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)

A wealth of bioengineering opportunities: look beyond the obvious

"Choosing a major outside of bioengineering gives you an opportunity to explore other interests, and enhance your bioengineering classes through the resources of an additional department."

By Dawn Wendell ‘04, Mechanical Engineering & Biology, BME Minor

    For those entering MIT with an interest in Bioengineering, choosing a major is often difficult because of the lack of a Bioengineering degree. But instead of a disadvantage, this is a great opportunity because choosing a major outside of bioengineering gives you an opportunity to explore other interests, and enhance your bioengineering classes through the resources of an additional department.

Numerous departments have majors with a reduced number of classes required beyond the core classes to allow students to focus in other areas. Whether it is course 2A, 10B, 7A, 8B, or others, these majors make it easier to find room in your schedule for classes in the Biomedical Engineering minor.

    So with all these choices, how do you choose a major? First of all, remember that you will be taking a lot of classes in this area, so look though the Course Guide and see which majors offer classes that interest you.  Also, talk to students and professors to get information about what sorts of research opportunities or job experience you can get with that degree. Also, some departments offer classes in the spring that are geared towards freshmen who are considering that major.

    Make your choice based on your interests and passions. However, also be reassured that your decision is not set in stone. I began my career at MIT interested in Bioengineering but I found my own path through the Mechanical Engineering department. I love building things, and the Mechanical Engineering classes let me develop my interest in design. However, I always found classes in the biology department intrigued me, so I took many of those too.

    Then I began doing a UROP in the BioInstrumentation Lab after junior year, and I absolutely loved it! Although the lab is officially in the Mechanical Engineering department, it combines many of the areas I find fascinating, like engineering, biology, and computer science. It was the perfect way to study in the Bioengineering field in my own way.

    Although all of these class and major choices can be a bit intimidating, they are a great chance for you to tailor your degree to your interests and leave MIT with a well-rounded experience. Your education is truly what you make of it!

Dawn Wendell graduated in 2004 with degrees in Course 2 and Course 7A, with a minor in Biomedical Engineering. She is beginning her Masters in Course 2 in the fall.

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