Bioengineering, also referred to as biomedical engineering, is the application of engineering tools and approaches to solve problems in biology and medicine. It is a broad and growing field that draws upon rapid advances in technology and computation, as well as on unprecedented growth in basic biological understanding.

This program concentrates on making measurements and analyzing complex data. It is challenging since it will provide a solid foundation in engineering, and also give in-depth exposure to the life sciences. The impact of engineering and computer science on biomedicine is wide, ranging from improved medical diagnosis through advanced imaging technologies, to enhanced understanding in rehabilitation gained by computational models of limb movement. With the growing demand for better health care, the need for bioengineers is expected to be high.

The multidisciplinary training in this field will make graduates competitive for a position in government or the biomedical industry. It also enables students to continue their education in graduate school or medical school.

The bachelor's program in Bioengineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Concentrations

The concentrations in the BS Bioengineering program are:

  • Biomedical Signals and Systems (BMSS)
  • Bioengineering Healthcare Informatics (BHI)
  • Bioengineering Prehealth (BMPH)

The BMSS concentration emphasizes the systems and methods for acquisition and analysis of biomedical signals whereas the BHI concentration focuses on the management, analysis and visualization of data related to biomedical and healthcare applications. The BMPH concentration prepares students for continued studies as a health care professional in medicine, dentistry, or veterinary medicine.

Educational Objectives

The educational objectives of the Bioengineering undergraduate program are the following:

  • Alumni electing to work after graduation (for example, in industry or government) will contribute to the development or application of new products or processes that are of benefit to society.
  • Alumni electing to continue their formal education will have completed their studies, or will have made demonstrable progress toward an advanced degree in their chosen profession.
  • Alumni will communicate and perform effectively as members or leaders of multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Alumni will continue to enhance their skills and knowledge in a quest for further professional development.

Policies

For policies governing all undergraduate degrees, see AP.5 Undergraduate Policies.

 

Advising

All Bioengineering students are required to meet with their departmental academic advisor prior to course registration each semester. Students who are considering bioengineering as their major must meet with the Volgenau School of Engineering Coordinator of Undergraduate Advising in 2500 Nguyen Engineering Building.

Change of Major

See Change of Major for more information. 

Termination from the Major

No math, science, or Volgenau School of Engineering course that is required for the major may be attempted more than three times. Those students who do not successfully complete such a course within three attempts will be terminated from the major. Undeclared students in the Volgenau School who do not successfully complete a course required for a Volgenau School major within three attempts will also be terminated. For more information, see AP.5.2.4 Termination from the Major.

Once a student has attempted one of these courses twice unsuccessfully, the third attempt must be no later than the next semester of enrollment, excluding summers. Failure to take the course at that time will result in termination from the major. If the student is unable to take the course when required, the student may request an extension to a future semester; extensions require approval of the student's advisor, their department, and the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs. The deadline for extension requests is the add deadline for the semester in which the course is required.

Students who have been terminated from a Volgenau School of Engineering major may not register for a Volgenau School course without permission of the department offering the course. This applies to all undergraduate courses offered by the Volgenau School except IT 104 Introduction to Computing (Mason Core) and STAT 250 Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core).

A student may not declare any major in the Volgenau School of Engineering if the student has previously met the termination criteria for that major at any time, regardless of what the student's major was at the time the courses were taken.

Writing-Intensive Requirement

Mason's writing-intensive requirement is satisfied by BENG 304 Modeling and Control of Physiological Systems and BENG 495 Bioengineering Senior Seminar II in which faculty provide feedback on student writing assignments.

Banner Code: VS-BS-BIOE

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 120-135

Students must complete each BENG, BIOL, ECE and ENGR course presented as part of the required credits for the degree with a grade of C or better. 

Required Courses

Bioengineering

BENG 101Introduction to Bioengineering3
BENG 220Physical Bases of Biomedical Systems3
BENG 301Bioengineering Measurements3
BENG 302Bioengineering Measurements Lab1
BENG 304Modeling and Control of Physiological Systems3
BENG 320Bioengineering Signals and Systems3
BENG 380Introduction to Circuits and Electronics3
BENG 381Circuits and Electronics Lab1
BENG 420Bioinformatics for Engineers3
BENG 491Bioengineering Senior Seminar I1
BENG 492Senior Advanced Design Project I (Mason Core)2
BENG 493RS: Senior Advanced Design Project II (Mason Core)2
BENG 495Bioengineering Senior Seminar II1
Total Credits29

