Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Simply put, biomedical engineers develop technological solutions to medical problems. From prosthetic limbs and artificial organs to  medical devices like pacemakers, x-rays and MRI machines, the results of biomedical engineering are all around us.

Biomedical engineering is an interdisciplinary field that combines the math, physics and engineering courses typical of an engineering degree with coursework in the life sciences focusing on biology and medicine.  The field encompasses a wide range of specialties, from pharmaceuticals and drug delivery systems to medical device development to software and programming. 

At the University of Nevada, Reno, our bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering emphasizes topics related to electrical engineering, such as biomedical instrumentation, sensors, signal processing and image processing. With a few additional courses, graduates of the program have the option to apply for admission to medical school. The Department of Electrical and Biomedical Engineering also cooperates with local industry to offer a number of summer internships for qualified undergraduate students.

What will I learn?

Our program has been designed in accordance with criteria from ABET, the accrediting agency  for engineering programs. Upon graduation, you'll be able to:

  • Apply principles of engineering, biology, human physiology, chemistry, calculus-based physics, mathematics (through differential equations) and statistics
  • Solve bio/biomedical engineering problems, including those associated with the interaction between living and non-living systems
  • Analyze, model, design, and realize bio/biomedical engineering devices, systems, components, or processes
  • Make measurements on and interpret data from living systems

Requirements for the bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering

In addition to core curriculum requirements, biomedical engineering majors take courses in engineering science and design as well as math and the natural sciences.  Your coursework draws on fundamental concepts in electrical engineering such as circuits, signals and control systems as well as courses in biology, including cell and molecular biology and human anatomy.

Like any engineering major, biomedical engineering requires a number of math courses beyond calculus, and we recommend potential biomedical engineering majors arrive at the University with a strong background in math and science and prepared to take calculus as freshmen.

For detailed degree requirements, please visit the course catalog.

Careers in biomedical engineering

Because biomedical engineering is a broad field, graduates have a wide range of employment and career options. Biomedical engineers can be found working in all aspects of medicine, from device design to pharmaceuticals to research and development to rehabilitation.  Because of our strong focus on electrical engineering, graduates of our biomedical engineering degree program will be well prepared for careers that involve designing and working with medical devices.

A bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering is also a strong foundation for other health care careers, including training to become a doctor, sales and marketing for a medical device company, or management. Many biomedical engineering graduates also choose to go to graduate school to prepare them for a career in research and device development.

Although the field of biomedical engineering is still relatively small, employment of biomedical engineers is expected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That growth is driven primarily by an aging population as well as technological advances, such as 3D printing and advanced computing, in the field of health care. 

Biomedical engineering majors had a median starting salary of $59,296, according to a 2018 salary survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

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