Course Work


The list of courses included is not all-inclusive. The student, research advisor/mentor, and co-directors will design a program tailored to the student's interests, goals and background.  

  • MED 289 (BioE 390) Introduction to Bioengineering Research (2 units) - Preference to medical and bioengineering graduate students. Bioengineering is an interdisciplinary field that leverages the disciplines of biology, medicine, and engineering to understand living systems, and engineer biological systems and improve engineering designs and human and environmental health. Topics include: imaging; molecular, cell, and tissue engineering; biomechanics; biomedical computation; biochemical engineering; biosensors; and medical devices.

(6 units required with an Application, 12 units are required without an Application)

Choose from courses in one of four sub-areas (Musculoskeletal, Cardiovascular, Bio-design, or Tissue Engineering) listed below and/or undertake directed study with any faculty member associated with the Bioengineering Scholarly Concentration (2 units).

For a more complete description of classes we encourage you to visit the Stanford University Bulletin:



ME280 Skeletal Development and Evolution

ME281 Biomechanics of Movement

ME381 Orthopaedic Bioengineering

ME386 Neuromuscular Biomechanics

ME485 Modeling and Simulation of Human Movement



ME284A/B Cardiovascular Bioengineering

ME484 Computational Methods in Cardiovascular Bioengineering


Biodesign/Biomedical Technology

ME374/MED272A Biodesign Innovation

BIOE 273/MED 273 Biodesign for Digital Health  

BIOE 371/MED 271 Global Biodesign: Medical Technology in an International Context

BIOE 374A/ME 368A/MED 272A Biodesign Innovation: Needs Finding and Concept Creation

BIOE 374B/ME 368B/MED 272B Biodesign Innovation: Concept Development and Implementation  


Tissue Engineering

ORTHO270 Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering  

ME385A Tissue Engineering

ME385B Tissue Engineering Laboratory


Other possible courses:

ENGR 25 Biotechnology

CHEMENG 50Q Drug Delivery in the 21st Century

CHEMENG 150 Biochemical Engineering

EE 17Q From Chips to Genes: Engineering the Micro World

ENGR 63Q Engineering Applications in Medicine

STS 101 Science, Technology and Contemporary Society

STS 110 Ethics and Public Policy

STS 115 Computer, Ethics and Social Responsibility

STS 170 Work, Technology and Society

STS 215 Computers, Ethics and Social Responsibility

GSBGEN 522 Ethical Issues in the Biotech Industry

LAW 440 Biotechnology Law and Policy

LAW 313 Health Law and Policy

PHIL 78 Medical Ethics

Students interested in completing all 12 units in Bioengineering are encouraged to devise a course plan to present to the co-directors.

Students will also be required to attend journal clubs and laboratory meetings in addition to participating in the following opportunities slated to be developed specifically for this scholarly concentration:

Bioengineering Scholarly Concentration Visiting Professorship

A concentration student and their mentor will nominate nationally/internationally renowned scientists in their field of study to the concentration oversight board. Twice a year, the scientists will be invited as visiting professors for a 1 ½- to 2-day visit to lecture, participate in laboratory meetings, meet with the concentration student and, meet with collaborators throughout the schools of medicine and engineering. These visits will be coordinated with the bioengineering scholarly concentration research dinners.

Bioengineering Scholarly Concentration Research Dinners

Students who have completed the original research track will present their research at an informal dinner meeting which will be attended by their colleagues, peers and invited faculty members. This event will occur on a quarterly basis.