Biology

BIOL 213Cell Structure and Function (Mason Core)4
BENG 313Physiology for Engineers3
Total Credits7

Computer Science

CS 112Introduction to Computer Programming (Mason Core)4
CS 211Object-Oriented Programming3
or CS 222 Computer Programming for Engineers
Total Credits7

Mathematics and Statistics

MATH 113Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core)4
MATH 114Analytic Geometry and Calculus II4
MATH 203Linear Algebra 13
MATH 213Analytic Geometry and Calculus III3
MATH 214Elementary Differential Equations3
STAT 344Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists I3
Total Credits20
1

All students in the Bioengineering program are required to register for the specific section of MATH 203 that includes a 1-hour recitation with Matlab applications.

Physics

PHYS 160University Physics I (Mason Core)3
PHYS 161University Physics I Laboratory (Mason Core)1
PHYS 260University Physics II (Mason Core)3
PHYS 261University Physics II Laboratory (Mason Core)1
Total Credits8

Engineering

ENGR 107Introduction to Engineering (Mason Core)2
Total Credits2

Communication

COMM 100Public Speaking (Mason Core)3
or COMM 101 Interpersonal and Group Interaction (Mason Core)
Total Credits3

Concentrations

Select one concentration and complete all requirements therein.

Concentration in Bioengineering Healthcare Informatics (BHI)

Bioengineering
BENG 322Health Data Challenges3
or HAP 436 Electronic Health Data in Process Improvement
Chemistry
Select 4 credits from the following:4
General Chemistry for Engineers (Mason Core)
General Chemistry I (Mason Core)
and General Chemistry Laboratory I (Mason Core)
Health Administration & Policy
HAP 301Health Care Delivery in the United States3
HAP 360Introduction to Health Information Systems3
Information Technology
IT 214Database Fundamentals3
or HAP 361 Health Databases
Social and Behavioral Science
Choose one of the following:3
Contemporary Microeconomic Principles (Mason Core)
Basic Concepts in Psychology (Mason Core)
Introductory Sociology (Mason Core)
Technical Electives
Select 9 credits from the following:9
Introduction to Biomaterials
Engineering Design and Fabrication
Engineering Design Studio
RS: Mentored Research in Bioengineering
Introduction to Biomechanics
Introduction to Tissue Engineering
Medical Image Processing
Nanotechnology in Health
Translation and Entrepreneurship in Bioengineering
Special Topics in Bioengineering
Neural Engineering
Medical Imaging
Biomaterials
Advanced Biomechanics
Electromagnetic Theory
Embedded Systems and Hardware Interfaces
Robot Design
Applications of Discrete-Time Signal Processing
Classical Systems and Control Theory
Introduction to Robotics
Material Science
Total Credits28

Students may choose to substitute one of the technical electives with one of the following:

BIOL 305
BIOL 306
Biology of Microorganisms
and Biology of Microorganisms Laboratory
4
CHEM 313
CHEM 315
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry Lab I
5
CS 310Data Structures3
CS 444Introduction to Computational Biology3
CS 445Computational Methods for Genomics3
NEUR 327Cellular, Neurophysiological, and Pharmacological Neuroscience3
PSYC 372Physiological Psychology3

Concentration in Bioengineering Prehealth (BMPH)

Biology
BIOL 483General Biochemistry4
And select one from the following:3-4
Biology of Microorganisms
and Biology of Microorganisms Laboratory
General Genetics
Developmental Biology
and Lab for Developmental Biology
Animal Physiology
Introduction to Virology
Advanced Human Anatomy and Physiology I
Chemistry
CHEM 211
CHEM 213
General Chemistry I (Mason Core)
and General Chemistry Laboratory I (Mason Core)
4
CHEM 212
CHEM 214
General Chemistry II (Mason Core)
and General Chemistry Laboratory II (Mason Core)
4
CHEM 313Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM 314Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 315Organic Chemistry Lab I2
CHEM 318Organic Chemistry Lab II2
Electrical and Computer Engineering
ECE 301Digital Electronics3
Psychology and Sociology
PSYC 100Basic Concepts in Psychology (Mason Core)3
SOCI 101Introductory Sociology (Mason Core)3
Technical Electives
Select 6 credits from the following:6
Introduction to Biomaterials
Engineering Design and Fabrication
Engineering Design Studio
RS: Mentored Research in Bioengineering
Introduction to Biomechanics
Introduction to Tissue Engineering
Medical Image Processing
Nanotechnology in Health
Translation and Entrepreneurship in Bioengineering
Special Topics in Bioengineering
Neural Engineering
Medical Imaging
Biomaterials
Advanced Biomechanics
Electromagnetic Theory
Embedded Systems and Hardware Interfaces
Robot Design
Applications of Discrete-Time Signal Processing
Classical Systems and Control Theory
Introduction to Robotics
Material Science
Total Credits40-41

