University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Biomedical Engineering

The College of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is pleased to announce the establishment of our new Department of Biomedical Engineering which offers B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees. 

Faculty Investment

To realize this new department and its programs, the College will hire 12 full-time, tenure-track faculty members, including the founding Department Head.

Outstanding Labs and Interdisciplinary Collaboration

The new Biomedical Engineering Program is the core of biomedical engineering research and teaching at UMass Amherst and will leverage synergies with other departments in the College as well as with the new Institute of Applied Life Sciences (IALS), which was established in 2014 with an investment of more than $150 million from the Massachusetts Life Science Center and the University.

The Field of Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical engineering integrates engineering science, biology, and medicine into a cross-disciplinary field focused on improving human health and solving problems in healthcare delivery. Looking at the human body through the lens of engineering, one can apply the concepts of design, optimization, and programming to complex biological systems in order to detect, repair and treat disease, as well as build diagnostic and therapeutic tools. Graduates of the biomedical engineering undergraduate degree program will be prepared for a broad range of careers, including medical equipment and supply manufacturing, scientific research and development services, pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing, and work with medical professionals.

Admission to the Biomedical Engineering B.S. Program

In the UMass Amherst College of Engineering, enrolled students enter as PR-ENGIN, a.k.a. pre-engineering, and will have the opportunity to declare their formal major during their sophomore year, based on GPA and successful completion of predictor courses. For biomedical engineering, admission to the major will be contingent upon completing the engineering freshman year with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher and successful completion of a set of courses including: CHEM 111, MATH 131, MATH 132, PHYSICS 151, ENGLWRIT 112, and ENGIN 114 (or 110, 111, 112, or 113).

Job Market for Biomedical Engineers

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 23.1% job growth for biomedical engineers between 2014 - 2024. This growth reflects the increased medical demands of our aging population and the increased awareness of the benefits resulting from recent biomedical engineering advances (BLS website, 2015). This growth is much higher than other occupations, and jobs can be found in research facilities, regulatory agencies, hospitals or medical institutions, medical products-related companies, and manufacturing facilities. Within Massachusetts, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development’s long-term industry projection for “Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services” shows an increased employment of 27.3% between 2012 and 2022. According to the Occupational Network, the following educational levels are needed for a job in biomedical engineering: 45% B.S., 35% M.S., 20% Ph.D. Thus, there are opportunities for students with degrees from all levels.

Curriculum Overview

[ click to view/download pdf ]

General Education requirements are met as follows

  • Writing: ENGLWRIT 112, ENGIN 351
  • Basic Mathematics and Analytic Reasoning: MATH 131
  • Biological and Physical World: BME 210, PHYSICS 151
  • Social World and Social & Cultural Diversity: 4 Social World Electives
  • Integrative Experience: BME 415