Course Descriptions

Engineering Fundamentals

Examples of Engineering Fundamentals Courses include:

  • ENGR 25. Biotechnology - The interplay between molecular and cellular biology and engineering principles in the design, development, manufacture, and formulation of new drugs and agrochemicals. Emphasis is on understanding the scope of engineering in modern biotechnology. Topics include biological fundamentals, genomics and bioinformatics, protein engineering, fermentation and downstream recovery of biomolecules, antibody technologies, plant biotechnology, vaccines, transgenic animals, and stem cell technologies. The role of intellectual property and venture capital in biotechnology.
  • CHEMENG 50Q. Drug Delivery in the 21st Century - Highly engineered, controlled delivery systems for medication are currently available for motion sickness, heart pain, and high blood pressure; the future promises further advances developed by joining chemistry, biology, medicine, materials science, and engineering. Guest scientists and engineers describe products on the market and in the pipeline. One sophisticated drug delivery system, the cigarette, is studied, as the basis for a therapeutic delivery system
  • CHEMENG 150. Biochemical Engineering - The general principles used in the biological production of fine biochemicals, with emphasis on biopharmaceuticals as a fundamental paradigm. Basic and applied principles in enzyme kinetics, microbial physiology, recombinant DNA technology, metabolic engineering, fermentation process development and scale up, product isolation, protein purification, protein folding, and regulatory issues.
  • EE 17Q. From Chips to Genes: Engineering the MicroWorld - Stanford Introductory Seminar. Preference to sophomores. Each session consists of a lecture by instructor or guest speaker followed by demonstration or hands-on experimentation. Instruments available include light microscopes, scanning electron microscope, scanning tunneling microscope, microlithography tools. Applications include microelectronics, microelectro-mechanical systems (MEMS), and biotechnology.
  • ENGR 63Q. Engineering Applications in Medicine.

Technology in Society

Examples of Technology in Society courses include:

  • STS 101/201 (ENGR 130) Science, Technology, and Contemporary Society
  • STS 110 (MS&E 197) Ethics and Public Policy
  • STS 115 (ENGR 131) Ethical Issues in Engineering
  • STS 170 (MS&E 182) Work, Technology, and Society
  • STS 215 (CS 201) Computers, Ethics, and Social Responsibility

Additionally, students may opt for other interdepartmental offerings to satisfy this technology and ethics requirements. Existing courses which satisfy this are:

  • GSBGEN 522 Ethical Issues in the Biotech Industry
  • LAW 440. Biotechnology Law and Policy
  • LAW 313 (HRP 310). Advanced Issues in Health Law and Policy: Genetics
  • PHIL 78. Medical Ethics-(Same as ETHICSOC 78.)

Engineering Depth Courses

Examples of Engineering Depth Courses within the school of Mechanical Engineering broadly grouped by system (Musculoskeletal/Movement, Cardiovascular, Biodesing/Biomedical Technology, Tissue Engineering):


Skeletal Development and Evolution (ME 280) - The mechanobiology of skeletal growth, adaptation, regeneration, and aging is considered from developmental and evolutionary perspective. Emphasis is placed on the interactions between mechanical and chemical factors in the regulation of connective tissue biology. 3 units.

  • Biomechanics of Movement (ME281) - Dynamics of human and animal movement. Equations of motion for multi-joint systems, including formulations for inverse dynamics and forward dynamics. Muscle and tendon mechanics, musculoskeletal geometry, experimental techniques for measurement of motion. Applications of mechanics in sports, orthopaedics, and rehabilitation. 3 units.
  • Orthopaedic Bioengineering (ME 381) - Engineering approaches are applied to the musculoskeletal system in the context of surgical and medical care. Fundamental anatomy and physiology. Material and structural characteristics of hard and soft connective tissues and organ systems are considered and the role of mechanics in normal development and pathogenesis. Engineering methods are used in the evaluation and planning of orthopaedic procedures, surgery and devices. 3 units
  • Neuromuscular Biomechanics (ME386) - The interplay between mechanics and neural control of movement. State of the art assessment through review of classic and recent journal articles. Emphasis is on the application of dynamics and control to the design of assistive technology for persons with physical disabilities. 3 units.
  • Modeling and Simulation of Human Movement (ME485) - Direct experience with the computational tools used to create simulations of human movement. Lectures/ labs on animation of movement; kinematic models of joints; forward dynamic simulation; computational models of muscles, tendons, and ligaments; creation of models from medical images; control of dynamic simulations; collision detection and contact models. Prerequisite: ME331, ME381. 3 units.


