Biomedical Engineering

Chairperson: Frank A. Pintar, Ph.D.
Department of Biomedical Engineering website

The Department of Biomedical Engineering offers curriculum that leads to a bachelor of science degree in biomedical engineering. Within this one degree, there are three major options: Biocomputing, Bioelectronics and Biomechanics.

The Marquette University and Medical College of Wisconsin Department of Biomedical Engineering brings together the engineering education and research expertise of Marquette and the medical research, technology and clinical expertise of MCW to provide an inclusive education model for the next generation of engineers, scientists and physicians. Click here to link to the joint department website with more information.


The Department of Biomedical Engineering consists of a dedicated team of faculty and staff committed to the Jesuit tradition of the pursuit of truth. We develop leaders and problem solvers skilled at applying engineering, science and design principles to improve health in the service of humanity by:

  • Discovering and disseminating new knowledge.
  • Guiding students to meaningful and ethical professional and personal lives.
  • Fostering interdisciplinary and collaborative research and education through academic and industrial alliances.
  • Continuing innovative leadership in education, research and industrial relationships.
  • Inspiring faculty and students to serve others.

Studies in biomedical engineering incorporate courses in biology, chemistry, mathematics, computing and engineering. These courses, in combination, emphasize the interdisciplinary elements of biomedical engineering not presently offered in the more traditional departments of engineering. A solid foundation in the mathematical, physical and life sciences is necessary for the engineer to function effectively in a medically or biologically oriented problem-solving environment. In this environment, the engineer needs to be able to communicate with physicians, to describe and model complex biological systems, to collect and analyze experimental or clinical data, to understand the capabilities and limitations of sophisticated instrumentation and to understand the principles of design.

There are three majors in the biomedical engineering curriculum: biocomputing, bioelectronics and biomechanics. The bioelectronics major includes rigorous training in electrical engineering within the interdisciplinary framework of the curriculum. Such training, which includes courses in electric circuits and analog and digital electronics, supports interests focused on the measurement of bioelectric signals and biomedical instrumentation design. In the senior year, the culmination of the training features intensive biomedical instrument design and computer laboratories emphasizing modern bioelectric applications. In addition, a senior year capstone design course sequence places the student in a multidisciplinary design team situation to solve an actual industrial bioelectronic design problem.

The biomechanics major includes rigorous training in mechanical engineering within the interdisciplinary framework of the curriculum. Such training, which includes courses in materials and solid mechanics, supports interests focused on the application of biomechanics and biomaterials. In the senior year, the culmination of the training features intensive biomedical instrument design and computer laboratories emphasizing modern biomechanical applications. In addition, a senior-year capstone design course sequence places the student in a multidisciplinary design team situation to solve an actual industrial biomechanical or biomaterial design problem.

The biocomputer engineering curriculum integrates computer engineering and the life sciences, with a solid foundation in mathematics, physics, chemistry and engineering methods. The curriculum combines foundational computer engineering knowledge with biocomputer engineering applications, integrating biology, physiology, medicine, biomedical software design, biosignal processing and bioinstrumentation. In the senior year, the training culminates with a comprehensive, biocomputer engineering, design laboratory experience that incorporates engineers from industry and emphasizes medical device design and methods for biomedical informatics. In addition, a senior capstone design course places students in a multidisciplinary team working with industry to solve biocomputer design problems.

All majors in biomedical engineering have been designed to be compatible with other programs offered by the Opus College of Engineering. Each major fulfills the requirements of the Marquette Core Curriculum and requires 129 credits for graduation. Students can earn an optional minor in either electrical or mechanical engineering as well as biology, chemistry, business administration or others. In addition, the majors retain many of the core courses of the initial two years and allow the student to elect the co-op/internship program. Since the majors satisfy the entrance requirements of many professional schools, the student can, usually without additional preparation, pursue studies in medical school, dental school, schools of veterinary medicine, law school and graduate schools in biomedical engineering or traditional areas of engineering.

The Department of Biomedical Engineering operates biomedical image and signal processing laboratories, biocomputer, bioelectronic and biomechanical design laboratories, and students have access to computer, electrical and mechanical engineering laboratories as well as the college and university computer facilities. In addition, collaborative programs exist between Marquette University, the Medical College of Wisconsin, the Milwaukee County Medical Complex, Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital, and the Zablocki Veterans Administration Medical Center. These proximate collaborative research programs, some active for three decades, provide a uniquely enhanced laboratory experience that has significantly contributed to the success of biomedical engineering at Marquette.

Educational Objectives

To provide an educational program that will prepare graduates to:

  • Participate as a technical contributor and member of a design and/or development team.
  • Communicate effectively with individuals and teams with a wide variety of backgrounds.
  • Pursue professional or graduate degrees or employment in the biomedical industry.
  • Understand the legal, ethical, economic and regulatory requirements of medical device design and biomedical engineering research.
  • Define, solve and implement solutions to a problem.
  • Progress in developing leadership skills.
  • Identify limitations in their own knowledge base and skills and engage in lifelong learning.

Non-Biomedical Engineering Minors

Biomedical engineering students can earn minors in a wide variety of areas including computer engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, biology and chemistry. Students should consult with the Engineering Academic Advising Center to discuss the requirements of these minors. Careful planning with an academic adviser can minimize the number of additional hours beyond the normal graduation requirements.

Five Year B.S./M.S. Program

This program allows students to receive a bachelor of science degree and a master of science degree in biomedical engineering in five years. Students with grade point averages (3.500 or above) apply to the program during their junior year. They begin their thesis research the summer between their junior and senior years. Their research laboratory experience continues the summer between their senior and fifth years and throughout their fifth year, culminating in the preparation of a written thesis and defense.