The Fischell Department of Bioengineering Undergraduate Honors Program is a research-oriented, thesis-based enrichment experience that serves to augment the curriculum by providing practical, hands-on learning opportunities. The primary goal of the Honors program is to develop BIOE graduates who will be among the most competitive applicants for graduate and medical school programs, as well as industry jobs. Toward this end, the program provides exceptional undergraduate students with training in academic and professional pursuits while offering a formal mechanism to be recognized for scholarly achievements.
Specifically, the program is designed to provide education and training in leadership, professional development, academic writing, academic presentations, and career awareness. Above all, however, the Honors Program enriches the students’ academic experiences and better prepares students for their next career step through immersion in bioengineering research. Regardless of the next step – a Ph.D., medical school, a career as an engineer in the industry, or nearly anything else – excelling in undergraduate research prepares a student for advancement in their future endeavors. This is because research places students in a unique position; a researcher must solve a problem that has not been solved before. Graduates who have intensely pursued undergraduate research will have obtained valuable research aptitude and experience, a solid understanding of the research methods that lead to clinical advances, creative and critical thinking skills, leadership capabilities, teamwork, and effective communication styles – all of which are coveted assets in any career in bioengineering and medicine.
Applications for the Bioengineering Honors Program are accepted each spring. Students with two years remaining in their undergraduate matriculation will receive the strongest consideration, though other exceptional cases may be considered. Typically, students will apply during their sophomore year and complete the program during their junior and senior years. However, students planning to complete the degree in five years may apply in their 3rd year and complete the program during their 4th and 5th years. Applications are reviewed and voted upon by the Fischell Department Undergraduate Affairs Committee.
- Deadline: April 30 of each year.
- Academic standing: Students with a GPA of 3.5 and higher will receive the strongest consideration, though all students with a 3.0 or higher are invited to apply.
- Application contents: Applicants must submit a personal statement (one page), a research proposal (one page), an up-to-date unofficial transcript, and a Faculty Mentor Evaluation Worksheet.
Requirements for completion
- Conduct research for at least four semesters under the supervision of a faculty mentor.
- Complete 6 credits of BIOE399H (3 credits can be counted towards graduation as a BIOE elective).
- Complete three semesters of BIOE489H.
- Complete one 600-level BIOE elective.
- Attend at least four research seminars in the second and third semesters and submit brief summaries; it is preferred that the students attend the BIOE seminar, but other seminars, such as CHBE, ENMA, MOCB, etc. are acceptable.
- Present a research update to the BIOE489H class during the final year of the program.
- Present a research poster in an external academic conference or an on-campus research fair.
- Complete an academic thesis and defend the thesis to an approved faculty committee.