Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering (BSBE) Degree

The program leading to the BSBE degree is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET, https://www.abet.org.

Program Learning Outcomes (Student Outcomes) for the BSBE Degree 

Upon completing the BSBE degree, students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.
  2. An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.
  3. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
  4. An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts.
  5. An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives.
  6. An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
  7. An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

Program Educational Objectives for the BSBE Degree

The overall goal of the Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering (BSBE) degree is to prepare graduates to succeed in professional careers by equipping them with the conceptual and technical expertise sought after by top graduate and medical schools, as well as by companies seeking technical skills in bioengineering. Recognizing that graduates may embark on a number of different educational and career paths, the Program Educational Objectives (PEOs) that graduates are expected to exhibit or achieve with the Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering (BSBE) degree from Rice University are:

  1. Graduates demonstrate technical and/or professional skills, which may include engineering problem-solving, scientific inquiry, and/or engineering design, to solve challenging problems in bioengineering and related fields.
  2. Graduates are accomplished at communicating and working collaboratively in diverse work environments.
  3. Graduates seeking further education at graduate, medical or other professional schools find appropriate levels of success in admission to and progression through these programs. Graduates entering professional careers find appropriate career progression and success.

​Requirements for the BSBE Degree 

For general university requirements, see Graduation Requirements. Students pursuing the BSBE degree must complete:

  • A minimum of 37 courses (96 or 98 credit hours, depending on course selection) to satisfy major requirements.
  • A minimum of 131 credit hours to satisfy degree requirements.
  • A minimum of 20 courses (48 credit hours) taken at the 300-level or above.

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this major. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the major’s academic advisor, or where applicable, the department's Director of Undergraduate Studies. (Course substitutions must be formally applied and entered into Degree Works by the major's Official Certifier.) Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.

Summary

Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Bioengineering96 or 98
Total Credit Hours Required for the BSBE Degree131

Degree Requirements

Core Requirements
Biosciences
BIOC 201INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY 23
BIOC 341CELL BIOLOGY3
Chemistry
CHEM 121GENERAL CHEMISTRY I 13
or CHEM 111 AP/OTH CREDIT IN GENERAL CHEMISTRY I
CHEM 123GENERAL CHEMISTRY LABORATORY I 11
or CHEM 113 AP/OTH CREDIT IN GENERAL CHEMISTRY LAB I
CHEM 122GENERAL CHEMISTRY II 13
or CHEM 112 AP/OTH CREDIT IN GENERAL CHEMISTRY II
CHEM 124GENERAL CHEMISTRY LABORATORY II 11
or CHEM 114 AP/OTH CREDIT IN GENERAL CHEMISTRY LAB II
CHEM 211
CHEM 213
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY I
and ORGANIC CHEMISTRY DISCUSSION 2
3
Computational and Applied Mathematics
CAAM 210INTRODUCTION TO ENGINEERING COMPUTATION 13
Electrical Engineering
ELEC 243ELECTRONIC MEASUREMENT SYSTEMS 24
Mathematics
MATH 101SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS I 13
or MATH 105 AP/OTH CREDIT IN CALCULUS I
MATH 102SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS II 13
or MATH 106 AP/OTH CREDIT IN CALCULUS II
MATH 211ORDINARY DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS AND LINEAR ALGEBRA 23
MATH 212MULTIVARIABLE CALCULUS 23
Mechanical Engineering
MECH 202MECHANICS/STATICS3
or MECH 211 / CEVE 211 ENGINEERING MECHANICS
Physics
Select 1 from the following:4
MECHANICS (WITH LAB)
and MECHANICS DISCUSSION 1
HONORS MECHANICS (WITH LAB) 1
GENERAL PHYSICS (WITH LAB) 1
Select 1 from the following:4
ELECTRICITY & MAGNETISM (WITH LAB)
and ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM DISCUSSION 1
HONORS ELECTRICITY & MAGNETISM (WITH LAB) 1
GENERAL PHYSICS II (WITH LAB) 1
Bioengineering Core Courses
BIOE 252BIOENGINEERING FUNDAMENTALS 24
BIOE 320SYSTEMS PHYSIOLOGY LAB MODULE 21
BIOE 322FUNDAMENTALS OF SYSTEMS PHYSIOLOGY 23
BIOE 330BIOREACTION ENGINEERING 43
BIOE 332BIOENGINEERING THERMODYNAMICS 43
BIOE 342 / BIOC 320LABORATORY IN TISSUE CULTURE1
BIOE 370BIOMATERIALS3
BIOE 372BIOMECHANICS3
BIOE 383BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING INSTRUMENTATION3
BIOE 385BIOMEDICAL INSTRUMENTATION LAB1
BIOE 391NUMERICAL METHODS 23
BIOE 420 / CHBE 420TRANSPORT PHENOMENA IN BIOENGINEERING 43
Select 1 course from the following:1 or 3
APPLIED STATISTICS FOR BIOENGINEERING AND BIOTECHNOLOGY
STATISTICS FOR BIOENGINEERING 2
BIOE 451BIOENGINEERING DESIGN I 53
BIOE 452BIOENGINEERING DESIGN II3
Bioengineering Laboratory Courses 3
Select 2 courses from the following (different laboratory modules may be offered each year):2
TISSUE ENGINEERING LAB MODULE
BIOPROCESSING LAB MODULE
MECHANICAL TESTING LAB MODULE
ADVANCED INSTRUMENTATION LAB MODULE
COMPUTATIONAL MODELING LAB
DIGITAL DESIGN & VISUALIZATION 6
TROUBLESHOOTING WORKSHOP FOR CLINICALLY-RELEVANT BIOMEDICAL EQUIPMENT
Technical Electives
Select a minimum of 3 elective courses and 6 Engineering Points from the Technical Elective course offerings (see course list below)9
Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Bioengineering96-98
University Graduation Requirements *34
Total Credit Hours131