Concentration in Biomedical Signals and Systems (BMSS)

Chemistry/Physics
Choose one of the following:4
General Chemistry for Engineers (Mason Core)
General Chemistry I (Mason Core)
and General Chemistry Laboratory I (Mason Core)
Select one sequence of Mason Core Natural Science4
University Physics III (Mason Core)
and University Physics III Laboratory (Mason Core)
General Chemistry II (Mason Core)
and General Chemistry Laboratory II (Mason Core)
Social and Behavioral Science
Choose one of the following:3
Contemporary Microeconomic Principles (Mason Core)
Basic Concepts in Psychology (Mason Core)
Introductory Sociology (Mason Core)
Electrical and Computer Engineering
ECE 301Digital Electronics3
Technical Electives
Select 12 credits from the following:12
BENG 341Introduction to Biomaterials3
BENG 390Engineering Design and Fabrication3
BENG 392Engineering Design Studio1
BENG 395RS: Mentored Research in Bioengineering1-3
BENG 406Introduction to Biomechanics3
BENG 421Introduction to Tissue Engineering3
BENG 437Medical Image Processing3
BENG 441Nanotechnology in Health3
BENG 451Translation and Entrepreneurship in Bioengineering3
BENG 499Special Topics in Bioengineering4
BENG 525Neural Engineering3
BENG 538Medical Imaging3
BENG 541Biomaterials3
BENG 550Advanced Biomechanics3
ECE 305Electromagnetic Theory3
ECE 350Embedded Systems and Hardware Interfaces3
ECE 370Robot Design3
ECE 410Applications of Discrete-Time Signal Processing3
ECE 421Classical Systems and Control Theory3
ECE 450Introduction to Robotics3
ME 313Material Science3
Total Credits86-88
1

Students may substitute CHEM 212 and CHEM 214 for PHYS 262 and PHYS 263.

Students may choose to substitute one of the technical electives with one of the following:

BIOL 305
BIOL 306
Biology of Microorganisms
and Biology of Microorganisms Laboratory
4
CHEM 313
CHEM 315
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry Lab I
5
CS 310Data Structures3
CS 444Introduction to Computational Biology3
CS 445Computational Methods for Genomics3
NEUR 327Cellular, Neurophysiological, and Pharmacological Neuroscience3
PSYC 372Physiological Psychology3

Additional Mason Core

Students must complete all Mason Core requirements not fulfilled by major requirements. BENG 492 Senior Advanced Design Project I (Mason Core) and BENG 493 RS: Senior Advanced Design Project II (Mason Core) are approved to meet the Synthesis/Capstone requirement.

Written Communication6
Literature3
Arts3
Western Civilization/World History3
Global Understanding3
Total Credits18

Honors in the Major

The Department of Bioengineering offers an Honors Program that creates a community of outstanding scholars in bioengineering who share a commitment to learning, service, and leadership. The Program is based on the bioengineering curriculum, and is distinct from the University Honors Curriculum.

Eligibility

Entry to the Honors Program is by invitation, extended to students with a declared major in Bioengineering who have completed a minimum of 30 credit hours at Mason with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50 and a minimum GPA of 3.20 in each prior semester.

Honors Requirements

The Honors Program is challenging and designed for the highly motivated student with interests in any of the bioengineering concentrations. Honors students must satisfy requirements in addition to those of the normal BS degree in bioengineering, including:

  • Successful completion of BENG 395 RS: Mentored Research in Bioengineering
  • Six credits must be earned by taking a combination of BENG 5XX/6XX level courses. With permission of the Department of Bioengineering, 5XX/6XX level courses from other Volgenau School of Engineering programs may be considered.

Once admitted to the Honors Program, students must remain in good standing and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50 and a minimum GPA of 3.20 in each semester for all courses counting toward the BS degree in bioengineering, maintain continuous enrollment working towards the degree, and abide by the Mason Honor Code.

BS (selected)/Statistical Science, Accelerated MS

Overview

Highly-qualified students in selected BS programs (see below) have the option of obtaining an accelerated Statistical Science, MS. Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master’s degree.

