Completing a B.S. in Biological Engineering will prepare you
for a variety of careers in traditional as well as emerging biotech fields.
Graduates have accepted engineering positions such as designing process equipment
and systems for biological production and treatment, or implementing site
preparation for construction or bioremediation of environmental contamination.
They are prepared to help engineer systems to develop renewable sources of
energy, and to improve the value of natural products produced in Hawaii for
food and therapeutic applications. Increasing numbers of graduates from BE
are meeting demands from growing biotech industries in Hawaii, for example for
the production of systems for culturing human tissues for medical replacement
and for screening, extracting, and producing antibiotics and other pharmaceutical
compounds from Hawaii's unique natural biota. Many Bioengineers are employed
with forward thinking institutions like NASA that are interested in engineering
self-sustaining habitable environments in space as well as on Earth.
A degree in Biological Engineering prepares students for graduate
school, not only in Biological Engineering but also in Medicine, Law, and
Business which all value the versatility and analytical rigor of the field.
Graduates also fill vital research and regulatory needs of state and federal
governments to preserve and enhance the value of our natural resources.
introductory part of the Biological Engineering curriculum is similar to other engineering
fields, e.g., calculus, physics, chemistry, and computer programming.
Students in Biological Engineering take additional courses in biological sciences
such as biology, organic chemistry, and biochemistry. During the latter
part of the program, students take basic engineering courses such as mechanics
and thermodynamics as well as Biological Engineering courses with emphasis given
to solving practical engineering problems involving biological systems.
The mission of the Biological Engineering Program is to provide students a unique
opportunity to study the fundamentals of engineering and biology and the
application of engineering to biological systems. To fulfill this mission
the BE Program has three educational objectives, each associated with several outcomes:
- Graduates enter professional careers where they apply fundamental engineering concepts to solve real-world problems;
a. The graduate has the ability to solve problems involving differential equations.
b. The graduate has the ability to solve physics problems involving mechanics, electromagnetics, and optics; chemistry problems involving inorganic and organic chemistry; problems involving general and micro-biology.
c. The graduate has the ability to solve engineering problems related to statics, dynamics, fluid mechanics, and thermodynamics.
- Graduates serve the needs of the society by designing, manufacturing, evaluating, and/or operating systems in which living organisms or biological products are a significant component, and;
d. The graduate has the ability to design a system, component, or process in which biology plays a significant role.
e. The graduate has the ability to design and conduct experiments to gather information for engineering designs.
f. The graduate has the ability to use modern engineering techniques, skills, and tools to define, formulate, and solve engineering problems.
- Graduates contribute to their communities by continuing to engage in professional development, ethical decision making, and thoughtful discourse on contemporary issues.
g. The graduate has the ability to function effectively on multi-disciplinary teams.
h. The graduate has the ability to identify professional and ethical responsibilities when practicing engineering.
i. The graduate has the ability to communicate effectively in large and small groups.
j. The graduate has the background to understand the impact of engineering solutions on the surrounding context.
k. The graduate recognizes the need to engage in life-long learning through participation in professional conferences, workshops, and courses, and by reading and writing in the relevant literature.
l. The graduate has the ability to intelligently discuss contemporary issues.
The Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering is the only
undergraduate degree offered by the program. Students benefit from small
class size and one-on-one interactions with faculty. The program is accredited
by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
General Education Core Requirements including the
ECON 120, ECON 130, or ECON 131
Social Science (One DS course outside of ECON)
Two courses on Global and Multicultural Perspectives (e.g., HIST 151 & 152)
Arts, Humanities, and Literature; (two courses DH/DA/DL from different categories)
BIOL 171 and 171L
CHEM 162, 162L, 272, and 272L
ENG 100, 100A, 101/101L, or ELI 100
MATH 241, 242, 243, and 244 (calculus)
PHYS 170, 170L, 272, and 272L
One course with focus on Ethics
One course with focus on Hawaiian, Asian, or Pacific issues
Five courses with writing intensive focus
(Focus courses may also be used to fulfill other general education or major requirements)
NREM 310 (statistics)
Basic Engineering requirements:
EE 160 and 211 (engr. programming and circuit analysis)
CE 270, 271(mechanics: statics and dynamics)
CE 320 or ME 322 (fluid mechanics)
ME 311 (thermodynamics)
Engineering mathematics elective (MATH 302, 307, 311, ME 360, or CEE 417)
Biological Engineering requirements:
BIOL 172 and 172L or MICR 351 and 351L and a biology elective (BIOL 275/275L, MICR 351/351L, or MICR 485/485L)
BE 260, 350, 350L,
481, and 482
At least 15 credit hours from the following technical electives: BE 405, BE 411, BE 420,
BE 421, BE 431, BE 437,
BE 440, BE 460, or CEE 355
Students must complete a cumulative total of at least 128 credit hours and take (but not necessarily pass)
the NCEES Fundamentals of Engineering exam in the semester they intend to graduate
To find out how to apply for undergraduate study at the University of Hawaii, visit: