Skip to main content
Close up of female student working with electronics in classroom

Biomedical engineers are professionals trained as engineers who specialize in the medical and biological sciences. We use our multidisciplinary expertise to design new medical instruments, devices and techniques to provide innovative solutions to detect, diagnose, treat and prevent disease.

With more than $20 million in annual research expenditures, more than 100 patents, and 13 startups, our faculty and students are at the forefront of scientific discovery and clinical translation.

Quick facts about BME

To improve human health by integrating education, discovery, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

The Department of Biomedical Engineering motivates and prepares students to engage in lifelong learning. Through the creation, integration, application and transfer of engineering knowledge to medicine and biology, we have a significant and far-reaching impact on human health. We cultivate an environment that nurtures and promotes the development of our faculty, staff, trainees and students as professionals and leaders.

We value the contributions of each person and respect the profound ways their identity, culture, background, experience, status, abilities and opinion enrich the university community.

Biomedical engineers are essential for pushing forward the frontiers of science and technology, and for developing new tools and techniques to solve some of our most fundamental medical problems. Our work is highly interdisciplinary, involving interactions with physicians, biologists, and engineers from other disciplines. To prepare students for these careers, our undergraduate and graduate curriculum offer diverse learning opportunities with hands-on engagement in design and research.

UW-Madison offers unique opportunities for students to become involved in the practice of biomedical engineering from the minute they set foot on campus. A core element of our undergraduate curriculum is our design series, which engages students in real-life engineering challenges throughout their time at UW-Madison.

BME graduate students engage in collaborative and interdisciplinary research with labs from the Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Pharmacy, and Veterinary Medicine, as well as the Colleges of Engineering, Agricultural and Life Sciences, and Letters and Sciences. Many of our students are supported through competitive national fellowships or training grants and benefit from unique professional development resources such as the Delta Program.

Enrollment, Fall 2020

  • Undergraduates in BME: 642
  • Master of Science in BME: 37
  • PhD students in BME: 70

Degrees conferred, 2019-2020

  • Bachelor of Science in BME: 81
  • Master of Science in BME: 33
  • PhD in BME: 16

Placement rate for BS graduates is greater than 95% for more than 10 years.

Completed in 2002, our building, the Engineering Centers Building (ECB), offers state-of-the-art facilities in which students and faculty study, invent and discover. We are located on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus in close proximity to the UW Hospital and Clinics and UW–Madison’s world-class bioscience and biotechnology facilities.

In addition to our location in ECB, many BME faculty members have labs in the Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research (WIMR), which is located on the School of Medicine and Public Health campus. WIMR is designed to encourage unique gatherings of scientists from different disciplines to address urgent health problems of common concern. BME faculty are key members of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery/Morgridge Institute for Research (WID/MIR), which is a hub for interdisciplinary research that will lead to the development of new biomedical treatments and technological applications aimed at improving human health and welfare.

Combined, these facilities offer our students and faculty an environment that is unparalleled for research, learning and innovation, making the University of Wisconsin–Madison an exceptional place to study biomedical engineering.

A critical component of the field of biomedical engineering is the ability to translate basic research advances into effective therapies, techniques or devices that impact patient care. Through the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), faculty and students have the opportunity to patent and license their technologies. More than 99 patents have been granted, resulting in 18 licenses. These efforts are further supported by the D2P Initiative, which accelerates the commercialization process by providing mentorship, development funding, and business expertise. BME faculty are responsible for numerous startup companies in the Madison area.

UW–Madison’s longest and proudest tradition remains the Wisconsin Idea, the principle that the university should improve people’s lives beyond the campus. That’s why we offer our students ways to give back in and outside the classroom throughout their undergraduate career.

Community Outreach Program
Senior Biomedical Engineering students get to share their love of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) through hands-on presentations for schools, local youth clubs, and other community organizations.
Learn more

Freshman Engineering Projects
First-year engineering students have the opportunity to build creative solutions for community members.
Learn more