For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Admission Requirements

Students enrolled in a BS degree in any one of the Volgenau School major areas, in the Mathematics, BS program from the College of Science, or in the Economics, BS program from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences may apply to this option if they have earned 90 undergraduate credits with an overall GPA of 3.00. Criteria for admission are identical to criteria for admission to the Statistical Science, MS program, which include successful completion of the following Mason courses each with a grade of C or better:

MATH 113Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core)4
MATH 114Analytic Geometry and Calculus II4
MATH 213Analytic Geometry and Calculus III3
MATH 203Linear Algebra3
or MATH 321 Abstract Algebra
STAT 250Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core)3
or STAT 344 Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists I
STAT 346Probability for Engineers3
or MATH 351 Probability

Accelerated Option Requirements

Students must complete all credits that satisfy requirements for the BS and MS programs, with 6 credits overlapping with grades of B or better in two 500-level STAT courses selected from STAT 544 Applied Probability, STAT 554 Applied Statistics I, and STAT 574 Survey Sampling I.

Degree Conferral

Students must apply the semester before they expect to complete the BS requirements to have the BS degree conferred. In addition, at the beginning of the student's final undergraduate semester, students must complete a Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition form that is submitted to the Office of the University Registrar and Graduate Recruitment and Enrollment Services. At the completion of MS requirements, a master's degree is conferred.

BS (selected)/Data Analytics Engineering, Accelerated MS

Overview

Qualified undergraduate students have the option of obtaining an accelerated Data Analytics Engineering, MS with a concentration in predictive analytics. 

For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Admission Requirements

While no specific undergraduate degree is required, Mason undergraduate students majoring in systems engineering or any other engineering, business, computer science, statistics, mathematics, or information technology may apply to this option if they have earned 90 undergraduate credits with an overall GPA of at least 3.30.

For the predictive analytics concentration, students must submit evidence of:

  • Satisfactory completion of courses in calculus, applied probability and statistics, and a scientific programming language.
  • Familiarity with analytical modeling software, such as spreadsheets or math packages.

Accelerated Option Requirements

Students must complete all credits that satisfy requirements for the BS and MS programs, with six credits overlap chosen from the courses in the following table. For BS candidates, these graduate courses replace the corresponding undergraduate courses listed. The undergraduate version of these courses may not be applied toward the MS degree.

Undergraduate Graduate  
SYST 473 SYST 573 Credit may not be received for both courses.
OR 441 OR 541 Credit may not be received for both courses.

For the predictive analytics concentration, any other 500-level course may be applied to both the undergraduate and graduate degrees with approval of the advisor and SEOR department chair.

OR 541 Operations Research: Deterministic Models will substitute for the OR 531 Analytics and Decision Analysis core requirement in the MS DAE program.

Degree Conferral

Students must apply the semester before they expect to complete the BS requirements to have the BS degree conferred. In addition, at the beginning of the student's final undergraduate semester, students must complete a Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition form that is submitted to the Office of the University Registrar and the VSE Graduate Admissions Office. At the completion of MS requirements, a master's degree is conferred.

Bioengineering, BS/Data Analytics Engineering, Accelerated MS

Overview

Highly-qualified students in the Bioengineering, BS have the option of obtaining an accelerated Data Analytics Engineering, MS with a concentration in Bioengineering.

Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master's degree. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Admission Requirements

Students in the Bioengineering, BS program may apply to this option if they have earned 95 undergraduate credits with an overall GPA of at least 3.30. Students must have successfully completed CS 222 Computer Programming for Engineers and BENG 320 Bioengineering Signals and Systems. Criteria for admission are identical to criteria for admission to the Bioengineering concentration of the Data Analytics Engineering, MS program.

Accelerated Option Requirements

Students must complete all requirements for the BS and MS programs, with 6 credits overlap.

Students register for 6 credits of 500-level basic courses in place of the corresponding BENG 400-level courses required for the undergraduate degree requirements. Specifically, students must register for:

BENG 501Bioengineering Research Methods3
CS 504Principles of Data Management and Mining (in place of BENG 420)3
Total Credits6

Note:

Students are permitted to take additional graduate basic courses in their undergraduate programs. In such cases, those classes cannot be counted toward requirements for the MS.

Degree Conferral

Students must apply the semester before they expect to complete the BS requirements to have the BS degree conferred. In addition, at the beginning of the student's final undergraduate semester, students must complete a Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition form that is submitted to the Office of the University Registrar and the VSE Graduate Admissions Office. At the completion of MS requirements, a master's degree is conferred.