VCU Bulletins

Biomedical Engineering, Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Biomedical engineering applies engineering expertise to analyze and solve problems in biology and medicine in order to enhance health care. Students involved in biomedical engineering learn to work with living systems and to apply advanced technology to the complex problems of medical care. Biomedical engineers work with other health care professionals including physicians, nurses, therapists and technicians toward improvements in diagnostic, therapeutic and health delivery systems. Biomedical engineers may be involved with designing medical instruments and devices, developing medical software, tissue and cellular engineering, developing new procedures or conducting state-of-the-art research needed to solve clinical problems.

There are numerous areas of specialization and course work within biomedical engineering. These include:

  1. Bioinstrumentation: the application of electronics and measurement techniques to develop devices used in the diagnosis and treatment of disease, including heart monitors, intensive care equipment, cardiac pacemakers and many other electronic devices.
  2. Biomaterials: the development of artificial and living materials used for implantation in the human body, including those used for artificial heart valves, kidney dialysis cartridges, and artificial arteries, hips and knees.
  3. Biomechanics: the study of motion, forces and deformations in the human body, including the study of blood flow and arterial disease, forces associated with broken bones and their associated repair mechanisms, mechanisms of blunt trauma including head injuries, orthopedic systems, and the forces and movement associated with human joints such as the knee and hip.
  4. Tissue and cellular engineering: the application of biochemistry, biophysics and biotechnology toward the development of new cellular and tissue systems and an understanding of disease processes, including development of artificial skin and organs, cell adherence to artificial materials to prevent rejection by the body, and the development of new genetic cellular systems to treat diseases.
  5. Medical imaging: the development of devices and systems to image the human body to diagnose diseases, including the development and data processing of the CAT scan, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), medical ultrasound, X-ray and PET (positron emission tomography).
  6. Rehabilitation engineering: the development of devices and prosthetics to enhance the capabilities of disabled individuals, including design of wheelchairs, walkers, artificial legs and arms, enhanced communication aids, and educational tools for the handicapped.

A unique aspect to the undergraduate biomedical engineering is the practicum series, EGRB 101 and 301, which involves biomedical engineering students participating in medical rounds at the VCU Medical Center’s MCV Hospitals, in medical research laboratories throughout the medical center and the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park, and in medical seminars, case studies and medical laboratories. This unique opportunity is the only one of its kind in the nation and involves the cooperation of the VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious medical centers.

Degree requirements for Biomedical Engineering, Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Learning outcomes

Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following:

  • Identify and apply recent knowledge, and analyze and solve problems in the foundation areas of mathematics, the sciences and statistics.
  • Identify and apply recent knowledge, and analyze and solve problems in the foundation engineering areas of electrical circuits, mechanics, biomedical engineering, and engineering systems and design.
  • Identify and apply recent knowledge, and analyze and solve problems in the life sciences, including biology, physiology and anatomy, and understand the relationship between the life sciences, mathematics and engineering.
  • Design and conduct lab experiments, collect, analyze and interpret data from physical and simulated systems to solve technical problems, and analyze physiology and life science laboratory experiments to integrate engineering and physiology/biology.
  • Design and implement a system, component or process to meet the desired needs within a set of realistic specifications and constraints; design systems used in biomedical applications that involve the interconnection between engineering and the life sciences, including issues of health, safety and medical ethics.
  • Organize ideas and write well-organized and accurate reports, including appropriate citations; deliver oral presentations to peers and supervisors using the latest presentation technologies.
  • Understand the need for the various elements and facets of a career in biomedical engineering and related fields; have a recent understanding of the knowledge tools necessary to achieve lifelong learning and career development.
  • Understand the nature of, and have the ability to, function on multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary teams, and understand the role that each team member brings to the overall goal.
  • Attain and further master the ability to formulate, analyze and solve problems, analytically and/or experimentally, in biomedical engineering industry, in the clinical setting or in biomedical research within a few years of graduation. The career paths of BME graduates in these arenas would be enhanced as a result of these skills.
  • Attain and further master the ability to understand the life and health sciences and the interconnection between engineering and the life/health sciences including biology, anatomy, physiology and biomedical engineering, with particular reference to biomedical engineering industry, in the clinical setting or in biomedical research within a few years of graduation. The career paths of BME graduates in these arenas would be enhanced as a result of these skills.
  • Attain and further master the ability to articulate ideas and communicate in a clear and effective manner appropriate to their audience, in both written and and/or oral forms, with particular reference to biomedical engineering industry, in the clinical setting or in biomedical research within a few years of graduation. The career paths of BME graduates in these arenas would be enhanced as a result of these skills.
  • Attain and further master the ability to work effectively in teams to solve biomedical and/or clinical problems, including the interconnection of engineering and clinical personnel toward the solution of problems of compelling clinical and biomedical interest and need, with particular reference to biomedical engineering industry, in the clinical setting or in biomedical research within a few years of graduation. The career paths of BME graduates in these arenas would be enhanced as a result of these skills.
General Education requirements Credits
University Core Education Curriculum (minimum 21 credits)
UNIV 111 Focused Inquiry I 3
UNIV 112 Focused Inquiry II 3
UNIV 200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument 3
Approved humanities/fine arts 3
Approved natural/physical sciences 3-4
Approved quantitative literacy 3-4
Approved social/behavioral sciences 3-4
   
