About BE

News & Events






Writing Lab


Department of Biological Engineering

BE SB Degree Requirements

Biological Engineering offers an undergraduate curriculum that emphasizes engineering analysis, design, and synthesis approaches to modern biology at the molecular to systems level. Completion of the curriculum leads to the Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering. The program prepares students for careers in industries ranging from pharmaceutical and biotechnology to materials synthesis, microelectronics, biomedical devices, and ecology in both basic research positions and project-oriented product development positions. The program also prepares students for graduate study or further professional study.

The required core curriculum includes a strong foundation in biological and biochemical sciences integrated with engineering throughout the entire core. In the freshman year, students should complete freshman biology, chemistry, physics, and calculus. In the sophomore year, students should complete their science foundation courses: Genetics, Thermodynamics, Organic Chemistry, Differential Equations, Computer Science & Programming, and an Introductory Biological Engineering Lab. Students who wish to pursue the BE SB should plan to complete the sophomore fall term subject 20.110J/2.772J Thermodynamics of Biomolecular Systems or the spring term subject 7.10/2.111J Physical Chemistry of Biomolecular Systems. Students should also take Differential Equations by the end of sophomore year, and complete the required programming subject in either fall or spring of sophomore year. The curriculum for spring term of sophomore year also includes an introductory biological engineering laboratory subject that provides context for the lecture subjects and provides a strong foundation for undergraduate research in biological engineering through UROP or summer internships.

The advanced subjects required in sophomore, junior and senior years introduce additional engineering skills in lecture and laboratory subjects and culminate in a senior design project. All subjects have a theme of molecular-to-systems level analysis, design and synthesis and include a strong integration with biology fundamentals. Advanced subjects also include a range of restricted electives that allow students to develop more advanced expertise in the following thematic areas: Biomechanics & Biophysics, Biological Instrumentation, Synthetic Biology & Macromolecular Design, Computational & Systems Biology, Human Pathophysiology, Neurobiology, Pharmacology & Toxicology; Cell & Tissue Engineering, and Microbial & Ecological Systems. Many of the advanced subjects are jointly taught with other departments in the School of Engineering or School of Science and may fulfill degree requirements in other programs.

The BE SB Degree comprises four thematic areas: Science and Mathematics Core; Biological Engineering Core; Laboratory Subjects; and Restricted Electives & Design. In addition to freshmen chemistry, physics, calculus, and biology, the curriculum includes:

  • 5.07 -or- 7.05 Biochemistry
  • 5.12 Organic Chemistry
  • 18.03 Differential Equations -or- 3.016 Mathematical Methods for Materials Scientists and Engineers
  • 7.03 Genetics
  • 7.06 Cell Biology
  • 20.109 Laboratory Fundamentals in Biological Engineering
  • 20.110J/2.772J -or- 7.10J/2.111J Thermodynamics of Biomolecular Systems
  • 6.00 Introduction to Computer Science and Programming -or- 6.01 Introduction to EECS I
  • 20.310J/2.797J/3.053/6.024J Molecular, Cellular and Tissue Biomechanics
  • 20.320 Analysis of Biomolecular & Cellular Systems
  • 20.330/2.793J/6.023J Fields, Forces and Flows in Biological Systems
  • 20.309 Biological Engineering II: Instrumentation and Measurement
  • 20.380 Biological Engineering Design

Plus two Restricted Electives from the following thematic areas:

  • Biomechanics and Biophysics
  • MicroElectrical-Mechanical System (MEMS), Biological Instrumentation, Imaging and Measurement
  • Synthetic Biology & Macromolecular Design
  • Computational & Systems Biology
  • Microbial and Ecological Systems
  • Pharmacology & Toxicology
  • Cell & Tissue Engineering
  • Human Pathophysiology
  • Neurobiology

The complete list of subjects can be found here.


Copyright © 2013 MIT Department of Biological Engineering. All Rights Reserved. Site designed by Academic Web Pages.