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 six focus areas: Biomedical Data Science; Biomedical Imaging & Instrumentation; Computational Medicine; Genomics & Systems Biology; Neuroengineering; and Regenerative & Immune Engineering.

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

Learn how our focus area courses overlap.

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 six 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 courses.

Biomedical Data Science involves the analysis of large-scale biomedical datasets to understand how living systems function. Our academic and research programs in Biomedical Data Science center on developing new data analysis technologies in order to understand disease mechanisms and provide improved health care at lower costs.

Our curriculum in Biomedical Data Science trains students to extract knowledge from biomedical datasets of all sizes in order to understand and solve health-related problems. Students collaborate with faculty throughout the schools of Medicine and Engineering to develop novel cloud-based technologies and data analysis methods that will improve our ability to diagnose and treat diseases.

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Biomedical Imaging & Instrumentation involves the measurement of spatiotemporal distributions over scales ranging from molecules and cells to organs and whole populations. Grounded in mathematics, physics, and biological systems, our academic and research programs in Biomedical Imaging & Instrumentation center on data-intensive image analysis and new imaging technologies that include optics, ultrasound, X-ray/CT, MRI, and molecular imaging.

Our curriculum in Biomedical Imaging & Instrumentation spans fundamental development of imaging technologies, incorporation of these technologies into instruments, and translation into the clinic. In addition to collecting anatomical data, students learn to use data analysis and computer simulations to generate functional images that allow physicians to understand organs and tissues from the smallest scale to the systems level.

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Computational Medicine aims to advance health care by developing computational models of disease, personalizing these models using data from patients, and applying these models to improve the diagnosis and treatment of disease. We are using these patient models to discover novel risk biomarkers, predict disease progression, design optimal treatments, and identify new drug targets for applications such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurological disorders.

Our curriculum in Computational Medicine bridges biology with mathematics, engineering, and computational science. Students develop new solutions in personalized medicine by building computational models of the molecular biology, physiology, and anatomy of human health and disease.

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Genomics & Systems Biology connects the information in our genome and epigenome to the function of biological systems, from cells to tissues and organs. We are developing new computational and experimental methods for systematic analysis of genomes, building models that span length and time scales, and using synthetic biology to design new biomedical systems for human health applications.

Our curriculum spans the fields of engineering, computer science, biology, and biostatistics. Students develop tools to understand the genetic, molecular, and cellular behaviors that cause disease.

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Neuroengineering comprises fundamental, experimental, computational, theoretical, and quantitative research aimed at understanding and augmenting brain function in health and disease across multiple spatiotemporal scales.

Our curriculum in Neuroengineering trains students to develop and apply new technologies to understand and treat neurological disorders. Students build tools to define, control, enhance, or inhibit neural networks in precise spatial and temporal domains.

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Regenerative & Immune Engineering holds promise to regrow, repair, and replace diseased cells, organs, and tissues. Hopkins BME is leading an effort in regenerative and immune engineering that bridges discovery, innovation, and translation through basic science, engineering, and clinical endeavors.

Our curriculum spans a variety of novel methods that harness the power of stem cells, new biomaterials, and the body’s immune system to promote tissue repair, improve drug delivery, and treat disease. Students develop new techniques and biomaterials to guide cell behavior and reconstruct damaged tissues and organs.

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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.