Frequently Asked Questions

BME Admissions

How many students will be admitted to the undergraduate program?

The Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering admits approximately 96 new students per year from the First-Year Engineering Program. In recent admission cycles, the Weldon School has admitted all qualified applicants from the FYE Program. To qualify for admittance into the Weldon School, students must complete (with a C- or above) all First-Year Engineering required courses, including the science selective: CHM116.

The Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering uses the same standards and process for admission as all the other schools in the College of Engineering. Please check out the Transition to Major process for First-Year Engineering students transitioning to an engineering professional degree program.

How soon will I be notified regarding my admission status?

You will be notified of your preliminary admission status in mid-March. Admission into BME will be finalized upon successful completion of your First-Year Engineering Program curriculum and after your spring semester grades have been posted.  Offer emails should be sent out by mid-May.

What if I am admitted in March and do poorly in a required first-year engineering course?

You will have to repeat the course in question during the summer before your sophomore year begins. All first-year engineering courses must be completed with a C- or above for final admission into the BME program.  This will put you at a disadvantage, as we will attempt to fill all our spots in mid-May.  With that said, we may have spots available for students completing FYE requirements in August. 

What should I do if I am not admitted into BME?

Do not give up on your goal of working in the BME field. In order to further the development of BME technologies, companies need help from Chemical; Electrical/Computer; Mechanical; Material Science; and Industrial engineers. As a matter of fact, these schools are involved in BME research. You will see for yourself as you explore our BME Research website. There are upper level courses with a biomedical emphasis that are available in these schools. You might be able to take them to fulfill your engineering technical elective requirement.

Transfer and Change of Degree Objective Students (CODO)

Does Biomedical Engineering accept transfer students or CODO students?

Currently, we are not accepting direct transfer students from other Universities or CODO students from other Colleges/Schools at Purdue. Any student interested in BME must come from the First-Year Engineering Program.

If I CODO out of BME and decide I do not like my new academic major, may I CODO back to BME?

Once you CODO out of BME you may not CODO back. Please speak with your current academic advisor and consider consulting with the Center for Career Opportunities.

BME Industrial Experience

Will I be able to gain work experience as a BME student?

Absolutely! As a matter of fact, one of our Undergraduate Program Coordinator's primary goals is to assist you in finding a valuable intern experience. During your first semester in our program information will be publicized in our weekly BME newsletter regarding the application process. You will be interviewed, selected, and matched with companies based on your interests and available projects. Check out our Internships page.

The Center for Career Opportunities (CCO) has several internship job fairs throughout the school year. CCO Express can be a valuable tool in your search for and internship in the job sector you are interested in. Some companies may require you to apply through their website; however, many companies also list internships through CCO Express. During the 2006-2007 school year, employers conducted 1,500 interviews during fall and 2,600 during spring for internship positions. Visit the CCO Express website to learn about these opportunities and how to register.

The Industrial Roundtable (IR) is one of the largest student-run job fairs in the country and will give you the opportunity to interact with many different companies. On Monday of IR week, corporate seminars are presented in which companies can speak with you and share insight on the workings of an engineering firm. On Tuesday and Wednesday, companies participate in the Industrial Roundtable job fair on the Purdue Memorial Mall. You will be able to speak with companies who will be looking for students interested in summer internships, co-op programs, and permanent placements. Companies will conduct interviews with students Wednesday through Friday of IR week. Visit the PESC Website to learn more!

BME Undergraduate Research

Will I be able to do research as a BME student?

Yes! If you are interested in getting involved in some exciting BME research we will encourage you to do just that. Students will find openings for research opportunities with BME core faculty as well as with faculty members in other departments at Purdue whose research involves BME related applications. In addition, Purdue and many other BME departments nationwide participate in National Science Foundation (NSF) funded programs specifically for undergraduates. Please see the BME research website to learn more about our ground-breaking and exciting research!

How do I apply for BME research?

