Prospective Students

What is Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical engineering (BME) is an interdisciplinary field that combines engineering, math, and physics with biology and the life sciences. Biomedical engineers apply their expertise in these areas to solve problems related to medicine and healthcare, developing new technologies to understand, diagnose, and treat disease. Biomedical engineering is a broad and growing field (projected to grow 10 percent from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations. Source: O*net), encompassing everything from surgical robotics and prosthetics to drug delivery systems and artificial organs. They combine engineering principles with sciences to design and create equipment, devices, computer systems, and software.

Biomedical Engineering at Purdue Indianapolis
Coming Fall 2024

Biomedical Engineering Career Exploration

This video explores careers in Biomedical Engineering to help prepare First Year Engineering students select a career path in Engineering.

More video resources to explore pathways in Biomedical Engineering:

Biomedical Engineering For Students

A student interested in helping people and improving the lives of others through better health care and medicine has a lot of career options, and one such option is in the field of engineering! Biomedical engineering combines biology, medicine and engineering to advance human health.

What does a biomedical engineer do?
Careers in Science and Engineering

You don't have to be a medical doctor to help save lives. Biomedical engineering is one of the most interesting and impactful fields in the world. If you're a prospective biomedical engineering student, watch to learn about the field and what you might expect if you choose biomedical engineering as a career path.

Career Paths in Biomedical Engineering

This video produced by IEEE EMBS discusses the diversity of career paths available in the Biomedical Engineering field. The Biomedical Engineering field is comprised of professionals utilizing a variety of skill sets and technologies to apply engineering principles and design concepts to medicine and biology.

A Biomedical Engineer solves novel life science and healthcare problems using the practical application of science and math. Biomedical engineers make a global impact by improving the quality of healthcare. Using some exciting examples from the latest advancements in biomedical engineering, the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society's page "About Biomedical Engineering" provides insight into biomedical engineering as a career.

The Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering has focused research on five Areas of Excellence. At the undergraduate program level, students are required to select a primary depth area and complete the two required courses as part of their BME undergraduate degree requirements. Students are also required to select a secondary depth area and complete one of the two required courses for that depth area.**

Learn more about the BME foundational courses.

There are four depth areas:

  • Bioimaging
  • Bioelectronics/Bioinstrumentation
  • Biomechanics/Biomaterials
  • Computational Biomedicine

The fundamental skills are the same, but the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering offers a unique curriculum with focused problem-solving examples from human and biological systems. Experiential learning prepares students for the unique demands of graduate school, medical school, or a career in the biomedical industry.

An undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering from Purdue University can be the launch pad for an exciting and successful career with a unique skill set sought after by graduate schools, medical schools and industry.

Perhaps you are pondering a career in medicine. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) is a great place to start your research.

What is the MCAT like and how should you prepare for it? AAMC can get you started.

Purdue University's Office of Health Professions Advising can assist you with learning about different health careers and the ins and outs of applying to medical school.

Purdue engineers have an interest in changing the world, making an impact in their communities, and doing meaningful work. Strong leadership characteristics, ingenuity, adaptability, critical thinking, problem solving skills, and technical proficiency are among the main competencies that our students gain. Purdue engineering is dedicated to helping students attain the skills and attributes needed to succeed in this rapidly-changing global economy.

Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering Undergraduate Program Course Descriptions

BME 201 (3) Biomolecules: Structure, Function, and Engineering Applications

  • Prerequisites: CHM 116, ENGR 131 & 132, and MA 166, or equivalents.
  • Corequisites: BIOL 230

Classes of molecules (biomolecules) such as sugars, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids that form the cellular components of living organisms. Explores the chemistry behind the structure and function of these important classes of biological molecules. Hydrogen-bonding, hydrophobic forces, electrostatic interactions along with other weak interactions discussed with reference to their importance in biomolecular systems in an engineering context.

BME 205 (1) Biomolecular and Cellular Systems Laboratory

  • Corequisites: BIOL 230, BME 201

Introductory laboratory experience focused on engineering concepts and practices in the analysis of biomolecules and cells. Topics include fundamental quantitative techniques of analysis, methods of isolation, identification, and quantification of biomolecules and cells, and analysis of integrated biosystems. Concludes with student-driven design project.

BME 290 (1) Frontiers in Biomedical Engineering

  • BME majors only

This course introduces the rapidly emerging field of biomedical engineering by exposing students to a wide range of research activities in the Weldon School and to a variety of experiential learning opportunities. Topics addressed include career paths, professional development opportunities, and career development skills including creating a plan of study, informational and job interviewing, writing a resume, technical writing, preparing effective oral presentations, and peer-editing.

BME 204 (3) Biomechanics of Hard and Soft Tissues

  • Prerequisite: BME 205 and ME 270 or equivalent

Covers the mechanics of biological materials, with applications in the musculo-skeletal system, nerves, spinal cord, and vascular tissue, down to the level of the cell. Topics include center of mass, moment of inertia, basic understanding of stresses, strains, and deformations, axial elements, pressure vessels, beams, torsion, viscoelasticity, and thermal stress. Case studies and problem solving sessions used to emphasize the unique biological criteria which must be considered when mechanically analyzing both soft and hard tissues.

