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Can a biology major enter a bioengineering grad program?

  1. Dec 4, 2011 #1
    I am in my first year at the university as a Bachelor of the Arts student rather than as an engineering student. Though I may be able to switch in my second year, this isn't likely given the first-year course load in the engineering school. If I were to get the B.A., would I be able to enter a graduate program in engineering?

    My interests are mostly in biology/bioengineering. If I couldn't get into the chem & bio engineering program as a second-year student I would most likely major in molecular biology. I checked the websites of some grad programs and most implied (or said outright) that students typically come from undergrad engineering backgrounds. I was curious to know if anybody here has any experience switching from a B.A. to engineering.

    Thanks,
    AX
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2011
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 4, 2011 #2
    yeah, but try to take the classes you've missed during undergrad. . . if you can. . .

    though most grad programs will have you take a year of make-up coursework. . .
     
  4. Dec 4, 2011 #3
    Depends on the school and program. The problem is that you basically lack half the field. It is easier for some engineering majors to pick up the relevant bio than it for bio majors to pick up the necessary engineering. I would advise you to take a look at other schools' bioengineering major classes and try to take them as an undergrad, even if they don't count for a biology degree. This is much safer and gives you a better chance of getting admitted than applying for grad school knowing only half of what you should. Good luck!

    Also, here is a link to our university's bioengineering B.S. It seems they have a lot of special classes but other colleges have just combinations of engineering and biology classes. Maybe those would be a bit more instructive:

    http://courses.illinois.edu/cis/2011/fall/programs/undergrad/engin/bioengin.html
     
  5. Dec 4, 2011 #4
    Thanks for the replies.

    I'm definitely planning on taking all of the relevant coursework that I can. My university has an independent 'program in engineering biology' that doesn't give you an engineering degree but does have a structure that includes core engineering classes like computer programming, differential equations, statistics, etc. Luckily I'm still in my first year, so I will have a good amount of time to take classes within the engineering school. The caveat is that unless I get officially accepted into the engineering school I won't be accredited. But based on what you've said and on some more research I've been doing it doesn't look impossible to go into grad bioengineering with a biology B.A.
     
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