There are several ways to go about this. One way is to simply approach a BME faculty member after you decide what area of BME research you are interested in. Ask him/her if you can discuss opportunities for doing research. It is advisable to have an updated resume on hand. Be prepared to tell him/her why you are interested in their project and how you see yourself making positive contributions to the research.

Can I earn money or earn academic credit while I do research?

It is possible to earn money especially if you participate in research during the summer. It also depends on the type and amount of funding our faculty members receive. If you participate in research during the school year you will probably register to earn one to three credits (each credit hour corresponds to 4-5 hours per week in the lab). Please see your BME academic advisor, MJIS 1021, if you need to add research to your schedule of classes.

Purdue Research Programs

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)

SURF is a campus wide program administered by the College of Engineering. As a participant in SURF you will be provided the opportunity to work with students across all engineering, science and technology disciplines. You will participate in an intensive research project that will allow you the opportunity to work closely with graduate students and professors. You will learn exciting new skills in cutting edge engineering and science fields, and become familiar with modern and traditional research tools. This is the perfect setting for you to perform research in an academic environment while exploring future graduate study options.

SURF Year-Around...Not just for summer anymore!

If you are interested in making money while attending classes and performing cutting edge research then this might be the program for you! You will participate in a discovery-based learning program that combines the traditional academic environment with the goals and challenges of the research laboratory. You will conduct research under the guidance of a faculty member. If you are interested in graduate studies or a direct PhD track this could be an extremely valuable experience for you.

The Discovery Park Undergraduate Intern Program (DURI)

DURI offers 50 student internship slots during the academic school year. You can participate in the interdisciplinary research environment of Discovery Park. The program provides opportunities for you to work with faculty affiliated with Discovery Park on cutting edge research projects that involve combining two or more disciplinary strengths (such as Nanoscience and Bioscience or perhaps Information Technology, Business, and Communications). Working closely with faculty, you will experience the excitement, challenge, and power of truly interdisciplinary research in the fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment that is Purdue's Discovery Park.

National Research Programs

Summer Research Experiences for Undergrads (REU)

The REU program supports active research participation in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation. REU projects will immerse you in meaningful ongoing research programs from universities and research institutions across the United States.

Research at Federal laboratories

Did you know that opportunities exist at Federal laboratories during the summer, including the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) SURF program? The current research opportunities at NIST are in the areas of Electronics and Electrical Engineering, Manufacturing, Chemical Science and Technology, Physics, Materials Science and Engineering, Building and Fire Research, and Information.

The National Institute of Health (NIH), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting medical research that improves health and saves lives. Research opportunities exist within their 27 different research institutes and centers. Learn more at:

The Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSOM) conducts a broad range of basic, translational and clinical research in order to improve health, prevent disease, better train physicians and provide the foundation for Indiana's life sciences economy. It hosts federally designated centers of excellence in women's health, cancer, kidney disease, Alzheimer disease and related disorders, alcohol research, arthritis, a general clinical research center, and sexually transmitted disease centers on both the pediatric and adult levels.

Employment Outlook

Will I be able to find employment when I graduate with a BME degree?

Yes! According to the U.S. Department of Labor employment of biomedical engineers is expected to grow 27 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations.  With an aging population and with the increasing integration of technology and medicine, the need for innovative new technologies and engineering-related medical therapies is likely to be on solid ground for years to come.

How much money can I expect to earn as a BME?

The median annual wage for biomedical engineers was $86,960 in May 2012. Industries that employ the highest level of biomedical engineers are general medical and surgical hospitals. Industries that pay the highest salaries are scientific research and development services. For more information, check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook.

Graduation and Beyond

What help will be provided to assist me in finding a job after I graduate with my Bachelor's of Science Degree in BME?

We have direct relationships with several biomedical engineering companies who seek out our undergraduates. Our internship liaison and stewardship manager host a series of Weldon Days in which these companies are invited to BME in order to interview our graduating seniors.

