Biology? Medicine? Engineering? How about all three!

I knew I would be a biomedical engineer when I first came to Columbia. I wanted to be a problem solver and actively understand how to treat illnesses or diseases. Even though biomedical engineering isn’t the easiest major in the world, it is still one of my favorites.

Requirements for the major:

My favorite thing about engineering at Columbia is the fact that while the bulletin will give you one plan, your actual schedule will be vastly different. I can’t imagine getting into a Music Hum my first semester at Columbia but hey, if anyone did, good for you!

  • Two semesters of Biomedical Engineering (BMEN E3010 and E3020)
  • Two semesters of BME Laboratory (BMEN E3810 and E3820)
  • Two semesters of Quantitative physiology (BMEN E4001 and 4002)
  • Biostatistics for Engineering (BMEN E4110) 
  • Two semesters of BME design (BMEN E3910 and E3920)
  • Six technical electives of your choosing.
  • Biomedical Engineering Core 
    • Introduction to Biology I and II (BIOL UN2005 and UN2006)
    • Introduction to Electrical Engineering (ELEN E1201)
    • Introduction to Applied Math (E2101)
    • And of course… the Engineering Core
      • One full sequence of Chemistry. That could be the two General Chemistry courses and a lab, accelerated chemistry with a lab, or even organic chemistry (and a lab).
      • One full sequence of Physics must also be taken. The 1400 is the one I personally took and, unless you are an applied physics minor, is the one I suggest. Trust me when I say 1403 was the most rewarding physics class I have taken at Columbia (and I took three).
      • University Writing. It’s a given, and one of the classes which decided my minor.
      • Computer Science. Intro to Python! This class has changed dramatically since I have taken it, so I can’t really give many tips here.
      • Art of Engineering. Our favorite brainy class. 
      • Music Humanities or Art Humanities.
      • Multivariable Calculus. Some people take this their freshmen year, I took it my sophomore year.
      • Principles of Economics. Because engineers have to know how to make money to spend it.
      • Two semesters of Literature Humanities OR Contemporary Civilization OR Global Core. Most engineers take global core.

Requirements for the minor:

Six courses consisting of many of the biomedical engineering third year classes.

  • Introduction to Biology I and II (BIOL UN2005 and UN2006)
  • Two semesters of Biomedical Engineering (BMEN E3010 and E3020)
  • Two semesters of Quantitative physiology (BMEN E4001 and 4002)

Class Recommendations/Advice

I am just a spring semester sophomore, so I can’t really talk about many of the classes. Once I am a senior, I’ll provide an update. Some of my main recommendations is to find a study group! And when I say study group, I mean a GOOD one. I’ve had my study group since Fall Chemistry I and they’ve followed me through Biology now. Having them keeps me accountable and I learn a lot from them!! I do not recommend overloading yourself each semester and I especially do not recommend taking introduction to electrical engineering, biology, and multivariable calculus all in the same semester if you can help it. Office hours are the perfect way to catch up on material you might not understand and, as always, don’t be afraid to ask questions. For me, Biomedical Engineering is an extremely rewarding major and I am sure you would find it to be rewarding as well.

Lab via Pexels