Aims and Scope of the Undergraduate Program
The undergraduate curriculum at Caltech focuses on two key goals: 1) Engineering new biological systems and functions, and 2) Applying engineering principles to learn principles of biological design. The curriculum provides students with a firm grounding in engineering principles, biotechnology, and fundamentals from the biological sciences through coursework on physical cell biology, systems biology, biomolecular engineering, biodevice design, and synthetic biology. Bioengineering undergraduates are strongly encouraged to perform research in campus laboratories. Students graduate with a strong experimental and computational foundation for careers or further study in bioengineering, biotechnology, biomedicine, biological data analysis, and the expanding universe of biology-related disciplines and industries.
Students will also have learned quantitative and analytic skills vital to experiments and system designs. Graduating students are expected to be able to critically evaluate and understand bioengineering literature, and be able to work in a team and communicate effectively.To accomplish these goals, students are expected to complete a series of required courses designed to introduce them to a representative range of bioengineering sub-disciplines, provide them with a solid quantitative analysis foundation, and provide them with opportunities to work in teams through a number of project-oriented courses. Students will receive instruction in scientific communications through Bi/BE 24.Undergraduate research is encouraged both during the academic year and through participation in summer research programs.Students should present a plan for satisfying all degree requirements to their academic adviser by the end of the third term of the second year.Students with a grade-point average lower than 1.9 will not be allowed to continue in the option except with special permission from the option representative.
1.BE 1; BE/APh 161; ChE/BE 163; two courses from BE 150, BE 159, and BE/CS/CNS/Bi 191 a.
2.Experimental methods: Bi 1x; one of BE/EE/MedE 189 a or BE 107; one of ChE 130 or BE/CS 196 a. Students are strongly encouraged to enroll in Bi 1x as freshmen; Bi 1x must be completed by the sophomore year. Nine units of BE 98 may be used in place of one of these courses (except Bi 1x) with the approval of the undergraduate option representative to ensure that the student's research project provides comparable experimental laboratory experience. BE 98 units used to satisfy this requirement may not also be counted toward the elective requirement.
3.Biology, chemistry, and physics: two terms out of three from Ph 2 abc (Ch 21 a may be used in place of Ph 2 b and Ch 21 c may be used in place of Ph 2 c); Bi 8; Bi 9; Ch 25; Ch 41 a; Ch/Bi 110. One advanced biology course of at least 9 units selected from Ch/Bi 111, Bi 114, Bi 117, Bi 122, Bi 145 ab, Bi/CNS/NB/Psy 150, BE 150, Bi/BE/CS 183, or approved by the undergraduate option representative.
4.Mathematical and computational methods: ACM 95 ab; Ma 2; Ma 3; one course from ChE 105, CDS 110, or ACM 116; 9 units select-ed from CS 1, CS 2, CS 3, CS 21, CS 24, and CS 38.
5.45 units of BE electives. These may include BE 98 (up to 12 units), any BE course numbered 100 or above, any of the BE-approved electives listed below, or any relevant class approved by the student's adviser. Additionally, courses listed in requirements 1-4 that are not used to fulfill those requirements may be counted as electives.
6.Communication: Bi/BE 24.
7.Courses satisfying option requirements must be taken for grades (except when courses are only available P/F). Passing grades must be earned in a total of 486 units.
Biology: Bi/Ge 105, Bi/CNS/NB 162, Bi 190.
Biodevices: EE 112, EE 113, EE/MedE 114 ab, APh/EE 9 ab, EE 45, EE 111, EE 151.
Biomechanics: ME 12 abc, ME 14, Ae/APh/CE/ME 101 abc, Ae/APh/CE/ME 102 abc, Ae/APh 104 abc, ME 11 abc, ChE 103 abc.
Synthetic biology: Ch 41 bc, ChE/Ch 148, ChE/Ch 164, ChE/Ch 165, APh/MS 105 abc, APh 17.