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Bioengineering Major Program

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2023-24 Bioengineering Undergraduate Program Requirements

Understanding and interfacing with complex living systems is at the heart of bioengineering with applications ranging from advancing human health to promoting environmental sustainability. The mission of Stanford's Department of Bioengineering is to create a fusion of engineering and the life sciences that promotes scientific discovery and the development of new biomedical technologies and therapies through research and education.

The Department of Bioengineering is jointly supported by the Schools of Medicine and Engineering. The Bioengineering (BIOE) major enables students to embrace biology as a new engineering paradigm and apply engineering principles to medical problems and biological systems.

Students who obtain a BS in BIOE will obtain a solid background in the basic sciences (chemistry, physics and biology) and mathematics. They will take three engineering fundamentals courses including an introductory bioengineering course and computer programming. Starting in the sophomore year, BioE students will begine to take a series of core classes to gain essential knowledge to pursue a career in bioengineering and will then have the opportunity to pursue elective courses suited to their own interests.

Bioengineering students have a wide variety of options upon graduation. Many will continue on to graduate school or medical school. Others will choose to work in biotechnology, government service, medical device, medical imaging, or other medical and non-medical industries. Other BioE graduates may choose to pursue advanced degrees in business or law or follow a different career path.

NOTE: Students intending to apply to medical school will need to take additional advanced science courses. While we offer advice regarding pre-medical requirements, it is important to schedule an advising appointment with a pre-medical advisor in Sweet Hall to learn more about how to best prepare for admission to medical schools and the MCAT.

Research Experience for Undergraduates

Our Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program offers Stanford students the opportunity to work closely with a faculty member and their research groups on advanced research topics during the Summer Quarter. Applications are due early February. Interested students should check the BioE website for announcements.

BIOE Program Sheet  Excel or PDF

See Explore Degrees for list of BIOE (and all other School of Engineering) program requirements.

Components of BIOE

All BioE students take courses to get a solid foundation to prepare them for the study of bioengineering. Most of the math and science courses are typically taken during freshman and sophomore year; see BioE 4-Year Plans for details.

Mathematics and Science

MATH 19/ 20/21Calculus (or 10 units AP Calculus or placement via SU exam)10
Additional Math (minimum 14 units; CME courses strongly recommended). Select one of the following sequences
Recommended: CME 100
& CME 102
Vector Calculus for Engineers
     and Ordinary Differential Equations for Engineers
& MATH 53
Linear Algebra and Differential Calculus of Several Variables
     and Ordinary Differential Equations with Linear Algebra
Select one of the following:
CME 106
or STATS 110
or STATS 141
Introduction to Probability and Statistics for Engineering (Highly Recommended)
Statistical Methods in Engineering and the Physical Sciences




Science (all courses listed; 26 units minimum)
CHEM 31M (formerly 31X)Chemical Principles (or CHEM 31A and CHEM 31B)5/10
CHEM 33Structure and Reactivity5
BIO 82 or BIO 83Genetics or Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (recommended)4
BIO 84Physiology4
PHYSICS 41 or 41EMechanics (or AP equivalent)(PHYS 41E by placement or application only)4
PHYSICS 43Electricity and Magnetism (or AP equivalent)4


Technology in Society (TIS)

BIOE 131Ethics in Bioengineering  (satisfies WIM requirement for major)3

Engineering Fundamentals (3 courses)

ENGR 80Introduction to Bioengineering (same as BIOE 80; required)4
CS 106AProgramming Methodology (or CS 106AB or 106X; required)5
Fundamentals Elective; see UGHB for options; only one CS class allowed to count toward Fundamentals requirements3-5

BIOE Core: (27 units) All BIOE students are required to take a common set of depth courses

Physical BiologyTitleUnits
BIOE 42Physical Biology of Cells4


Lab CoursesTitleUnits
BIOE 44Fundamentals for Engineering Biology Lab4
BIOE 123Optics and Devices Lab4


Systems Biology & Physiology CoursesTitleUnits
BIOE 101Systems Biology3
BIOE 103Systems Physiology and Design4


Senior Project CoursesTitleUnits
BIOE 141ASenior Capstone Design I4
BIOE 141BSenior Capstone Design II4


BIOE Depth Electives: Three courses from approved list (minimum of 8 units)
BIOE 122Biosecurity and Bioterrorism Response (same as PUBLPOL 122)4-5
BIOE 201CDiagnostic Devices Lab3
BIOE 209Mathematical Models of Biological Systems3
BIOE 211Biophysics of Multi-cellular Systems and Amorphous Computing3
BIOE 212Introduction to Biomedical Informatics Research Methodology3
BIOE 214Representations and Algorithms for Computational Molecular Biology3-4
BIOE 217Translational Bioinformatics4

BIOE 220 or


Introduction to Imaging and Image-based Human Anatomy OR

Anatomy for Bioengineers

BIOE 221Physics and Engineering of Radionuclide3
BIOE 222Multimodality Molecular Imaging in Living Subjects I4
BIOE 224Multimodality Molecular Imaging in Living Subjects II4
BIOE 225Ultrasound Imaging and Therapeutic Applications3
BIOE 227Functional MRI Methods3
BIOE 231Protein Engineering3
BIOE 260Tissue Engineering4
BIOE 279Computational Biology: Structure and Organization of Biomolecules3
BIOE 281Biomechanics of Movement3
BIOE 291Principles and Practice of Optogenetics for Optical Control of Biological Tissues3
BIOE 301AMolecular and Cellular Engineering Lab2
BIOE 301BClinical Needs and Technology 
BIOE 301EComputational Protein Modeling Lab2
BIOE 301PResearch Data and Computation2

Honors Option

Students who qualify are encouraged to apply for the BIOE Honors program at the end of their junior year. Students who are accepted spend their senior year exploring a research topic in-depth and writing an honors thesis.  Honors programs allow undergraduates with strong academic records and enthusiasm for independent research to engage in a significant project leading to a degree with departmental honors. This program provides a unique opportunity for qualified BioE majors to conduct independent research at an advanced level with a faculty mentor and submit a final thesis. Students should review program deadlines via the Bioengineering Honors Program

Coterm Deadlines and Contact

DeptApplication DeadlinesContactsWebsite

December 1, 2023 

for  Spring 2023-2024

Carly Buckholz

Eric Giudice emgdice@stanford.eduu…

Instructions for Declaring Major in Bioengineering (BIOE-BS)

Declaring a BioE major consists of the following steps:

  1. Login to Axess and request to major in Bioengineering. Do not choose the Honors option in Axess unless you have already submitted an Honors application to the department.
  2. Download or print a copy of your unofficial Stanford transcript from Axess.
  3. Download a BioE program sheet. You must choose a program sheet from a year you were enrolled at Stanford. Enter “AP” instead of a grade for any course waived due to AP credit. Please note: when completing the program sheet, include courses you plan to take as well as those you have already taken.
  4. Complete the BIOE Declaration webform, found on the Declaration website
  5. Meet with your assigned advisor to discuss the program, review your 4-year plan, and have him/her sign your completed program sheet (this meeting can be virtual).
  6. Email the completed and signed program sheet to program sheet to BioE Student Services Officer, Eric Giudice,

When your major is approved in Axess, you will be notified via e-mail.