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 Bioengineering Course Curriculum and Descriptions

You’ll take 120 credits including:

  • 58 credits in engineering (including general, mechanical, electrical and bioengineering)
  • 8 credits in biology
  • 7 credits in chemistry
  • 47 credits in an array of course work: Math (15), Physics (8), English (9), University Studies (15)

Select the curriculum below based on the year you entered the program. Check with your faculty advisor if you are unsure which requirements you are following.

Bioengineering Course Curriculum

BNG Curriculum 2012 to present(pdf)
follows University Studies requirements.

BNG Curriculum 2011-12 (pdf)
follows General Education requirements.


Bioengineering Course Curriculum
Flow Charts

BNG Flowchart 2012 to present (pdf)
follows University Studies requirements.

BNG Flowchart 2011-12 (pdf)
follows General Education requirements.

 *Older versions are archived.

Premedicine Track (or "Premed")

Students can easily fulfill the requirements for medical school admission and at the same time receive an outstanding engineering education.  Download the BNG Premed Curriculm 2011.

Learn about student research opportunities at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

BS-to-MD program

Learn about the UMass Medical School Baccalaureate MD Pathway Program.     


BNG Core Course Descriptions

BNG 101 Introduction to Bioengineering, Three Credits

An overview of bioengineering including several of the subdisciplines – biomaterials, biomechanics, medical devices and prosthetics, tissue engineering, imaging, cellular engineering, bioelectricity, etc.  The course covers design and introduces simple but powerful quantitative tools used by bioengineers, such as units and units’ conversions, physics, mechanics, and scaling laws.  The theme of the course is that the design of organisms reflects the inescapable laws of the physical world in which it evolved, a world that imposes constraints and provides opportunities.  Frequent demonstrations and real examples are provided.

BNG 201 Sophomore Seminar, One Credit

A Journal Club style seminar course to expose bioengineering majors to the current advances in the field. We will survey all fields of bioengineering such as, cell and tissue engineering, bioenergy, biocatalysis, bioinformatics, biodevices, microfluidics, nanodevices and biomaterials.  Students will read scientific articles published, discuss the contents presented in the articles, write review of the articles they read, and present their findings in class.  The paper presentations will be supplemented with outside speakers.

BNG 311 Experimental Design & Analysis, Three Credits

A study of the basic and advanced concepts in the systematic design of experiments and the statistical methods for analyzing them.  Bioengineering experiments such as single factor, factorial, fractional factorial, and Taguchi designs are explored.  Statistical procedures such as t tests, multiple comparisons, ANOVA, regression analysis and response surface are utilized to study data from clinical trials, bioengineering research and biomedical device design and manufacturing processes.  Upon completion of the course the student has sufficient statistical tools to construct and analyze a capstone project.

BNG 312: Biotransport, Three Credits

An introduction to the phenomenon of biotransport in biological living systems.  Emphasis is placed on principles and application of fluid and mass transport processes in cell, tissue and organ systems.  Topics include introduction to physiological fluid mechanics in the circulation and tissue, fundamentals of mass transport in biological systems, effects of mass transport and biochemical interactions at the tissue and cell scales, principles and significance of chemical and biochemical reaction kinetics, and fluid and mass transport in organs and medical devices.

BNG 315 Biomechanics, Three Credits

The relevant deformations and mechanical properties of materials that are used in biological systems, both natural and prosthetic materials.  Particular materials discussed include living collageneous soft tissues with viscoelastic properties, such as skin, ligaments or tendons, and blood vessels.  Hard materials include bone and teeth.  Prosthetic materials used in hips, knees and elsewhere in the human body are also part of the course content.  Biological fluids such as synovial fluid may be discussed.

BNG 316 Biomaterials, Three Credits

An introduction to biological and biomedical materials.  The course discusses the properties and applications of commonly used biomaterials made from metals, ceramics, polymers and composites.  It also covers new developments in biomaterials research and commercialization.  The interactions between cells/tissues and biomaterials are presented.  The discussion on biocompatibility and biodegradability of natural and synthetic biomaterials are provided.  Replacements of body’s soft and hard tissues, such as heart valve prostheses, total artificial hearts, ear and eye implants, bone repairs, hip joint replacements, and dental implants are explored. 

BNG 318 Biomeasurement and control, Three Credits

A fundamental understanding of medical instrumentation together with measurements in the growing fields of molecular biology, cellular biology, and tissue engineering. This course introduces students to measurements, covers the necessary electronics, and then clinical chemistry measurements, cell counting and characterization, measurements on the nervous system, heart and circulation, lung function, kidney function and medical imaging.

BNG 321 Quantitative Anatomy and Physiology for Design, Three Credits

A foundation for the study of advanced topics in bioengineering, with a focus on learning terminology and concepts essential to the understanding of human physiology. This course will broadly cover the subject of human anatomy and physiology while applying quantitative methods to analyze functional physiology from an engineering viewpoint.

BNG 411: Bioengineering Laboratory, Three credits

An introduction to Bioengineering laboratory safety, data acquisition and analysis.  The focus is on the measuring tools used in the junior level Bioengineering courses, for example, oscilloscopes, function generators, circuits etc, and softwares used for engineering analysis and data processing e.g. modeling softwares for fluid dynamics and for mass transfer.  Biomechanics experiments using the Instron including projects aimed at understanding how people do everyday tasks are emphasized.  Topics on sensors, actuators and ethics are covered.

