Personal Technology" »
Includes links to video of selected presentations.
- "Capstone 2010: Devices for Diagnostics, Improved Treatments, and Personal Health" »
- "Capstone 2009: Devices for Doctors, Caregivers, Patients and Public Health" »
- "Capstone 2008: Projects Address Human Health, Environmental Concerns" »
- "Capstone 2007: Projects Come Together at Capstone II" »
All students in our major have the opportunity to participate in research in state-of-the-art bioengineering labs on campus, either within the department or through special programs and services. These include the ASPIRE Program, in which students collaborate with faculty and staff on real-world engineering projects and the Maryland Center for Undergraduate Research, which assists students in finding on- and off-campus research opportunities.
For an examples of undergraduate bioengineering research on campus, see:
- "Rappaport Wins HHMI Fellowship"
Senior Jeff Rappaport, won a 2012-2013 Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) undergraduate research fellowship to support his continued research on safe and effective targeted drug delivery systems.
- "SEEDS Fellowship Supports Sikorski's Work on Blood Clotting Gel"
Sophomore Michael Sikorski received a 2012-2013 National Science Foundation-funded fellowship that supports his research on blood clotting hydrogels, which he conducts in the Functional Macromolecular Laboratory.
- "Spinning Engineered Silk Into Tiny Designs—With A Microscope"
If someone says they use a microscope in their research, most people would assume it's because they need to observe something very small. Senior Sara Johnson, a member of Joonil Seog's research group, used one grow and weave threads of silk-elastin-like peptide polymers (SELPs) into specific patterns and shapes.
- "SafeLiCell Takes 2nd at Green Business Plan Competition"
Mian Khalid was part of a team designing a patent-pending, solid polymer electrolyte designed to make lithium-ion batteries safer. When when his professor and the lead graduate student on the project had to attend a conference, it was up to Mian to pitch the product at a business plan competition!
- "Lin Wins Golden Key Scholarship" »
Learn about the award-winning craniofacial reconstruction research John Lin carried out as a 2007-2008 ASPIRE Fellow in the Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials Laboratory.
- "Undergraduates Present Paper at NE BioE Conference" »
Learn about the kidney imaging research, conducted in the Biophotonic Imaging Laboratory, that Anik Duttaroy, Andrew Paek, and Bobak Shirmohammadi were invited to present at a major conference. Anik discusses why he got involved in undergraduate research and how important the experience has been to him.
- Undergraduate Publishes in Top Polymer Science Journal »
Omar Ayyub co-authored a paper about his polymer research, conducted in the Functional Macromolecular Laboratory, that was accepted by a high-profile publication.
The Fischell Department of Bioengineering has also established relationships with biomedical research centers throughout the university and at surrounding government or industrial locations, such as the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and other educational institutions such as the University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB) Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmacy. Our undergraduate students learn from regulatory experts through collaborative research with FDA scientists and engineers located only 5 miles from campus. Many EPA, USDA, and NASA laboratories are also nearby and offer internships for our students. Additionally, students have the opportunity to intern at UMB (Schools of Pharmacy, Dentistry, and Medicine), work in its labs, and gain exposure to clinical practice. Our growing interdisciplinary faculty is dedicated to integrating bioengineering with these programs. Students can get involved through their professors' collaborations or through the Engineering Co-op and Career Services office.
Thanks to the breadth of our program, Maryland graduates are presented with a full range of career opportunities from those in medicine, human health, foods, government, dentistry, law, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, ecological/bioenvironmental engineering, biomedical devices, bioprocessing, and teaching, just to name a few.Our students also benefit from the Clark School's office of Engineering Co-op and Career Services, which gives students 24-hour access to engineering co-op, internship, summer, post-graduation, and part-time job listings. It also runs free resume clinics, career fairs, and other workshops for job seekers! Visit them online at www.coop.eng.umd.edu to learn more.
- An introduction to the Clark School for prospective undergraduates »
- Friday Engineering Information Sessions for undergraduates »
- The Clark School's Engineering Preview Program for Prospective Students »
- Clark School academic programs, honors programs, and services »
The Clark school offers a wide variety of multi-year research, living/learning, professional development, entrepreneurial, honors, and internship programs; as well as career services, study abroad, and academic support.
- Clark School Research Opportunities »
- Clark School Facilities »
- Visit the Clark School homepage »
Questions about the undergraduate program in bioengineering may be sent to email@example.com.