BME 206 (1) Biomechanics and Biomaterials Laboratory

  • Prerequisites: BME 205 and ME 270, or equivalent.
  • Corequisite: BME 204

Provides hands-on training in engineering and biological principles of biomaterials and biomechanics. Topics include evaluation and interpretation of experimental results, modeling and testing of tissue and body mechanics, and interactions of living (e.g., tissue/cell) and nonliving (e.g., biomaterial) systems.

BME 256 (3) Physiological Modeling in Human Health

  • Prerequisites: MA 166 or equivalent
  • Concurrent Prerequisite: CS 159 or equivalent

Description: Introduction to the physiology and medicine underlying practical problems in biomedical engineering, especially with respect to medical device development. Engineering skills taught and practiced within the context of human disease, injury, and illness on extended problem sets which include mathematical modeling and problem solving with appropriate documentation. Main physiological systems of focus are cardiovascular, pulmonary, and renal, and common afflictions thereof.

BME 301 (3) Bioelectricity

  • Prerequisites: PHYS 241 and MA 262, or equivalents
  • Corequisite: BME 305

Fundamentals of bioelectricity of the mammalian nervous system and other excitable tissues. Passive and active forms of electric signals in both the single cell and cell-cell communication, tissue and systemic bioelectricity, mathematical analysis including Nernst equation, Goldman equation, linear cable theory, and Hodgkin-Huxley Model of action potential generation and propagation.

BME 305 (3) Bioinstrumentation Circuit and Measurement Principles

  • Prerequisites: PHYS 241 and MA 262, or equivalents

Introduction of laboratory instruments used to measure physiological events. Stimulation and conduction of electric signals within the nervous system and other excitable tissues are demonstrated. Fundamental circuit elements and concepts include resistance, capacitance, inductance, op-amps, impedance, voltage, current, power, and frequency. Fundamental analog measurement concepts include adequate bandwidth and amplitude and phase linearity. An integrative two-week design project addresses the practical aspects of quantitative physiological measurements.

BME 304 (3) Biomedical Transport Fundamentals

  • Prerequisites: ABE 202 and MA 262, or equivalents

Fundamental concepts and principles of momentum, heat, and mass transport phenomena in the context of biomedical applications. Integrated biological topics include transport of physiological fluids (e.g. blood), mass transport (e.g. oxygen and nutrients), forced convection (e.g. hemodialysis) and unsteady-state molecular diffusion (e.g. drug delivery mechanisms).

BME 306 (2) Biotransport Laboratory

  • Prerequisite: BME 304
  • Concurrent Prerequisite: STAT 511 or equivalent

Practical experience with transport principles related to physiological systems is presented through inquiry-based modules. Modules contain elements of computer simulation, experimental design, implementation, and data analysis and address biomedical applications.

BME 390 (1) Professional Development and Design in Biomedical Engineering

  • Prerequisites: BME 290, BME 256, and junior standing

Introduction to a diverse spectrum of current topics relevant to the technical, professional, and career aspects of Biomedical Engineers. The course topics will focus on the early stages of the design process (e.g. need identification, problem formulation, innovation and idea generation), professional communication skills (e.g. written and oral reporting and documentation), and ethics of biomedical design and research (e.g. ethical codes and decision making, animal care and use in research and testing, authorship and intellectual property, social and environmental impact of design).

BME 490 (1) Professional Elements of Design

  • Prerequisite: BME 390
  • Corequisite: BME 48901

This course advances and enhances engineering design tools, concepts, and knowledge relevant to biomedical engineering design. Students work individually and in small teams to investigate the topic within the context of their specific senior design project in preparation for their lab. Topics include project management, human and animal subjects, ethics, regulatory affairs, literature and patent searching, and entrepreneurship.

BME 48901 (3) Senior Design Project Lab

  • Corequisite: BME 490

The biomedical engineering design process is completed starting from a preliminary system design. Students will work with their teammates to implement (e.g. build, test, iterate and evaluate) a solution to address a biomedical engineering problem statement and meet the technical specifications set forth. The resulting project design is presented and evaluated through an oral presentation, laboratory demonstration, and a final written document.

BME 295/395/495 (1-4 credits) Selected Topics in Biomedical Engineering

  • Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit.

Specialized topic areas for which there are no specific courses, workshops, or individual study plans, but having sufficient student interest to justify the formalized teaching of a course (temporary course numbers).

BME 296/498 (1-4 credits) Biomedical Engineering Research-Based Projects

  • Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit.

Individual research projects to be approved by the supervising faculty member and Academic Advisor before registering for the course.

Interested in Visiting BME?

We provide daily tours of our building Monday through Friday at 1:30 PM while school is in session, except during finals weeks. No appointment is necessary for this tour; simply show up and meet us at MJIS 1021. Tours last approximately 20-30 minutes. While everyone is welcome, tours are geared for future students and their families. Your guide will be a current student who will give you a student's perspective of our program; questions are welcome. Summer tours are by appointment. Please feel free to contact us at to confirm availability.

For Further Inquiries, Contact Us:

BME Undergraduate Program Coordinator
206 S. Martin Jischke Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2032
Phone: (765) 494-2995
FAX: (765) 494-1193

For additional information, please contact the Office of Future Engineers.