Vol. 3 No. 1 September 2004

President's Welcome 

BE Major Developments
BE vs. BME

MIT Bio, Eng Options
Prof. Schauer: BME Program

BMES-J&J Research Award
Internship Experience Abroad
Prefrosh Visit

Letter from Berkeley
Letter from UCSD

MIT BMES Chapter Goals
MIT BMES 10th Anniversary

Printable Version

The BioTECH Quarterly

"Bio" + "Engineering" Options: BE Major & much more

In addition to the anticipated Biological Engineering major, there are many other “Bio” + “Engineering” options offered at MIT. Here is a sample of student perspectives from different departments:

Dawn Wendell ’04 ~ Mechanical Engineering & Biology, BME Minor
Yin Ren ’06 ~ Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, BME Minor
Priya Shah ’05 ~ Chemical Engineering, BME Minor
Issel Lim ’05 ~ Biology, BME & Toxicology Minor
Christina Fuentes ’05 ~ Brain & Cognitive Sciences, BME Minor
Brian Chase ’06 ~ Biology & Biological Engineering (planned)

BME Minor augments pure science education with engineering

"I got a taste of MIT’s engineering excellence and in the process reconfirmed my decision to focus on science."

By Christina Fuentes ‘05, Brain & Cognitive Sciences, BME Minor

   Just when you’re relieved to have selected a college, you’re seemingly forced to decide what you want to do with the rest of your life. No matter how many people tell you it’s not the end of the world, selecting a major is still frightening. The advice that was given to me, and the advice I now pass on, is to select a major you’re interested in without concerning yourself too much with future uncertainties.

    I had always been interested in psychology and neuroscience but was terrified of committing myself to a field with no set career path; brain and cognitive sciences (BCS) seemed perfect for me, yet I was hesitant. The looming question on my mind, and most likely on the minds of many incoming freshmen, was “How am I going to make money after I graduate?” I decided to go for it and see how I liked my classes. To help make myself more well-rounded I chose to minor in biomedical engineering (BME).

    I consider myself extremely lucky to have chosen the correct major/minor combination on my first try. I love my major and will be applying to PhD programs in neuroscience this year. I also found that people who are more passionate about pure science and research can still benefit from a BME minor. Minoring in BME has provided me with a great general biology foundation that I otherwise wouldn’t have gotten with just my BCS curriculum. The engineering classes that were required for the minor were also beneficial – I got a taste of MIT’s engineering excellence and in the process reconfirmed my decision to focus on science.

    While trying to survive your freshman year and at the same time plan your field of study for the next three years, I suggest doing a few things to help make the process smoother. Educate yourself on the different majors and minors you’re interested in and on what each of them offers – base your decision on what program focuses most on your interests.

    Don’t be scared of the possibility of change – rather than being frightened by the thought of possibly switching majors, you should take comfort in the reversibility of your decisions. And above all else, be excited – you’re at MIT, surrounded by endless opportunities.

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