Jun 16, 2024  
Rensselaer Catalog 2022-2023 
Rensselaer Catalog 2022-2023 [Archived Catalog]

Biomedical Engineering

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In lieu of the general core engineering program presented earlier, students who identify biomedical engineering as their discipline may follow the program outlined below. This curriculum requires a minimum of 128 credits.

First Year


  •  HASS Elective Credit Hours:4
    (See footnote 1 below)


  • HASS Elective- Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 1 below)

Second Year

Third Year

The Arch Summer Semester*

* For students who have applied for and been granted an exception, The Arch Summer courses would be taken during the fall semester. For listing of the exception process go to: http://info.rpi.edu/arch/students/#ExceptionProcess.

  • HASS Elective - Credit Hours:  4
    (See footnote 1 below)
  • Free Elective  - Credit Hours: 3
    (See footnote 4 below)

Fall OR Spring

  • BME Tech Elective I - Credit Hours: 3
  • Free Elective - Credit Hours: 3
    (See footnote 4 below)

Fourth Year


  • BME Tech Elective II - Credit Hours: 3
  • Free Elective- Credit Hours: 3
    (See footnote 4 below)
  • HASS Elective - Credit Hours: 4


  • BME Tech Elective III - Credit Hours: 3
  • BME Tech Elective IV - Credit Hours: 3
  • Free Elective  - Credit Hours: 3
  • HASS Elective  - Credit Hours: 4
    (See footnote 1 below)

The minimum number of credit hours for the degree is 128.



1 Placement of humanities and social science electives can be varied with free electives. 

2    For a list of courses that satisfy the Professional Development – Technical Issues & Solutions requirement, refer to the link “Professional Development Courses” on the Registrar’s “Academic Planning” web page. It should be completed before the capstone design course.

3 BMED 4010  may be taken in either Spring Year 3, Fall Year 4, or as part of the Summer Arch.

4  The minimum total credit hours of free electives is twelve (12), with no restrictions on the included number of 3 and 4 credit hour courses.

5 Capstone is a writing-intensive course.

6 ENGR 1400  may be taken as alternative to ENGR 1200 . This course may be taken either semester.


HASS Core Program: School of Engineering Requirements

Undergraduate students must have an area of focus in their HASS studies that is accomplished by completing an approved 12-credit depth concentration, known as the HASS Integrative Pathways.  Some students will satisfy a modified version of this requirement.


The HASS Integrative Pathways were created to enhance students’ HASS Core curriculum by bringing intentionality and depth to the requirements. The themes of the pathways vary in their intentionality; some are interdisciplinary, while others focus on a single discipline, providing students with significant options for their coursework. In addition to providing a more in-depth focus to the HASS Core, many Integrative Pathways can be transformed into minors with relative ease.


The complete list of pathway titles, descriptions, and associated courses can be found https://info.rpi.edu/hass-pathways/pathways-topics. Information about compatible minors can also be found on this page.

Core BMED Courses

All of these courses are required for a BME degree and they need to be taken for a letter grade. No substitutions with other courses offered at Rensselaer are allowed.


BME Technical Elective

Four courses need to be taken to satisfy the BME Technical Elective requirement. These courses need to be 3 or 4 credit hour courses and they have to be taken for a letter grade. The BME Technical Elective courses can be chosen from the list provided by the department in its undergraduate student handbook or they can be any formal 4000-level BMED course, i.e., no “Studies in BME”, “Topics in BME” or research courses. At least two of the four BME Technical Elective courses must be 4000-level or higher. It is not possible to take the same course at the 4000- and 6000-level, nor is it possible to get credit twice for a course (once as a free elective and once as a technical elective). BME Technical Electives can be taken to either add depth or to add breadth to the degree.

BME Technical Electives and Specialization Areas

To fulfill the BME Technical Elective requirement, students can take any combination of four courses from the list of approved technical elective courses provided that at least two of the four courses are 4000-level or higher. However, students may want to specialize in certain areas such as biomaterials, biomechanics, bioimaging, biomedical data science, or medical devices. The courses associated with each specialization area can be found in the BME undergraduate student handbook; note that it is not necessary to choose a formal specialization to earn a BME degree, but that this is optional for students with interest in specific areas.

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