Double Major in Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering

Focus on topics related to biomechanics, biomaterials and bioscience

The double-major Bachelor of Science (BSE) in mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering enables students to focus on topics related to public health.

The ME-BME curriculum prepares students for careers related to medical devices, public health, biopharma and biomanufacturing industries by emphasizing the integration of engineering, biology and environmental sciences.

This undergraduate degree program forms a solid foundation for graduate-level work in materials science, mechanical engineering or biomedical engineering.

Typical Course Schedule

First Year

Fall Semester

  • MATH 111L(31L) Introductory Calculus I
  • CHEM 101DL Core Concepts in Chemistry
  • Writing 101 Academic Writing
  • EGR 101L Engineering Design & Communication
  • Social Science or Humanities Elective

Spring Semester

  • BIO 201L(101L) Gateway to Biology: Molecular Biology (alt: CHEM 310DL(32L) or Chem 201DL(151L)
  • MATH 122L(32L) Introductory Calculus II
  • PHYS 151L(61L) Introductory Mechanics
  • EGR 110L Computational Methods in Engineering
  • EGR 101L(20) Engineering Innovation

Second Year

Fall Semester

  • BME 244L(144L) Quantitative Physiology (alt: Bio 101L)
  • EGR 201L(75L) Mechanics of Solids
  • Chemistry 310DL(32L) App Chem Principle or 201DL(151L) Organ Chem (alt: Social Science or Humanities Elective)
  • MATH 218D-2 Matrices and Vectors
  • PHYS 151L(62L) Introductory Technical Physics II1

Spring Semester

  • BME 253L(153L) Biomedical Electronic Measurements I
  • ME 221L(83L) Structure and Properties of Solids
  • MATH 219 Multivariable Calculus
  • EGR 244L(123L) Dynamics
  • Social Science or Humanities Elective (alt: BME 244L(144L))

Third Year

Fall Semester

  • BME 260L(100L) Modeling Cellular and Molecular Systems
  • BME 271(171) Signals & Systems or ECE 54L Intro Sig & Sys
  • MATH 353(108) Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations
  • ME 331L(101L) Thermodynamics
  • ME 101L(131L) Mechanical Engineering Analysis for Design

Spring Semester

  • BME 354L(154L) Biomedical Electronic Measurements II
  • BME 302L(202L) Fundamentals Biomaterials/Biomechanics
  • ME 336L(126L) Fluid Mechanics
  • Life Science Elective 2

Fourth Year

Fall Semester

  • ME 334L(125L) Control of Dynamic Systems
  • ME 421L(141L) Mechanical Design
  • ME 431L(150L) Heat and Mass Transfer
  • ME Elective 1
  • Social Science or Humanities Elective

Spring Semester

  • ME 424L(160L) Mechanical Design3
  • Biomat/Biomech Area Elective4
  • ME Elective 2
  • Social Science or Humanities Elective
  • Social Science or Humanities Elective

Note well: Students with Advanced Placement (AP) credits should pay particular attention to prerequisites when customizing this schedule.

Approved Courses

1. Approved Physics Courses

  • Physics 151L(61L) & 152L(62L)
  • Physics 161L(41L) & Physics 162(42L)—for students transferring in from Duke's Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

If a Student has AP Credits

Advanced Placement (AP) credits are accepted in place of the Physics requirements (Physics C Exams on mechanics for Physics 151L(61L) and electricity and magnetism for Physics 152L(62L), respectively).

If students use AP credits for both courses, they must take Physics 153L(63L) or Physics 264(143).

Students may not take Physics 141(61) at Duke and use AP credit for Physics 142(62).

More AP options

  • If no AP credit or AP score less than 4, then Physics courses 151L(61L) and 152L(62L)
  • If Physics 141(61) is completed and AP scores of 4 to 5, then Physics 152L(62L)
  • If Physics 141(61) and 142(62) are completed and AP scores of 4 to 5, then Physics 153L(63L) or Physics 264(143)
  • If a pre-med student and has taken Physics 151L(61L) and 152L(62L), then it is highly recommended to also take Physics 153L(63) (Note: Physics 141(61) and 142(62) do not cover all the materials in the MCAT.)

2. Selected Approved Life Science Electives


  • BIOCHEM 301(227) Introductory Biochemistry I: Intermediary Metabolism
  • BIOCHEM 302(228) Introductory Biochemistry II


  • BIO 202L(102L) Gateway to Biology: Genetics and Evolution
  • BIO 212L(103L) General Microbiology
  • BIO 215(105) Introduction to Mathematical Modeling in Biology
  • BIO 330L(108L) Comparative and Functional Anatomy of the Vertebrates
  • BIO 333(111L) Principles of Animal Morphology
  • BIO 221(117) Cell and Organismal Physiology
  • BIO 220(119) Cellular and Developmental Biology
  • BIO 213(120) Cell Signaling and Diseases
  • BIO 250(122) Population Genetics
  • BIO 251(124) Molecular Evolution
  • BIO 251L(124L) Molecular Evolution
  • BIO 365(146) From Influenza to Varicella-Zoster: The Physiology, Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases
  • BIO 311(147) Systems Biology: An Introduction for the Quantitative Sciences
  • BIO 232S(149S) Comparative Biomechanics
  • BIO 278LA(150L) Physiology of Marine Animals
  • BIO 329L(151L) Principles of Animal Physiology
  • BIO 224(154) Fundamentals Neuroscience
  • BIO 372LA(155L) Biochemistry of Marine Animals
  • BIO 377LA(176L) Marine Invertebrate Zoology
  • BIO 214L(184L) Experimental Cell and Molecular Biology
  • BIO 350(187) Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics
  • BIO 418(214) Biophysics in Cellular and Developmental Biology
  • BIO 515(244) Principles of Immunology (C-L: Immunology 244)
  • BIO 783(283) Molecular Genetics of Organelles
  • BIO 650(284) Molecular Population Genetics


  • CHEM 363(176) Biophysical Chemistry

Computer Sciences

  • COMPSCI 260(160) Introduction to Computational Genomics

Evolutionary Anthropology

  • Evanth 221S(133L) The Human Body
  • Evanth 530(135) Human Functional Anatomy
  • Evanth 231L(151) Anatomy of the Lower Extremities
  • Evanth 330(155) Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Evanth 235L(172L) Primate Anatomy

Medical Physics

  • MP 505(205) Anatomy and Physiology for Medical Physicists


  • Neurosci 212(112) Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience


  • Pharm 350(150) Pharmacology: Drug Actions and Reactions
  • Pharm 533(233) Essentials of Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Pharm 554(254) Mammalian Toxicology

3. ME 160L with BME project

4. Selected Approved Biomechanics Elective Courses

  • BME 530(230) Tissue Biomechanics
  • BME 531(231) Intermediate Biomechanics
  • BME 569(239) Cell Transport Mechanisms
  • BME 590(265) Cell Biomechanics (Note: Course number is temporary.)
  • BME 590(265) BME Aspects of Blasts & Ballistics (Note: Course number is temporary.)
  • BME 528(275) Biofluid Mechanics
  • CEE 520(201) Continuum Mechanics
  • CEE 535(251) Engineering Analysis and Computational Mechanics