BNG 423 Biosystems Analysis & Design, Three Credits

Mathematical modeling of biosystems.  Lumped and distributed models of electrical, mechanical, and chemical processes applied to cells, tissues, and physiological systems. Computer projects in bioengineering design.

EGR 497 and 498 Capstone Project I and II: Bioengineering, Two + Two Credits

A lab skill and knowledge application course.  The course starts with EGR 497 and ends with EGR 498 in two consecutive semesters with 2 credits in each semester.  Students will, either alone or as a team, conduct a project related to real bioengineering problems with some design components.  The project can be either initiated by the student or part of a larger project.  The project includes activities ranging from presenting literature review to writing a formal thesis.  It is expected that the project, when is completed successfully, can lead to a peer-reviewed paper.  Students are also required to attend seminars, lab and group meetings, and share lab maintenance duties.  When the capstone project is part of a larger project, a graduate student is usually assigned as mentor. 


BNG Specialization Course Descriptions

BNG 412 Molecular Bioengineering, Three Credits

Understanding of molecular recognition and therapeutics based largely on chemical thermodynamics, kinetics and driving forces.  Students will learn how biological systems recognize and combine with highly specific sites, or chemical entities, and how scientists have learned to manipulate recognition processes to advance molecular bioengineering.

BNG 414 Biosoft Materials and Fluids, Three Credits

The properties, structures and rheology of soft condensed matter and complex fluids such as polymer melts, colloids, gels, liquid crystals and amphiphiles. Basic thermodynamics and dynamics of soft materials and complex fluids found in biological systems are discussed.   A wide range of applications in biosoft materials are also exemplified.

BNG 415 Biomedical Fibrous Materials and Composites, Three Credits

Structure and properties of functionally advanced and intelligent fibrous structures and polymeric fiber reinforced composites for biomedical applications. Also studied are polymeric material systems for coating, adhesives and polymeric matrices, and fibrous scaffold structures including nanofiber webs, and reinforcing performs for composites such as knitted or woven fabrics, 3-D fabrics, nonwovens, braided and knotted structures. Properties of the resulting structures and their application areas such as nanobiocomposites, biomedical fibrous composites, and other multifunctional products are considered.

BNG 416  Biomedical Devices, Three Credits

Construction and functional principles of medical devices.  An array of medical devices and perhaps implants will be reverse engineered to reveal their basic design, construction and operating principle.  The final project will be to develop your own design for a device or implant.

BNG 417 Nanotechnology in Bioengineering Systems, Three credits

An introduction to the basic concepts of nanosciences and the application of nanotechnology in biology and medicine. Fundamentals of design in nanoscience and nanotechnology are explored.  Ethical and environmental implications in the rapid development of nanotechnology and molecular probe engineering are also discussed.

BNG 418 Biological Interactions on Materials Surfaces, Three Credits

Biocompatibility, the interaction between cells and materials, adsorption processes of biopolymers on surfaces, the physics and chemistry of animal cell surfaces, binding sequences, mechanical effects and the cytoskeleton, mechanical effects on stem cell differentiation.  This course also focus on applications to implantable sensors, pacemakers, hard and soft tissue prosthetics and supports in cell culture.

BNG 419 Biomimetics: Biologically Inspired Technologies, Three Credits

Biomimetics - human-made processes, substances, devices or systems that imitate nature. This course focuses on substances prepared and engineered to meet biomedical uses. The biomimetic process of self-assembly; bioengineering of biological materials; structure hierarchy; imaging, identification and characterization of biological and biomimetic materials; biomimetic electronics, optics, actuation and sensing.

BNG 420 Case Studies in Bioengineering, Three Credits

Research, analysis and discussion of a few important developments in Bioengineering.  The cases will be selected from a variety of sources – seminal legal cases, patents and inventions.

BNG 421 Cell and Tissue Engineering, Three Credits  

Principles of growth of normal functioning biological tissues and organs outside the human body that serve as replacement body parts.  Students will also learn how living cells within a body differentiate and grow, that is, stem cell and related competitive technologies.

BNG 422 Research in Bioengineering, Three Credits

Independent research in the broadly defined field of Bioengineering.  The focus may be more on the underlying science that the student typically experiences in a BNG course.

BNG 424 Human Organogenesis, Three Credits

Understanding development of the human body from gametogenesis through birth.  Students will learn about totipotent, pluripotent and mutipotent cell populations, and how cells differentiate and adopt specific fates.  They will learn how each major organ system develops throughout embryogenesis, and how this knowledge can be used as a template for tissue engineering applications

BNG 495 Independent Study, Variable Credits
Conditions and hours to be arranged.
Prerequisites: Upper-division standing; permission of instructor, department chairperson, and college dean
Study under the supervision of a faculty member in an area not otherwise part of the discipline’s course offerings.

BNG 496 Directed Study, Three Credits
Conditions and hours to be arranged.
Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor, department chairperson, and college dean
Study under the supervision of a faculty member in an area covered in a regular course not currently being offered.