Sep 24, 2022  
2013-14 Undergraduate Academic Catalog 
2013-14 Undergraduate Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

BioMolecular Engineering, B.S.

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Program Director:

Dr. Gul Afshan
Office: CC-252
Phone: (414) 277-7211
Fax: (414) 277-2878

Biomolecular engineering is a diverse, application-driven discipline in the areas of medical, agricultural, environmental, biotechnical and other life-science fields. International chemical, biological and nanotech industries seek engineering graduates who are prepared to work at a molecular level in life-science related fields. Biomolecular engineering (BioE), a four-year bachelor of science degree program at MSOE, meets this need. The curriculum of the BioE program is a balanced combination of application-driven engineering, science and computational courses. Along with rigorous laboratory, math and science training, these courses address the cross-disciplinary nature of biomolecular engineering.

Biomolecular engineers work at the interface of engineering and molecular biology to solve engineering problems, improve current products and processes and develop new products and processes at the molecular level.

In addition to scheduled curriculum courses the BioE faculty offers students with interest in particular areas an opportunity to work one-on-one with a faculty member as part of an independent study, EB-499.

The biomolecular engineering program at MSOE enables BioE students to:

  • gain a solid foundation in basic mathematics and sciences.
  • learn and apply theoretical principles in modern and well-equipped laboratories.
  • experience involved discussions with industrial and academic contacts via a series of seminar courses that emphasize biomolecular engineering design and foster academic and professional discussions, group learning and entrepreneurship.
  • work at the molecular level with simple and complex molecules through courses that cover concepts of thermodynamics, transport phenomena, cell engineering, biophysics, bioinformatics, nanotechnology and genomics.
  • learn cell culture and its applications in the design and development of therapeutics and diagnostic products through the BioE program’s cell culture facility.
  • mathematically model biomolecules and biological processes and quantitatively measure, visualize and analyze with instruments like the atomic force microscope.
  • learn concepts of rapid prototyping and biomolecular modeling through MSOE’s Center for BioMolecular Modeling (CBM) and Rapid Prototyping Center (RPC).
  • engineer new or improved bioactive compounds or improve process efficiencies for such systems via senior design experience.

Additional features of the BioE program:

  • the curriculum of the BioE program prepares graduates to handle the changing faces of the bio- and nano- industries thus allowing flexibility of career opportunities in a dynamic job market.
  • the curriculum prepares graduates to pursue quality graduate programs nationally and internationally.
  • graduates can follow a pre-med option by taking a few supplementary courses
  • Students may pursue a physics, chemistry or math minor along with the degree in BioE.
  • the BioE program at MSOE promotes equal academic and professional opportunities for all.

The Biomolecular Engineering program at MSOE is defined as follows:

BioMolecular Engineering is a discipline that applies engineering principles, design concepts, and problem-solving skills to the life sciences at the molecular level to promote both fundamental and applied advancements in medicine, biological sciences, engineering and many related fields.

Difference from pure chemical and biomedical engineering:

The program applies some of the core chemical engineering principles, concepts and skills. It is different from pure chemical engineering in the sense that it utilizes life sciences through the exploration of hybrid biological fields which leads to the design of new products or processes although processes that convert raw materials or chemicals into more useful or valuable forms can be practiced as well.

The program is distinct from biomedical engineering due to the scale at which the design is practiced and the applications associated with it. While the biomedical field heavily impacts the field of medicine, the biomolecular engineering program at MSOE is tailored such that applications can be stretched over various industrial and academic fields, including drug discovery and development, biomaterials, bioremediation, bioprocesses, and other related fields.

Program Educational Objectives

The BioE program prepares graduates to exhibit the following attributes within a few years of graduation:

Professional Skills

BioE alumni will:

  • possess and demonstrate skills to function beyond entry-level engineers.
  • demonstrate sustained professional development.

Sense of Excellence and Achievement

BioE alumni will:

  • exhibit professional and ethical responsibilities.
  • compete for positions at the local, state, national or international levels.
  • engage in continuous education and/or career-appropriate options.

Social Skills

BioE alumni will:

  • display management and leadership skills.
  • function independently under diverse cultural and workplace settings.

Student Outcomes

Graduates of the biomolecular engineering program will have:

  • an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering
  • an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
  • an ability to design a system, component or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability and sustainability
  • an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
  • an ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems
  • an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  • an ability to communicate effectively
  • the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental and societal context
  • a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, life-long learning
  • a knowledge of contemporary issues
  • an ability to use the techniques, skills and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice
  • a thorough foundation in the basic sciences and sufficient knowledge in the concepts and skills required to design, analyze and control physical, chemical and biological products and processes in the field of biomolecular engineering.

Future Directions

Important areas of biomolecular engineering such as bioinformatics, bioremediation, bio-nanotechnology and genetic therapeutics can be offered as concentrations of the program in the future.

View Annual Student Enrollment and Graduation Data

BioMolecular Engineering Model Full-time Track - V1.2

Year One

Year Two

Year Three

Year Four

Total: 13 lecture hours - 7 lab hours - 16 credits

Total: 12 lecture hours - 6 lab hours - 14 credits

Total: 14 lecture hours - 5 lab hours - 16 credits


1 This course must be taken no later than sophomore year. This course must be passed in order to be part of any biomolecular lab experiments and senior design projects.

2 There are 15 credits of elective subjects in  the biomolecular engineering program that must be taken as follows: 6 credits of Humanities (HU); 6 credits of Social Sciences (SS); and 3 additional credits of either Humanities (HU) or Social Science (SS).

Transfer students who have completed 36 quarter or 24 semester credits or more are expected to complete OR 301  Transfer Student Orientation or OR 307S  Transfer Orientation Seminar.

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