University of Wisconsin Madison College of Engineering
Aerial photo of Lake Mendota, the north lakeshore of the UW-Madison campus, looking east toward downtown Madison and Lake Monona in  the distance.


Looking east toward the downtown Madison skyline, with Lake Monona in the distance. Major campus facilities on Lake Mendota include the Education Building, Science Hall, Memorial Union Terrace, and Bascom Hill. Photo: Jeff Miller.

The Department of Biomedical Engineering offers an ABET accredited bachelors of Science (B.S) degree in BME. The BME undergraduate degree program emphasizes engineering design and hands-on learning in preparation for employment in biomedical industries and for graduate study. Novel aspects of the undergraduate program include design projects throughout the curriculum supervised by a faculty mentor and a committee of affiliated faculty, clinicians and biomedical industry professionals; industry cooperatives/internships; continuous advising; flexibility in engineering specialization areas; student involvement in program evaluation and improvement; and an option to complete an M.S. degree in just one year after the B.S. degree. The BME curriculum will also enable a student to prepare for medical school in four years.


The design experience and close advising characterize the undergraduate program. Students take an advising/design project course every semester during the sophomore through senior years. Previous semester projects are available online. Real-world biomedical engineering projects are selected by students from a client list proposed by faculty throughout the university, particularly from medicine and the life sciences, by individuals with specific biomedical challenges in the community (submit your need or project idea here), and by engineers in industries.


Groups of students interact with these clients throughout the semester. All groups are required to continuously refine the specifications for their projects and to build prototypes by the end of the semester. Each student team (typically four students) is assigned to an individual faculty member who serves as their advisor/consultant/mentor to guide them through design projects culminating in a capstone design of a real-world project that lasts up to three semesters and ends in the senior year.


This novel approach gives the students an exceptionally balanced education by incorporating clinical and biomedical industry issues including human and animal study considerations, technical communications, FDA regulations, ethics, and intellectual property management. Students can elect to have optional coop experiences with local or national medical device manufacturers, hospitals, or laboratories.