Undergraduate Study

Professor James S. Duncan
Director of Undergraduate Studies

Yale has a long history of excellence in Biomedical Engineering. At Yale, Biomedical Engineering is a tightly-integrated, interdisciplinary department, composed of faculty members from both the School of Engineering & Applied Science and the School of Medicine. The department has two primary missions: first, to educate students in this field of study, which is important to the prosperity of the nation and, second, to develop bioengineering and bioimaging technologies that bring advances in molecular biology, cellular biology, and human physiology to the clinical environment. To accomplish this mission, the department hosts research projects in biomedical imaging, biomechanics, and biomolecular engineering.

Yale’s initiative in Biomedical Engineering involves the creation of enhanced opportunities and facilities for student research projects in key areas of biomolecular engineering: particularly drug delivery, tissue engineering, and biomaterials. These areas intersect with our existing research strengths in biomedical imaging (which emphasizes image processing, computer vision, and functional imaging) and biomechanics (particularly cardiovascular mechanics and orthopedics).

Laboratories and offices in several research buildings house these programs. The Magnetic Resonance Research Center (MRRC), the Positron Emission Tomography Center (PET), and the Vascular Biology and Therapeutics occupy laboratory space on the Medical School campus: all house the work of many Biomedical Engineering faculty and students. The Malone Engineering building contains research space for faculty members and students, as well as the Biomedical Engineering departmental offices.

Upper level undergraduate students in Biomedical Engineering select from classroom experiences in engineering, biology, and medicine and are introduced to independent research projects through one or more semester-long “Special Projects,” which are designed together with faculty advisors. Juniors will take core courses on the fundamentals of Biomedical Engineering, focused on mathematical modeling of transport processes and physiological systems. They will also take a full-year laboratory covering a number of current topics in the field. In addition, students will take at least three courses in a particular track (biomedical imaging, biomechanics, and biomolecular engineering), as well as a Senior Seminar to give them a broader perspective of the fields. Finally, it is important to note that as part of their Senior (Special) Project, Yale Biomedical Engineering students will select from research projects that combine Engineering and clinical medicine to address a range of important problems with direct impact on human health care such as:

  • the design of biomaterials and reactors for tissue engineering,
  • the non-invasive imaging of function in human tissue,
  • the measurement and modeling of cardiovascular mechanics,
  • the use of drug delivery systems to treat cancer and infectious disease,
  • the analysis of mechanisms of blood flow control,
  • the use of integrated anatomical and functional imaging to guide neurosurgical procedures.

This is an exciting time for biomedical engineers at Yale as they are uniquely trained to create new knowledge at the interface of the biological and physical sciences, and Yale has a superb, interactive, and well-supported environment for exploring this interface. This knowledge will lead to the development of technology that both enhances human health and reduces health care costs to society.

For detailed curriculum information, visit Biomedical Engineering Undergraduate Curriculum Information