  • Cardiovascular Biomechanics (ME 284A) - Biomechanical principles are developed and applied to the cardiovascular system. The relevance of mechanics in the study of cardiovascular function is examined from an historical perspective. Cardiovascular system anatomy, tissue mechanics, and blood rheology. Cardiovascular physiology and disease processes. Lumped parameter models, pulse wave propagation models, Womersley theory, finite element methods of blood flow, pulsatile flow in deformable vessels and cardiac fluid dynamics. Problems in modeling blood flow will be discussed within the context of disease research, device design, and surgical planning. 3 units.
  • Computational Methods in Cardiovascular Bioengineering (ME 484) - Lumped parameter, one-dimensional nonlinear and linear wave propagation, and three-dimensional modeling techniques applied to simulate blood flow in the cardiovascular system. Construction of anatomic models from medical imaging data. Problems in blood flow within the context of disease research, device design, and surgical planning. 3 units.

Biodesign/Biomedical Technology ( )

  • Biomedical Technology Innovation (ME374A / MED 272A) - Introduction to the in-depth process of needs finding in the clinical setting with an emphasis on screening, and preliminary market and patent assessment. Strategies for understanding and interpreting clinical needs, searching patents, and research literature. Guest speakers. Limited enrollment. 3 units.
  • Biomedical Technology Innovation (ME374B) - Continuation of 374A 3 units.
  • Biomedical Device Design and Evaluation I (ME382A) - Real world problems and challenges of biomedical device design and evaluation. Students engage in industry sponsored projects resulting in new designs, physical prototypes, design analyses, computational models, and experimental tests, gaining experience in: the formation of design teams; interdisciplinary communication skills; regulatory issues; biological, anatomical, and physiological considerations; testing standards for medical devices; and intellectual property. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Limited enrollment. Must be taken in sequence with ME282B. 4 units.
  • Biomedical Device Design and Evaluation II (ME 382B) - Continuation of industry sponsored projects from ME382A. With the assistance of faculty and expert consultants, students finalize product designs or complete detailed design evaluations of new medical products. Bioethics issues and strategies for funding new medical ventures. 4 units.
  • Bioengineering and Biodesign Forum (ME 389) - Invited speakers present research topics at the interfaces of biology, medicine, and mechanical engineering. 1 unit.

Tissue Engineering

  • Orthopaedic Tissue Engineering (ORTHO 270) - Biological principles underlying the use of engineering strategies and biocompatible materials for tissue repair and regeneration. Structure, physiology, and mechanics of articular cartilage, bone, and dense soft connective tissues. Current ideas, approaches, and applications being implemented as therapeutic regimens for arthritis, spinal deformities, and limb salvage. Multidisciplinary constraints on the design and creation of tissue constructs. Students enrolling for 2 units prepare a presentation and final project. Prerequisite: familiarity with basic cell and molecular mechanisms underlying tissue differentiation.1-2 units.
  • Tissue Engineering (ME385A) - Tissue engineering is an expanding discipline that applies biological and engineering principles to create substitutes or replacements for defective tissues or organs. The principles of cell biology as a foundation for using engineering approaches to generate tissue structure and function. Emphasis is on how scaffolds, smart polymers, and mechanical forces can be sued to reproduce the physical environment that acts, at the whole organ system level, to maintain specialized cellular function through molecular and genetic mechanisms. 2 units.
  • Tissue Engineering Lab (ME385B) - Hands-on experience in the fabrication of living engineered tissues. Techniques to be covered include sterile technique, culture of mammalian cells, creation of cell-seeded scaffolds, and the effects of mechanical loading on the metabolism of living engineered tissues. The underlying theory and background for each technique are described followed by a practical demonstration. Students are then given access to the lab and provided with supplies and expected to develop hands-on proficiency. 1 unit.