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This is an archived copy of the 2015-16 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Phone: (209) 946-2575
Location: Anderson Hall

Jeff Burmeister, Program Director

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering

The Bachelor of Science degree in Bioengineering is offered by the University of the Pacific School of Engineering and Computer Science. Within a few years of graduating, Pacific graduates are expected to achieve one or more of the following Program Educational Objectives:

  1. Our graduates will have a thorough foundation in engineering, and relevant knowledge of life sciences and ethical issues that enables successful careers in providing services and developing technologies and products to improve human health.
  2. Our graduates will have a breadth and depth of opportunities, both academic and extracurricular, to enable them to develop their leadership and collaboration skills, especially the ability to communicate effectively.
  3. Through a variety of opportunities including senior projects, mentored research and co-ops in industry, government or academia, our graduates are well prepared to continue to acquire practical skills and experience.
  4. Our graduates will be qualified to practice as an engineer and/or pursue advanced study in bioengineering and related fields (e.g. MS, Ph.D., MD, DDS).

Bioengineering is an extremely exciting field. By integrating information, methods and tools of engineering with knowledge found in the sciences and mathematics, it promises challenging careers in a broad range of fields, including medical research and the design of medical instruments, to name just a few.

Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering

Students must complete a minimum of 120 units of academic work in order to earn the bachelor of science in bioengineering. Students must also adhere to the University’s graduation requirements for bachelor degrees. Bioelectrical and Biomechanical Career Paths require a minimum of 32 units of Cooperative Education. Cooperative Education for the Biomedical Career Path is optional.

I. General Education Requirements

PACS 001What is a Good Society4
PACS 002Topical Seminar on a Good Society4
PACS 003What is an Ethical Life?3

Note: 1) Pacific Seminars cannot be taken for Pass/No Credit. 2) Transfer students with 28 or more transfer units complete 2 additional General Education elective courses from below in place of taking PACS 001 and PACS 002.

One course from each subdivision below:

Social and Behavioral Sciences
Two courses from the following:
Arts and Humanities
One course from the following categories:

Note: 1) Only one course can come from each subcategory (A, B, or C) within each category. 2) No more than 2 courses from a single department may be applied to meet the breadth program requirements, with the exception of certain 1-unit GE IIC courses.

II. Diversity Requirement

Students must complete one diversity course (3-4 units)
ENGR 030Engineering Ethics and Society3

Note: 1) Transfer students with 28 units or more transfer units prior to fall 2011 are encouraged but not required to complete a designated diversity course prior to graduation. 2) Courses may be used also to meet general education and/or major/minor requirements.

III. Fundamental Skills

Students must demonstrate competence in:

Quantitative analysis

Note: 1) Fundamental skills must be satisfied prior to enrolling in upper division courses.

IV. Major Requirements

MATH 051Calculus I4
MATH 053Calculus II4
MATH 055Calculus III4
MATH 057Applied Differential Equations I: ODEs4
Select one of the following:4
Introduction to Statistics and Probability
Probability with Applications to Statistics
Basic Science
BENG 053General Biology with Applications for Engineers I3
BENG 063General Biology with Applications for Engineers II4
CHEM 025General Chemistry5
CHEM 027General Chemistry5
PHYS 053Principles of Physics I5
PHYS 055Principles of Physics II5
General Engineering
ENGR 010Dean's Seminar1
ENGR 019Computer Applications in Engineering3
ENGR 020Engineering Mechanics I (Statics)3
ENGR 025Professional Practice Seminar1
ENGR 045Materials Science- Properties and Measurements4
ENGR 110Instrumentation and Experimental Methods3
ENGR 121Mechanics of Materials4
MECH 015Mechanical Engineering Graphics3
Bioengineering Core
BENG 005Introduction to Bioengineering1
BENG 103Biomaterials4
BENG 108Engineering Physiology4
BENG 124Biomechanics4
BENG 171Bioelectricity4
BENG 195Senior Project4
ECPE 041Circuits3
ECPE 041LCircuits Laboratory1
ENGL 106Content Engineering4
Career Path Electives
Select one career path below:6-10
Bioelectrical Career Path
Digital Design
Digital Design Lab
Digital Signal Processing
Biomechanical Career Path
Engineering Mechanics II (Dynamics)
and one of the following groups:
Thermodynamics I
Fluid Mechanics I
Fluid Mechanics I Lab
Biomedical Career Path *
Organic Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
Cooperative Education **
ENGR 181Professional Practice14-18
ENGR 182Professional Practice14-18
ENGR 183Professional Practice14-18

Bioengineering students interested in applying to professional schools, e.g. medical school, should seek the advice of the pre-medical advisor. MCAT preparation may require additional courses outside the degree program requirements, for example: BIOL 101 and BIOL 153.


Cooperative Education is optional for biomedical career path.

Bioengineering Courses

BENG 005. Introduction to Bioengineering. 1 Unit.

This course introduces students to the various sub-disciplines (biomedical, electrical, and mechanical) of bioengineering. Prerequisite: ENGR 010 with a "C-" or better.

BENG 053. General Biology with Applications for Engineers I. 3 Units.

This is the first of a two semester general biology course for engineering students. This course focuses primarily on evolution, plant and animal diversity and ecology. Laboratory activities are integrated into the lecture and are used to reinforce course content with experiential activities and the application of biological principles to an engineering context.

