2015-16 Bioengineering


Engineering Student Services

230 Bechtel Engineering Center # 1702
Berkeley, CA 94720-1702
(510) 642-7594

Hours: Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

306 Stanley Hall #1762
(510) 642-5833
Chair: Daniel Fletcher, Ph.D.

Department Overview

Bioengineering applies engineering principles and practices to living things, to solve some of the most challenging problems that face our world today. In Bioengineering, also known as Biomedical Engineering, our work is concentrated on high-impact applications in instrumentation, molecular and cellular engineering, and computational biosciences, that will bring about major advances in medicine and the life sciences.

Founded in 1998, the department is supported by exceptional faculty, strong ties to other departments on campus, and close collaborations with other institutions like UC San Francisco and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. We continue to expand our department with new faculty, staff, facilities, and research programs.

Undergraduate Program

Rated one of the top ten bioengineering undergraduate programs in the country, bioengineering at Berkeley is a multidisciplinary major intended for academically strong students who excel in the physical sciences, mathematics, and biology. Coursework provides a strong foundation in engineering and the biological sciences, with the freedom to explore a variety of topics and specialize in advanced areas of research. All students benefit from intensive group design work, either through a senior capstone project or through independent research in faculty laboratories.

Our major features small, specialized upper division courses and direct interaction with faculty. We offer six distinct concentrations: Biomaterials , Biomechanics and Cell & Tissue Engineering, Biomedical Devices, Computational Bioengineering, Imaging, Premed, and Synthetic Biology.

The stimulating environment of Berkeley offers a wealth of opportunity for learning, research, service, and community involvement, and provides dedicated students the knowledge and skills to become the next leaders in bioengineering.

The department offers a minor in bioengineering that is open to all students not majoring in bioengineering who have completed the necessary prerequisites for the minor requirements.

The Joint Major Program in Bioengineering and Materials Science and Engineering is designed for students with a strong interest in the field of biomaterials.

Undergraduate Program in Bioengineering*
Course Fall Spring
Freshman Year
Chemistry 1A and 1AL – General Chemistry or Chemistry 4A – General Chemistry and Quantitative Analysis (1) 4
Chemistry 3A and 3AL – Chemical Structure and Reactivity or Chemistry 112A – Organic Chemistry (1) 5
BioE 10 – Introduction to Biomedicine for Engineers (12) 4
Engineering 7 – Introduction to Computer Programming for Scientists & Engineers or CS 61A – Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs 4
Mathematics 1A – Calculus 4
Mathematics 1B – Calculus 4
Physics 7A – Physics for Scientists and Engineers 4
Seminar: BioE 24 – Aspects of Bioengineering and BioE 25 – Careers in Biotechnology (2) 1 1
Reading and Composition Course from List A (3) 4
Total 17 18
Sophomore Year
Biology 1A and 1AL – General Biology 5
Engineering/Biology Preparation (4) 3-4 3-4
Mathematics 53 – Multivariable Calculus 4
Mathematics 54 – Linear Algebra and Differential Equations 4
Physics 7B – Physics for Scientists and Engineers 4
Reading and Composition Course from List B (3) 4
Total 15-16 12-13
Junior Year
Bioengineering Fundamentals (see concentrations for recommendations) (5) 4 4
Engineering Topic (see concentrations for recommendations) (6) 3-4
Technical Topics (see concentrations for recommendations) (7) 3-5 3-5
Upper division biology elective (see concentrations for recommendations) (8) 3-4
Humanities/Social Science Course (2,3) 3-4
BioE 100 – Ethics in Science and Engineering or Humanities/Social Science Course (with Ethics Content) (2,3) 3-4
Total 13-17 13-17
Senior Year
Bioengineering Lab Course (11) 3-4
Bioengineering Topics (see concentrations for recommendations) (9) 3-4 3-4
Engineering Topic (see concentrations for recommendations) (6) 3-4
Technical Topic (see concentrations for recommendations) (7) 3-5
Bioengineering Design Project or Research (10) 3-4
Humanities/Social Science Courses (2,3) 3-4 3-4
Total 12-17 12-16



1 Chemistry 4A and 112A/B are intended for students majoring in chemistry or a closely related field. Note: Prerequisites to Chemistry 112A/B include Chemistry 1A and Chemistry 1B (or Chemistry 4A and Chemistry 4B).

2 This requirement may be completed at any time in the program.

3 The Humanities/Social Science (H/SS) requirement includes two approved reading and composition courses and four additional approved courses, with which a number of specific conditions must be satisfied. Reading and Composition “A” and “B” must be completed by no later than the end of the sophomore year. The remaining courses may be taken at any time during the program. See engineering.berkeley.edu/hss for complete details and a list of approved courses. Consult the Ethics Content List  for a list of approved courses with ethics content.

4 Select two from the approved Engineering/Biology Preparation list.

5 Choose courses from the approved Bioengineering Fundamentals list.

6 Choose courses from the approved Engineering Topics list.

Choose courses from the approved Technical Topics list. Pre-Med students should take Chemistry 3B/3BL and Biology 1B.

8 Choose course from the approved Upper Division Biology list.

9 Choose courses from the approved Bioengineering Topics list.

10Choose course from the approved Bioengineering Design Project or Research list.

11 Choose course from the approved Bioengineering Lab list.
* Program of study must include: 
(a) 42 units of upper-division coursework in technical subjects such as engineering, chemistry, physics, integrative biology, molecular and cell biology, mathematics, or statistics. Of these units, at least 22 must be in bioengineering. The 42 units must be from the bioengineering core curriculum (excluding BioE 100) or the Curriculum Electives lists. 
(b) 45 units of engineering (upper or lower division). These units must be from courses that appear on the Bioengineering Topics or Engineering Topics lists.
Students are advised to consult the approved concentrations to identify an appropriate course sequence for bioengineering specialty areas, and may also design their own program that meets with the above requirements with permission from their faculty adviser. Regular consultation with an adviser is strongly encouraged. Recommended courses for each concentration can be found at http://bioeng.berkeley.edu/undergrad/program/concentrations.

12 Junior Transfer admits are exempt from completing BioE 10

* A minimum of 120 units is required for graduation.