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WHEN COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY launched the state’s first undergraduate program in biomedical engineering in 2011, organizers hoped enrollment would reach at least 200 students by 2015.
Enrollment in the undergraduate program has skyrocketed and now numbers more than 285 students – far exceeding expectations, and in May, this multidisciplinary program graduated its first class of 16 undergraduate students. Several already had jobs lined up with prestigious companies such as Terumo and Beckman Coulter.
“The program is anticipating numbers approaching 400 and our freshman and sophomore classes have nearly 100 students in them,” said Stu Tobet, a professor of biomedical sciences and director of the School of Biomedical Engineering. “That’s twice the amount we thought we would have at this time.”
Tobet attributes the growth to the multidisciplinary nature of the program and that students actually earn two degrees – one in biomedical engineering and one in either mechanical engineering, chemical and biological engineering or electrical engineering.
“Our undergraduate program is one of the few dual degree biomedical engineering programs in the country,” he said. “Biomedical engineering is a very broad field so we provide these students with the depth and solid foundation of the traditional engineering field and the breadth and strength in life sciences that are critical in biomedical engineering.”
The School of Biomedical Engineering was created in 2007 at the request of College of Engineering faculty members who had long collaborated and sought a formal structure to help advance the burgeoning area of research.
Since then, the School has grown to include more than 50 faculty members from 14 departments and is now housed in the 122,000-square-foot Suzanne and Walter Scott, Jr. Bioengineering building. Current enrollments include 30 doctoral and 67 master’s degree students.