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Biomedical Engineering, Bachelor

  • Application Deadline
  • 48 months
University rank #55 (ARWU) Nashville, TN, United States
Biomedical engineering (BME) is the application of methods and concepts from engineering science and engineering technology to scientific and practical problems of medicine and health care. Biomedical engineers develop and design biomedical devices, systems, and processes. 
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Course Work/Recently Offered Courses

The Vanderbilt biomedical engineering program is a pioneer in its field, offering the bachelor of engineering degree in biomedical engineering since 1968. The program was one of the first of its kind and remains one of the most well respected programs nationally. The undergraduate program is accredited by Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), Inc.

The undergraduate program in Biomedical Engineering (BME) requires a total of 127 credit hours which includes 12 hours of BME electives, 12 hours of technical electives, 6 hours of open electives and 18 hours of liberal arts electives in addition to core science and engineering courses. The 12 hours of BME electives gives each student the chance to dig deep into an area at the cutting edge of BME. Electives may include biophotonics, imaging, tissue engineering, bioMEMS, nanobiotechnology, and many other topics.  Within the BME core, each student will engage in a multidisciplinary capstone senior design project, which culminates in a school wide design presentation shortly before commencement.

In addition to a BME major, students may elect to double major in a variety of disciplines within Engineering (such as electrical or chemical engineering) as well as in any of the three other undergraduate schools. Students may also choose to combine some of their elective hours to pursue a minor in engineering management, sciences, humanities or the social sciences. The BME program facilitates completion of all pre-medical requirements without any course overload. Alternatively graduates may pursue advanced degrees in BME or other programs or seek jobs in industry with the support of the Center for Student Professional Development.

Honors program

With approval of the Honors Program Director, junior and senior students in biomedical engineering who have achieved a minimum quality point ratio of 3.5 may be accepted into the undergraduate honors program. Students in the program take at least six credit hours of graduate BME courses, which can be counted toward the 127-hour undergraduate degree requirements or for graduate school credit. They also complete a two semester-long research project, with a related report and presentation.  Maintaining a quality point ratio of 3.0 and an overall 3.5 GPA earns the designation of an honors graduate.

Undergraduate Research

An established BME department and the immediate proximity of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, a top research institution and principal referral center for physicians and patients throughout the region, provide a tremendous wealth of opportunities for student involvement in BME research. Students can seek out research opportunities at any point in their undergraduate career beginning in the freshman year on a voluntary basis. However, this involvement can occur through elective courses only in their junior or senior year.

Other Special Opportunities

Internships: Internships are possible with a wide variety of employers both on and off campus. During the school year, employment is often available in on-campus laboratories. The Vanderbilt Center for Student Professional Development has a summer intern program in which students work for different companies.  Additional opportunities for students can be found through individual pursuit of research laboratories, hospitals and other corporations.  Such experiences strengthen the understanding of concepts learned in the classroom, teach valuable workplace skills, and provide insight into future career options.

Study Abroad: BME students can take engineering courses abroad during the academic year at ten universities on four continents, and that number keeps growing. With proper advance planning, it requires no extra time to graduate. Financial aid still applies and credits and grades transfer back to VU. Study abroad may also be arranged during the summer or Maymester through a variety of programs. Details may be found through Global Education Office (GEO). During the past five years, 76 BME students have taken advantage of this opportunity at universities around the world including Ireland, Germany, Brazil, and Singapore, among others.

Fits with Pre-med Requirements: The undergraduate program in biomedical engineering is designed so that students can easily complete the requirements for medical school admission and at the same time receive an engineering education that can lead to a stimulating career in Biomedical Engineering. The courses required for medical school admission fit within the BME curriculum without any overload. Over the past five years, our students have had a 79% acceptance rate to medical school.

After Vanderbilt

Each year, VU BME graduates 50-70 Bachelors of Engineering in BME, including several double majors.  Roughly half of our graduates enter the job market, taking positions with employers focused on medical equipment, medical computing, biomedical imaging, regulatory affairs, biomedical research, software, other engineering, and teaching as well as government and military service. About 25% of our graduates choose to go on to graduate or professional school, most in biomedical engineering with a few in management (MBA), law, other engineering, or life science programs. About 25% of our graduates attend medical school.

Our students receive excellent job offers, go to prestigious graduate schools, and attend top medical schools. Some of the places our students have gone to include:  Baker Hughes, Carnegie Foundation, Cerner, Clearview Healthcare Partners, Dexco Polymers, Epic, Huron Consulting, Invivolink, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Manhattan Associates, National Instruments, Qgenda, St. Jude Medical, Texas Instruments, Vanderbilt, UC Los Angeles, Texas A&M , Cornell, Clemson, U Sheffield, U Southern California, U Alabama, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences Medical School, Medical University of South Carolina, Baylor College of Medicine, U Missouri, Saint Louis U, New York University Medical School and Harvard.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 48 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Courses include
  • Introductory Biomechanics
  • Biomedical Materials
  • Physiological Transport Phenomena
  • Undergraduate Research
  • Undergraduate Projects
  • Systems Physiology
  • Neuromuscular Mechanics and Physiology
  • Biomedical Engineering Laboratory
  • Bioelectricity
  • Foundations of Medical Imaging
  • Analysis of Biomedical Data
  • Signal Measurement and Analysis
  • Biomedical Instrumentation
  • Design of Biomedical Engineering Devices and Systems I-II
  • Principles and Applications of BioMicro-ElectroMechanical Systems (BioMEMS)
  • BioMEMS Laboratory
  • Therapeutic Bioengineering
  • Biological Basis of Imaging
  • Quantitative and Functional Imaging
  • Modeling Living Systems for Therapeutic Bioengineering
  • Nanobiotechnology
  • Nanobiotechnology Laboratory
  • Introduction to Biomedical Optics
  • Senior Engineering Design Seminar

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120.

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Get a free IELTS practice test

General Requirements

  • All required parts of either the Common Application or the Universal College Application.
  • $50 nonrefundable application fee, or fee waiver for qualified students
  • Official high school transcript
  • Counselor letter of recommendation
  • Two academic teacher recommendations
  • Standardized Test Results: SAT or ACT with Writing
  • Official results of the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic if applicable
  • A completed College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile, if applicable

Tuition Fee

  • International

    48600 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 48600 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
  • National

    48600 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 48600 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Nashville

  • 1183 - 2200 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


We make three important commitments to U.S. Citizens and eligible non-citizens to ensure that students from many different economic circumstances can enroll at Vanderbilt:

  • First:  Since talent and promise recognize no social, cultural, economic, or geographic boundaries, our admissions process is need-blind for U.S. Citizens and eligible non-citizens. 
  • Second: Vanderbilt will meet 100% of a family’s demonstrated financial need. 
  • Third:  Financial aid awards do not include loans. Instead of offering need-based loans to undergraduate students, Vanderbilt offers additional grant assistance. This does not involve income bands or "cut-offs" that impact or limit eligibility.

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


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