The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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. 

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.

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


Biomedical engineering (BME) 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 to create diagnostic and therapeutic tools.


Graduates of the biomedical engineering undergraduate degree program will be prepared for a broad range of careers, including medical equipment design and manufacturing, scientific research and development services, pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing, and work with medical professionals. 


In the UMass Amherst College of Engineering, enrolled students enter as PR-ENGIN, a.k.a. as pre-engineering, and will have the opportunity to declare their formal major during their sophomore year, based on a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher and successful completion of a set of predictor courses that include:  Chemistry I (CHEM 111);  Calculus I (Math 131); Calculus II (Math 132); General Physics I - Mechanics (Physics 151);  College Writing (ENGLWRIT 112); and Introduction to Engineering (ENGIN 114 or equivalent).


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.