Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering (BSBME)
The Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering (BSBME) is a degree program that combines training in design, research, and practical methods with a solid math, science, and engineering curriculum to provide education with breadth and depth in the field. A key aspect of biomedical engineering is its interdisciplinary nature; introductory courses in mathematics, statistics, biology, chemistry, and physics, together with technical electives in natural sciences and engineering build the basis for creating the synergy among these disciplines that is required in the practice of biomedical engineering. The BSBME degree program also includes design and research projects, biomedical engineering specific courses, and culminates in a senior capstone project experience.
The mission of the Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering is to provide students with undergraduate experiences that provide a sound basis for professional practice in biomedical engineering, life-long learning, and leadership roles in the biomedical engineering field. The BSBME program is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). It is also accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) through 2026.
The student outcomes of the Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering specify that, by the time of graduation, all graduates will be able to:
- Apply principles of mathematics, statistics, physical sciences, biology, chemistry, physiology, and engineering for the solution of engineering problems, including problems at the interface of engineering and biology;
- 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;
- Communicate effectively with a range of audiences;
- Recognize ethical and professional responsibilities to make informed judgments and have a positive impact in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts;
- Be able to work effectively as part of a multidisciplinary team whose members create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives;
- Make measurements on and analyze & interpret data from living and non-living systems, addressing the problems associated with the interaction between living and non-living materials and systems;
- Recognize the importance of life-long learning to acquire and apply new knowledge using appropriate learning strategies;
- Analyze, model, design, and realize biomedical engineering devices, systems, components, or processes.
The program educational objectives of the Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering specify that graduates of the program will:
- Be successful in tackling open-ended biomedical engineering problems in a quantitative and systematic fashion;
- Be motivated to continuously expand their knowledge, excel in interdisciplinary activities, be creative and innovative in their contributions to the field of biomedical engineering;
- Perform, manage, or lead original engineering design and research projects in an ethical and professional manner; carry this out at the highest levels in private industry, research laboratories, medical school, graduate and professional schools.
Reasons for not renewing ABET accreditation of the BSBME program beyond 2026
The BME Department at Tufts, since its creation in 2002, has cultivated a vision of providing students with significant opportunities to conduct scientific research, including contributions to scientific publications and presentations to scientific conferences. As part of this vision, the senior capstone project is seen as a critical curriculum component to consolidate and reinforce not only engineering design methods, but also broad scientific research approaches. It was found that this latter objective is not compatible with ABET requirements for the capstone project.
Furthermore, a review that included various stakeholders in the program, including alumni and employers of alumni, found that there was insufficient added value in having an ABET accredited program leading to the BSBME degree. For these reasons, it was decided not to renew ABET accreditation for the BSBME program beyond 2026 (the BSBME program has been accredited by the EAC of ABET since 2010).
This does not mean that the quality of teaching, the preparation of our students, or the standards that we uphold will change. We plan to retain the student outcomes and program educational objectives listed above, and continue our current practices of program review, assessment, and continuous improvement that involve all stakeholders in the program. In fact, we plan to offer a more complete experience for our undergraduates to even better allow them to thrive in their professional careers.
Specifically, we have decided not to renew ABET accreditation of the BSBME program beyond the class of 2026 with the best interest of our students in mind. The main reasons for this choice are:
- To allow students to engage in a research-intensive senior capstone project, which can result in co-authorship in scientific publications, presentations at technical conferences, and/or a senior honors thesis, while giving practical experience and hands-on training. These research experiences are especially relevant for those intending to continue to graduate school and/or pursue professional health care degrees (whereas senior design projects, which remain available to our students, may be more appealing to students intending to pursue a career in industry).
- To allow students to fully take advantage of the interdisciplinary nature of biomedical engineering and give them the freedom to conduct research seamlessly between our departments and professional school such as the Medical School, Dental School, Nutrition School, and Veterinary School (among others).
- An extended review that included various program stakeholders, including alumni and employers of alumni, found that there is insufficient added value in having an ABET accredited program leading to the BSBME degree.
- We are not alone in this choice. Our program is not the first and will not be the last to reach this conclusion, as other leading programs in biomedical engineering or related fields in the country have already made the decision not to pursue ABET accreditation.
- The value of the Tufts BSBME degree is not diminished by a lack of ABET accreditation, as the program retains full accreditation by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). The Tufts BSBME program has continually demonstrated and will retain highest academic excellence, scientific rigor, program review procedures, and continuous improvement of educational activities that have been in place since its inception in 2005, on top of the prestige and recognition of the institution that confers the degree.
The degree checklist for the BSBME program can be found at the links below:
- BSBME Degree Checklist (Class of 2023)
- BSBME Degree Checklist (Class of 2024)
- BSBME Degree Checklist (Class of 2025)
- BSBME Degree Checklist (Class of 2026)
- Current information on undergraduate enrollment and graduation rates
Second Major in Biomedical Engineering (BED)
The second major in biomedical engineering is offered to engineering students. Students must enroll in conjunction with another engineering undergraduate departmental major. For the second major in biomedical engineering, students are required to complete ten courses and 30 semester hour units. No more than half the semester hours used to fulfill the BED degree requirement may be used to fulfill the first major requirement in the School of Engineering. All ten courses must be taken for a letter grade.
The degree checklist for the BED program can be found at the links below:
- BED Degree Checklist (Classes of 2016-2023)
- BED Degree Checklist (Class of 2024)
- BED Degree Checklist (Class of 2025)
- BED Degree Checklist (Class of 2026)
Second Major in Biomedical Sciences (BES)
The second major in biomedical engineering sciences is offered to liberal arts students. Students must enroll in conjunction with another undergraduate departmental major. For the second major in biomedical engineering sciences, students are required to complete ten courses and 30 semester hour units. No more than half the semester hours used to fulfill the BES degree requirement may be used to fulfill the first major concentration requirement in the College of Liberal Arts. All ten courses must be taken for a letter grade.
The degree checklist for the BES program can be found at the link below:
- BES Degree Checklist (Classes of 2012-2023)
- BES Degree Checklist (Class of 2024)
- BES Degree Checklist (Class of 2025)
- BES Degree Checklist (Class of 2026)
A partial list of acceptable elective courses is the following:
- Any course with BME designation
- BIO 41 - General Genetics
- BIO 46 - Cell Biology
- BIO 104 - Immunology
- BIO 105 - Molecular Biology
- BIO 115/116 - General Physiology I/II
- BIO 132 - Biostatistics
- BIO 152 - Biochemistry and Cellular Metabolism
- BIO 171/172 - Biochemistry I/II
- CHBE 102 - Reactor Design
- CHBE 121 - Principles of Polymerization
- CHBE 122 - Physical Chemistry of Polymers
- CHEM 31/32 - Physical Chemistry I/II
- CHEM 51/52 - Organic Chemistry I/II
- CHEM 135 - Biophysical Chemistry
- CHEM 157 - Medicinal Chemistry
- CHEM 171/172 - Biochemistry I/II
- COMP 171 - Human Computer Interaction
- CSHD 140 - Problems of Research: Statistics
- ENP 120 – Project Study in Human Systems
- ENP 161 - Human Factors Product Design
- ENP 162 - Human-Machine System Design
- ENP 166 – Computer Interface Design
- ES 15 - Modern Optics and Photonics
- ME 117 - Biomaterials
- ME 123 - Biomechanics
- ME 152 - Biomechanics
- OTS 105 - Assistive Technology
- PHIL 124 – Bioethics
- PHY 31 – Optics and Wave Motion
- PSY 31 - Statistics for Behavioral Sciences