BENG 063. General Biology with Applications for Engineers II. 4 Units.

This is the second of a two semester general biology course for engineering students. This course focuses primarily on metabolism, genetics, and organ systems physiology. A separate laboratory section is used to reinforce course content with experiential activities and the application of engineering techniques used for analysis or control of biological systems.

BENG 103. Biomaterials. 4 Units.

This course discusses biomaterials and lays the ground work for topics such as mechanical chemical, and thermal properties of replacement materials and tissues. Implantation of materials in the body are studies studied from the biological point of view. Prerequisites: Completion of all Fundamental Skills; ENGR 045; BIOL 061 or BENG 063 with a "C-" or better.

BENG 104. Biomedical Imaging. 4 Units.

This course discusses major medical imaging modalities in radiology, including X-ray, CT, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, and MRI. Specific contents include physical principle of each imaging modality; instrumentation and data acquisition/image reconstruction strategy, clinical applications and imaging techniques. Prerequisites: MATH 055, PHYS 055, COMP 051 or ENGR 019.

BENG 108. Engineering Physiology. 4 Units.

This course is a lecture and lab-based study of the major organ systems in the human body. Lectures cover basic anatomy, function and regulation of the nervous, endocrine, sensory, muscular, cardiovascular, respiratory, and excretory systems, with the underlying theme of maintaining homeostasis while responding to physiological disturbances. Lectures also compare each system to abiotic models, and utilize basic principles of physics, math, and chemistry. Lab exercises demonstrate basic physiological processes and emphasize techniques of instrument-based data acquisition and data presentation. Students also create virtual instruments (VIs) that use the program LabVIEW and apply the VIs in a final independent lab project. Prerequisites: Completion of all Fundamental Skills; BIOL 051 or BENG 053; BIOL 061 or BENG 063; CHEM 025 all with a "C-" or better or permission of instructor.

BENG 124. Biomechanics. 4 Units.

This course focuses on the application of engineering mechanics to anatomy and medicine with emphasis on biomechanical phenomena over a range of biological length scales. Engineering mechanics concepts are used to evaluate forces and moments acting on human joints, forces in musculoskeletal tissue, material properties of biological tissues, and disease state conditions. Prerequisites: Completion of all Fundamental Skills, ENGR 020, ENGR 045 with a “C-“ or better.

BENG 171. Bioelectricity. 4 Units.

This course provides the student with an understanding of the origins, function, and measurement of electrical potentials and currents within biological tissues, such as nerve, muscle, and heart. Topics include: the bioelectrical properties of ion channels, neurons, the synapse and neuromuscular junction, adaptation and learning in small networks of neurons, the functional organization of bioelectrical systems, and bioelectrical measurement and stimulation of tissues such as the heart and brain. Prerequisites: Completion of all Fundamental Skills; BIOL 061 or BENG 063; ECPE 041/ECPE 041L; MATH 055 all with a "C-" or better or permission of instructor.

BENG 191. Independent Study. 1-4 Units.

Special individual projects are undertaken under the direction of one or more faculty members who are knowledgeable in the particular field of study. Permission of department chairperson and faculty members involved.

BENG 195. Senior Project. 4 Units.

Students apply basic sciences, mathematics and engineering topics to meet a stated objective. Students also establish design objectives and criteria, and analyze solution alternatives, synthesize a problem, implement a solution, then evaluate design performance. Design documentation and demonstration are required. The course includes both written and oral reports and presentations. Permission of instructor.

BENG 197. Undergraduate Research. 1-4 Units.

This course is applied or basic research in bioengineering under faculty supervision. Permission of faculty supervisor and department chair. Students must be in good academic standing.

BENG 197D. Undergraduate Research. 1-4 Units.

Student Outcomes

(a) An ability to apply math, science and engineering.
(b) An ability to design, conduct experiments and analyze, interpret data.
(c) An ability to design to meet desired needs.
(d) An ability to function on multidisciplinary teams.
(e) An ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems.
(f) An ability to understand professional and ethical responsibility.
(g) An ability to communicate effectively.
(h) An ability to understand the impact of engineering in a global, economic, environmental and societal context.
(i) An ability to engage in life-long learning.
(j) A knowledge of contemporary issues.
(k) An ability to use techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.
(l) An ability to apply engineering principles to life sciences.

Bioengineering Faculty

Jeffrey S. Burmeister, Program Director and Associate Professor of Bioengineering, 2002, BS, Mechanical Engineering, University of Delaware, 1988; PhD, Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, 1995. Biomaterials, cell adhesion.

Shelly Gulati, Assistant Professor of Bioengineering, 2010, BS, Chemical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 2000; PhD, Bioengineering, University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco, 2006. Microfluidics, biologiccal fluid flow.

Eric O. Thomas, Associate Professor, 1993, BS, University of California, Riverside, 1984; MA, 1987; PhD, University of California, Berkeley, 1991.

J. Mark VanNess, Associate Professor, 1999, BS, Wheaton College, 1990; MS, California State University, Sacramento, 1993; PhD, Florida State University, 1997.

Huihui Xu, Assistant Professor of Bioengineering, 2014, B.E., Biomedical Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China, 2006; M.S., Applied Mathematics, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China, 2002; Ph.D., Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL., 2006; Biomedical Engineering, Biomedical Imaging, Bio-instrumentation.