Footnotes and Additional Information 

Course Lists to Satisfy Requirements

Technical Electives

To fulfill the remaining BIOE major requirements, students must complete a minimum of 3 courses (9 credit hours) and 6 Engineering Points from the Technical Elective course offerings.  A combination of Technical Electives must be selected that meets this minimum of 3 courses (9 credit hours) and 6 Engineering Points. If a student should choose to replace one of the optional core courses (BIOE 330, BIOE 332, or BIOE 420), then a minimum of 4 Technical Electives will be required as well as adequate Engineering Points for the replaced course’s value (2 to 3 Engineering Points). 

Please Note: The following list of courses are those that satisfy the approved Technical Electives requirement. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the department's Director of Undergraduate Studies. Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.

Engineering Points

Courses listed below may count toward the Technical Elective requirement (minimum of 3 courses (9 credit hours) and 6 Engineering Points), and will carry the following Engineering Point values.

Please Note: the list of courses and their associated Engineering Point values may change. Students should check with their academic advisor before registering for Technical Elective courses. 

Zero (0) Engineering Points
BIOE 401UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH1-4
One (1) Engineering Point
BIOE 392 / GLHT 392NEEDS FINDING AND DEVELOPMENT IN BIOENGINEERING 33
BIOE 400ENGINEERING UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH 1,2,51-4
BIOE 403ADVANCES IN BIONANOTECHNOLOGY3
BIOE 408SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY3
BIOE 422GENE THERAPY3
Select 1 course from the following:3
EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX
EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX
BIOE 485 / COMP 485 / ELEC 485FUNDAMENTALS OF MEDICAL IMAGING I3
BIOE 486 / COMP 486 / ELEC 486FUNDAMENTALS OF MEDICAL IMAGING II3
BIOE 492SENSORY NEUROENGINEERING3
BIOE 523 / CHBE 523BIOENGINEERING SYSTEMS AND CONTROL3
BIOE 580 / CHBE 580PROTEIN ENGINEERING3
BIOE 587OPTICAL IMAGING AND NANOBIOPHOTONICS3
BIOE 589 / BIOC 589COMPUTATIONAL MOLECULAR BIOENGINEERING/BIOPHYSICS3
BIOE 615BIOENGINEERING AND CARDIAC SURGERY3
BIOE 620 / CHBE 620TISSUE ENGINEERING3
CHBE 310FUNDAMENTALS OF BIOMOLECULAR ENGINEERING3
ENGI 300ENGINEERING DESIGN WORKSHOP 22-3
ELEC 220FUNDAMENTALS OF COMPUTER ENGINEERING4
ELEC 489 / CAAM 416 / NEUR 416NEURAL COMPUTATION3
MECH 311 / CEVE 311MECHANICS OF SOLIDS AND STRUCTURES3
Two (2) Engineering Points
BIOE 321CELLULAR ENGINEERING3
BIOE 348MOLECULAR TECHNIQUES IN BIOENGINEERING3
BIOE 381 / ELEC 381FUNDAMENTALS OF NERVE AND MUSCLE ELECTROPHYSIOLOGY3
BIOE 431BIOMATERIALS APPLICATIONS3
BIOE 481 / ELEC 481 / NEUR 481COMPUTATIONAL NEUROSCIENCE AND NEURAL ENGINEERING3
BIOE 482 / ELEC 482PHYSIOLOGICAL CONTROL SYSTEMS3
BIOE 518INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY3
BIOE 643 / BIOC 643 / PHYS 643CELL MECHANICS, MECHANOTRANSDUCTION AND THE CELL MICROENVIRONMENT3
CAAM 335MATRIX ANALYSIS3
CHBE 640 / BIOC 540METABOLIC ENGINEERING3
COMP 571 / BIOC 571BIOINFORMATICS: SEQUENCE ANALYSIS3
ELEC 305INTRODUCTION TO PHYSICAL ELECTRONICS3
ELEC 327IMPLEMENTATION OF DIGITAL SYSTEMS3
ELEC 432MOBILE BIO-BEHAVIORAL SENSING3
Three (3) Engineering Points
BIOE 360 / GLHT 360APPROPRIATE DESIGN FOR GLOBAL HEALTH 33
BIOE 421MICROCONTROLLER APPLICATONS3
BIOE 454 / MECH 454 / CEVE 454COMPUTATIONAL FLUID MECHANICS3
BIOE 484BIOPHOTONICS INSTRUMENTATION AND APPLICATIONS3
