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 Department of Bioengineering

Class 2015 

Please click the "+" signs below to see the information in each category.

The Undergraduate Program

The Bioengineering (BNG) Undergraduate Program

Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering

Program Educational Objectives

The bioengineering undergraduate program has the following educational objectives:

  • Career Preparation

Graduates will be able to gain employment in bioengineering or related fields or continue their studies in professional schools and graduate programs.

  • Technical Competence

Graduates will have the knowledge and practical skills for career success, including the ability to think in a critical and evaluative manner and to consider a broad perspective, in order to identify and solve open-ended technical and nontechnical problems.

  • Professionalism

Graduates will act professionally, ethically, and socially responsible and have the ability to learn, communicate and work effectively within diverse groups to further their career and benefit society.


Student Learning Outcomes

Bioengineering graduates will demonstrate the following attributes:

a)      An ability to apply fundamental knowledge and principles of mathematics (including differential equations and statistics), physical science, and engineering

b)      An ability to design, conduct and document experiments, as well as to acquire, analyze and interpret data from living and non-living systems

c)      An ability to design bioengineering solutions to meet desired needs

d)     An ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams

e)      An ability to identify, formulate, and solve bioengineering problems

f)       An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility

g)      An ability to communicate effectively

h)      The broad education and critical thinking necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, professional and societal context

i)        A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning

j)        A knowledge of contemporary issues related to bioengineering

k)      An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for bioengineering practice

Overview of the Bioengineering program


Introduction to the program

Bioengineering is rapidly growing as an academic discipline in response to the growth of related areas of knowledge and business.

Biomedical engineering includes medical imaging, equipment for diagnosis and surgery and devices to repair or replace damaged tissues and organs. As diseases are prevented or controlled, we live longer and wear out more, so the need for repairs is expanding.

The drug industry has long made chemical drugs to treat disease but it is becoming progressively harder to find new compounds that are effective without serious side effects. Biopharmaceuticals are derived mainly from the proteins that normally control body chemistry and are driving a new branch of the drug industry. Because they need to be grown rather than made, there is a need for new developments in engineering of the fermentation processes that are used. We can call this area biochemical engineering.

The need to move toward a more sustainable society is driving an interest in materials that can be grown rather than mined. "Grown" might mean farmed in the traditional way but also can include renewable energy, biofuels and other alternatives to non-renewable industry. These areas include biomimetics, bio-inspired processes and bio-derived materials.

A final thread is biomechanics and bioengineering in the sense of studying how the body functions as a mechanical, electrical and chemical system. These basic studies are important for dealing with a rapidly changing world.

Because of this broad spread of topics, bioengineering programs vary greatly. At UMassD our focus areas derive from our history and our area. Because of our strong roots in research on textiles and other soft materials we have a strong emphasis on the materials aspects of all the areas above. Because Massachusetts is very involved in the development of biomedical devices. The University also has a long history of environmental studies and our approach to biochemical engineering derives from this as well as from biopharma.

The undergraduate program outline is here. The first two years of the program lay the groundwork in Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Mathematics and Physics. BNG 101 introduces bioengineering by surveying the growing areas of technology and the changes we expect in the next 20 years.

Introduction to the courses


Introduction to the courses

The undergraduate program outline is here. The first two years of the program lay the groundwork in Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Mathematics and Physics. BNG 101 introduces bioengineering by surveying the growing areas of technology and the changes we expect in the next 20 years.

In the junior year, BNG 315 Biomechanics discusses the engineering of the human body, what is it made from and how does it work. BNG 316 Biomaterials follows this by discussing the materials we use to repair the body, from hip implants to artificial hearts.

BNG 312, Biotransport addresses the biochemical engineering questions of how we get nutrients, drugs and oxygen to cells, and remove waste products, in the body and in medical devices. It also addresses industrial systems including cellular bioreactors for drug production, energy or materials production.

BNG 318, Biomeasurement and control, tackles the problems of making measurements on biological systems and interpreting them. This area applies both to medical measurements and to the industrial side of bioengineering.

BNG 311, Experimental Design, underpins all of this. People are diverse and complex so trials of medical devices must be designed very carefully and the statistical analysis of the data must be very rigorous. The role of government regulation, in the form of the FDA, and the importance of careful ethical analysis come into this course.

BNG 423, Biosystems analysis and design rounds out the bioengineering core by using computer modeling methods to tackle the complexity of cells and organisms. Any change that targets one disease or condition will modify many other functions. A change to a cell growth system may cause quite unexpected results.

Laboratory work runs through the whole course. BNG411 introduces students to a range of advanced instrumentation and lays the groundwork for a capstone project under the supervision of one of the faculty. The final year also includes specialization courses that let the student develop expertise in one or two of the specialist areas within bioengineering.


Introduction to the faculty


Introduction to the faculty


Professor Fan will teach the Biomaterials course with the collaboration of affiliate faculty Professor Warner and Professor Chalivendra. They will draw on research in the department on making fibrous tubes for vascular grafts and supports for growth of skin cells for skin grafts.

Professor Kim does research on cell-based systems for cleaning waste water and will teach the biotransport class in collaboration with Professor Yang who has developed bioreactors and microbial fuel cells in his research program.

Professor Kim will also lead the Biomeasurement course in collaboration with Professor Chen who has worked extensively on ultrasound imaging and measurement in medical and industrial systems.

Professor Calvert specializes in biomimetics and tissue engineering

Professor Bhowmick does research on tissue engineering

Professor Ferreira specializes in cellular growth factors and biomineralization


Course matrix and course descriptions

The matrix and details of courses are here




UMass Dartmouth has full accreditation by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

The bioengineering program will seek accreditation by ABET which also gives accreditation to other engineering programs at the University. This process cannot occur until the first students have graduated from the program but accreditation may be awarded retrospectively to students who graduate in the year before accreditation. ABET is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation and accredits degree programs, not institutions.


Admission and transfer information


Admission and transfer information

General university information for potential freshmen is here

For transfer students is here

Transfer students are welcome for Fall 2012


We welcome transfer students for Fall 2012


The new Bioengineering department plans to initiate Junior level teaching with a group of transfer students in the Fall of 2012. At that point the first cohort of freshmen will be just in the sophomore year.


Since you will be the first cohort to graduate in the new program we cannot promise you a smoothly-running system but we can promise you an interesting two years and a lot of personal attention.


To be eligible to transfer in your should have had 2 semesters of chemistry with labs, two semesters of biology, two semesters of physics, mathematics with at least two semesters of calculus and 5 of engineering.


The details of which of your courses can be transferred for credit would need to be formally worked out for your own case but you will be able to judge equivalences from the course descriptions given here.