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2019-2020 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog


Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Biomedical Engineering

By applying engineering methods to solve medical and biological problems, biomedical engineers aim to improve our quality of life. The National Institute of Health's working definition of biomedical engineering adopted on July 24, 1997 states:
"Biomedical engineering integrates physical, chemical, mathematical, and computational sciences and engineering principles to study biology, medicine, behavior, and health. It advances fundamental concepts; creates knowledge from the molecular to the organ systems level; and develops innovative biologics, materials, processes, implants, devices and informatics approaches for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, for patient rehabilitation, and for improving health."

A biomedical engineer applies the design, analytical, and problem-solving skills acquired in engineering training to improve health and quality of human life. Biomedical engineers are able to collaborate with health care professionals such as physicians and nurses to apply advanced technological solutions to clinical problems. Their abilities to apply mathematical models and computational simulation to the study of complex physiologic systems are invaluable to the medical science and research community.

Biomedical Engineering is a broad discipline with many areas of specialization. Grand Valley State University offers programming in three emphasis areas:

  • Electrical: Students who elect this emphasis will be prepared to apply fundamental electrical engineering principles to health care. Examples include modeling cardiac physiology to understand arrhythmogenesis, or developing better measurement and diagnostic devices like cardioverter-defibrillators and MRI scanning systems, .
  • Mechanical: Students who elect this emphasis will be prepared to apply fundamental engineering mechanics to understanding musculoskeletal systems; and transport phenomena in vasculature. Biomechanical engineers help develop better rehabilitation and therapeutic devices like prosthetic limbs, artificial hips, and wheelchairs.
  • Product Design and Manufacturing: Students who elect this emphasis will research and develop ideas and processes for new medical products, improve the performance and design of existing medical products, plan production, and manage production facilities.

Integral to all four years of the program is a "design and build" educational philosophy incorporated through extensive laboratory and project activities as preparation for professional practice. Students engage in design at all levels of the curriculum. At each level, they must realize their designs and proceed with testing, validation, and redesign. This approach allows students to experience many real-world constraints such as project economics, project planning and scheduling, environmental considerations, manufacturability/producibility of the designs, laboratory and product safety, and product reliability.

Program Educational Objectives

Graduates of the biomedical engineering program are expected within a few years of graduation to:

  • demonstrate technical competency in their careers,
  • function effectively in an industrial or academic environment,
  • engage in professional development, and
  • shape their professions and societies.

Student Outcomes and Assessment

Graduates will demonstrate

  • an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics;
  • 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;
  • an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions; and
  • an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

Degree Requirements

Biomedical engineering students must complete all requirements for the B.S.E. degree including the general education and basic skills requirements, the foundations of engineering courses, cooperative education, the engineering design capstone, and the following courses:

Required courses for all biomedical engineering emphases:

Students must also complete an emphasis. Three emphases are offered: electrical, mechanical, and product design and manufacturing. Each emphasis has required courses and elective courses that are chosen from an approved list.

Electrical Emphasis

Students choosing the electrical emphasis should complete the foundations course for the electrical engineering major.

Required courses in electrical emphasis:

Elective courses (choose three):

Mechanical Emphasis

Students choosing the mechanical emphasis should complete the foundations course for the mechanical engineering major.

Required courses in mechanical emphasis:

Elective courses (choose two):

Product Design and Manufacturing Emphasis

Students choosing the product design and manufacturing emphasis should complete the foundations course for the product design and manufacturing engineering major.

Required courses in product design and manufacturing emphasis:

Elective courses (choose two):

Sample Curriculum for the Junior and Senior Years of the Biomedical Engineering Major with Electrical Emphasis

First Co-op Semester: Spring/Summer

Fifth Academic Semester: Fall

Second Co-op Semester: Winter

Sixth Academic Semester: Spring/Summer

Third Co-op Semester: Fall

Seventh Academic Semester: Winter

The prerequisites for EGR 485 are acceptance into the B.S.E. degree program and completion of the prerequisite courses listed under the student's engineering major. For the biomedical engineering major with electrical emphasis, these prerequisite courses are: EGR 315, EGR 323, EGR 326, EGR 434, and EGR 390.Eighth Academic Semester: Spring/Summer

Engineering Program Description
Click here for the program description.



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