BIOE 490INTRO COMPUTATIONAL SYSTEMS BIOLOGY: MODELING & DESIGN PRINCIPLES OF BIOCHEM NETWORKS3
BIOE 509POINT-OF-CARE DIAGNOSTICS3
BIOE 574CONTINUUM BIOMECHANICS3
CHBE 390CHEMICAL KINETICS AND REACTOR DESIGN3
COMP 502 / ELEC 502 / STAT 502NEURAL MACHINE LEARNING I3
ELEC 301SIGNALS, SYSTEMS, AND LEARNING3
ELEC 326 / COMP 326DIGITAL LOGIC DESIGN3
ELEC 327IMPLEMENTATION OF DIGITAL SYSTEMS3
ELEC 342ANALOG ELECTRONIC CIRCUITS3
ELEC 422VLSI SYSTEMS DESIGN3
ELEC 435 / MECH 435INTRODUCTION TO ENERGY-EFFICIENT MECHATRONICS3
ENGI 355DIGITAL DESIGN AND VISUALIZATION 43
MECH 371FLUID MECHANICS I3
MECH 400 / CEVE 400ADVANCED MECHANICS OF MATERIALS3
MECH 417 / CEVE 417FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS3
MECH 420 / ELEC 436FUNDAMENTALS OF CONTROL SYSTEMS3
MECH 488DESIGN OF MECHATRONIC SYSTEMS3
MSNE 402MECH PROPERTIES OF MATERIALS3
Four (4) Engineering Points
MECH 343MODELING OF DYNAMIC SYSTEMS4
Footnotes and Additional Information 

Policies for the BSBE Degree 

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. The Office of Academic Advising maintains the university’s official list of transfer credit advisors on their website: https://oaa.rice.edu. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s transfer credit advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities. 

Departmental Transfer Credit Guidelines

Students pursuing the BSBE degree should be aware of the following departmental transfer credit guidelines:

  • Requests for transfer credit will be considered by the program director (and/or the program’s official transfer credit advisor) on an individual case-by-case basis.  

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Bioengineering website: https://bioengineering.rice.edu/

Opportunities for the BSBE Degree 

Academic Honors

The university recognizes academic excellence achieved over an undergraduate’s academic history at Rice. For information on university honors, please see Latin Honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) and Distinction in Research and Creative Work. Some departments have department-specific Honors awards or designations.

Fifth-Year Master's Degree Option for Rice Undergraduate Students 

Rice students have an option to pursue the Master of Bioengineering (MBE) degree by adding an additional fifth year to their four undergraduate years of science and engineering studies.

Advanced Rice undergraduate students in good academic standing may apply to the MBE degree program during their junior or senior year. Upon acceptance, depending on course load, financial aid status, and other variables, they may then start taking some required courses of the master's degree program. A plan of study will need to be approved by the student's undergraduate advisor and the MBE program director. 

As part of this option and opportunity, Rice undergraduate students:

  • must complete the requirements for a bachelor's degree and the master's degree independently of each other (i.e. no course may be counted toward the fulfillment of both degrees).
  • should be aware there could be financial aid implications if the conversion of undergraduate coursework to that of graduate level reduces their earned undergraduate credit for any semester below that of full-time status (12 credit hours).
  • more information on this Undergraduate - Graduate Concurrent Enrollment opportunity, including specific information on the registration process can be found here.

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Bioengineering website: https://bioengineering.rice.edu/