Undergraduate

Bachelors of Science Degree requirements

The Johns Hopkins Department of Biomedical Engineering is recognized as a world leader in preparing students for careers in industry and business and for graduate education in engineering, medicine, and science.

The BME undergraduate program contains a set of "core knowledge," defined and taught by the faculty, that future biomedical engineers should possess. The core includes courses in molecular and cellular biology, linear systems, biological control systems, modeling and simulation, thermodynamic principles in biology, and engineering analysis of systems level biology and physiology. Building on these core subjects, each student then takes a cohesive sequence of advanced engineering courses appropriate to one of five focus areas: Biological Systems Engineering; Cellular/Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials; Computational Biology; Imaging; and Sensors, Microsystems and Instrumentation.

The BS degree in biomedical engineering requires 129 credits. For an in-depth look at our requirements, please refer to the Undergraduate Advising Manual.


Basic Sciences (22 credits)

  • General Physics I and II with Labs
  • Introductory Chemistry I and II with Labs
  • Organic Chemistry I

Mathematics (24 credits)

  • Calculus I, II, III
  • Linear algebra
  • Differential equations
  • At least one additional semester of statistics (300-level or higher)

Humanities and Social Sciences (18 credits)

These courses should form a coherent program, relevant to the student’s goals, with at least one course at the 300-level or higher.

Biomedical Core Knowledge (35 credits)

What do biomedical engineers do?
  • 580.111 Biomedical Modeling and Design
  • 580.202 BME in the Real World
Molecular and cellular biology
  • 580.221 Molecules and Cells
Creating, analyzing, and simulating a linear or nonlinear system model from knowledge of the real biological system
  • 580.222 Biomedical Systems and Controls — Analysis of biological control systems
  • 580.223 Biomedical Models and Simulations — Analysis of systems described by linear and nonlinear ordinary differential equations
Fundamental thermodynamic principles in biology
  • 580.321 Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics
Engineering analysis of systems-level biology and physiology
  • 580.421 Systems Bioengineering I: Cells and Cardiovascular Systems
  • 580.423 Systems Bioengineering Lab I
  • 580.422 Systems Bioengineering II: Neural Systems
  • 580.424 Systems Bioengineering Lab II
  • 580.429 Systems Bioengineering III: Genes to Organs

Focus Area (21 credits)

Building on the foundation of this core curriculum, each student is required to take a cohesive sequence of advanced engineering encompassing one of four Biomedical Engineering focus areas. A student’s choice of focus area is made before the start of the junior year and is based on their experience with the Biomedical Engineering Core and their answers to the questions given below.

Systems Biology  — “Do you want to focus on understanding at a fundamental level how biological systems work?”

Sensors, Micro/Nano Systems, and Instrumentation  — “Do you want to build things that facilitate research or clinical medicine?”

Cell/Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials  — “Do you want to create replacement cells, tissues, and organs?”

Computational Bioengineering  — “Do you want to focus on the use of mathematical theory or computers to solve complex biological and medical problems?”

Imaging  — “Do you want to develop new imaging technology to reveal how biological systems work or to diagnose disease?”

Design (6 credits)

Among the technical elective courses offered, at least 6 credits must come from an approved list of design options. There are many combinations of courses, programs and independent study opportunities to satisfy this requirement.

Computer Programming (3 credits)

Students will choose from programming languages such as MATLAB, Python and Java that are offered in the department and throughout the engineering school.

General Electives (6 credits)

Students may choose at least two courses from any area. Many students will place prerequisite courses under this heading or use this area appropriate to his/her interests (i.e., premedical courses, double majors, minors, music, language, research and business). For example, a student interested in neuroscience might take Development Biology and/or Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience.

The curriculum challenges students to analyze problems from both an engineering and a biological perspective. Students work side by side with faculty in research labs on both the Homewood and E. Baltimore campuses and can also be found working in multidisciplinary teams to develop innovative design solutions to clinical problems.