Program in Engineering Biology
- Celeste M. Nelson
- Mark Brynildsen
- Daniel Cohen
- A. James Link
- Celeste M. Nelson
- Z. Jason Ren
- Kaushik Sengupta
- H. Sebastian Seung
- Mona Singh
- Corina Tarnita
- Jared E. Toettcher
The Program in Engineering Biology is designed for those highly motivated students who are interested in pursuing careers or graduate education in the areas of biotechnology or bioengineering. The interface between engineering and the life sciences is an area of dramatic growth and intellectual vigor. Innovations and new developments in this area require multidisciplinary approaches and greater exposure to engineering fundamentals as applied to living systems than is currently available from a single department. For all students, the program offers a basic foundation in the language of living systems as well as in-depth study of bioengineering fundamentals at multiple length scales.
Admission to the Program
Generally, any student concentrating in the School of Engineering and Applied Science or concentrating in Chemistry, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Molecular Biology, Physics or Neuroscience is eligible to participate in the program. All other majors are also welcome to apply. A student planning to enroll in the program should submit an application, which is available in A201 EQuad or on the program's website. First-year students are encouraged to do this as early as possible to begin planning appropriate course sequences. Students are formally admitted to the program once they have declared a major.
Program of Study
An engineering biology student will normally satisfy both program and departmental requirements. The program will be developed by the student and his or her departmental adviser in consultation with the special adviser in engineering biology. In some cases courses taken under the program requirements may be applied toward the fulfillment of regular departmental requirements. The program requirements are as follows:
- One foundational course in molecular and cellular biology (MOL 214 or equivalent course) and one foundational course in computing (COS 126 or equivalent course).
- Three bio-engineering courses, selected from the approved list available on the program website. These courses should provide a coherent training in an area of bioengineering, such as biotechnology, molecular or cellular engineering, neuro-engineering, or systems biology. One of these courses must be from outside the student’s department of concentration, and at least one of these courses must not count as a departmental.
- One advanced life science course, selected from the approved list available on the program website. This course should provide additional insight into complex living systems and complement the bioengineering courses chosen by the student.
- Close collaboration with faculty is expected. Students are required to complete, with the grade of B- or better, at least one semester of independent work in an appropriate area of engineering biology. This independent work is coordinated with the student's department in order to satisfy departmental requirements for the senior thesis or senior independent research.
Program students are expected to demonstrate strong academic performance. To qualify for the engineering biology certificate upon graduation, a minimum grade average of B- in the program courses is required. Program courses may not be taken on a pass/D/fail basis.
Additional information can be obtained at the Program in Engineering Biology website.
Certificate of Proficiency
Students who fulfill the requirements of the program receive a certificate of proficiency in engineering biology upon graduation.