Carnegie Mellon University

Strategy for Success

Carnegie Mellon University offers a unique additional major in Biomedical Engineering, which must be declared in conjunction with a major in a traditional engineering discipline. In order to graduate from this program, a student must meet the requirements of both majors. However, the program is designed such that all the requirements may be readily met in four years.

While completing the additional major requires only a modest increase in course units compared to single majors in traditional engineering, it is still very important for students to plan the courses ahead of time and to be organized and disciplined. The Department of Biomedical Engineering is committed to helping students with successful completion of the requirements by providing academic advices and tools for self-planning.

Tips for Current Students to Navigate through the Additional Major Requirements

  • Become familiar with the degree requirements. Take advantage of the information and tools on this website, especially the course planning spreadsheet (xlsx). Example schedules are available on track pages (BMECBMTEBSIP, and CMBT).
  • Interact with BME advisors. Attend the group advising sessions. Seek out the advisor for individual consultations particularly before course pre-registration.
  • Be prepared before the meeting with advisor. Send the advisor a draft course plan ahead of the meeting if possible, taking into consideration possible alternative courses. Prepare questions ahead of the meeting.
  • Be sure to meet also with the advisor for the traditional engineering major. A student cannot receive the BME additional major without completing the requirements for the traditional engineering major.


  • Plan courses a semester ahead and take BME core courses without delay. The likelihood of schedule conflict increases if core courses are not taken in time, making it difficult to catch up.
    • 42-101 should be taken in the freshman year and no later than the fall semester of the sophomore year.
    • It is strongly suggested that 42-202 and 42-203 be taken no later than the spring semester of the sophomore year.
    • Track gateway course should be taken during the junior year.
  • Take advantage of BME elective courses that meet the requirements of multiple departments, as long as these courses meet personal interest.
  • Do not wait until the last minute before seeking help. A question that seems simple on the surface may not be that easy to resolve.
  • Students in the Health Professions (HPP) Program should read the Pre-Med page.