UW Bioengineering Undergraduate Program
Personal attention in small classes. A culture of collaboration. Research conducted alongside renowned faculty. UW Bioengineering undergraduate students receive the tools, opportunities and experiences necessary to take on medical challenges, work in today’s multidisciplinary teams, and improve lives.
The UW Bioengineering undergraduate program is known for its:
- Excellence – consistently ranks in the nation’s top biomedical engineering undergraduate programs by US News and World Report
- Strength in core fundamentals – a foundation for success
- Real-world focus – teamwork, communication skills, problem-solving skills, systems analysis, interdisciplinary projects, emphasis on leadership and creativity
- Hands on research – students complete research capstone mentored by research or clinical faculty
- Culture of community – a supportive, collaborative environment among both students and faculty
- Quality of students – Goldwater, Luce and Rhodes Scholars; multiple awards from NASA Space Grant and NSF; more than 100 Mary Gates Scholars; multiple awards in UW business plan competitions
- Accredited by ABET
About the Program
Our students enjoy day and night access to our building, teaching labs, computer labs and student den, as well as open collaborative spaces on each floor designed to foster conversation and exchange of ideas.
UW Bioengineering undergraduate students help shape their educational experience and participate on the department’s Curriculum Committee, Student Affairs Committee and the Chair’s Student Advisory Board. We pride ourselves on openness and responsiveness to student concerns.
The senior capstone project is the culmination of the UW Bioengineering undergraduate educational experience. Seniors work in faculty laboratories to conduct individual research and design projects related to real medical problems. At UW, our capstone projects involve both research (a requirement of our faculty) and a culminating design experience (a requirement of our faculty and our accrediting agency).
Students have two options for completing the capstone requirement:
1. Individual Design Project: a year-long individual research and design project (BIOEN 402) that takes place in one of our faculty labs.
Examples of past individual research and design (BIOEN 402) projects include:
- A hydrogel to deliver otoprotective agents to the cochlea
- A brain-machine interface for restoring voluntary movement
- Ultrasound elastography techniques to image traumatic brain injury
2. Individual Research and Team-based Project: a two-quarter individual research project (BIOEN 403), conducted in a faculty laboratory, plus a two quarter design-and build course (BIOEN 404-405), in which students design solutions to novel clinical problems in small teams. Some team design projects are conducted in industry settings.
Examples of past individual research projects (BIOEN 403) include:
- A mathematical model to evaluate the effectiveness of home-based counseling and testing on HIV prevalence in South Africa
- A method for using Carbon-13 to track macrophages injected in mice hearts
- Synergistic effects of Artemisinin and low frequency magnetic fields on cancer cells
Examples of past team-based projects (BIOEN 404-405) include:
- Improved surgical tools for laparoscopic surgery
- Enhancements to CPR-training manikins
- An instrumented environment to test the visual acuity of mice undergoing a new retinal therapy
Students also complete one of the following concentrations:
- Molecular and Materials Bioengineering concentration
- Cells, Tissue and Systems Bioengineering concentration
- Diagnostics and Therapeutic Instruments concentration
- Option in Nano and Molecular Engineering
The normal admission point is at the end of the freshman year, via Early Admission. However, Bioengineering also admits a small number (12-15) of entering freshmen directly into the major through Direct Admission. We also offer Upper Admission for transfers and other students who wish to apply during their sophomore year.
Learn more about UW Bioengineering undergraduate program admissions.
High school students are welcome to attend information sessions but should note that the sessions are designed with college freshmen in mind.