General Education requirements (10 credits)  
PHYS 207 University Physics I 5
PHYS 208 University Physics II 5
   
Collateral requirements (24-27 credits)  
BIOL 152 Introduction to Biological Science II 3
CHEM 101 General Chemistry 3
CHEZ 101 General Chemistry Laboratory I 1
CHEM 102 General Chemistry 3
CHEZ 102 General Chemistry Laboratory II 1
MATH 200 Calculus and Analytic Geometry (fulfills approved quantitative literacy)  
MATH 201 Calculus with Analytic Geometry 4
MATH 301 Differential Equations 3
MATH 310 Linear Algebra 3
PHIL 201 Critical Thinking about Moral Problems (fulfills approved humanities/fine arts)  
PHYS 207 University Physics I (fulfills General Education requirement)  
PHYS 208 University Physics II (fulfills General Education requirement)  
STAT 541 Applied Statistics for Engineers and Scientists 3
   
Major requirements (54 credits)  
EGRB 101 Biomedical Engineering Practicum I 2
EGRB 102 Introduction to Engineering 4
EGRB 203 Introduction to Biomechanics 3
EGRB 215 Computational Methods in Biomedical Engineering 3
EGRB 301 Biomedical Engineering Practicum II 3
EGRB 303 Biotransport Processes 3
EGRB 307 Biomedical Instrumentation 4
EGRB 308 Biomedical Signal Processing 4
EGRB 310 Biomechanics 4
EGRB 315 Computational Methods in Biomedical Engineering II 3
EGRB 401-402 Biomedical Engineering Senior Design Studio 6
EGRB 427 Biomaterials 3
EGRE 206 Electric Circuits 4
PHIS 309 Introductory Quantitative Physiology I 4
PHIS 310 Introductory Quantitative Physiology II 4
   
Open electives (21 credits)  
Technical electives within declared track 21
   
Total minimum requirement 131

Electives

Biomedical engineering students must select all technical electives from one of the four technical elective tracks.

Pre-medical track  
BIOL 151 Introduction to Biological Science I 3
BIOZ 151 Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory I 1
BIOZ 152 Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory II 1
CHEM 301 Organic Chemistry 3
CHEZ 301 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I 2
CHEM 302 Organic Chemistry 3
CHEZ 302 Organic Chemistry Laboratory II 2
EGRB 403 Tissue Engineering 3
Elective: choose from BIOL 218 Cell Biology, BIOL 310 Genetics or CHEM 403 Biochemistry I 3
   
Biomechanics and biomaterials track  
BIOL 218 Cell Biology 3
EGRB 403 Tissue Engineering 3
EGRB 405 Finite Element Analysis in Solid Mechanics 3
EGRB 406 Artificial Organs 3
EGRM 309 Materials Science for Engineers 3
EGRM 420 CAE Design 3
EGRM 421 CAE Analysis 3
ENGR 427 Robotics 3
ENGR 454 Automatic Controls 3
   
Rehabilitation engineering track  
EGRB 406 Artificial Organs 3
EGRB 420 Rehabilitation Engineering 3
EGRB 421 Human Factors Engineering 3
EGRB 405 Finite Element Analysis in Solid Mechanics 3
EGRM 420 CAE Design 3
EGRM 421 CAE Analysis 3
ENGR 427 Robotics 3
MGMT 346 Technology and the Management Process 3
PSYC 406 Perception 3
   
Instrumentation and electronics track  
ENGR 427 Robotics 3
ENGR 454 Automatic Control 3
EGRB 407 Physical Principles of Medical Imaging 3
EGRB 408 Advanced Biomedical Signal Processing 3
EGRB 409 Microcomputer Applications in Biomedical Engineering 3
EGRE 224 Introduction to Microelectronics 4
EGRE 254 Digital Logic Design 3
EGRE 303 Electronic Devices 3
EGRE 307 Integrated Circuits 4
EGRE 310 Microwaves and Photonic Engineering 3
EGRE 335 Signals and Systems I 3
EGRE 364 Microcomputer Systems 4

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Last update: 5/9/2014

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