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Biomechanical Engineering Major Program

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2023-24 Program Requirements

The Biomechanical Engineering major integrates biology and clinical medicine with engineering mechanics and design. Research and teaching in Biomechanical Engineering focuses on biomechanics and mechanobiology at cellular to body length scales, with applications relevant to neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and cancer physiology and pathology.

This degree introduces fundamental biological and biophysical principles while developing strengths in traditional engineering areas, specifically mechanical engineering.  Primarily geared toward the students’ interests, this major offers a range of courses for students interested in specific fields of biology and mechanical engineering such as design, biomechanics, and medicine. 

The Biomechanical Engineering major provides a fundamental understanding of mechanics in the fields of biology and medicine. However, it is not normally recommended as a terminal degree.  This major is well suited for those interested in future graduate studies in bioengineering, mechanical engineering, medicine, and related areas.  The course of study allows students to satisfy many premedical, pre-dental, or pre-paramedical requirements. 

BME Program Sheet, 4-Year Plans, and Flowcharts

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


43 Units Mathematics and Science

Math: 21 units minimum; CME 100 & CME 102 (or MATH 51 + 53) and a calculus-based statistics course listed in SoE-approved courses list (CME 106; STATS 110, 116, or 141) required required (STATS 60/160 may not be used).  While either the MATH or CME sequence will satisfy BME requirements, the CME sequence is strongly recommended. Students who take the MATH sequence are strongly encouraged to take CME 192 before encountering courses that expect MATLAB experience.

Science: 22 units minimum; must include both Chemistry and Physics with a depth (3 quarters) in at least one area. 

  • CHEM 31M (formerly 31X) (or CHEM 31A+B). Depth in chemistry can be fulfilled with CHEM 31A/B (or CHEM 31M) and CHEM 33
  • BIO pre-med or HUMBIO Side A Core: Two quarters of BIO pre-med core (from 82, 83, 84, 86; BIO 83 is recommended before 82 or 86) or A side of two quarters of HUMBIO core (HUMBIO 2A, 3A, 4A)
  • PHYSICS 41, or PHYSICS 41/43/45 to fulfill physics depth

Technology in Society: BIOE 131 will satisfy both the TiS and WIM requirements. If an alternative TiS course is taken, the choice must be on the SoE approved list the year it is taken; see Courses page for options.

Engineering Fundamentals:  2 courses required

ENGR 14Introduction to Solid Mechanics3

ENGR 80/BIOE 80 or


Introduction to Bioengineering or

Introduction to Materials Science, Biomaterials Emphasis



Writing in the Major (WIM)

WIM may be fulfilled by performing full-time BME research over the summer and enrolling in ENGR 199W the following Autumn (required forms available in the ME student services office). Part-time research during the academic year that spans multiple quarters on a single topic may be acceptable. The alternative way to fulfill WIM is to take BIOE 131 as the TiS course.

Engineering Depth

ME Core Requirements: The Engineering Depth requirements for the BME major include a core set of introductory mechanical engineering courses, a set of more advanced mechanical engineering courses selected from a prescribed list, and a set of BME depth courses (generally taken during the senior year).  BME course offerings vary somewhat year-to-year. As most BME depth courses are intended both for advanced undergraduates and first year graduate students, some courses have implicit expectations for prerequisite knowledge.  Students should be aware of expected prerequisites and plan their schedules accordingly.  Note that more advanced (300 level) BME courses may be used with permission of the instructor and the student’s advisor.

ENGR 15Dynamics3
ME 30Engineering Thermodynamics (previously ENGR 30)3
ME 70Introductory Fluids Engineering3
ME 80Mechanics of Materials3

ME Depth Options: Choose 4 courses (12 units minimum) from

ENGR 105  Feedback Control Design3
ME 102Foundations of Product Realization3
ME 103Product Realization: Design and Making4
ME 104Mechanical Systems Design3
ME 123 or CME 108Computational Engineering4
ME 131Heat Transfer4
ME 133Intermediate Fluid Mechanics3
ME 152Material Behaviors and Failure Prediction3
ME 161Dynamic Systems, Vibrations and Control 3-4

BME Depth Sequence: Choose two courses (6 units min) from list below. Alternative courses may be allowed but only if petitioned to the advisor for use in advance of being taken.

BIOE 260Tissue Engineering 3
CME 209Mathematical Modeling of Biological Systems3
ME 234 Introduction to Neuromechanics3
ME 235Biotransport Phenomena3
ME 281 Biomechanics of Movement3
ME 283Introduction to Biomechanics3
ME/BIOE 285Computational Modeling in the Cardiovascular System3
ME 287Mechanics of Biological Tissues3

Check prerequisites for these courses; also check schedule since some may not be available in a given year

BME Capstone Options: Choose

ME 170A/170B, or BIOE 141A/141B, or Research Capstone: 8 units of ME191 research over 3 quarters under the supervision of Biomechanical Engineering faculty. Research requires approval of advisor and requires submission of a thesis, which will be evaluated by BME faculty. Students that choose the ME170A/170B option are advised to take ME102, ME103, and ME104 for their ME depth options. Completion of the research capstone requires submission of a thesis, which will be evaluated by BME faculty. Note that research for the capstone cannot overlap with research for the honors thesis

Additional math, science or engineering courses as needed to bring unit total to 99

To access BME Program Sheets, go to the Program Sheets page; you may use a PS from any year you are enrolled as an undergraduate at Stanford.

Instructions for Declaring a Major in Biomechanical Engineering

  1. Download and complete a BME program sheet from the Plans & Programs webpage. Please include courses you plan to take as well as those you have already taken. If you plan on applying AP or IB credit to your program, review the School of Engineering Transfers-AP-Exceptions webpage. Credits must be approved prior to declaration.
  2. Complete the “ME Declaration: Advisor Assignment” Google Form if you have not already identified an advisor and need one assigned to you.
  3. Arrange a meeting with your Major Advisor to discuss your program and have them approve/sign your completed Program Sheet and BME Declaration form.
  4. Complete the “ME Declaration” Google Form. The following documents must be uploaded: Signed Program Sheet, Signed Declaration Form, Unofficial Transcript.

Note: Students can find the BME Declaration form and updated links to the necessary Google Forms on the Mechanical Engineering Student Intranet at Declaring Mechanical Engineering.