The following site lists BME positions available for Weldon students and alumni: Biomedical Engineering Career Network

There are many resources on campus to assist you with full-time industry placement. We encourage you to register with the Center for Career Opportunities (CCO). Last year more than 5,600 interviews were conducted in the fall and 2,600 interviews were conducted in the spring for full-time employment.

Does Purdue have graduate degree programs in BME?

Absolutely! The graduate program at the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering is well known for the quality of its master's and doctoral-level students and graduates. The involvement of students in translating discoveries into effective products provides a unique experience in converting theory to reality.

The program offers four major pathways:

  • MS candidate (1.5-2 years)
  • PhD candidate post M.S. degree (3 years)
  • Direct PhD candidate post BS degree (4.5 years)
  • Integrated MD/PhD candidate (7 years)

Graduate Program

Beginning fall 2008 we will have our first class of students in our fifth-year MS degree program. This unique program is intended to prepare students for PhD-level graduate studies or research-oriented industry positions. It is for outstanding BME undergraduates who have established research relationships with BME faculty members.

If you are serious about graduate school you should start thinking about what discipline you want to specialize in and the application process your junior year. There are several excellent graduate programs across the nation and abroad. Take a look at the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Programs website:

You will discover over 70 masters and doctoral graduate programs with research- and practice-oriented curricula right here on Purdue's campus. Your options are numerous and range from the sciences, arts, engineering, agriculture, management, and humanities to exciting interdisciplinary programs. Explore the Prospective Graduate Students Page to learn more! 

I'm interested in Medical School. Will a degree in BME help me get in?

While there are no specific degrees or programs which can "help" a student get into medical school, if you're a student interested in medicine, BME might be the right choice for you. Our curriculum integrates the life science and engineering principles in the context of physiological applications and provides a solid foundation for pursuing a medical career. For admission to many medical schools, additional English and Organic Chemistry courses can be added to the BME undergraduate curriculum to complete the requirements.

Purdue has a Health Professions Advising office with a professional health professions advisor on staff, Amy Terstriep, PhD. I encourage you to seek her assistance as she can help you learn about different health careers; information about job tasks; the job outlook; the necessary prerequisite courses and aptitude tests; and any other credentials needed to apply. She will also help navigate your way through the application process to professional school to help you make informed decisions and to put together the strongest application possible. You may contact her at:


Merit scholarships for high school students

Purdue awards most of its merit scholarships to qualified students through an automatic process based on academic information provided with the admissions application (fall semester applicants only). Check our new Presidential and Trustees Scholarships for incoming freshman!

Are BME scholarships available?

Yes. As a growing program, we have developed merit-based scholarships of $1000-$1500 for our outstanding Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors, as well as a couple additional scholarships and cash awards for outstanding service and for the best senior design project each year. We are constantly working to develop more scholarship opportunities for our students.

Additional information about other Purdue and external scholarships can be found at the website for the Purdue Division of Financial Aid.

Study Abroad (SA)

Will I be able to study abroad in BME?

Yes! We strongly urge you to study abroad. Today's employers are looking for international experience whether it be a year, semester, or summer abroad Purdue University has over 200 programs in over 45 countries. At present, due to the structure of our program, summer abroad opportunities will be the best fit for BME students. The best piece of advice we can give you is to plan early if you think you want to study abroad. Be sure to discuss your plans with your BME academic advisor.

Spend Maymester in China! Be introduced to intercultural teamwork through this unique Liberal Arts and Engineering study abroad. You will develop the foundation in communications skills needed for intercultural collaborations and teamwork. Explore cultural differences and learn strategies for successful communications across cultural boundaries.

For more information on the BME undergraduate program, please contact:

Undergraduate Academic Advisor
Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering
206 S. Martin Jischke Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2032
Phone: 765-494-2995
FAX: 765-494-1193