Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Undergraduate research is considered a central feature of the undergraduate Bioengineering program.  Accordingly, students are given the opportunity to integrate a vast number or research activities into their undergraduate curriculum.  This includes the flexibility of joining research labs in the medical school, veterinary school, or any of the various other schools, centers, and departments on campus.  Finding research opportunities can be as easy as emailing a professor or enrolling in a course.  Several popular course options are described below.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Research in the Curriculum

All BE undergraduates take either BE495 / BE 496 Senior Design or BE497 / BE 498 Senior Thesis, which are year-long hands-on research and/or design experiences under the supervision of a faculty member.

Independent Study

In addition to Senior Design or Senior Thesis, you may take up to two more independent study courses in research towards your degree (BE 099, 490, 492).

Collaborating with Faculty

Students do research not only with Bioengineering faculty, but with faculty across the university, whether in the medical school, hospitals, or the many research centers at Penn, all within walking distance from each other. For more information on beginning research as an undergraduate, the Penn student chapter of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) has assembled its own student guide, which you can download here.

Interdisciplinary Research

Students in the BAS program or pursuing a dual degree, may want to do research in areas like the economics of health or biotechnology start-ups.

Clinical Research Experience

The clinical preceptorship course (BE 400) is a special course designed to introduce students to research at the interface of engineering and medicine.

Undergraduate Publications

Many students publish their research while they are still undergraduates. Every student does a year-long senior design project, but many conduct more than one research project or engage in research for more than two semesters. You can see a list of student publications here.