Curriculum & Advising

Duke Biomedical Engineering (BME) students learn the classical engineering disciplines, as well as mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology. They also gain broad exposure to Duke University's excellent offerings in social sciences and humanities.

Refer to the Undergraduate Program Handbook [PDF] for course planning. This resource is updated yearly. 

In addition to engineering courses, our curriculum includes:

  • Five social science and humanities courses
  • One undergraduate writing course
  • Two introductory courses each in physics and chemistry
  • Two life-science courses
  • Five mathematics courses
  • One computational methods course

BME student, Pratt Fellow, and Grand Challenge Scholar Christine Schindler

Majors and Specialization

The numbers of required and elective courses in BME as well as unrestricted electives depend on the choice of majors (e.g., single BME major or BME/ECE double major). 

To obtain depth in the curriculum, students choose an elective-course sequence to learn specific knowledge in biomedical imaging and instrumentation, biomechanics, electrobiology, or biomolecular and tissue engineering.  Alternatively, they can declare a double major in biomedical engineering plus electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering, or civil and environmental engineering. With advance preparation, students may also undertake a second major or a minor in any fields offered by the University. To do it, they can use unrestricted electives to take specific courses in these fields. Duke also offers a range of certificate programs for undergraduates.


Due to the high student/faculty ratio in the BME program, the BME faculty do not directly advise freshmen. Freshmen having questions about BME program that cannot be answered by their advisers can make appointment with one of the BME Advising Consultants (their names and contact information are posted on the left).  The Consultants can answer questions about BME requirements and help students plan their course sequence.  However, the Consultants do not replace the designated advisers: students still must meet with their advisers to receive registration clearance.

For declared BME majors, faculty adviser assignment is based upon the major interests (e.g., BME/ECE dual major) expressed by the students and the need to balance the number of advisees per faculty. The advisers' primary role is to help students identify course work for each upcoming semester. They are also available to discuss overall career directions, research opportunities, and other concerns of students.

Other helpful resources for students are the Director of Undergraduate Studies, the Dean's Office and the Department Chair.

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