The Department of Bioengineering at UC Berkeley grants the Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering degrees in bioengineering, and jointly grants the Ph.D. in bioengineering and Master of Translational Medicine degrees with the University of California, San Francisco.
The BioE graduate and undergraduate programs are continually ranked in the top 10 in the nation, according to US News & World Report, while the College of Engineering, is one of the top three overall engineering schools in the U.S., and UC Berkeley as a whole has been ranked as the top public university in the world.
Rated one of the top 10 Bioengineering undergraduate programs in the country, Bioengineering at Berkeley is a multidisciplinary major intended for academically strong students who excel in the physical sciences, mathematics, and biology. Coursework provides a strong foundation in engineering and the biological sciences, with the freedom to explore a variety of topics and specialize in advanced areas of research. All students benefit from intensive group design work, either through a senior capstone project or through independent research in faculty laboratories. The major features small, specialized upper division courses, and direct interaction with faculty.
The Master of Translational Medicine program draws on the unique expertise and resources available at UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco to provide trainees with the tools they need to solve real-world problems in a creative, interdisciplinary, team setting. The unique one-year program is designed for engineers, scientists, and clinicians who seek to bring innovative treatments and devices into clinical use. Coursework includes the fundamentals of bioengineering, physiology and disease, engineering design, core medical principles, clinical research methods, and clinical trials design, as well as the basics of business and management. The program culminates in a capstone design project in which students work in interdisciplinary teams co-advised by engineering and clinical faculty.
The Bioengineering Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) curriculum has a strong emphasis on engineering and entrepreneurship, designed for students planning to move directly into industry after completing the program. Graduates of this one-year professional program have a combination of technical and economic understanding that allows them to quickly assume leadership roles in their engineering careers.
The PhD in Bioengineering is granted jointly by Berkeley and UCSF, two of the top public universities in the world in engineering and health sciences. Our interdisciplinary program combines the outstanding resources in biomedical and clinical sciences at UCSF with the excellence in engineering, physical, and life sciences at Berkeley.
Administered by the Department of Bioengineering at UC Berkeley and the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences at UCSF, all students in the program are simultaneously enrolled in the graduate divisions of both the San Francisco and Berkeley campuses and are free to take advantage of courses and research opportunities on both campuses. The program awards the PhD in Bioengineering degree from both campuses.
At UC Berkeley, the bioengineering undergraduate major sends the third largest number of graduates to medical school (behind only Molecular and Cell Biology and Integrative Biology), and many of our graduates go on to pursue PhD and master’s degrees. Our undergraduates are increasingly finding success in the thriving Bay Area biotech industry. In addition to starting companies or joining companies, our undergraduates are being recognized with prestigious awards, including Rhodes Scholarship, Goldwater Scholarship, University Medal, etc.
With the exception of some students who go on to complete their medical residency requirements, our master’s students primarily find careers in the biotech, biopharma, and consulting industries, starting at mid-level rather than entry-level positions.
From our current data, 20% of our PhD alumni hold tenure-track positions at major universities, and have been honored with awards that include the Ford Fellowship, AAAS Policy Fellowship, Kauffman Foundation Fellowship, PECASE, and National Academy of Engineering. Those of our alumni employed in biotech and related industries generally start in positions of significant authority, and many of those are engaged in running their own startups.
Berkeley offers a wealth of opportunity for the motivated student, from academic minors and entrepreneurial endeavors to work in global health and welfare, our busy students find ways to make time for their passions.