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University of Pittsburgh    
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
  Jun 12, 2024
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Department of Bioengineering

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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.

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 such areas as:

Cellular Engineering


Tissue Engineering

Movement and Balance


Artificial Organs


Radio Frequency Imaging

Neural Engineering

Clinical Engineering

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 (about 55%), seek further graduate education (M.S./Ph.D., about 25%), and pursue a career as a health science practitioner (M.D./D.O./P.A./M.P.H., about 20%). Those going to industry have many roles, such as: design of instruments and devices used in healthcare; development of diagnostic tools; assess technology for regulatory compliance with FDA requirements; training clinicians in the use of biomedical technology; research new approaches to providing healthcare; prepare 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 four tracks (Bioimaging and Signals, Biomechanics, Cellular Engineering, Medical Product Engineering) 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.





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