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Department of Biological Engineering

Educational Programs

Undergraduate Programs

Biological Engineering launched the new BE SB degree in the 2005-2006 Academic Year. The curriculum for the degree was developed by the BE Undergraduate Programs Committee and was approved by a unanimous vote of the MIT faculty in February, 2005 as the first new major course of study in 39 years. The curriculum for the new SB comprises nine new core subjects that define Biological Engineering as a discipline at the undergraduate level. Most of these subjects may also be taken as part of the BME Minor degree. Please contact the BE Academic Office, Undergraduate Programs at be-sb@mit.edu or (617) 452-2465 for more information.

If you are a pre-freshman planning a visit to MIT, we recommend that you arrange a visit through the BE Undergraduate Coordinator.

Biological Engineering offers two undergraduate minor programs:

Graduate Program

In addition to an MEng Program in Biological Engineering and the Leaders for Global Operations Program (an S.M. in Biological Engineering and a MBA or S.M in Management from MIT Sloan), Biological Engineering offers a Ph.D. program with two tracks, one in Bioengineering and one in Applied Biosciences. BE is also a lead department for the Computational and Systems Biology (CSB) Ph.D., a collaborative effort involving BE, Biology, and Electrical Engineering & Computer Science. As illustrated by the faculty research interests listed below, these tracks complement one another as a reflection of the importance of approaching quantitative biological and biomedical problems from the two perspectives. Keep in mind that students in one track or the other may pursue research projects in any area by agreement with their research supervisor.

Bioengineering Research

  • Molecular, Cell & Tissue Biomechanics
  • Cell & Tissue Engineering
  • Biomolecular Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biological Imaging & Functional Measurement
  • Biological & Physiological Transport Phenomena
  • Biophysics

Applied Biosciences Research

  • Genetic Toxicology
  • Metabolism of Drugs & Toxins
  • Microbial Pathogenesis
  • Carcinogenesis
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Molecular Pharmacology & Toxicology

Bioengineering & Applied Biosciences Research

  • Genomics, Proteomics and Glycomics
  • Discovery & Delivery of Molecular Therapeutics
  • Macromolecular Biochemistry & Biophysics
  • Computational Modeling of Biological Systems
  • Nanoscale Engineering of Biological Systems

The mission of Biological Engineering (BE) is to educate leaders, and to generate and communicate new knowledge at the interface of engineering with biology. Our focus at this interface is on combining quantitative, physical, and integrative principles with advances in modern biology.

Graduate level training in BE prepares students to do basic research that will:

  • Increase understanding of how biological systems function in terms of physical/chemical mechanisms, and of how they respond when perturbed by external factors including medical therapeutics and environmental agents.
  • Create novel technologies based on this understanding for a spectrum of applications emphasizing, but not limited to, human health from both medical and environmental perspectives.
  • Generate new biology-based paradigms for solving problems in non-biological applications of science and engineering.

Please contact be-acad@mit.edu for additional information regarding BE educational programs.


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