B.S. Degree in Bioengineering
The mission of the Bioengineering program reflects the mission of Maine’s Land Grant University, specifically to provide teaching, research and public service in the discipline of Bioengineering. The goal of the Bachelor of Science program is to prepare students for employment or graduate education in fields associated with clinical, therapeutic, and diagnostic applications of Bioengineering. Students are given high quality undergraduate engineering instruction directed toward the instrumentation and techniques employed to analyze biological systems and processes, the challenges and methodologies associated with manipulating biological systems, and the current and future applications of Bioengineering.
The program educational objectives are that in the time frame of three to five years after graduation our students will:
- Hold positions that utilize their engineering training and have advanced in their job responsibilities, or be pursuing postgraduate education.
- Be working as engineering professionals, act ethically by adhering to standards and being committed to the health and safety of employees and the general population.
- Be pursuing innovative solutions to current societal challenges and continue to improve themselves through a variety of learning opportunities.
- Contribute to their employer and society by working effectively in the global economy, contribute to professional, civic, or governmental organizations, be leading or working collaboratively in teams, and be communicating with diverse groups.
Upon completion of the program, our students will have:
- An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering.
- An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data.
- An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs.
- An ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams.
- An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems.
- An understanding of professional ethical responsibility.
- An ability to communicate effectively.
- The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context.
- A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning.
- A knowledge of contemporary issues.
- An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.
The field of Bioengineering encompasses a broad range of topics, all of which focus on the interface between biology and engineering. Bioengineers use engineering skills to design devices or develop methods that interface with biological systems to benefit society. For example, Bioengineers might be involved in the design of artificial organs, development of new methods to detect or treat cancer, production of devices to measure biological agents, or formulation of materials for the controlled release of drugs. Bioengineers work at the forefront of research and industry and frequently address clinical, diagnostic, and therapeutic applications of engineering. Students entering UMaine’s Bioengineering B.S. program typically have a strong interest in science and problem solving. The curriculum provides thorough training in the fundamentals of engineering, mathematics and science, combined with additional elective coursework in engineering, humanities, and social sciences. Employing this knowledge base, students develop the skills to engineer solutions to real world problems.
Bioengineering majors interested in production of biofuels, biopharmaceuticals and biopolymers may take advantage of a Bioprocess Engineering Concentration. Additionally, UMaine’s College of Engineering offers a Biomedical Engineering Minor, a five-year BS-MBA degree with the Maine Business School, as well as a minor in Engineering Leadership and Management.
Students intending to apply for admission to Medical School may consider completing a Minor in Pre-Medical Studies. Minimal coursework in addition to the Bioengineering curriculum is required.
Degrees are awarded upon satisfactory completion of 132 credits with a cumulative grade point average of not less than 2.0 in Bioengineering (BLE/CHB) courses.
Program Enrollment and Graduation Data
The UMaine Office of Institutional Research annually compiles statistical data for all programs across campus. Enrollment and graduation data for all Engineering programs can be found at:
Summer Internships, Undergraduate Research Experiences, and the Cooperative Work Experience Program Option in Bioengineering
UMaine faculty members help students obtain summer internships in leading research and diagnostics development laboratories throughout New England. Internships with these companies and research institutions typically take place in the junior and senior years of the program.
Students are encouraged to undertake undergraduate research experiences in the laboratories of the department faculty. UMaine Bioengineering professors are all highly active and accomplished researchers. Research projects have included the development of nanoprobes for detection and imaging of cancer; creation of model cellular membranes for the study of membrane-protein interactions, molecular biosensors for detecting pathogens and toxins, and improving tissue-implant compatibility. Undergraduates are encouraged to participate in projects such as these to gain hands-on experience in the field, either for course credit, or as paid employees.
Students with satisfactory academic standing at the end of their fourth semester may elect to participate in the “Co-Op” program. This fifteen month program involves two fourteen-week sessions of paid, supervised professional experience as a junior engineer. The Co-Op sessions are typically scheduled during alternating semesters of the third year with a semester of coursework between the sessions. Students are able to participate in the Co-Op experience and still graduate in four years by rescheduling their coursework and taking classes during a summer term. Participating students must register for six credits which, in general, cannot be substituted for the courses required for the BS degree.
The B.S. degree is suitable for entry-level engineering careers and as preparation for graduate-level study in engineering or scientific disciplines. The degree also serves as an excellent foundation for admission to medical degree programs. For students who wish to pursue advanced postgraduate studies in this area, UMaine also offers a Master of Science degree in Biological Engineering, in addition to a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering through the Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering.