Pitt | Swanson Engineering

Prospective Bioengineering Undergraduate Students

Bioengineering is an ABET-accredited undergraduate degree program that combines education in engineering and biological sciences, forming a unique experience to prepare students for today’s technical challenges in medicine and biology. Our focus is on developing engineers who can apply an analytic approach to solving problems in living systems. Thus, we provide students with a comprehensive education in both engineering and the life sciences.

Students are provided with a broad knowledge of the technical and social principles of bioengineering as well as a focused education in one track area (Bioimaging and SignalsBiomechanics; Cellular EngineeringMedical Product Engineering) within bioengineering. They are prepared through educational experiences beyond the that deepen their understanding of the technical and non-technical issues in bioengineering process and design.

Research Areas

Undergraduates are required to participate in research with a faculty mentor. In addition to our primary faculty, our strong connections with the Schools of Medicine, Dental Medicine, and Health and Rehabilitation Sciences provide multiple opportunities for students to engage in research in areas such as cellular engineeringbiomaterialsartificial organsmovement and balance, and neural engineering to name a few.

Our unique laboratory, clinical, and research experiences beyond the classroom are opportunities that few, if any, universities can match.

What Can You Do with a Bioengineering Degree?

Graduates of our Bioengineering program are prepared to obtain employment in industry (~60%), seek further graduate education (MS/PhD, ~20%), and pursue a career as a health science practitioner (MD/DO/PA/MPH, ~20%). Those going to industry have many roles, such as: design of instruments and devices used in healthcaredevelopment of diagnostic toolsassess technology for regulatory compliance with FDA requirementstraining clinicians in the use of biomedical technologyresearch new approaches to providing healthcareprepare and document procedures and reports; and make recommendation to senior management. Advanced graduate education training can lead to more responsible roles in industry or academic positions in teaching, research, and development. Medical practitioners draw upon skills developed as a bioengineer to help diagnose medical problems and identify new approaches to medical technology.

Curriculum and Electives

The Bioengineering program undergraduate curriculum requires 29 courses that provide a broad background in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, and bioengineering, plus 13 electives. Five of the electives are drawn from a large selection in the Humanities and Social Sciences. The remaining eight electives are selected to meet requirements of one of the aforementioned tracks that provide in depth experience in an area of the student’s choice. The curriculum is designed to provide the breadth and depth required for ABET accreditation and to be a competitive engineer in the global marketplace. The curriculum has also been designed to allow students interested in “pre-med” to satisfy medical school requirements within the requirements of any track.

Cooperative Education and International Experience

The Department of Bioengineering encourages all students to enhance the value of their degree through participation in the Cooperative Education (co-op) and International Studies programs offered by the Swanson School of Engineering. Co-op provides students with semester rotations between college and full-time work assignments with corporate partners that relate directly to bioengineering. An international experience offers a global perspective and cross-cultural awareness of engineering practice that enhances post-graduate opportunities.