Advice for BME Undergraduates
Dear Undergraduate Students:
Prof. Saidel is the chair of the BME Undergraduate Education Committee (UGEC) until January 2014 and also has the responsibility for assigning BME faculty advisors. The UGEC is responsible for overseeing the undergraduate BME curriculum and making changes as needs arise. Its job is to provide the best possible program for all BME undergraduates. This ensures that students have a very strong engineering base as well as some specific engineering expertise relating to various applications of biomedical engineering. This past year BME switched from a course system of 9 sequences to 4 tracks to provide more focus as well as flexibility. Students who entered when sequences were the standard can follow the same general path with modifications as needed because of course changes. In most cases, students can follow the sequence within a track. Alternatively, a student may choose to formally switch into a track.
Whatever path is taken, modifications must be made because courses are continually changing. Consequently, some transient discrepancies can occur in track (or sequence) details between SIS and the BME website (which is almost completely updated for undergraduates). Most of these discrepancies can be resolved in consultation with the BME faculty advisor. The faculty advisors have the flexibility to override a standard course program (SIS) with respect to relatively minor changes of a few courses that fit according to the latest approved track. Major changes in a course program that do not fit within the latest approved track, however, must be reviewed and approved by the UGEC.
First-year students must be assigned and meet with the BME faculty advisor. To answer questions that do not require course changes from the standard programs, a student can meet with Gena Richmann, the BME staff person who has been trained to understand the basics of the tracks, sequences, and options for coop and study abroad. When special issues arise, however, the student must meet with the faculty advisor. If further clarification is needed, the faculty advisor and student meet with the BME track leader. If there are still concerns, then Prof. Saidel will resolve the issue or ask the UGEC to recommend action. In that case, students may contact Prof. Saidel by e-mail to arrange an appointment to discuss various strategies by telephone or in person. Also, when a student wants to change tracks, then Prof. Saidel may assign another faculty advisor with more knowledge of that track.
Keep in mind, BME at Case is not a “cookie-cutter” education that you might get elsewhere. Every student is different and may benefit from individualized aspects of the tracks. Furthermore, since course offerings change continually, it may be necessary to revise course plans often. Every semester students should review their course plans for the coming year. In any case, students should contact their faculty advisor each semester to review their progress and future plans and to get the advising hold released in order to register. With respect to post-B.S. career planning, the BME faculty will offer an evening session once each semester open to all BME undergraduates to discuss options.
Frequently Asked Questions for First-Year Student
1. Are there any specific resources for more information about the BME major?
RESPONSE: Information about the BME undergraduate program is on the BME web site. If there are special questions, contact the BME advising representative.
2. For a first-year student who is interested in a BME major but is not sure, what course strategy should be considered?
RESPONSE: Consider taking EBME 105. All other courses should be those required for any engineering major. Do not take more than 18 credit hours.
3. Why BME 105 is optional ?
RESPONSE: EBME 105 is intended for students who would like a broader perspective of the field and are not sure which direction to take. If a student has a definite direction in mind, then it is not necessary.
4. Are there certain courses that a prospective BME major must have in his/her first semester?
RESPONSE: In the first semester, the student should take required courses, depending on advance placement credit: MATH 121, 122, or 223; CHEM 111 or CHEM 145; ENGR 131 or PHYS 121 or PHYS 122; and SAGES.
5. If a student has credit for MATH 121 and/or MATH 122, should s/he proceed to the next calculus course or is it acceptable for him/her to delay resuming calculus if s/he so desires?
RESPONSE: Student should continue with the next calculus course. If a student starts in an advanced math course and finds it too difficult, then the student should switch to a lower level course within the drop-add period.
6. If a student has credit for CHEM 111, should s/he proceed to ENGR 145 or is it advisable/acceptable for the student to take another course (e.g. PHYS 121 or a general education course) in place of CHEM 111 and resume chemistry in the spring semester? If the answer is yes, is there a recommended/preferred course other than ENGR 145?
RESPONSE: Student with CHEM 111 credit could take ENGR 145, ENGR 131 or PHYS 121. For PHYS 121, it is recommended that students have credit for MATH 121.
7. If a student has credit for PHYS 121, should s/he proceed to PHYS 122 or is it advisable/acceptable for the student to take another course (e.g. ENGR 131 or a general education course) in place of PHYS 121 and resume physics in the spring semester? If the answer is yes, is there a recommended/preferred course other than PHYS 122?
RESPONSE: Student could take ENGR 131. For PHYS 122, it is recommended that students have credit for MATH 122).
8. Should all BME students take ENGR 131 (MATLAB) even though EECS 132 (JAVA) is required for the Biomedical Computing and Analysis track and advanced computer courses?
RESPONSE: All students need to know MATLAB programming, which is required for several required BME courses. Students who take EECS 132 can either take ENGR 131 or learn MATLAB independently.
Educational Program Planning
Information about the BME curriculum and programs of study.
- Students entering in the Fall of 2012 or later must follow the BME tracks
Students interested in securing employment upon obtaining the BS in BME are encouraged to pursue internships and cooperative education experiences as well as to consider a minor in a related engineering program as part of the undergraduate experience.
- Students interested in learning more about dental or medical school should visit the following site:
Links and information about undergraduate research and travel funding opportunities and programs.
Useful forms for undergraduate students, such as the petition form required to deviate from the specialty sequence programs of study.
Surveys for students to provide feedback to the department.
BME Major Declaration