A Path to Impact
Interested in an applying your science background to improve human health? Pursuing a minor in bioengineering or conducting undergraduate research in a bioengineering lab might be right for you! Students with a variety of STEM backgrounds are getting involved in bioengineering, including majors in biology, chemistry, physics and human physiology.
What is bioengineering?
Bioengineering is an interdisciplinary field that applies engineering principles and quantitative methods to advance knowledge at the molecular, cellular, tissue, organ, and system levels, and to develop new biologicals, materials, devices, and processes. Bioengineers invent new materials to repair musculoskeletal injuries, sense physiological markers (like blood sugar) in the body, regenerate tissue and build interfaces between computers and the nervous system.
Undergraduate bioengineering minor students have access to state of the art facilities and many opportunities to acquire cutting-edge skills. Get a peek into Professor Jonathan Reeder's wearable sensors class and see how students at the Knight Campus repurpose newfound engineering skills into their own research.
Undergraduate Minor in Bioengineering
Innovation in bioengineering relies on multidisciplinary teams composed of engineers, scientists, and clinicians. An undergraduate minor will help you develop the engineering skills and techniques needed to make key contributions to the impact these teams have for society. The minor is also a great way to prepare for a career in the biotech industry or graduate studies in bioengineering, medicine and law. Throughout the program, you will interact with Knight Campus faculty and learn about undergraduate research opportunities.
The BIOE minor has been designed to complement your STEM major in biology; chemistry and biochemistry; human physiology and physics. After completing a Fundamentals of Bioengineering series, the course of study includes at least one advanced elective in BIOE and a couple of advanced electives in your home discipline.
The minor is open to all students, but builds upon a strong background in math and physics, and exposure to biology and chemistry is beneficial.
Course of Study
The program begins with a core “Fundamentals of Bioengineering” sequence: a three-quarter progression of courses that builds an engineering foundation through an experiential design- and problem-solving approach. Upper-division coursework offers a chance to take specialized bioengineering courses tailored around Knight Campus research areas and can also include electives from students’ home departments.
*Students must have completed MATH 251 and be enrolled in or have completed PHYS 251 prior to starting the Fundamentals of Bioengineering sequence.
12 credits of upper-division bioengineering-themed coursework. At least four credits must be BIOE subject code, up to eight credits can be selected from a curated list of related courses from across the university.
For more details, sample schedules, and advising information, please click the button below.
Undergraduate Research in Bioengineering
Getting involved in undergraduate research is a great way to immerse yourself in an applied field like bioengineering. There are exciting research opportunities with one of the Knight Campus research teams that will enrich your education and prepare for exciting careers at the interface of engineering and the life sciences. These research teams develop new approaches that use engineering strategies to advance human health in areas like regenerative medicine, human performance, biomaterials, sensors and neural engineering.
Undergraduate research in bioengineering will help you:
- Design and execute research plans to discover and invent
- Translate discoveries into processes, devices and solutions that advance human health
- Explore and refine your professional goals
- Develop critical thinking and professional skills to fuel your future studies and career
Want to get involved? The first step is to figure out what research areas are most interesting to you. Explore faculty and research group websites, attend research seminars, talk to your colleagues who are doing research and read papers. Once you have a pretty good idea of the type of research that interests you, email faculty members conducting research in that area, explaining your background, why you are interested in their research and ask whether they are interested in recruiting undergraduate researchers to their lab. Visit the UO Research and Innovation website for more information on getting involved in undergraduate research. The Knight Campus also has a dedicated program for undergraduate research called the Knight Campus Undergraduate Scholars Program.